Ascent of Mont du lac Claire on 2017-03-19

Climber: Gabriel C

Others in Party:Martin B
Sébastien L
Serge M
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, March 19, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Carpool
Peak:Mont du lac Claire
    Elevation:1010 m / 3314 ft

Ascent Trip Report

After coming down from mont du lac Rétréci, we were back on a wide marshy stream bed, breaking trail. We followed it for some time, weaving between sparse trees, until we stumbled upon what looked like a decent trail on the northern side. It was easy to follow but when we emerged in another marsh, we cut across the open ground, skirting the treeline. The stream ascended at the head of this clearing and we quickly saw that it led to lac Rétréci’s outlet just ahead.

Alexandre was leading and I told him to aim for some snowmobile tracks I could see further on the lake. We dashed across and when he reached them, he kept going towards another set of tracks. As I knew we should aim for the cabin to our north, I told him to follow the tracks he was now in and then followed the first set. The rest of the group trailed behind a bit but I stopped for pictures and was caught up.

The snowmobile tracks going south led to a trail that ascended through the trees and we surmised it should lead back to our trailhead if we came back through here on our way out. As we approached the cabin on a peninsula that creates the narrows where the lake’s name probably comes from, I saw smoke in the chimney and parked snowmobiles. Everybody else noticed it as we regrouped in front of the camp. We decided to follow the lake all the way to the end and then join back with the trail that would bring us closer to our goal.

As we neared the lake’s head, there were numerous debris patches around. It smelled like logging and there was even sawdust all around. This went all the way into a trail ascending the shore where a fallen tree had probably been cleared. Further ahead, we reached the main trail. We took a short break there before heading north on a well packed snowmobile track. A few hundred meters later, I heard engines ahead. After calling it, we stepped aside and let the large group get past. When they were gone, we kept going for a short while until Sébastien said we should start looking for a way uphill.

The forest seemed uniform and moderately dense but I decided not to put my shell on. At first it wasn’t too bad while we ascended to a slight bump. When the terrain started descending, some questioned we were on the right track. It didn’t last as we reached the bottom of a slight gully and the slope rose ahead of us. At this point the trees were dumping far too much snow and I took the shell out of my pack. The next pitch was sightly denser at first but it quickly opened up on wide mountainside clearings from where we had great views west and north. It wasn’t long until we reached flatter ground and we started looking for the summit.

Sébastien had noticed divergences in summit position from two datasets he has and directed us to the southernmost one. It was a very small bump on which we had to clump together and we then argued about what we thought was the highest summit. The terrain didn’t seem to rise to the north, but the forest was dense. We finally decided to head there and I broke trail while Sébastien directed me to the spot he marked. When we reached it, we could not tell which was higher. They aren’t intervisible and I had to pull the waypoint altitudes I had recorded for us to find out the northernmost position is probably a few meters higher.

We backtracked downhill until we hit the previous gully. There, I wondered if following it would lead us to petit lac Malbaie, which Sébastien confirmed. Looking at the vegetation, I decided to take the shell off again; it was way too warm for it. We headed south in a sparse forest that descends gradually in a stream gully. After a while, we started seeing blue sky through the trees ahead and soon emerged on the shores of the lake. We took a short break there and then started the hike across that would lead us back to our trailhead.

The group started discussing if we wanted to climb another summit. Serge wanted to do mont du Barbeau while Martin and Sébastien wanted to climb mont de la Mine. After looking at the slopes on mont de la Mine and its blasted sides, it was decided we wouldn’t go there so we headed south towards the road.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:184 m / 610 ft
    Elevation Loss:174 m / 577 ft
    Distance:3.8 km / 2.4 mi
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:180 m / 594 ft
    Extra Loss:21 m / 72 ft
    Distance:2.8 km / 1.7 mi
    Route:Logging trail, bushwhack
    Trailhead:Along stream leading to lac Rétréci  851 m / 2792 ft
    Time Up:1 Hours 34 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:153 m / 505 ft
    Extra Gain:4 m / 16 ft
    Distance:1 km / 0.6 mi
    Trailhead:Petit lac Malbaie  861 m / 2825 ft
    Time Down:30 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Mine Sitec

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mont du lac Rétréci2017-03-19 a
2Mont du lac Claire2017-03-19 b
3Mont du Barbeau2017-03-19 c
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Gabriel C
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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