Ascent to Mont de la Tour-Third gully before treeline on 2014-02-01

Climber: Gabriel C

Date:Saturday, February 1, 2014
Ascent Type:No Summit Goal
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Point Reached:Mont de la Tour - Third gully before treeline
    Elevation:2707 ft / 825 m

Ascent Trip Report

As I did one year before, I planned to attend the winter trail work weekend organized by "les amis des monts Groulx" many months early. Not a lot of people showed interest in the event so I planned to go by myself. Luiza, my girlfriend, hesitated and finally decided against going. I ended up renting a car and got ready for the long drive. I didn't pack a lot of things but I made sure, this year, to bring my skis.

On Friday morning, I picked up the car at 07:30 and went back home to pack. I then left towards Baie-Comeau on HWY 138 at roughly 08:45. The weather was clement and speed was good. 3 hours later, I arrived in Baie-Sainte-Catherine and got in the queue for the ferry. I didn't have to wait long and after a short trip and a bathroom break, I was on the road again past Tadoussac. The road was a bit wetter here so I reduced my speed a bit and, almost 5 hours after leaving Québec, I arrived in Baie-Comeau. I stopped to fill the gas tank and then bought some groceries. From there, I drove to HWY 389 where I left civilization.

The first part was wet and irregular, and, combined with the sharp bends and steep hills, made for some uncomfortable driving. Past Manic 2, the road became a bit better although still very wet and slippery. I crossed many semis and when it happened on bends, it was somewhat scary. Nonetheless, I made it in Manic 5 just before sunset, filled the gas tank again, and went on the last driving leg. I had lost radio signal over an hour prior and it was a lonely and silent drive. At least, when we gained some altitude and the combination with latitude increasing was dropping the temperature sharply, the road became much better. As soon as it became gravel, the surface transformed into a smooth and icy road that enabled me to pick up much speed.

Finally, passing by Relais Gabriel and covering the last 50 kilometers, I arrived in Camp Matsheshu at 18:45, 10 hours after heading out on the road. It was freezing cold out there so I put my down parka on and had to slip into my snow boots. I noticed a white Nissan pickup and guessed it was Brian's Dartmouth College vehicle. After checking the license plates, my guess was confirmed. I picked up as much stuff I could carry and started on the trail towards Michel's camp. When I got there, he greeted me and told me I could use one of his toboggans to carry the rest. I shook hands with everyone before going outside again and retrieving all my gear. It was now about -25°C whereas in Baie-Comeau, it was -4°C when I left. We had a quick meeting where we planned the next day's work as I ate some snacks and got to know some of the newcomers before we all went to bed.

The next morning, I woke up around 06:45 at the sound of some activity. It was still dark and I got a cup of Coffee while we waited for everyone to get up. This process to around an hour and then a massive breakfast was cooked, which, including its ingestion, took about two more hours. We finally got ready to head out on ruisseau Jauffret just before 10:00, much later than I would have liked. We went north along the brook and crossed it, heading towards Guy Boudreau's camp to the southeast. The burnt land from last summer's forest fire was everywhere around us and we witnessed the sheer luck Guy had when the flames blackened half of the last tree before his prospector tent, but not the near side.

After looking around his camp, we resumed our hike towards the brook. This detour was in order to go around the promiment waterfall and pool that make it impossible for Michel's snowmobiles, used in case of emergencies, to go up that way.

The forest fire of summer 2013, just north of ruisseau Jauffret.

Taking a lunch break somewhere on ruisseau Jauffret.

Route finding was sometimes arduous. In this case, we retreated on the left shore through the trees.

The canyon in the lower section of ruisseau Jauffret, above of the waterfall and pool north of camp Matsheshu.

Discussions at night, lit by oil lamps and solar panel run LEDs.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1631 ft / 497 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1631 ft / 497 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.1 mi / 14.7 km
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Snowshoes, Hut Camp
    Weather:Frigid, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1542 ft / 470 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1345 ft / 410 m; Extra: 197 ft / 60m
    Loss on way in:197 ft / 60 m
    Distance:4.8 mi / 7.8 km
    Route:Ruisseau Jauffret
    Start Trailhead:Camp Matsheshu  1362 ft / 415 m
    Time:4 Hours 55 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1434 ft / 437 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1345 ft / 410 m; Extra: 89 ft / 27m
    Gain on way out:89 ft / 27 m
    Distance:4.3 mi / 6.9 km
    Route:Ruisseau Jauffret
    End Trailhead:Camp Matsheshu  1362 ft / 415 m
    Time:2 Hours 19 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: (2014-02) Corvée d'hiver Groulx (3 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mont de la Tour-Third gully before treeline2014-02-011631 ft / 497 m
2(Attempt) Mont de la Tour2014-02-022886 ft / 880 m
Total Trip Gain: 4517 ft / 1377 m    Total Trip Loss: 4517 ft / 1377 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Gabriel C
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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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