The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday February 1st

Great Escapes - Mont Tremblant, Canada

Instead of rough, dirty sand I got pure, perfect snow; instead of salt in the eyes and shark attacks I got the wind in my face and an adrenaline rush; instead of sunburns and a hangover I got rolling moguls ... and a hangover.

Next year try something new for Spring Break. Get in your car and drive more than 1,000 miles in the opposite direction from everyone else -- Canada has a lot more to offer than maple syrup and high taxes.

After a grueling 16-hour road trip through some of the most boring landscape in the country (New York City is the only thing in New York), most of which I spent sprawled out on the air mattress in the back of my Chevrolet Suburban, we pulled into the quaint Mont Tremblant Ski Resort only to be greeted by a raging blizzard and howling winds. I think my two friends and I actually chimed the exact same expletive in unison and with the exact same inflection.

But after a huge dinner and a good night's sleep we woke up to find the sun shining, the snow glistening and the mountain calling. Even though Neil kicked my bed every two minutes and howled "Nicolaaaaaa" in imitation of the Ricola commercial," I managed to refrain from stabbing him in the belly and dragging myself onto the slopes.

And thus the pain began.

We confidently attacked the black diamond runs on our first trip down the mountain and I ended up launching a preteen who decided to cut me off about 30 feet down a cliff and into a tree. Punk should have watched where he was going.

We made it to the bottom, winded and sore only to realize that we had another five hours of skiing before the lifts closed. So to assuage our bruised egos after being burned by a 4-year-old strapped on to a pair of rockets, we followed the beginner's ski school class around for an hour and hazed the instructor.

It wasn't until the third day on the mountain, with a much deeper snow base and a few less snowboarders on speed that we decided that "Closed Trail" signs are just like speed limits -- more of a suggestion than an order.

After dodging the ski patrol and flicking off a disgruntled old man who called us a pack of "hooligans," we found out exactly why they use bright orange ropes to keep people out -- rocks. Big, sharp, evil rocks.

But, after nearly breaking my thumb and tearing a rivet in my skis that is longer than my forearm (thank God for rentals), we came out of the woods on a frozen lake and skated a half mile to the nearest lift.

It was so much fun.

Between the amazing slopes, beautiful views, food that was distinctly non-Canadian and a drive through Montreal that found Neil in his helmet thrashing in my front seat, I could not have asked for more.

If you want a break from burns, beaches and lopsided boobs, head north instead of south -- the Canadians will let anyone over the border.

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