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
    Elevation:3314 ft / 1010 m

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.

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

Road 12 is narrow but well maintained.

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.

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

Another good example of the uphill.

A slight view of lac Ruban from near the summit.

The much easier way down along the streambed.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:985 ft / 300 m
    Total Elevation Loss:985 ft / 300 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.5 mi / 4.1 km
    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
    Gain on way in:919 ft / 280 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 853 ft / 260 m; Extra: 66 ft / 20m
    Loss on way in:66 ft / 20 m
    Distance:1.7 mi / 2.8 km
    Route:Road 12 then up the main ridge
    Start Trailhead:Barrage Ruban  2461 ft / 750 m
    Time:2 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:919 ft / 280 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 853 ft / 260 m; Extra: 66 ft / 20m
    Gain on way out:66 ft / 20 m
    Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    Route:Down a stream gully towards TH
    End Trailhead:Barrage Ruban  2461 ft / 750 m
    Time: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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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