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St-Damien/St-Zenon/Riviere Mattawin trail#360 photo/video ride-report 28march2015

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Unfortunaltely the season is well underway, it's already over in the south near home but the north is still very snowy and conditions are very good out there. Going to lunch at Marineau via trail #360 north is a good path choice and trusting my instincts, we try a start from St-Damien of Brandon. Here the path traveled:


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For those who do not know the place, St-Damien de Brandon is located just at the foot of the Laurentian Mountains chain. Starting from there you go up a big hill and end up in altitude in less than a mile with obviously better snow. So it is accompanied by Steph and Snowcruiser that left the Harnois gaz station of the village. I also want to thank the owner for allowing us to park our rigs there for free.

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As the pic shows, the car parking was pretty lean. We encounter some earth spots getting up the hill but not too bad and all frozen


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Less than a miles from the beginning we were on the #23 trail with excellent snow conditions.

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But the snow of the trail was frozen hard, no loose snow. I lowered my 2 scratchers and took the lead... even my track is not studded it worked pretty well to loosen some snow


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Apart from this, trail was perfect. Hard and fast

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Once we got near St-Zenon in the club du Royaume, there was enough loose snow giving 10/10 trail conditions


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Here a first small break before the Cabanon at #23/345 junction

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We stop to fill up at the Cabanon to be sure to make the 80 miles to get to Rivière Mattawin

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We meet Stef40(CMIQ forum guy)with his friends who took a break near the bridge of the Mattawin river

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We had an exceptionally beautiful blue jay day and riding on the #360 east, the sun was so dazzling that the pics we took are all well overexposed and we can't see the trail at all

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But I had the video to the rescue! I quickly mounted a couple minutes of footage filmed along the river. There are fewer places with clear water now because the river flow decreased now that the Taureau reservoir is almost empty and ready to receive the spring waters. With the cold weather the river have frozen back on several places. It remains one of the most beautiful trails in the area for both the scenery and the trail itself ...



Classical View of Mattawin river

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Approaching from Marineau it was a bit leaner on snow but still ok, even some lefting on the side of the car bridge


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We encounter only one small earth spot just behind the gas station where we stop to refuel


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Much people at Marineau. Marie-Josée there told us that if the conditions are good depending on the wheater, they may continue grooming for the next weekend

Good observers may notice something wrong at the end of the row

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Yep, a season near ending for one sport and the beginning for another ...


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We retrace our steps after lunch using #360 trail, but for a change we took the local trail M20

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Speaking of the most beautiful trails in the area, M20 is another. Made on a beautiful forest road base, it is mostly wide and fast


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The scenery is a little different from the rest of our area and with these good hardened base trail conditions it was at its best

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Definitely to put to put on your "to do list" when you come in the area


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The last part is a bit more winding but still very nice


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We took a break at the junction with trail #345

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We then resumed on#345 south which was beautiful

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We took some fuel passing at Cabanon


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And returned by the same path taken in the morning

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Not only trails stayed in nice shape with this beautiful hardbase

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But the snowmobile club du Royaume was still grooming, but for the last time on the regular schedule.


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Even before the groomer it was beautiful


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It was beautiful, except the big hill from the beginning. The sun was strong on this south oriented hill and earth/rocks spots had doubled+ in diameter and were juicy, not good at all but just the last mile. Was too much south.

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We were finally back to the trailer around 6:30pm with just a little over 250 miles on the dreameter.

In conclusion, still very good conditions in the north but it is near the end... for those who have the chance to ride early in the week, start from St-Zenon you won't regret it! At this point just verify the places you would like to stop because hitting april some outfitters are closing like the Repos that close on Wednesday 1rst april from what I heard

For us, it was quite possibly our last ride this season because we already know that it will not be possible for us to ride next weekend and I doubt that we can find groomed trails in two weeks (had to see). Still, a great season for us near our average milage with total 4800 miles for the whole season

Thank you and good season ending to all !!!

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Alain

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We saw you on the M20!! I was almost positive when we crossed that it was you, and it was. Me and Dana were on the 2 black and orange ski-doo 1200's going opposite direction down the M20 back to Manawin. We departed from Mannawin Friday AM, went Est to the pipeline, up thru La Tuque to Relais 22 for lunch, accross the TQ83 to Barrage Gouin. 275 miles of perfect trails and saw 3 sleds all day. On Saturday we left Gouin rode to Kanawata for gas, Lac Repos for gas and lunch, down the M20- saw you, back to truck. 500 miles of great trails for sure. Glad to see your report, you always have so much good info. Thanks, we may be done for the year, as well. Maybe a little ride close to home in Vermont.

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It is amazing how beautiful white snow covered trails/landscape eventually turns to ugly muddy ground. Like two completely opposite visual experiences. :shok: I trail ride ATV in summerl but never experience the same level of pleasure riding Quad in summer as I do riding sled in winter. The crisp air..peaceful quiet and serenity...and snow covered landscape paints a scene only nature can produce. The rivers, the vistas, possible wildlife sightings, etc...only a snowmobiler who also enjoys nature can appreciate. For me it is cathartic and why I love Winter so much.

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Great report and nice crisp, clear pictures and a cool video.

Thank you smclelan!

Great report Alain. My last ride will be Wednesday.

Thanks chris1v. If you come that way, my suggestion would be to made a couple phone call to secure your fuel/meal stops. As state on the other post, the repos is suppose to close on wednsday 1rst april but are they open or close this day and are they still serving fuel past this date, I don't know...

make a search in there and you will find all the phone nombers you may need for the Lanaudiere/Haute-Mauricie part http://snowmobilecountry.ca/en/accommodation

Have a great one!

Nice report Alain . Hey did I miss the week long report ? When you did the south side.

Thanks David! No you don't miss it, it's the only trip I had not made report. It was our winter holiday and I took a report's holiday loll. I even have hundred pics in file and also a bit of video of this trip. I may make something with it later but i don't want to create expectation... I know from the past years that I may be kept busy by the hundred others great projets and ideas I have when I hit the summer mode :rolleyes:

Thanks as always for sharing and extending the season for all of us! I love your way with words! "Juicy" rocks! Just awesome!

My pleasure Playhard! it describe pretty much good I think!

We saw you on the M20!! I was almost positive when we crossed that it was you, and it was. Me and Dana were on the 2 black and orange ski-doo 1200's going opposite direction down the M20 back to Manawin. We departed from Mannawin Friday AM, went Est to the pipeline, up thru La Tuque to Relais 22 for lunch, accross the TQ83 to Barrage Gouin. 275 miles of perfect trails and saw 3 sleds all day. On Saturday we left Gouin rode to Kanawata for gas, Lac Repos for gas and lunch, down the M20- saw you, back to truck. 500 miles of great trails for sure. Glad to see your report, you always have so much good info. Thanks, we may be done for the year, as well. Maybe a little ride close to home in Vermont.

You gave me a challenge Dave! The GoPro was recording on the whole m20 lenght, I just took a look on the film and I think I locate you both but you were just coming up a small hill and we were both riding pretty fast so I saw you a fraction of second... wondering if I would been abe to extract a snapshot (never tried it) I follow the very simple instructions and get this... is it you?

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I'm stunted by the quality of the result! we are in the 120mph of moving speed one to the other for the camera and the shot is clean cut... those little GoPro toys are really strong!

You had the chance like us to hit the best of the winter on this ride... lucky we are!

Always look forward to your reports Alain! Glad to see your last trip of the season was good. Always better to end the season on a good ride than a 'messy' one.

Salut!

I can't believe it's already over for us...it's easier to resign that it is the end on a messy one! loll

It was a good one for sure.

Your photos are always great. Till next season! :hi:

It is amazing how beautiful white snow covered trails/landscape eventually turns to ugly muddy ground. Like two completely opposite visual experiences. :shok: I trail ride ATV in summerl but never experience the same level of pleasure riding Quad in summer as I do riding sled in winter. The crisp air..peaceful quiet and serenity...and snow covered landscape paints a scene only nature can produce. The rivers, the vistas, possible wildlife sightings, etc...only a snowmobiler who also enjoys nature can appreciate. For me it is cathartic and why I love Winter so much.

It is two completely differents experience with both their plus and minus. The warm breeze on the skin and possibility to step in a lake or river just to cool down a bit and continue after is a complete different experience. But the dust and the bugs are two things you don't have to mind in winter. Also don't need to wash the sled with a pressure washer after each rides like the bikes in summer. The falls scenery are really hard to beat, most beautiful to my taste.

The sled experience stay something apart for me too and being able to share it with my wife since the last 20+ years make it essential for us, we need it!

As always, great job and thank you..

You are welcome doonali!

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Towing...Thanks for posting your pic's. My son flew in to Montreal on a business trip in mid-February. We went to the same destination from Saint-Zenon.

I sent him your pic's.

thanks

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Thanks for sharing pictures and video Alain.. we always enjoy your reports... have a great summer , and here's to next season

all the best

Gary

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