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Ascent of White Hill on 1999-07-12

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
Date:Monday, July 12, 1999
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:White Hill
    Location:Canada-Nova Scotia
    Elevation:534 m / 1755 ft

Ascent Trip Report

"AN SOLO ADVENTURE/ORDEAL ONE NEVER FORGETS"

Today, July the 12th, is the 19th day of our "Maritimes 1999". We arrived in the "Cape Breton Highlands National Park" area a few days back. We are here to climb NS's highest point and we are using the Glenghorn Hotel in Ingonish as our base.
Equipped with a good topo of the Park I went to the Park Ranger Station to get trail confirmation and to review/get tips for my planned route. Gerald Bourgeois the Ranger on duty was very helpful, giving me an idea of what to expect, "Expect a real tough hike, it will be very wet".
I really didn't know how right he'd be, in retrospect he probably didn't want to discourage me.

My planned route (southwest bound from the north, via Lake of Islands/Tipover Lake/4-corners) would start from the TH at the bridge over Mary Ann Brook about 1km up river from the Falls. A good road heads North from the Cabot Trail (at the Warren Lake-Broad Cove area) for Mary Ann Falls, at about 5km before the Falls there is a road to the left that leads a short distance to the TH.

From the TH hike the good wide trail west about 12km to the Lake of Islands Shelter, then southwest 6km past the warden's cabin to a main crossroads (known as 4 corners), a right here (west) takes you to a height-of-land at about 3km (pass White Hill Lake on the left). Take a south compass bearing and bushwack abt 1km to the summit, visible ahead of you .... a total distance of 22km.

The plan is a 2 day solo hike ......Day 1 (32km), TH/summit/overnight Lake of Islands Shelter ..... Day 2 (12km), walk out.

DAY 1 (TODAY) JULY 12 ..... MARY ANN FALLS TH / SUMMIT / LAKE OF ISLANDS SHELTER.
Rose dropped me off at the TH, she'll return to the Hotel and play tourist while I'm away. I should be back here tomorrow for 12hoo hours.
7hoo hours - I left the TH loaded with the necessary gear/supplies for the overnight stay. The wide trail was good, easy but wet in a number of areas (yesterday's all day rain didn't help matters), I got to use my new Merrel sandels for the first time as I had to fjord a stream.
10hoo hours - I arrived at the Lake of Islands Shelter , fairly new but dirty, I cleaned the place, dropped off my gear/supplies for the overnight stay, had a snack and moved-on after 1h15 hours.
12h00 hours - Past the Wardens Cabin, no one home.
From here-on the trail conditions really changed, 50% wet and swampy, unbelievably wet/muddy all the way to the start on the bushwack for the summit. Sunk to my knees in mud, felt like quick sand, extremely hard work to get out, tried to bushwack around in some areas but didn't help much ..... Was this what the Ranger was trying to tell me but couldn't ???
13h00 hours - Arrived 4 corners, took a right (west), condition worse in spots, improved only when I got to the height-of-land. the bushwack was again another unbelievably tough/dense story, low solid evergreens. I must of fell down at least 20 times.
14h45 - Summit of White Hill ..... a huge flat summit, the Highpoint identified by a pile of rocks with a posted sign, took photos.
18h30 - I backtracked/arrived the Shelter completely wet/dirty/exhausted. Cleaned up by the Lake, had sandwiches for dinner and went straight to my bag.

DAY 2 (TOMORROW) JULY 13 ..... LAKE OF ISLANDS / MARY ANN FALLS TH.
7h30 hours - I left the Shelter after cleaning up the place.
11hoo hours - Out at the TH, Rose waiting, she always arrives earlier than scheduled. It was a tough 12km today inspite of the easy trail, sore legs, numerous stops, yesterday's ordeal was taking hold.
I told Rose of my ordeal over dinner, she wasn't too pleased with me ..... maybe I shouldn't have said anything???? We checked in at Cheticamp Campground on the west side of Cape Breton Island.
From here we will go to the mainland's Highest point, Mount Nuttby.

One of those trips perfect for story telling in a social setting and that one never forgets.

"THERE IS ONLY ONE PERFECT TRAIL ..... AND THAT IS THE ONE AHEAD OF YOU".



Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:352 m / 1155 ft
    Elevation Loss:352 m / 1155 ft
    Distance:32 km / 19.9 mi
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Hut Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:352 m / 1155 ft
    Distance:22 km / 13.7 mi
    Route:maryann falls/lake of islands/4 corner/NS hpt
    Trailhead:mary ann falls/ 2 day hike  182 m / 600 ft
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:352 m / 1155 ft
    Distance:10 km / 6.2 mi
    Route:maryann falls/lake of islands/4 corner/NS hpt
    Trailhead:mary ann falls  182 m / 600 ft



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