Ascent of Mont Jacques-Cartier on 2010-06-26

Climber: John McHugh

Date:Saturday, June 26, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mont Jacques-Cartier
    Elevation:1267 m / 4160 ft

Ascent Trip Report

Did the out and back hike. We took the park shuttle from the Jacques-Cartier campground to access the trailhead (cost $6.75 round trip). Departures are limited to between 10 - 12 AM, as the access to the mountain is limited between 10 AM to 4 PM. It is also possible to take a shuttle one-way from the Mont-Albert visitor center and do a traverse hike across monts Jacques-Cartier & Xalibu back. The trail is open from June 24 until late September when mating season starts for the caribou.

According to the park naturalist who accompanied us up the mountain (we were on the first shuttle of the day), early season is the best time for spotting caribou, as they are not yet accustomed to seeing people on the trails, and therefore are more likely to be nearby. This was indeed our case, as we spotted about 30 (one-third of the total herd on the mountain) within 25 meters of the trail. It was quite a show that lasted for a good 15 minutes at least until they decided to run off.

Though quite warm at the campground below, it was chilly and incredibly windy (gusts up to 70 km/hr) at the summit. Still some patches of snow here and there on the way up. Trail is very rocky as well. Very peculiar landscape above treeline, tundra similar to the far north of Quebec due to the altitude. Nice 360 degree views, even moreso if you go up in the shelter at the summit.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Caribou on the upper slopes of Mont Jacques-Cartier in early summer (2010-06-26). Photo by John McHugh.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:449 m / 1476 ft
    Distance:9 km / 5.6 mi
    Trailhead:818 m / 2684 ft
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles

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