Ascent of Mont du lac Penang on 2017-10-14

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, October 14, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mont du lac Penang
    Elevation:1906 ft / 580 m

Ascent Trip Report

In early 2017 Gabriel Couet did a major study of the Quebec COHPs elevations and a result a whole bunch of COHPs lost their status and new COHPs chosen - MRCG D-Autray being one of them. The old D-Autray COHP "Colline 547" TR was replaced by "Mont du lac Penang". Greg Slayden revised his PB data base accordingly in July 2017.
Both COHPs (old and new) are located at the north end of the County in the "Reserve Faunique Mastigouche", with its south side Entrance at Accueil Catherine north of Mandeville.
I visited both HPs (old and new) and for convenience purposes all as per this TR.

To get to the Accueil Rose and I traveled up from the south, Montreal/Berthierville to Hwy 40, exit 144, where we drove north (#158/347) for 30km to Saint-Gabriel and then another 10km (following signs) to Mandeville and the corner of Rue Desjardins/Saint-Charles-Borromee ..... Post office and a whole bunch of signs on the corner, we zeroed our odo.
00.0km ... turned left (north) on Saint-Charles-Borromee which soon becomes Rang Mastigouche.
03.2km ... stayed left at fork and crossed over Mastigouche River.
06.9km ... crossed the Mastigouche River again, further-on road changes name to Chemin du Parc (didn't see sign).
11.0km ... crossed a secondary river and stayed right on the signed Chemin du Parc.
17.6km ... arrived at "Reserve Faunique Mastigouche, Accueil Catherine", payed the vehicle entrance fee (?? 11$ in 2012 and only 9.25$ in 2017).

COLLINE 547 .... an easy-moderate road/track/bushwhack northwesterly ..... 9.4km, 3h15 hour RT.
From the Accueil I continued driving on Chemin du Parc Mastigouche (westbound) for 4.6km to a main intersection - left on Rte #20 heads to Mont du Lac Penang, I went right on Rte #2 Nord, sign "Lac au Violin" points the way, 3.1km north arrived at north end of Lac Joe. A lesser dirt road on the left leads to "Refuge Lac Joe" at 200 Meters. We parked at this corner, this was my TH, GPS 46.51128,-73.37687.

From the TH I started out walking on the dirt road in a general 340 degree compass direction, at 100 meters stayed right at the first fork (left leads to Refuge Joe), at another 400 meters stayed right again at the second fork for lac Bidou. The road continues/winds somewhat with a number of wet/muddy short sections, easy going.
At about 3km from the TH I came upon the resemblance of a fork, GPS 46.52515,-73.41151 ..... a faint fork to the right has an orange sign "Station Permanente Observation, ref #632.22", the main road continues left, which I followed (by mistake) for about 1km to its end at Lac Bidou, a row boat in the area. After orientating myself I realized the error, so I returned to this fork.

I followed the right fork, an overgrown/little used track, going more or less in the same 340 degree direction (signs showing this as a winter ski trail). Easy to follow/going, some wet spots. At about 1.2km the track more or less ends at a small open area, my GPS 46.53192,-73.41975. This was the start of my bushwhack.

I bushwhacked a right-of-north-compass-line, always looking/following the easy way, directly to the fairly obvious HP area at about half a kilometer. The mixed woods on a moderately steep slope are fairly open, some undergrowth in the summit area, a moderate bushwhack.
After checking out the area I chose my HP at GPS 46.53498,-73.41861. I hung a plastic canister c/w a register on a small tree.

MONT DU LAC PENANG .... a moderate whack westbound ... 2.4km, 340' gain, 1:25 hours RT.
Rose and I love getting out for the fall colors, so we timed today's outing accordingly. We found that the splendor of the fall has not yet peaked, except perhaps for the maple. The nicest colors were on a section of Autoroute 40 west of Berthierville.

We found our way back to the Accueil and paid our 9.25$ entry fee. The woman attendant asked for our nationality ???? We zeroed our odo.
00.0km ... left Acceuil westbound on Chemin du Parc Mastigouche.
04.6km ... turned left on Rte #20 Ouest
08.6km ... Rte #20 makes a sharp right (north)
13.8km ... main intersection (46.54975,-73.46088), turned left (west) on Rte #08, sign "Lac Grand Penang" points the way.
15.2km ... JCT, stayed straight (right) on #08.
16.0km ... parked on road side, this was my TH (46.55850,-73.48002). The HP is to the left (west) at approx 1km.
I should note the drive was on good dirt roads except for a number of stretches with protruding rocks, slow going but doable with my dodge caravan, I bottomed-out once on the return.

I bushwhacked a generally west route, going over a bump, directly to the highground. Open mixed woods with little underbrush, rough at few places, fairly good footing. Overall an easy whack (ascended in 40 and descended in 25 minutes).

The highground is obvious at a small clearing with a plush carpet of lichens, a small erratic rock marks the HP (added a few rocks to it). Views perhaps after the foliage.
I found the orange "Quebec Repere Geodesique" 5 meters to the north but could not find the actual Benchmark, I hung a plastic jar Canister with a register - and entered the names Michel Waechter and Serge Massad, the first Peakbaggers to summit this peak.

This is hunting season - so we saw a number of hunters at the accueil, number of parked vehicles on route, a truck went by during Rose's wait and a hunter walking the road on our drive out.
We stopped at the southend of Lac Vison for lunch before exiting the Reserve. Then took the time to bag a few peaks on the way back - Montagne d'Albert-Lambert (an easy whack) and Montagne a Zamette (a drive-up on a private driveway).
As alluded above its too early to really enjoy the-woods-of-the-fall - the bushwhacks did not offer the rustling of the leaves under your feet nor the nude look of the forest floor.
We stopped for dinner at Saint Hubert, Chateauguay before getting home at about 19h00 hours. An enjoyable outing, will do a few more before the snow flies.


Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:344 ft / 104 m
    Extra Gain:44 ft / 13 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:whack wb from rte #08
    Trailhead:Rte #08 inside Reserve  1650 ft / 502 m
    Route Conditions:
Ascent Statistics
    Time:40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:25 Minutes

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