Mont Tremblant: White Water Rafting
A few years ago, I would never have referred to myself as free spirited and adventurous. Now, I seek out adventure. My idea of an ideal getaway is no longer heading to a posh cocktail lounge followed by a night of dancing in the likes of Miami or New York, but rather an escape from the noise, hassles, and, at times, people—perhaps the result of living in a big city.
I enjoy long drives with Burning Man or French Cafe Music playlist in the background. Best of all are the great conversations with a passenger that make the hours fly by. This past weekend, in a similar manner as last year, my cousin and I packed up my car for an adventure. As an only child, he’s the sibling I never had. Luckily, we travel exceptionally well together, even exploring half of Europe together. We just get along. I plan the hotels and restaurants; Andrew plans the adventure. Unlike the daredevil that he is, with his love of bungee jumping and skydiving, I prefer to stay on land or at times in water. He pushes my fear limits; I educate him on spas and arts.
As much as I enjoy the great outdoors adventure, I always joke that after getting muddy I need an extra long shower, preferably in the comfort of a great hotel. I’m a hotel person. I appreciate the design, amenities and customer care—all the bells and whistles that come along with a luxury hotel. To me, it’s a key part of travel. I am not afraid to get dirty as long as I know I will be waking up in the comfort of a king-sized bed.
For this escape, Mont Tremblant was an ideal destination. Nestled in the Laurentian Mountains, Tremblant offers remarkable trails for hiking and breathtaking views, but also entertainment, dining options and, most importantly, comforts.
After a 6 hour drive from Toronto, we checked in at the Fairmont Tremblant. The property has a great swimming pool and outdoor lounging area. So, one of the days was spent reading by the pool and soaking up the sunshine over mojitos, followed by an evening hike under the stars to experience Tonga Lumina. It is impossible to explain in words how magical this experience was, but we both agreed that it was our best hike yet. Under the stars, the 5km trail is transformed into an immersive story of a giant, with lights and sounds that make you feel as if you’ve entered a fairy tale.
The following day, we woke up at 6am for our annual white water rafting adventure. The river is about an hour’s drive from the hotel. We always do a full day on the water, from 9am to 4pm. Next year, we’re planning on doing 2 days.
If you’re interested in white water rafting, be sure you’re dressed for it prior to heading out. Wear swimming shoes or running shoes; your footwear should always stay on your feet. For ladies, I advise against bikinis. Trust me, I made that mistake last year and nearly lost both my bottom and top. When tumbling over, you want to make sure all clothes stay on you. This year, I went for a one piece bather with running shorts, fast drying and comfortable. Avoid wearing cotton, as it takes a long time to dry and, if it is chilly, you will freeze on the river.
While in the raft you can’t keep anything on you, unless you have pockets. For those wearing contacts, bring a spare pair and ask your guide to hold on to them, or, if you have them, keep them inside your pockets. It’s possible for the water to flush them out. Though this has not happened to me yet, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Do not bring any glasses unless you have a strap—even if you do, know you’re still likely to drown them. Also, before going on the raft, slather yourself in SPF, and bring a towel, a change of clothes, and shoes for after.
I love love love rafting and the adrenaline rush that comes with it. I’d say it is best if you’re comfortable in water and a strong swimmer, but I’ve never had a moment where I was too nervous. The first time tipping over in a raft is scary, but you get used to it fast. Both Andrew and I agreed that we prefer Rouge River over Ottawa River. Perhaps it was just our experience, but this year we didn’t need to paddle for 20 minutes from one rapid to the next; they were closer in distance. We booked our experience with Rafting Nouveau Monde and loved it.
The following day we hung out at Tremblant village, took a gondola to the peak and hiked the area, followed by a long drive home! It took us 8 hours to drive back, thanks to Toronto traffic, but it was well worth it for the adventure!
P.S. For the behind the scenes look at our trip, check out Instagram Stories Highlight at this link.