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Ascent of Big Hill on 2013-08-06

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Boat
Peak:Big Hill
    Location:Canada-Québec
    Elevation:554 ft / 168 m

Ascent Trip Report

The primary reason for this trip to Ile d'Entree was the Isles-de-la-Madeleine COHP. All of my research/references except for PB told me that the HP was on this Island and not on Cap aux Meules as per PB. The elevation from the different sources differed somewhat, anywhere from 169 to 177M vs PB at 166M. I chose my data from Quebec's Natural Resources Topographic Maps, 10M contours, which has spot elevations for all of the Hills entered in this TR, it gives Big Hill at 169M.
I will send this information to PB.

My plan for this small grassland Island was to spend the whole day on the Island (because of the ferry schedule) and visit the 6 most prominent Hills and add them to the PB Library. All of the Hills are in the eastern half of the Island, enclosed with an electrified fence (grazing land for cows).
There is the designated IVAN QUINN TRAIL to Big Hill but no trail to the rest, a grassland walk. The only obstacle is the fence, it can be crossed at 2 places .... a fence stile on the designated trail (east of Big Hill) and a gate on the south side of Henry's Hill.

It is noted that the magnetic compass declination for this area is 19 degrees.
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A grasslands clockwise climb over 6 peaks in a superb open setting .... 6km, 5h00 Loop.
All of the Hills in this TR will be added to the PB Library for Greg's approval, except for Henry's Hill (too small a prominence).

We were up before the alarm went off at 6h00, Rose didn't sleep, worried about my day on the Island .... I assured her that there was nothing risky on this trip but I don't think it helped much.
After breakfast at Tim Hortons where I picked up a lunch sandwich. Rose dropped me off at the wharf for the 1 hour IVAN-QUINN FERRY ride to the Island (27$ return for seniors).

The weather forecast called for overcast/sunny skies, however it was not the case at this time of the morning .... black/menacing skies with a light drizzle and in the distance Ile d'Entree appeared to be under sun.
The forecast would turn out to be right .... had a super day, ideal for the mountains .... an afternoon of blue skies with some white clouds.

After getting off the ferry at Ile d'Entree I chatted with Alvin and Brian, owners of the only 2 restaurants at the wharf area. They pointed the way as I set out for my leisurely day, the time was 9h00.

I walked east on Chemin Main for 1.2km to a left on Chemin Big Hill, passed by the All Saints Memorial Anglican Church and 200M later came to a road on the left with sign "Sentier Ivan Quinn to Big Hill". A beautiful/friendly big lab came to greet me .... he knew where I was going as he led me up the trail.

The marked trail winds/climbs northeasterly 1km to the summit of Big Hill, half way I came to the "fence stile" over the electrified fence (an interpretive sign gives the elevation of Big Hill as 177M). I climbed over the stile to a bunch of grazing cows ... very familiar with hikers as they didn't appear to notice my presence. The lab followed me over the stile, however he appeared nervous and immediately turned back and went his way. I guess he knew that he didn't belong there. The climb to the summit from the fence is very steep.

BIG HILL (10h00) ..... 2.7km, 1h00 hour from the wharf.
The open summit is capped with a benchmark in a 2 foot tall concrete pedestal "GEODETIC SURVEY OF CANADA", unfortunately without elevation or register number. The area has cow dunk, 2 cows kept me company. During my loop hike I would see a number of people on this summit.
This summit according to my research is the COHP of Isles-de-la-Madeleine, my GPS read 47.27934,-61.69492.

***** From here on there are no trails, it's a grassland walk.

CHERRY HILL (10h30)
On a 25 degree Compass Line from Big Hill at .4km, steep descent/ascent, my GPS 47.28254,-61.69452. took a snack break.

PIG HILL (11h15)
On a 120 degree Compass Line from Cherry Hill at .5km, steep descent/ascent, my GPS 47.28191,-61.68898.

JOE'S HILL (11h45)
On a 230 degree Compass Line from Pig Hill at .7km. steep descent/ moderate ascent, GPS 47.27684,-61.69207.

HENRY'S HILL (12h00)
Compass line south of Joe's Hill at .2km. moderate, GPS 47.27537,-61.69124. The last of the hills inside the electrified fence, I found/hopped a gate in the fence near a stone quarry on the way to Cassidy's Hill.
This Hill will not be added to the PB Library because of its small prominence.

CASSIDY'S HILL (12h20)
On a 240 degree Compass Line from Henry's hill at .4km, went around a small quarry on the way steep descent/ascent. My GPS north of an old foundations 47.27263,-61.69408.
My only Hill outside the electrified fence. I took a long lunch break as I enjoyed the setting.

From Cassidy's Hill I descended south to the road then clockwise 3km back to the wharf for 14h00 hours. On the way I visited the lighthouse and the cemetery at the All Saints Memorial Anglican Church. The RT distance is fairly short, estimated at 8km.

I spent the rest of the day at Alvin's restaurant working on my TR, as I waited for the 16h30 hour IVAN QUINN FERRY.
Rose was very happy to see me and was very happy for me .... said that for some reason she felt much better as she watched the ferry make the crossing. ..... A superb/lovely/memorable day.

Looking forward to tomorrow's visit to the "hook's eye" of La Madeleine.

"THE OLDER I GROW THE MORE I DISTRUST THE FAMILIAR DOCTRINE THAT AGE BRINGS WISDOM."



Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:570 ft / 172 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:544 ft / 165 m
    Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Route:clockwise grassland hike over 6 hills
    Start Trailhead:Ile d'Entree wharf  10 ft / 3 m
Ascent (From Destination) Statistics
    Gain on way out:26 ft / 7 m
    Route:clockwise grassland hike over 6 hills
    End Trailhead:Ile d'Entree wharf  580 ft / 176 m



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