Ascent of Mont Mégantic on 2009-11-18

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
Date:Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mont Mégantic
    Elevation:3615 ft / 1101 m

Ascent Trip Report

Le Parc National du Mont Megantic (created in 1994) dominates this whole area , the cultimination point, Mont Megantic's summit with its Obsevatory, offers an outstanding 360 degree panoramic view. The Park's circular profile looks like a typical old volcano .... a rim with a center cone .... and is easily distinguishable on the satellite map.
Many geologists believe that Mont Megantic (a monadnock) is part of the Monteregian string of Hills in southwestern Quebec, the result of long extinct volcanoes. Mont Megantic Park's rock structure/mountain profile and its surrounding valley was created when the intense pressure from the magma core infiltrated through a fissure in the earth's crust, followed by millions of years of surface cooling, weather erosion and work of glaciers.
The Park, open all year long, offers multi purpose trails and refuges. Work is in progress to add camping, additional trails and new entrance at the northwest side of the Park. The good network of existing hiking trails are pink blazed and well signed at all intersections .... a trail map for a small fee is available at the Park Main Entrance "Accueil" (located north of Notre-Dame-des-Bois on hwy #212, about 70km East of Sherbrooke). The "Accueil's" Interpretive presentation is worth a look-see.

I came here today to climb the Park's 3 main summits, all with maintained trails (Saint Joseph, Victoria and Megantic). Starting at the Main Entrance "Accueil" I opted for a counter clockwise loop. I climbed the Eastside ridge northbound to Mont Saint Joseph, continued north on the ridge over Belvedere to Mont Victoria, then descended/ascended the Sentier du Col to Mont Megantic. I descended the Sentier du Mont Megantic back to the Park Entrance.
Overall it is a moderate hike on well maintained mostly closed-in trails, however there are some very-wet-muddy-rough-stretches, especially on way to Megantic). The super ridge trail "Sentier des Cretes" offers numerous lookouts with great views ...... (15.7km, 6-7 hour RT)
---- Mont-Saint-Joseph (elev 1065m) - open summit served by an auto road, great views, tall communication tower, refuge, covered wooden pavilion for pilgrims, restored Chapel originally inaugurated in 1883, yearly pigrimages draws thousands.
---- Belvedere-des-Cretes (years later the park changed the name to Pic des Crepuscules) (elev 1060m) - located on the ridge half way to Mont-Victoria, a spur trail leads right to a summit with a wooden observation platform. Super lookout.
---- Mont-Victoria (elev 1055m) - wooded summit with no views.
---- Mont-Megantic (elev 1105m) - superb huge summit (highest in Quebec accessible by an auto road), Astronomical Observatory built in 1978, Pavilion de la Voie-Lactee (milky way pavilion), plus a number of other structures. Perhaps the most prodigious panorama in this part of Quebec, I loved my day.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:695 ft / 211 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1696 ft / 516 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.2 mi / 10 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Clear
super crispy sunny fall day
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:695 ft / 211 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.9 km
    Route:sentier du col from mont victoria
    Start Trailhead:park mont megatic main entrance  2920 ft / 890 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1696 ft / 516 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.1 km
    Route:sentier mont megantic to main entrance
    End Trailhead:park main entrance parking  1919 ft / 584 m
Ascent Part of Trip: megantic

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mont Saint-Joseph2009-11-18 a1595 ft / 486 m
3Mont Victoria2009-11-18 c308 ft / 94 m
4Mont Mégantic2009-11-18 d695 ft / 212 m
Total Trip Gain: 2598 ft / 792 m    Total Trip Loss: 1827 ft / 557 m

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