Ascent of Montagne des Trois Sommets on 2010-07-05

Climber: Gabriel Couët

Date:Monday, July 5, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Montagne des Trois Sommets
    Elevation:572 m / 1877 ft

Ascent Trip Report

I was working, in the last days, on figuring out some COHPs for various MRCs in the province of Québec. I put my attention on my hometown, Québec. After reviewing the different summits earlier in the morning, I found out which one it was. It turned out that it is a very accessible summit on which there are myriads of trails.

I lingered at home a while during the day as it was extremely hot and humid. Environment Canada actually published a High heat and humidity warning, which I found out after coming back. Around 2:45, I decided I wanted to actually use the opportunity I had from a day off to bag this COHP.

I left home at 3:15pm and headed towards Lac-Beauport on my mountain bike. Going uphill in the traffic heat was excruciating but I managed to do it in one go. When I got to Lac Beauport, I stopped at the trail parking near the beach on the east end. I looked at the map just to know exactly where to start off from. I then started back towards Chemin de la traverse de Laval, off which I would take Chemin de la Savane to my trailhead.

When I got there, I was already tired. I propped my bike up a few meters in the trail and hid it. I put on my trail running shoes and headed off. The trail was badly worn out and overgrown. I decided to head streight up bushwhacking in the very clear forest. I hit another trail that looked regularly used and it brought me to the col between the first bump north of the main summit. I was navigating by memory since I didn't have any GPS or even a compass, and I saw my goal through a clearing at some point. It was then that I left the trail completely and went straight uphill. It was rather easy to navigate although the lack of full length pants made me think about putting some zip leg pants for next time.

After a long while, I got to a point that looked like a summit area. There I was, trying to pinpoint the place where I wouldn't see ground a little bit higher than where I was standing when I noticed some blue flags around some trees. There was a definite path indicated here although it was invisible aside from the flags. Only a few tens of meters along that path to the east, I saw something rather unusual. There was an object tied to a tree next to a big boulder. I came to it and read what was marked on it: "Montagne des Trois Sommets - 1876'" with coordinates under it. it was a big PVC pipe with a removable cap. Inside was a ziplock bag with Logs. There were three notebooks, and I wrote my entry in the latest one. Someone had preceded me only three days before.

It was interesting to find a canister outside of major underground peaks, but what was even more interesting to me was my near-perfect sight only navigation.

I didn't linger too long at the summit as I was getting eaten by flies. I decided to follow the trail west for a little while. It wound downhill and it was evident this wasn't a trail regularly used. Sometimes it wasn't even a trail. I soon merged with another trail that looked maintained and only a few meters away, I saw some flat rocks. There was a neat clearing and I could see the vast expanse of the St-laurent valley and downtown Québec. I was extremely high above it and it was almost lost in the humid haze.

I was now ready to head down to my bike. I was hoping I wouldn't get back to find it stolen, but I tried not to think about that. I was far from where I had come up, but I decided to follow the slope down and try to cross my tracks. At some points, I recognized some spots I had passed on the way up, further surprising myself that I could end up exactly on the same bearing without any aid. I soon merged with the trails and made my way back to the bike in about half an hour. Then I was set for a long descent towards home.

I stopped at a gas station in Lac-Beauport to fuel up with a bottle of Gatorade and a chocolate bar, but decided to keep the bar for later. The way down was uneventful and I stepped in my apartment at 7h45pm. It had taken me 4h30 out and back. Since I didn't have a watch, I estimated the time taken for each leg.

All in all, it was an interesting summit to bag although it was in really bad conditions. But now it's done!
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:685 m / 2248 ft
    Elevation Loss:685 m / 2248 ft
    Distance:52.6 km / 32.7 mi
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Drizzle, Hot, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Extremely damp and hot, very uncomfortable. Some rain for a few minutes.
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:625 m / 2051 ft
    Extra Loss:60 m / 197 ft
    Distance:25.6 km / 15.9 mi
    Route:Boul. Henri-Bourassa
    Trailhead:Home - downtown Québec  7 m / 23 ft
    Time Up:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:625 m / 2051 ft
    Extra Gain:60 m / 197 ft
    Distance:27 km / 16.8 mi
    Route:Boul. Henri-Bourassa
    Trailhead:Home - downtown Québec  7 m / 23 ft
    Time Down:2 Hours 0 Minutes

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