Ascent Trip Report
The week before I had spent two days climbing a ton of summits in the Laurentians with Serge and Pierre. It was supposed to be repeated two weeks later but Serge asked if we could do it this weekend instead. I had plans for Sunday but I could spend Saturday bagging summits for sure. We settled on meeting at l'Étape so I could drive back to Québec. I got there 10 minutes early on Friday night, around 19:50. Serge got there around 20:10 and Pierre showed up around 20:20. He had spent the day climbing a few summits and was thoroughly soaked. After changing and filling the gas tank, he was ready to head back out. I proposed we take the three vehicles so I could sleep in mine, avoiding setting up a tent that would get wet anyway.
We took the road north, follwing HWY 175, until we reached RTE 19 at lac Argencourt. Heading east, we drove past lac des Montagnes Blanches and climbed the hill to the junction for lac Philippe. There we conferred and decided to keep going to the junction for mont du lac Dryade. When we got there, it was dark and we all got ready to sleep in our cars. Serge and Pierre would wake up at 04:00, climb the summit I had already bagged a few years earlier, and get back down to wake me up. After reading for some time, I set my alarm to 05:45 and laid down. I slept surprisingly well and woke up when I heard Pierre's Wrangler arriving from their climb. It was around 05:30 and I was surprised how quickly they had done their ascent. Rushing to get ready, I geared up and grabbed the cold snacks I had brought for breakfast, hopping in Pierre's Jeep.
He had planned for a path that went by lac Philippe to the vicinity of lac Dryade but I doubted there was a way through. My observation of aerial imagery didn't show a road connecting the two lakes. We drove east and reached a dead end at lac Philippe. I could see the wide creek that flows from one lake to the other and it was clearly impassable. I suggested we take a road I had seen while planning my ascents, requiring we backtrack to RTE 19 and drive all the way around the north to RTE 21 and RTE 62, then south to lac Bilodeau. We drove back to retrieve all three vehicles and I took the lead. It was a long drive but we eventually reached the junction where we left Serge's and my car. Hopping in Pierre's Jeep, we followed the moderately good trail, getting jostled through washout a few times, past many signs indicating fishing lakes until we saw lac Dryade on our right.
We took a left on an old logging road that climbed towards our goal and drove in pretty bad conditions until we reached a logging trail on our left. We kept going to a wider spot and made this our trailhead after turning the Jeep around. Backtracking to the trail, we headed across a log-filled ditch and uphill in mild regrowth. It was easy going and we quickly found a decent rut that headed east towards the summit. We followed it to the treeline where we started a proper bushwhack. It was quite dense but at least there wasn't that much snow on the ground. We encountered a few boulders along the way and the closer to the ridge we got, the rockier it became. At some point we reached a large outcrop covered in moss, lichen, and shrubbery, climbing our way to the top. This was an obvious high point, and my data indicated this was the summit. Pierre wanted to climb the southern bump as it falls in his error margin so we followed him that way.
We descended in a slight col, trying to follow the ridge, and went through both sparse and dense forest. We crossed a few hundred meters before reaching a clearing at the high point from which we could see the rocky bump to the north, through the trees. It was apparent the northern bump was higher, both visually and from our barometers. Now we opted to go straight towards the logging patch instead of following the ridge again. We took a heading and started downhill. The forest was still moderately difficult to navigate but after a while wee reached the treeline, following a rut down to the logging trail. From there it was trivial to reach our trailhead where we jumped in Pierre's Jeep, heading towards the next goal, not far to the west.