Owl’s Head, Quebec Conditions Report: Summit Chair Open!

Liam Abbott | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
Lilly’s Leap with Lake Memphremagog beginning to freeze over in the background. Image from Liam Abbott.

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This report is from December 31st, 2020 – January 1st, 2021

To best describe how the start of the season has been for Owl’s Head, along with a lot of Quebec, all you need to look at is the current snowfall total for this season. As of January 1st, 2021, Owl’s Head has only received 7” (18cm) of snow. This has made for a tough start to the season, but with mother nature finally starting to cooperate, things are making a turn for the better.

On Thursday, Owl’s Head was able to reopen their Summit Chair, which was key to offering more than just greens to ski. After opening up the Summit Chair for a couple of days before Christmas, they had to close it back down due to heavy rainfall damaging the base. Since temperatures have dropped, they have now been able to re-blow snow in addition to receiving 3” (6cm) on the 31st. Although they only have one run open from the top, Lilly’s Leap, it has been in great condition, and the natural snow made for a nice base. I was able to find a bunch of fun kickers and jumps on the side, which allowed me to stay entertained run after run.

Kicker off Lilly’s Leap with Lake Memphremagog in the background. Image from Liam Abbott.
Another fun jump on the side of Lilly’s Leap. Image from Liam Abbott.

The other seven runs that are currently open are also in good condition. My personal favorite was Chouette as it offered a nice long and easy green that had great views of the lake. Of the other runs that were open, most entailed the beginner lift and magic carpet, leaving practically three runs of interest open for advanced skiers.

Great carving laps on Chouette. Image from Liam Abbott.

Due to the limited terrain, lift lines have quite busy. The Panorama Chair was usually the busiest as once Lilly’s Leap got skied out, people generally gravitated to the lower slopes. Otherwise, due to Owl’s Head not selling a lot of guest passes, lines were quick-moving and died out as the day progressed.

Weather Outlook

Since the 29th, Owl’s Head has been blowing snow at max capacity. To me, it looks as if any day now, they could open the top of Kamikazee, Centennial, and Shady Lady. The chances of this happening should increase dramatically with the help of a snowstorm rolling in on January 2nd, dropping up to 6″ (15cm) of fresh snow. The most important part of the 14-day outlook is that temperatures, for the most part, will stay at or below the freezing mark, allowing the snow making team to continue to blow snow.

Potton, Quebec (Owl’s Head) 14 day weather outlook in Celsius. Weather report and image courtesy of The Weather Network.
Snowfall stats for Owl’s Head this year as of January 1st 2021. Image courtesy of Owl’s Head.


Besides the lack of snowfall and COVID-19, Owl’s Head has been running into mechanical problems, most recently with their Family Chair. As of January 1st, it was broken down, and there is no update as to when it may be fixed. The Lake Chair has also been facing some long-term mechanical problems that have forced Owl’s Head to replace it next summer, but it is not confirmed if it will be running this season.

One of my favorite parts of Owl’s Head, which is available at any time of the year, is the view. With Lake Memphremagog right at the base, it feels as if you are about to ski right into the lake, and it never gets old. As the season progresses, so will the weather, and if we keep are fingers crossed we should luck out on some great skiing in the weeks to come.

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