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Ascent of Mont du Lac Ruban on 2012-11-04

Climber: Gabriel C

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, November 4, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mont du Lac Ruban
    Location:Canada-Québec
    Elevation:1010 m / 3314 ft

Ascent Trip Report

Following yesterday's hike to mont du petit lac à l'Épaule, I went back to the same area to climb up mont du lac Ruban. I woke up at 08:00 and took off north at 08:30, making a short detour to deliver a USB stick to one of Luiza's friends that had been forgotten at our place the day before.

I made it at road 12 and kept going along towards lac Ruban. The road was surprisingly fine; the rental car didn't have any trouble managing it. The downhill just before the lake was a bit carved in from rain but I was able to make it with no scrapes. I got to the dam around 10:00 and quickly geared up. I planned my gear according to yesterday's sloppy damp weather, donning my gore-tex pants over my hiking pants and gaiters so that water couldn't trickle down my legs inside my boots. It was quite windy and the temperature was lower than I thought it would be.

I started off following road 12, the plan was to go up the gentler ridgeline rather than ascending straight from the parking. It took a short while to get there, all the while the sun was peeking in and out of the clouds which rose my spirit a bit. I was definitely not looking forward to another bushwhack since there wasn't even an old trail on this summit.

When I got closer to the ridge, I looked for a good opening in the trees and it was dense everywhere. I eventually just dove in and started ascending. It was hard going, rotten and mossy blowdown everywhere. At least the ground was lightly frozen and it was dry. I would do 5 paces and then look around to route find, then do another tricky 5 paces. It was grueling, and I soon got anxious as I could see many large footprints in the frozen peat. I used my routefind pauses to listen for noises too although I know most critters would just flee at the huge ruckus I was making wading in dead branches and leaves. Being alone, extricating yourself from dense deadwood made for a claustrophobic and paranoid ambiance.

I kept going, but I was very concerned by my pace. It seemed I didn't gain any ground everytime I checked and the going didn't get any easier. Further up it actually became harder. Now, the trees were younger and denser at their base. I had to crouch often to get through, and rocky walls and ledges appeared from time to time. I could spot deer or moose sleeping spots and many scat piles. I put my hunting knife at the belt, whatever small comfort this would bring. Route finding was again very time consuming. I got a bit damp here as there was snow on the branches. It eventually got darker as clouds rolled in and it started to snow lightly.

Finally, I reached the summit ridge. At one point, I was standing on a small bump that seemed higher than what was ahead. I was still outside of the closed contour on the map, but it seemed quite high so I marked it and looked at the GPS reading. Then, I descended to a slight col that lead me in the closed contour. I really started wondering if that high point before could be the true summit. Trudging along the ridge, I made it to a high spot that had only downward terrain further south. This was definitely the highest point inside the closed contour, so I marked it and took a short rest. I was eager to get out of here though and decided to go straight downhill towards my car.

I gambled that it couldn't be worse than the way I came up, and I saw that there was a slight gully with a stream marked on the map. This might be advantageous so I aimed for it. The first part of the slope was tough, with several short cliff faces I had to circle around, but when it got gentler, the tree cover was much sparser than along the ridge. I was going way faster than on the ascent and it was invigorating. When I got closer to the stream marker, I heard the water trickle and found it. From there, following the stream bed was awesome. Making sure not to tread through the spongy moss into the water, I hopped from shore to shore, making my way down easily.

When I got closer to the bottom, I left the stream and aimed generally towards the dam, hoping to find an old trail that appeared on the map. I crossed it and decided to follow this surprisingly well defined herd trail. Soon though, I saw that the forest was very sparse between that path and the road that should have been to my right, and decided to cross directly to it. I ended up at a destroyed corrugated steel cache in the bottom of a large gravel pit that led me direcly to my car.

I was relieved to have made it although it had taken almost 3 and a half hours. I was done bushwhacking for the day, and decided I could go bag mont Bélair before returning home, a P1K mountain inside the boundaries of Québec City. I retraced my way back on road 12 without hurdles, and quietly drove south.

IMG_2863
The trailhead was a large gravel pit just past the bridge at Barrage Ruban.

IMG_2864
Road 12 is narrow but well maintained.

IMG_2865
The dam area at lac Ruban. Two winters ago, I had come here and failed climbing mont du lac Ruban, and slept in the mobile home that had already been broken into.

IMG_2867
The ridge looks like this (or worse) for 1km of uphill.

IMG_2868
Another good example of the uphill.

IMG_2869
A slight view of lac Ruban from near the summit.

IMG_2871
The much easier way down along the streambed.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:300 m / 985 ft
    Elevation Loss:300 m / 985 ft
    Distance:4.1 km / 2.5 mi
    Grade/Class:2
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Cold, Windy, Overcast
Overcast, occasional sun, a touch of snowfall.
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:280 m / 919 ft
    Extra Loss:20 m / 66 ft
    Distance:2.8 km / 1.7 mi
    Route:Road 12 then up the main ridge
    Trailhead:Barrage Ruban  750 m / 2461 ft
    Time Up:2 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:280 m / 919 ft
    Extra Gain:20 m / 66 ft
    Distance:1.3 km / 0.8 mi
    Route:Down a stream gully towards TH
    Trailhead:Barrage Ruban  750 m / 2461 ft
    Time Down:1 Hours 5 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Gabriel C
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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