Ascent of Mont Saint-Hilaire on 1998-05-15

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:My 14th time to Mont Saint-Hilaire.
Date:Friday, May 15, 1998
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mont Saint-Hilaire
    Elevation:408 m / 1339 ft

Ascent Trip Report

Mont Saint-Hilaire offers a good-trail loop hike over 5 peaks ..... 11.7km, 3 hours Round Trip.

This is my 14th visit to Mont Saint-Hilaire, I first came here on 1977-06-19. Mont Saint-Hilaire is made up of numerous distinct summits, and as of this date there are 5 summits in the PB Library (Brulee, Pain de Sucre, Dieppe, Rocky and Sunrise). My goal is to visit Mont Saint-Hilaire 100 times.

Mont Saint-Hilaire is a great destination very near a large city, offering a big Mountain experience to 5 Peaks on well maintained trails close to home (my favorite). A good trail map for the network of trails is available at the Pavillon des Visiteurs on the South Side of the mountain, there is an entrance/parking fee per person. The parking lot is generally full on weekends.

The mountain, located just east of Montreal beside the Richelieu River,is the most imposing of the ten Monteregian Hills which dominate the Saint-Lawrence Plain.
The Gault Estate bequeathed the mountain to McGill University in 1958, it offers Nature Interpretation/Conservation programs, Research and Preservation Programs, declared a Migratory Bird Sanctuary in 1960 and in 1978 recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve because of its geological and ecological characteristics (the first site in Canada to be so designated).

This mountain is a very busy/popular place for the locals.

UPDATE #1 DATED 2013-06-21.
A) Today was my 48th visit to Mount Saint Hilaire and the first hike into the RESERVE DE LA BIOSPHERE DU MONT SAINT-HILAIRE. I did a clockwise loop-hike around Lac Hertel (trail and bushwack) over two peaks in the Reserve ..... Mont Saint-Hilaire - La Quenouillere and Mont Saint-Hilaire - Sommet Est.
B) I would come back for my 49th visit to Mont Saint-Hilaire on 2013-07-08 and revisit the RESERVE for the second time. This time I did a counterclockwise loop-hike around Lac Hertel over two peaks ...... Mont Saint-Hilaire - Sommet Sud-Est and Sommet Est.
**** All of these three peaks in the RESERVE are not in the PB Library, so I added them as provisional peaks, thereby raising the number of distinct summits in the PB Library for Mont Saint Hilaire from 5 to 8. This may be a mistake however !!!! as off trail hiking anywhere on Mont Saint-Hilaire is not allowed, especially in the reserve !!!!. Hopefully people will not abuse the Reserve, I told myself not to come back.
Because of the demand to Mont Saint-Hilaire a second parking lot was added a few years back .... entrance fee as of this date was 6$ per person (Seniors 5$).

UPDATE #2 DATED 2014-07-16.
Today was my 65th visit to Mont Saint-Hilaire, I did a ccw loop hike over the 5 peaks (Sunrise, Rocky, Dieppe, Pain de Sucre, Brulee).
The first parking lot was completely full, they had to open the second lot (this on a weekday). They are presently building a second Toll Booth to take care of the heavy weekends. The entrance fee hasn't changed.

UPDATE #3 DATED 2016-09-29
For today's 79th visit to Mont Saint Hilaire my plan was to do a CW loop over the 5 original summits in the PB Library plus the recently added provisional summit "Lac Hertel NW" (per below)- even though this summit is off trail and is not open to the public. I needed to do this summit in order to fulfill another one of my goals "bag all peaks in the PB Library south of the Fleuve Saint-Laurent". I will not revisit this summit.
As of this date there are 9 distinct summits in the PB Library for Mont Saint-Hilaire, 4 of which are off-limits to the public.
I need to report Mont Saint-Hilaire's efforts in trying to keep people on the trails. Over the years I've seen Park Rangers on the trails a number times. On this day I stopped on the blue trail, after descending from Sunrise and before going up to Lac Hertel NW. I was sitting on a log 3 meters off-trail having a snack when a young Park Ranger walked-by reminding me to stay on the trail !!!! This is a very popular place with a lot of traffic so we fully understand the need to stay on-trail.
The Parks 3 parking lots now have 2 Toll Booths and the fee has gone-up from 6$ to 7$ and they no longer give a senior's discount - meaning my rate has increased by 40% - not nice. I should note that Quebec's Provincial Parks as of this date has an entry fee of $8.50.
Except for the parking and toll booths and a new entrance sign I don't see any changes on this mountain - the network of trails is still the same. The only difference today is that the trails are much wider - like one lane wide roads on the main trails. This is because touristy type hikers don't like to get there shoes muddy - so they go to the sides looking for a dryer path. There is no evidence today that the park is addressing this problem - and addressing they will eventually have-to-do.
LAC HERTEL NW (45.55014,-73.15694)
From Colline Sunrise I descended the blue trail to Trail JCT "blue/mauve" (northwest of the summit and 1.7km from the Accueil on the blue trail) I went east on the mauve trail for 50 meters then bushwacked a left-of-south line 300 meters in open hardwoods to the obvious summit topped with a small antenna with a solar powered Transceiver (data collection of sorts ??)"Cambell Scienctific Inc".
As it's noted above off-trail-hiking on Mont Saint-Hilaire is not allowed, so I pulled a no-no here and will not go back.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:138 m / 453 ft
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:138 m / 453 ft
    Distance:1.1 km / 0.7 mi
    Route:bushwack to pain de sucre from colline brulee
    Trailhead:visitors center parking  270 m / 886 ft
Descent Statistics
    Route:pain sucre bushwack/green trail to dieppe
    Trailhead:visitors center parking  

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