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Ascent of Argenteuil High Point on 2011-06-07

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:successful on 4th visit.----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Argenteuil High Point
    Location:Canada-Québec
    Elevation:457 m / 1500 ft

Ascent Trip Report

I came to this summit 4 times before succeeding, all of the visits are recorded here for convenience. The successful/recommended route is as per the 4th visit.

FIRST VISIT ON 2010-12-27....... a failed attempt and a snow climb from Chemin Parker ..... 3.6km, 1 1/2 hour RT
It was a failed attempt for this first visit to this summit, I forgot my snow shoes ...... 3.6km, less than 2 hours RT.
There was little snow on the ground when I left Chateauguay. I found my way to Lachute then north on 327 to the village of Harrington (Lakeview) only to find about 18" of snow on the ground ..... I had plastic boots and gaiters but stupid-me didn't bring snow shoes. Didn't want to waste the day so I decided to give it a try.
From the village I continued north 2km to a right turn on Chemin Parker then east 1km to the TH where a logging road leaves on the right, there is parking for one car on the left ..... 300M before this TH stay right at the fork and drive over a bridge that crosses a creek.
Today the narrow road was snow covered with snow-banks and not-all-too-safe so I decided to park at the fork, this was my TH on this day. I parked as close to the snow-bank as possible in order not to block traffic.
I walked up Chemin Parker 300 meters to the logging road on the right (today it was a well traveled snow mobile track) then east for about 1.25km to a fork, the well traveled track continued right but I went left on a less-traveled deep-snow track. This is where it got difficult, the snow much deeper here, requiring the snow shoes that I forgot ..... I hate these kind of conditions, too much work and not to my liking, so after about 300 meters I decided to turn back. From here it's perhaps 1.25 km to the summit with less than 1km bushwack.
***** NB. I would find out after my 3rd visit that this is completely wrong as I was on the wrong trail.
Everything went well until I got back to my TH and tried driving out of my parking spot .... I got stuck and needed help, I didn't have a shovel in the van. The left fork leads steeply to a house a short distance away, the friendly residents Debbie and Dave, who were doing some painting, were ready to come down to help. I assured them the use of their shovel would suffice. They had a fire going, the smell of the burning wood and the warm rustic house surrounded by white, made for a beautiful winter setting.
After some heavy sweating I got the van out and I was on my way after returning the shovel.
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SECOND VISIT ON 2011-05-26...... a 2nd failed (trail/bushwack) attempt from Chemin Parker ..... 6km, 2 1/2 hours RT.
The weather man called for 3-4 days of rain yesterday, starting this morning, however when I checked the satellite radar map early this morning it showed a 5-6 hour window before the rains. I decided to take advantage of this window ...... the plan was to climb Argenteuil Co HP and the next door Mount Chauve (which is not in the PB library).
I left the TH (per above) at 9h15 (after loosing 45 minutes in heavy traffic) on the good logging road (soon turns to a woods track), crossed a creek and past a large beaver dammed pond on the right. At 1.25km (at the second height-of-land) stayed left at the fork for .3km to another fork, stayed right, .5km arrived at a height-of-land in the north-col and the start of the bushwack (on the way pass two boggy areas and a hunters shooting tower on the left). Look for the orange flag tape as I blazed the bushwack route that I followed.
I climbed south .25km to the ridge then both ways (east-west, .75km) never finding the summit area and for some reason I got weird readings on my GPS, totally confusing me. I was going by memory as I didn't think I needed my maps .... stupido me, I thought this would be an easy one ..... I had to cut it short as it started to sprinkle rain.
It was raining fairly hard as I got back to my van at 11h45 hours, of course leaving Mount Chauve for another outing. I drove through huge rains on the way in to Montreal.
I totally screwed up, even as I enter this report I am still completely confused because the GPS reading that I took at 2 areas don't match up with the topo maps (I thought that there was something wrong with my GPS) .... they put my spots at the bump to the northwest of the CoHP, which can't be. Hopefully I'll clear up this issue for my next visit.
***** NB: This would not be the case, I identified my error only after my 3rd visit as noted below.
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THIRD VISIT ON 2011-06-03 ...... a 3rd failed attempt from the west side Chemin Parker ....... 6km, 3 hours RT.
I came back today with maps/GPS in hand, following the same route and repeating the same error as last time. My GPS reading matched those of the last visit (I checked the GPS before coming) so I knew that I was at the wrong place but I didn't know why until the next day ...... when I plotted my GPS readings on the map. It was evident that the start of the bushwack was nowhere near the north side of the summit, but actually on the north side of the Northwest Bump. I was on the Northwest Bump. I screwed up by assuming that the more-used trail that I took (at the fork at the second height-of-land) to the start of the bushwack was the one shown on the Goggle map. This is not the case. Oh well, till the next time.
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FINALLY SUCCESS ON MY FOURTH VISIT OF 2011-06-07..... a successful attempt from the same TH on Chemin Parker ..... 8.8km, 3h20 hour RT.
I found my error (per above) after the third visit, so I came here today with a plan, determined to succeed. The plan was to follow the trail shown on goggle map (from the second height-of-land) that parallels the creek to the north side of the summit, then the short bushwack southeast to the summit.
A few hundred meters after leaving the TH on Chemin Parker I came upon Bob Parkinson, a very hard working man, sawing-up trees for firewood, he owns a good piece of these woods. After exchanging pleasantries I told him of my plans and he said, "Why in the f... you want to go up that creek, its rough and steep, I've been up in that area and there is a much easier way" ..... his route described below is somewhat longer than my planned route, but a good route and therefore "the" recommended route.
I took note of his route and decided to abort my plan and follow his directions (at least I would give it a try). It would turn out to be a successful climb and I am glad that I met up with him as I had no clue that these logging roads existed, they are not shown on goggle.
DIRECTIONS TO THE TH.
Find your way to the city of La Chute, travel north on Hwy 327 to the Village of Harrington (Lakeview), continue 2km to a right turn on Chemin Parker, then east 1km to the TH where a logging road leaves on the right, there is small parking spot to the left ..... .3km before this TH stay right at a fork and cross the bridge over the creek.
RECOMMENDED ROUTE.(all distances are estimates)
From the TH hike generally southeast on the good logging road, turning to a rough woods track at .25km, cross a creek and pass a beaver dammed pond on the right. At 1.25km (15 minutes) from the TH stay straight at a fork at the second height-of-land (turned left here on the previous visits noted above), descend south on the narrow track .25km to the creek feeding the beaver dammed pond. Cross the creek and continue south .6km on a very rough/wet woods track as it climbs/winds to a flat area at a very good logging road (running left-right and driveable if one is able to find its source). Turn left on the logging road and climb at 70 degree compass to its end at .3km and a large graded area (GPS reading 45.88748, 74.53050), this spot is 2.4km, 40 minutes from the TH.
A number of logging tracks leave this graded area, I took the one at 120 degree compass (look for orange flag tape). The very rough/wet logging track climbs/winds generally east, over a few bumps to a height-of-land at about .8km (my GPS read 45.88650, 74.52387), look for the odd flag tape. This was the start of my bushwack..... 3.2km, 65 minutes from the TH.
From the height-of-land I bushwacked generally a 75 degree compass line 1.2km (35 minutes) to the summit always looking for the easy way , first dropping to a wet col on a very rough/wet logging track, then bushwacking/zig-zagging over a few bumps on the way to the summit. The woods are fairly open, the route is blazed with pink flag tape, an easy bushwack. The rough/wet logging tracks make for difficult walking.
The heavily wooded summit with no views is obvious at a rock outcrop, my GPS read 45.88995, 74.51393 ...... 4.4km, 100 minutes from the TH.
I returned the same way.
Bob was still at it, loading his trailer with the cut firewood, a very hard worker, some of the cut-logs apparently weighs 75-100 pounds. I thanked him for the route.
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"I DREAM OF HIKING INTO MY OLD AGE."


Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:245 m / 810 ft
    Extra Gain:22 m / 75 ft
    Distance:8.8 km / 5.5 mi
    Route:track from parker rd/bushwack from west side
    Trailhead:hwy 327/chemin parker  256 m / 840 ft
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Pleasant, Clear
finally successful - see TR dated 2010-12-27, Addendum #3



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