Concordia’s Ski & Snowboard Club is ready for their upcoming season

The club doesn’t have to ask icely if you want to come skiing.

With ski hills already open, Concordia’s Ski & Snowboard Club (CSSC) is ready for another exciting winter season of hitting the slopes.

Kicking off their 2023-24 season on Nov. 30 with a Reggie’s bar night, CSSC will be going on their first ski trip on Dec. 3 to Mont-Tremblant.

The club has about 2,000 members and welcomes all levels of skills, from beginner to advanced. Day trips, weekenders, and bar nights are some of the ways to socialize with peers in the club.

CSSC also boasts major sponsorships from the likes of RedBull and Burton, among other smaller apparel sponsors from Montreal. Members have access to discounts up to 25 per cent at Burton on a wide variety of gear.

For CSSC president Ajay Weinstein, giving more to members is his main goal for acquiring sponsorships. “Skiing is a ridiculously expensive sport,” he said but the club’s main goal is to make the sport a little more accessible.

The CSSC works with brands, mountains, and resorts to make it possible for students to participate at a lower cost. Day trips with bus and lift tickets cost between $80 to $100, and weekenders around $350—with everything such as lodging included. Trips can vary between 100 to 160 skiers, who leave from SGW campus at 6 a.m. to get first tracks. 

Weinstein also suggested students check out Poubelle de Ski on Saint Laurent for cheap seasonal ski rentals. It comes out to around $200 for a whole season, with skis and boots. 

The club’s skill inclusivity is the one thing that Weinstein is “most proud of.”  With about half of the participants just starting out in skiing and snowboarding, CSSC has been excelling in getting people into these sports.

If there is one trip that you shouldn’t miss out on, according to Weinstien, it’s the Jay Peak weekender. Three days of skiing and partying, plus a whole rented-out water park, in Jay Peak at the end of the season is sure to be remarkable..

The CSSC also has an active Discord channel for members to share information, connect,make friends and even carpool in case of if they missed the bus to a venue. If you were looking for updates they post most of their news through their Instagram for members to follow trip ticket drops and news about what is going on in the club. 

With 13 ski trips planned for their 2023-24 season, the CSSC has their hands full. With 11 day trips and 2 weekend trips, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Check out their website for trip calendars, and to get tickets for upcoming trips. 

Arts Festival

Pushing the limits: The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour comes to Montreal

The 27th edition of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour came to Montreal this year from Jan. 18 to Jan. 21, offering a selection of films from jaw-dropping to heartbreaking. 

Tickets were completely sold out, as people were excited for the festival to be back in-person.

Out of a record submission rate of 453 films, the festival chose ten. 

Every film ranged from five to 45 minutes. The whole evening lasted for three hours. 

The first film, Colors of Mexico by Kilian Bron, featured a mountain biker riding the vibrant streets. The filmmaker played with shapes through architectural angles,  accentuating the beauty of the scenery and the danger of the sport. 

Doo Sar: A Karakoram Ski Expedition film showcased breathtaking footage from the Karakoram mountain range, located in the Kashmir region, featuring Polish duo Andrzej Bargiel and Jędrek Baranowski, who ice climbed to the peak in 12 hours, to then descend in 90 minutes. 

The short Walking on Clouds showed record-breaking highline athlete Rafael Bridi walking between two hot air balloons. The elegance of his movements and the perfect balance of his core seemed almost inconceivable. 

The film was poetic and stress-inducing enough to have the audience sitting on the edge of their seats as the highline trembled under Bridi’s weight. 

The 45-minute-long To the Hills and Back – Know Before You Go proposed a preventative approach to ultimate sports, narrating two storylines of adventurers having lost their loved ones in avalanches. 

The fast-paced editing did not leave much to the imagination, as the audience was propelled into the story. It warns that accidents are frequent. 

The Process, drenched in irony, follows mountaineer Tom Randall, seeking to complete a mountain running challenge over 42 peaks and across 142 kilometers in less than 24 hours. He humors taking on the challenge as a non-runner. 

Flow, follows skier Sam Favret, who decided to hike up a French Alpine resort during confinement, to enjoy the bare slopes. The ungraded slopes permitted breathtaking footage. 

Clean Mountains counts the tourist pollution on Everest from a Sherpa’s perspective, as one woman decides to climb Everest and while descending clears the mountain of tourist waste. 

Her father had lost his fingers helping a client tie his ice crampons, impeding him from continuing to work. His experience burdened the family and exposed the harm of unprepared tourists on Everest. 

North Shore Betty teaches the possibility of starting a new sport at any age. At 45, Betty took up mountain biking. On screen, she was 73. 

A Baffin Vacation trailered a couple on the struggles of ultimate sports on the body and mind. They comically preface their story by ridiculing their experience on the brawling effects of canoeing and mountain climbing. 

The light short Do a Wheelie concluded the festival positively, showing that ultimate sports weave communities together. 

The international documentary festival will tour around the province until the end of March.

Community Student Life

Hit the slopes with Concordia’s Ski and Snowboarding Club

See what the club has in store for winter 2023.

With the winter break all on our minds, it is a given that everyone is looking for things to do during the chilly season. The Concordia Ski and Snowboard Club is ready to welcome another event-filled winter.

The Concordian had the chance to sit down with four executives from the club: Michelle Fraser, Sebastian Adam, Ajay Weinstein, and Antoine Denis.

Adam, the VP internal on the team, recalled his earliest memories as a kid snowboarding for the first time.

“My dad put me on a board before I could walk so he’s always been a super big ‘boarder’. As soon as I could fit on a snowboard I was riding. I never started with skiing, I went with the better of the two,” Adam said. 

While every executive on the team has a different relationship with skiing and snowboarding, they all shared the same excitement for the upcoming season.

Fraser, the VP of social media for the club, explained the upcoming events for this winter.

“We just posted our trip schedule for the upcoming ski season. We have all the dates on our Instagram page. We are going to a variety of different locations around Quebec like Mont Orford and Mont Tremblant,” Fraser explained. 

“Our two most exciting events are our ‘weekender’ events. We’re having one in Quebec city and we are having one in Vermont at Jay Peak,” Fraser added. 

The “weekender” events have been done in the past, but they had to be put on hold for the past couple of years due to COVID restrictions. During these events, participants of the ski and snowboard club go away for one weekend, stay at a hotel, ski, and party. 

For beginners who want to try out the club but feel apprehensive due to their skill level, the club’s executives assure you that the club is for everyone. 

Weinstein, the president of the club, explained that the team is there to help answer any questions that you may have while going down the slopes.

“One of the things that we try to do with the club is that we try to get new people to come out. Obviously, in terms of liability, we can’t teach beginners how to ride but we try to make it as accessible as possible,” he said. “We make sure that it’s accessible because we know how difficult it is as a beginner because every element of skiing is super expensive.”

With accessibility on the forefront, the club hopes to recruit as many participants as they can for their most anticipated events for winter 2023. 

So get out there! You can find out more about this club on their website. 


Opinions Student Life

Is it really that rewarding to be a winter athlete?

The real motivation behind going out in the cold

There are many ways to enjoy the outdoors during wintertime.

Of course, it all depends on the climate that you live in. How cold does it get? Do you have snow, ice? Or is it more of a mild winter temperature, where you get the occasional snow, but wearing heavy-duty winter gear isn’t a necessity to get your groceries?

Either way, there’s a lot you can do.

But is being outside in freezing cold weather really what our hearts desire? Or are we just trying to fit into the wishful image of a winter-loving well-rounded human being?

Most of us hate winter — it is a time reserved for the holidays, followed by a three-month hibernation. Maybe you’ll go outside once a day for a smoke, or perhaps a cup of coffee, but most of us make use of the extra dark hours of the day to binge-watch our favourite TV shows and eat lasagna.

Say you do want to go outside; what do you want to do? It all depends on access. In Montreal, it’s possible the best you can do is the Mont-Royal — not a bad spot. You see, when you live in the city, getting out to the wilderness to breathe fresh air and fall into fresh powdery snow is difficult, and a lot of the time expensive.

First, you gotta get out of town. Unless you have a car, you have to take a bus or a shuttle, but the bus may drop you off at a random gas station on the side of the highway. Nice.

Next, you need equipment. Whether you want to do alpine skiing, cross-country, or just some snowshoeing, you either need to carry it with you all the way to your destination, or you need to rent — expect to spend $40-50 per person. Finally, you need to make sure you have a suitable backpack to carry your food, extra layers, and water bottle, and don’t forget a good winter jacket on top of a breathable base layer of clothing.

Just writing all that down was exhausting.

But new sports and new ways to explore the outdoors keep popping up, and apparently, there is some real interest in winter sports.

Recently, a faction of alpine skiers is reigniting the interest in an old sport with its debut tied to medieval Norwegian traditions: alpine touring.

Now, strap on spikey “skins” to the back of your skis, and invest a couple thousand dollars on a new pair of “walking ski boots” (some claim they are comfortable, I have a hard time believing that), and climb up any mountain you desire!

Not exactly, but you get the idea.

In all honesty, I think I am just jealous of those who have the means and the time to invest themselves in outdoor sports like these. Right now, all I crave is to witness the silence of a snow-covered forest, and the void of a mountain valley.

But, you know, whatever. I’ll just keep being bitter from the comfort of my home, wasting away looking out of my window into the world, instead of living in it.


Photo by Laurie-Anne Palin


Riding the slopes then hitting the books: University students’ new reality

Quebec ski hills are seeing more weekday student skiers than ever

Fresh air, mountain views, and crowded ski slopes are where you can find some university students from Monday through Sunday.

With universities going forward with a complete online semester due to COVID-19, many students have resorted to a flipped schedule: hitting the slopes during the day and hitting their books at night. Students explain that it is a way to keep healthy, motivated and free during the lockdown.

Spending a day in the mountains and enjoying the great outdoors are just some of the reasons why skiers and snowboarders love their sport — but, it is also the reason for which they are currently sharing the slopes with so many more people this year.

In order to combat the influx of skiers and snowboarders, many snow resorts have adopted and implemented new policies. Les Sommets ski resort in Saint-Sauveur, much like many other resorts, has decided to suspend the sale of season passes for an indefinite period of time while reducing the number of tickets sold per day. These measures were put into place to ensure that the mountains are not too crowded, in order to maintain COVID-19 ski regulations at all times.

Stoneham Mountain Resort, located twenty minutes from Quebec city, has seen a 4 to 5 per cent increase in the number of season passes sold, compared to the 2019-2020 season, according to an interview with CTV News. As for the global Canadian market in this sector, a reported 8.1 per cent increase in the growth of the ski and snowboard market is expected by the end of 2021, according to IBISWorld.

Hannah Tiongson, a Journalism student at Concordia University, explains that for her, skiing is about more than staying active.

“Skiing helps me become a lot more motivated. I find that when I ski on a Saturday morning and I return home in the afternoon, I feel more mentally fit to start on my homework,” explained Tiongson.

For others, shredding the slopes brings a sense of liberation and freedom. Students not only feel trapped in their everyday lives amidst the lockdown but also in their personal lives, explains first-year student Kiana Gomes.

Last year I went skiing three times — this year, I go every single weekend. Since everything is currently closed, there really is nothing else to do. When I stay home, I feel trapped. So I go skiing and I feel absolutely free,” she explained.

Although, with the increase of skiers and snowboarders on the slopes, not everyone is happy. The more people there are, the longer the wait times are.

For Quebec City brothers Marc-Olivier and Vincent Jacques, who ski at the Stoneham Mountain Resort in Quebec, the wait was too long. Instead, they took the ski slope less travelled and started back-country skiing.

“We saw the waiting line for the chair lifts and knew that we would spend half our day waiting in them, so we decided not to. Back-country skiing lets us get a workout in and ski, while not waiting in line — and we can do it anywhere,” explained Vincent.

As for Marc-Olivier, he explained that the tranquillity of the first tracks in the morning and being alone on the slopes is soothing.

“It starts the day off on a good foot because you have the mountain to yourself,” he said.

Nonetheless, students are making the most of the pandemic and are keen on taking advantage of their flexible schedules to explore the variety of ski resorts that Quebec has to offer. Since the thought of an over-crowded ski resort is not for everyone, many students have decided on doing day trips to Charlevoix, Mont-Tremblant, Sutton and Quebec City to diversify their skiing activities and their routine days.


Graphic by @the.beta.lab


How to avoid your wallet going downhill

From Sutton to Saint-Sauveur, what’s the best hill for student ski trips?

With school starting up again, we all know we’re going to get hit with unwanted stress in the coming weeks. Sports are a great way to have fun and can even reduce stress during the semester.

With winter also hitting us hard, it becomes a bit tougher to get outside and stay active. That’s why skiing is a great way to go out with some friends and forget about reality for a few hours. But student ski trips can be very expensive, especially for a student, so here are a few student-friendly mountains in Quebec you could visit.

Mont Sutton: Located in the Eastern Townships, about a 90-minute drive from Montreal, Mont Sutton is one of the bigger mountains in the province. It has 60 trails, including many glades, with a wide range of difficulties, but its $68 price tag for a day pass is costly. They offer reduced prices for students at $46, $37 for an afternoon pass (12-4:30 p.m.), or for just $25, you can access three of the nine chair lifts, which take you to some easy and intermediate trails. For beginners, equipment rental is also at a reduced price for students.

Sommet Saint-Sauveur: One of the closer mountains to Montreal, Sommet Saint-Sauveur, doesn’t offer student ski prices. Instead, skiing here is cheaper than at most mountains, and you save money if you buy online. A regular ticket costs $53 online, but if you buy a night pass (3 p.m. until 10 p.m.) online, it’s $40. If that’s still too costly for you, Sommet Gabriel, Sommet Morin Heights, and Sommet Olympia are smaller nearby hills you can go to for much cheaper. For example, Friday night tickets at Sommet Gabriel are $18.

Mont Habitant: Close to Saint-Sauveur, Mont Habitant is a hill that’s good for learners, or for people on a budget. They have promotional prices for night skiing on the weekend where you can rent equipment along with your lift ticket for under $40. Night skiing is a truly beautiful experience that any skier should have. There are less people on the mountain at night, so unless the temperature drops to -20 C, it’s a calming ski session.

Mont-Tremblant: The alpha of ski mountains in Quebec is probably out of any student’s price range, but worth mentioning. Mont-Tremblant’s mountain is 2,870 feet high with 102 runs, attracting people from all over the world.

Graphic by Ana Bilokin. 

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