Montreal non-profit bringing skiing, snowboarding and tubing to South West

Pente à Neige has launched a new snow-tubing run at Ignace Bourget Park. Dec 29, 2017. Dan Spector/Global News

Montreal non-profit group Pente à Neige is trying to create a Laurentian-worthy hub for winter activities to the South West borough of the city.

“The idea is to create a certain service that’ll get people outdoors, get them [active and] enjoying winter,” said Pente à Neige spokesman Andrew Borrelli.

The organization launched a snow-tubing run at Ignace Bourget Park on Friday, but plan to also start a beginner run for skiing and snowboarding soon.

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“We’ve set it up so young children from about 4 to 13 years old will be able to ski and snowboard in the park,” Borrelli said.

The ski hill will be open in the coming days, and it will even have a small lift. Pente à Neige hopes their offering will get city kids outside and interested in the fun side of winter.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for kids to learn how to ski, get that first test run,” Borelli told Global News at the base of the hill.

“It’s easy access, it’s just a 10-minute walk from Angrignon metro. You don’t have to drive up north and buy all that equipment — you can just come right here.”

Those trying out tubing on the first day had positive reviews for the run.

“It’s nice and fun — pretty fast! Good for small kids and big kids,” said Luc Bessette, who had brought his daughter.

Skiing in an urban setting is not entirely new in Montreal. People skiied at Ignace Bourget and on Mount Royal years ago, but safety concerns and a lack of maintenance ended the fun.

“We’re taking on the task of ensuring we’re following all the standards that are followed by ski hills across Quebec,” assured Borrelli.

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The non-profit receives funding from the Quebec government, the South West borough, and ski resort Les Sommets St-Sauveur.

Pente à Neige will be renting out skis and snowboards as well. Using the hill will not be free, but prices are reasonable, with discounts for visitors who need them.

“There’s an ‘access for all’ policy, with discounts up to 50 per cent for individuals and families who may not be able to afford our prices,” Borrelli said.

The hill will be open until March or April, with snow-making capability for when the weather gets warmer. If the initial run goes well in South West, Pente à Neige hopes to expand across the city.

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