Ascent Trip Report
On Saturday evening, I had spoken with my father, asking if I could spend the night at my parents' place in Gatineau on Monday. My plan was initially to climb a couple summits on my way there, pick up items I had won at an auction in Ottawa on Tuesday morning, and then climb a couple more summits on my way back to Québec. When he told me they would be finishing to rig their sailboat and ferrying it to the marina in Prescott, I changed my schedule to one day earlier so I could help them with the rigging.
On Sunday morning, I left Québec on HWY 40. I took exit 254 and followed HWY 363 towards Saint-Marc-des-Carrières, going through the village, then merging with HWY 354. In Saint-Casimir, I went across the bridge into the village, following HWY 363 north. I kept going in the farmland until I spotted the powerlines. I slowed down and when I reached the swath that crossed the road, I saw a chain gated log yard on the eastern side and two gated trails on the western side. I went a bit further to turn around and came back, parking on the shoulder near one of the trails on the western side.
My plan was to follow the powerline swath as there is usually a trail that follows it. I geared up and left alone the southernmost trail. It was well defined although a bit muddy but the going was generally easy. It climbed up a first ridge, from the top of which I could see a second ridge further. I descended in a gully, crossing a small stream, after which the trail rose to the top of the second ridge. There, the trail headed left and into an expansive bog. I tried circling around it but got my feet wet anyway. On the other side, I was faced with thick regrowth that I had to fight my way through. There was no trail anymore, just an annoying thorny and whippy mess of saplings.
At some point I reached the top of a cliff. I was quite surprised by that obstacle and had to use various ledges to make my way down to the bottom where a wide creek ran across the swath. I followed the shore to a narrower spot where I was able to jump across and resume the difficult bushwhack. It was a nasty climb but I eventually crossed a trail from which a spur followed the treeline. When I was closer to the summit, I went inside the woods, looking for high ground. I didn't have to go very far before I could see the terrain sloping gently in every direction. I put a waypoint down in the GPS and backtracked to the treeline.
I followed the trail for a while but when it diverged from my uphill leg, I followed it instead of retracing my steps, hoping to save myself some of the bushwhack. It didn't help much as the trail disappeared not much further. I descended to the creek and had to go to my earlier crossing point. I climbed up the ledges and fought my way through the brush, again. When I made it to the large bog, I crossed it mostly in a straight line, aiming for the grassy clumps as stepping stones. It mostly worked and I only got marginally wetter. From there, I followed the trail that climbed the two ridges and instead of going to the same gate at the road, I hugged the treeline on a narrow ATV trail on which a hunter's cache was sitting. Back at the car, I quickly packed and started towards my second goal, mont Tremblant.