Québec has three main skiing areas; the Laurentians, the Eastern townships and the Greater Québec area which is where Mont-Sainte-Anne is located along with nearby Stoneham Mountain Resort. Both are only 30 minutes from downtown Québec. The average snowfall is 400cm/160in and from mid-November to late April each year the entire surrounding area turns into a vast winter wonderland for all sorts of outdoor activities. Mont-Sainte-Anne's development as a ski resort began in 1943 when a group of pioneer skiers began the initial steps. The exceptional situation of the mountain, overlooking the majestic St Lawrence River and just 40km/25 miles from historic old Québec City marked it as a major attraction point for skiers as well as visitors. These local pioneers undertook, on their own, the development of an alpine skiing trail on the mountain and, in April 1944, the first skiers took to the slopes. Hosting the Canadian Downhill Championship in 1947 marked the beginning of major competitions at the mountain. The access to the summit was not easy at the time and racers as well as officials climbed on foot packing down the snow on the way up. No question of a "rerun" as the journey up took about 3 hours! Some 200 skiers took part in this Canadian Championships and some of the winners have since become legends of the Canadian skiing history; Pierre Jalbert, Rhoda and Rhona Wurtele, Hector Sutherland, Lucille Wheeler. For almost 20 years Mont Sainte Anne became a sleeping beauty, awakening only once or twice a year to play host to a downhill race. In 1963 the town of Beaupré, in co-operation with the Provincial Government, set up the Commission du Parc du St Mont Anne to begin the development of the mountain and the surrounding area. These combined efforts resulted in the official opening of Park du Mont St Anne as a modern ski resort in 1966. The area opened with 10 trails and four lifts, including the only gondola in Eastern Canada. A 90km network of cross-country trails was added to the increasingly popular alpine centre for the presentation of the Junior World Nordic Championships in 1972, thus creating a major cross-country centre complementing the alpine facilities. At the end of the 1970's, these facilities included 27 alpine trails on two faces and 14 lifts with an hourly capacity of 10,750 skiers. The resort plays host to many international competitions from downhill skiing to mountain biking and snowmobiling. Indeed, Québec is the home of the snowmobile and its inventor Joseph Armand Bombardier was a local of the city. The snowmobile, or Ski-Doo as it was originally known, is an essential means of winter travel for many in this area as well as a funmobile par excellence. Big snowmobile events and major competitions attract the best amateurs and professionals in North America as well as thousands of spectators. The winter of 1982/83 was the shortest on record for the resort and disastrous for all Eastern Canadian and US resorts due to lack of snow. At this point it was decided to invest a massive $13 million on a state-of- the-art computerised snow-making system covering 80% of the skiing terrain. This move put Mont St Anne firmly in the major league easily competing with top American ski areas due to its exceptional location and especially long ski season. This investment and commitment to snowmaking has continued through subsequent decades with nearly 300 new guns added in the 2004-5 season which use much less energy than coinventional guns.
The biggest night-skiing vertical in Canada ( 625 M ), located thirty minutes ( 25 miles ) from historic Québec City with it's rich range of facilities. Mont - Sainte - Anne also boasts the largest cross-country ski centre in Canada and a wonderful backdrop of the St Lawrence River. The resort is host to many international competitions in Alpine skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking.