Ascent of Maskinongé High Point on 2016-08-20

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, August 20, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Maskinongé High Point
    Elevation:1837 ft / 559 m

Ascent Trip Report


The Maskinonge COHP used to be at Pic du Lac de l'Oseille (2 candidate high point areas with a 540M contour), until earlier this year, when research done my Michel Waechter found 2 - 560M contours in the same County. His hiking buddy, Serge Massad, brought these findings to Greg Slayden's attention who in turn revised the PB site accordingly.
The new Maskinonge COHP is located 20km (as the crow flies) southwest of Pic du Lac de l"Oseille, and both (old and new) are in the Reserve Faunique de Mastigouche. The north-south MASKINONGE/MATAWINIE COUNTY LINE is more or less at the center of the Reserve, about 4km west of the new HP.
The actual highest point of the Reserve itself (a 630M contour in the "secteur de chasse #44" east of Lac Tremblay) is in Matawinie County near the Reserve's western boundary. The attendant at the Accueil made me aware of this fact.

The Wildlife Reserve Faunique de Mastigouche is a natural environment dotted with lakes and easily accessed through a well-maintained road network. One of the main lakes, named Lac au Sorcier, has an old legend about a sorcerer who haunted his island, preventing people from sleeping by causing strange noises. Wildlife Mastigouche is nevertheless a quiet and relaxing place ... ideal for vacationing. In addition to the traditional hunting and fishing, hiking and canoe trips are a major attractions for this rich territory. Camping enthusiasts will enjoy the camping at its numerous lakes.

I first visited the old COHP in 2012, and today Rose and I came back to the Reserve for the new COHP. For the sake of convenience I am entering one only TR for both summits.

PIC DU LAC DE L'OSEILLE --- A dirt road/bushwhack ..... 6.2km, 2 hours RT for both areas (540M contour).

This peak used to be the Maskinonge COHP, but no longer, as another higher area has been found (20km to the southwest). This peak has 2 candidate high point areas with a 540M contour.

There was a window of nice weather for the next few days, decided to take in a few COHPs in the Shawinigan area.

I traveled east out-of Montreal on Autoroute 40, exiting at #166, Louisville, then found my way north on Hwy 349 to the church at Saint-Alexis-des-Monts (43km). I continued north on Rue Ste-Anne/Rang des Pins-Rouges for 22km to the Accueil Pins-Rouges, "Reserve Faunique de Mastigouche", I paid my 11$ entry fee.
**** I would find out the next day from Rose that I made a big mistake. On the way out of the Reserve I forgot to hand-in my exit pass, causing the Reserve a lot of problems. I drove-to/overnighted at Mistagance Campground in "La Mauricie National Park". The Reserve called Rose at 22h00 hours advising her that I was lost in the woods. Luckily (I don't carry a cell phone) I had called her from the Mastigouche's Accueil on my way out. Rose was not a happy camper, "How stupid can you be, can you imagine what I would have gone through if you hadn't called me."
I called the Reserve the next day to apologize. The reserve adhered to their rules .... make sure you hand in your exit pass.
00.0km - I zeroed my odo and left Accueil Pins-Rouges on dirt road #1 Nord.
04.4km - stayed left at fork on #1 nord, right is road #11.
11.6km - stayed right at fork still on #1, left is road #12 to Lac au Sorcier and the road to the TH FOR THE NEW MASKINONGE COHP ALL PER BELOW.
22.7 - turned right on road #15 Nord
29.1 - turned left on lesser unsigned road, GPS 46.73555,-73.23547. (this is past the east end of Lac Simpson).
29.7 - stayed right at fork.
31.0 - ignored lesser road on right
31.7 - came to fork and parked my van, This was my TH FOR PIC DU LAC DE L'OSEILLE. The hiking route to the summit is on the right fork, much rougher and not driveable.

From the TH I stayed right and walked the dirt road as it winds north/west, becomes narrower and comes to a fork about 1.7km, GPS 46.76157,-73.25515, stayed right for 100 meters to another right at a lesser fork, then .4km to a height-of-land at a small clearing with some rock surface. GPS 46.76323,-73.24970 (just past a water pool).
The HP is in the distance, at 330 degree compass 100+ meters, at the visible tall evergreens trees. I bushwhacked in fairly dense mixed woods to the summit area, and after checking out the area settled on a spot at GPS 46.76383,-73.25066 .... a number of tall large trees, near-by is a 3 foot steel stake with evidence of an orange sign, old beer cans and a lot of moose droppings in the area.
I returned to the road's height-of-land.

From Area 1 above I continued on the narrow road northeast, .5km stayed left at a fork, .25km came to a height-of-land. The HP is to the right at 50 meters in dense mixed woods. I bushwhacked/found my HP spot at a rock surface, GPS 46.76723,-73.24577.

I exited the Reserve (forgetting to drop off my pass and causing a bunch of problems for all concerned as noted above), called Rose and drove to "La Mauricie National Park" where I overnighted at the Mastigance Campground for tomorrow's climb to the Shawinigan High Point.


MASKINONGE HIGH POINT -- A road and dense/tough whack, 6.4km, 2:50 hours RT for both areas.

This new MASKINONGE COHP has 2 candidate high point areas with a 560M contour, I went to both. On this day we paid a 9$ entry fee for the vehicle.

From the KM MARKER 11.6 (above, we zeroed our odo and traveled east on Road #12.
0.0km - left fork at KM 11.6 eastbound on road #12 to Lac Sorcier.
4.8km - fork, Right is signed #12 to Lac Sorcier, we stayed left (unsigned). These 2 roads come together
at .5km and continues as #12.
5.9km - fork, left is the continuation of #12, right is a lesser road to 3 lakes (Lac Patrie/Ordinaire/Cordon) and my hiking route to the HP. This was my TH (46.63461,-73.37766) FOR THE MASKINONGE HIGH POINT. I tried driving this road but it appeared too rough for my van so I turned around. I would find out that I could have driven to the next fork (another 1km) as we saw 2 similar vans returning from the lakes.

I walked/climbed this road west 1km to a fork, left is signed for the 3 lakes, I went/climbed right (northwest) on a lesser/overgrown/unsigned road for another 1.3km to another fork where I stayed right (left-of-north) again and in .4km came to its crest at a large white rock outcrop (46.64076,-73.40277). This was the start of my very rough/tough bushwhack.

I bushwhacked northerly 150M to the small 560M contour for AREA 2 (46.64215,-73.40298)in extremely dense deciduous new woods. I fought/circled/did-my-best to find "The" HP and in my opinion impossible to do so.
From here I continued bushwhacking left-of-east 250M to AREA 1 at the much larger 560M contour, very dense at the start (with some wet sections) but changing to open coniferous tall woods with little undergrowth but with some downfall the last 150M (fairly easy going). I stomped the area and found nothing really obvious, chose my HP at 3 large trees (46.64358,-73.39933). Hung a (glass jar) canister with some orange tape to mark my spot.

There is very little drop between the 2 Areas and as you near Area 1 it was obvious to me that it was higher in elevation than Area 2 - in my opinion Area 2 need not be visited.
I should note that the Reserve has maps with 10M contours for the different hunting sectors which may confirm my opinion - I erred in not asking for one.

For my return I bushwhacked directly south to the road - really tough mixed woods with a lot of dead fall, wet areas, had to go around in circles at places, difficult stuff. It would have been easier to backtrack.
An easier route needs to be found - about 20 yards prior to the second fork there appears to be an old/overgrown skid road of sorts on the right heading north. The satellite image says that perhaps it could be an easier route ???? .

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:666 ft / 202 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:road and whack from reserve road #12
    Trailhead:Reserve road #12   1171 ft / 356 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack

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