July 18th 2012, Mont-Chauve
For our first entry, we figured we would review a new place we had never hiked before. After looking at a map of southern Quebec, there were few places of interest, both in terms of elevation and distance to travel. We generally hike on Mont-St-Hilaire, but you can only go back to the same place so many times before it gets repetitive and uninteresting. So, we looked east, towards another Hill called Mont-Orford. In the nearby ranges, we found an intermediate track called Mont-Chauve. The terrain maps looked promising. We wanted a hill that would test our stamina and endurance. We also wanted something with a killer view at the top. We found all of this more.
The temperature was not optimal. The rains we had gotten in the previous 24 hours had done nothing to lower the relative humidity. This drove the temperature up beyond what is generally encountered in southern Quebec. Let me tell you folks, it was a hot day for an uphill hike.
The terrain was fairly technical, lots of large rocks, narrow pathways. There was, however, no climbing. And although the terrain was quite slippery in parts (I actually fell down!), it was far from horrible. Most people who take this path seldom pack anything other than a water bottle and wear regular clothes and running shoes. We looked over equipped compared to most hikers.
The installations were fairly well maintained. One tree blocked the way on the western access path, but was easily walked around. I noticed that some stairs were loose near the end of the path, and there was some sag in the bridges leading across the overspill ways. Then again, that might have more to do with my weight then their general building skills.
There were no garbage collection points at the top, or at the beginning of the trail, although there were some nearby. That is really the only weak point: because of this, some littering was noticed. We did our part, of course -the granola bar rapper was quickly picked up.
Overall, it was a most excellent hike. If you find yourself in the area, we highly recommend it. If you want to laugh at our antics, here’s a short video we compiled.
For cooking: MSR pocket rocket and GSI bugaboo: Although some spillage did occur (twice or so), it was a low weight and very practical option for two hikers. I could have gotten a smaller cook set, but I like this one: it’s big enough for two and contains everything needed to cook and serve the food.
For hiking: McKinley walking sticks, Osprey flare 24L pack and Condor Urban go bag.
For hydration: Platypus 2 L, Condor hydration bladder and Nalgene 1 L bottle.