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Ascent of White Hill on 2008-07-12

Climber: Rob Broeren

Others in Party:Solo
Date:Saturday, July 12, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:White Hill
    Location:Canada-Nova Scotia
    Elevation:534 m / 1755 ft

Ascent Trip Report

This was the toughest single day acent I have ever done. I drove from Albany, NY to Boston, MA to Maine into Canada NB and then Nova Scotia. I parked by the road and slept after 12:00am. Then drove to the town of Margaree and at 9:00am the info center opened. They had snow mobile maps of the road to the south of the park. I had read of a person from NY approaching from the south in a day and thought I'd try that. After another hour of driving on the dirt roads with the snow mobile map and my GPS I made it to Cheticamp Lake. I tried to go and park on the West side but there was a small river that was flowing brikly, white water, so I drove to the East side and parked with a few other fishermen. I packed up a day pack with an extra layer of clothes, food, and two 20oz water bottles, put on a shirt sleeve shirt and started out around 10:00am.
The problem with parking on the East side of the lake is you have to follow a 4x4/ATV trail around the lake and there is large spire of the lake pointing North. After a couple of mile I had made it around the lake and to the tip of the spire to a creek about 20' wide. I took off my pack and held it over my head and forded the creek. It was neck deep!! Luckliy this creek was very slow moving and I crossed without any issue other than having a good bath. Given the sunny, calm, 65F day the water was nice. On the other side there was no trail so with GPS in hand I defined a line to the summit and started out buschwacking. At first this was OK as there are some grassy fields with lots of fallen logs you can walk through (though you bang your shins on these logs that you can't see constantly). Then I hit the forest and after bushwacking in Ontario just pushed my way through. These are 8-10' tall pine trees that are very dense.&! nbsp; It is nearly impossible to push your way through and your arms and legs (even with long pants) will get all cut up. After a few hours of brutal bushwacking I made it through exahuasted and bleeding from a 100 cuts. This was not pleasant. I summited at 2:15pm mostly in the desire of seeing a trail I could take back. I couldn't see one but I did see a few bogs/swamp. So I made a line to the swamps. I got very lucky in finding a few animal trails along the swamp edges and then through the forest. Your feet get wet every step in the swamp but at least you aren't fighting the trees. I finally made the lake and crossed the creek again, another neck deep bath to clean off all my cuts. After a few more hours I was back at the car with a handful of fishermen. 15 miles and 10 hrs later.
Two weeks later and my arm cuts are mostly healing, but my shins have another week to go.
LESSONS LEARNED: If you want the day hike park on the West side and find a way across the creek. Hike 1/3 of the way around the lake to an old 4x4 trail. Use Google Earth to see the route and mark it on your GPS.
If you have to park on the East, print a copy of Google Earth of the area and make a line through the open grasslands/swamps and find animal trails when you have to cut through the forest.
OR, just do the normal route and stick to the trails!!
Rob 'not giving any blood to the red cross this year' Broeren
Summary Total Data
    Distance:12.9 km / 8 mi
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:5 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:4 Hours 



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