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Ascent of Mont Ham on 2010-07-31

Climber: Gabriel C

Date:Saturday, July 31, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mont Ham
    Location:Canada-Québec
    Elevation:2323 ft / 708 m

Ascent Trip Report

note: I've decided that adding all man-powered distances and elevation gains into my ascents would count even if it included cycling to the location.

The morning after my mont Adstock ascent, I woke up early. It was around 6:45am and I was fresh. The soft pine needle covered ground had greatly helped in my early awakening. After making a quick breakfast and packing up, I was on the road around 8:00am. It was cold at first as the air was very damp. There were many fog banks near Lac Saint-François and I was chilled. Soon though, the sun started heating things up. The going was relatively easy although quite hilly. It was my first day ever hauling a trailer on a bike so I had to adjust my cycling. Stepping out of the saddle requires very smooth movements and you cannot wrench your bike around as the trailer tends to rock you left and right. Basically, sitting down is the only way to go unless your bike balance is excellent. I passed D'Israëli early in the morning and filled my water bottles in a rest stop along HWY 112. From there, I only had to ride a little bit further (around an hour) until I hit an intersection.

I had discarded going to mont Chapman as it's all on private land and you need to be a full fledged Sentiers de l'Estrie member to have access to the trails (which costs 35$ per year). I tried contacting them the week before but received no answer. So before going to sleep at mont Adstock, I had looked at my options for reaching mont Ham. The most direct route was HWY 257 that takes off HWY 112 in Weedon. As soon as I saw the road, I moaned, as I saw it climb steeply into the hills. Furthermore, it became gravel about a kilometer in. At least I was using my mountain bike converted for road use.

Maybe halfway on HWY 112, I approached a house with a front porch on which I could see a dosing dog. I always beware of the sight as I never know if he'll be either passive or aggressive, leashed or not. Turns out he was both aggressive and unleashed. I stepped on the pedals while cursing at him as he was jumping off at me as another even bigger dog emerged from under the porch. The second was some kind of mastiff and while the other dog abandoned the chase, he went after me for about 75m. Adrenaline pumping, it didn't matter that I had just climbed a hard hill. At least there was a descent in front of me to help gain speed. I made it off after almost falling because of the trailer.

The rest of the road was okay although still very hilly until finally, I could see mont Ham's bare summit in the distance. I made it to the main office around 11:30am. After speaking with the front desk, I decided to take a camping spot here. It costs 28$ taxes included but that also gives access to the trails (which costs 6$). I rode to the camping spots, at the mountain's feet and setup my tent real fast. I dumped my stuff in it and locked the bike and trailer to a tree. I then made it off towards the summit. It was now around 12:15.

I opted for the trail 'L'Intrépide' which basically goes in a straight line to the summit. It's quite steep but easy to navigate. Further up, there is some scrambling involved, but nothing scary at all. I made it to the summit in around 30 minutes and lingered there looking at the sights. It was a bright sunny day, but there was a haze that prevented me from seeing too far. The descent was quick, down the same trail. Considering the steepness, it's very easy. Only one or two spots require sliding down a steeper rock face but no downclimbing.

I was back at my camping spot around 13:15 and I was left wondering if I should have kept going on my bike instead of camping here. I had brought 'The Kite Runner' with me and pretty much read through it that day resting in my tent. When it got darker, I made some food and then prepared for the night.


View MRC HPs (fin-juillet 2010) in a larger map


Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2769 ft / 843 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2851 ft / 868 m
    Round-Trip Distance:43.9 mi / 70.7 km
    Grade/Class:2
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Bicycle, Tent Camp
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2769 ft / 843 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1027 ft / 313 m; Extra: 1742 ft / 530m
    Loss on way in:1742 ft / 530 m
    Distance:42.5 mi / 68.3 km
    Route:road cycling and trail
    Start Trailhead:About 200m on Route du mont Adstock  1296 ft / 395 m
    Time:5 Hours 0 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1109 ft / 338 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.3 km
    Route:road cycling and trail
    End Trailhead:About 200m on Route du mont Adstock  1214 ft / 370 m
    Time:25 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: MRC HPs (july 2010) (3 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Mont Adstock2010-07-301106 ft / 337 m
2Mont Ham2010-07-312769 ft / 844 m
3Montagne à Simoneau2010-08-01 a2238 ft / 682 m
4Mont Vianney2010-08-01 b2409 ft / 734 m
5Mont Sainte-Marguerite2010-08-023767 ft / 1148 m
Total Trip Gain: 12289 ft / 3745 m    Total Trip Loss: 13778 ft / 4199 m



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