Ascent of Mont du lac Warren on 2017-03-18

Climber: Gabriel C

Others in Party:MartinHike BushWhack
Serge Massad
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, March 18, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Carpool
Peak:Mont du lac Warren
    Elevation:3543 ft / 1079 m

Ascent Trip Report

Sébastien had asked around who would be available for a hike on March 19th and a few people answered positively. Serge asked me if I was up for another day-hike on the 18th and we settled to climb mont du lac Warren. Martin joined the group later in the week and we set a meet around 09:00 on Saturday morning at the Petro-Canada gas station in Stoneham. I took the road around 08:30 and arrived about 15 minutes early. After waiting for a short while, Martin showed up and we chatted until Serge made it there.

After transferring all our gear into Serge’s car and filling the tank up, we headed north on HWY 175. Past lac Jacques-Cartier, we reached the junction for RTE 162 and took a left. There were many people offloading their snowmobiles on the roadside of the well plowed logging road so we parked behind the queue and started getting ready to head off. We didn’t know how far the road was plowed and the first part of the hike was discovering that it is possible to head much deeper in the forest – at least this winter. We passed a plowed parking spot near a shipping container a few hundred yards in and a few minutes later were passed by a man driving his pickup. He greeted us and told he was heading for his cabin. When he drove off, we were almost at the junction where we needed to head uphill off the road.

As we were talking, we went past the right logging road and had to turn around. Then it was time to put the snowshoes on and start breaking trail. The previous week’s heavy snowfall made for shin deep snow that wasn’t too difficult to push through. The terrain rode gradually and after a left bend headed south, still rising. When we reached a crest on the road, the forest gave way to logging regrowth and we headed west in the open country. It was even sparser than I thought it would be from my planning. This shortcut saved some distance as we went down in a valley, arced southwest and rejoined the road about half a kilometer before lac Colette.

At the lake, we went by a mobile home and headed west across the frozen surface. We could see our goal from there, rising steeply to the west. The sun was high now and I had removed my jacket by that point. We skirted the south shore of a small island before reaching a stream bed connecting lac Colette to petit lac Warren. It snaked through a slight gap and we soon reached the next lake. It was now time to start looking for a suitable spot to cross through the forest and rejoin the logging road on the north shore. When we saw an opening, we went through. We had to climb up a talus but it wasn’t particularly difficult.

Following the road, it was only a few hundreds of meters before we reached a dead-end. I put my shell on and the bushwhack started. We spotted pink flagging, but it led nowhere. The forest wasn’t intolerably dense and route finding was straightforward. It almost looked like there were trails criss-crossing all around. The slope was moderate and we didn’t encounter too many spruce traps. There were sparser patches that gave us partial views southeast and after a little while, we reached a steeper section.

The deep heavy snow made for a more laborious uphill but taking turns in front, we were able to ascend steadily. The views started to get better as we climbed and when the sky peeked through the trees and we emerged on the ridge, we took a short pause to take a look around. The forest here was very open and we were able to head mostly in a straight line towards the summit. After reaching it, we noticed how flat the whole area is and decided to head towards a high clump of trees to the northwest. We meandered around but it was very difficult to determine where the true summit lies.
We aimed for one last area where terrain seemed to get higher, to our north, but it didn’t turn out impressive so we simply headed back towards our ascent path. We rejoined our tracks quickly and when we closed the ridge edge, Martin said he’d like to check out an area he’d spotted where the view would open up. We forked to that spot and admired a great view of the Laurentians before we started descending again. The steepness made for great speed as we slid downhill and it wasn’t long before we were back on the logging road. Reaching the lakes was easy in the already broken trail and we now enjoyed the hard sun and warm temperature. We backtracked all the way to the plowed road without incident and then removed our snowshoes. A few minutes later, we were back at the car.

As we stashed the gear, a few groups of snowmobilers went by on the national network trail. Then we took the road back south towards Stoneham where we retrieved our respective cars. Serge would be staying at my place tonight but wanted to visit some friends while Martin would be meeting us again the next day with Sébastien so we all parted ways for the day.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1506 ft / 458 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1506 ft / 458 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.9 mi / 12.8 km
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1217 ft / 370 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 941 ft / 286 m; Extra: 276 ft / 84m
    Loss on way in:276 ft / 84 m
    Distance:4.1 mi / 6.6 km
    Route:Junction of HWY 175 and RTE 163
    Start Trailhead:Junction of HWY 175 and RTE 163  2602 ft / 793 m
    Time:3 Hours 26 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1230 ft / 374 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 941 ft / 286 m; Extra: 289 ft / 88m
    Gain on way out:289 ft / 88 m
    Distance:3.8 mi / 6.2 km
    Route:Logging roads, bushwhack
    End Trailhead:Junction of HWY 175 and RTE 163  2602 ft / 793 m
    Time:1 Hours 59 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Gabriel C
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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.

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