Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mont Sutton, an adventure in every fall.

It would appear that Cedric and I are starting to become jaded with our regular hiking spot. This is truly a sad state of affairs, as it is close by and cheap (if you know how to get there without going through the main entrance). This means that, like all good junkies, we need to start looking for a better source of drugs. Although we didn’t find the holy grail of hiking spots, we certainly got an adventure worth mentioning. As you can guess from the title, it was one were a few falls did take place. Thankfully, no one was injured.

Mont Sutton is a beautiful place. Nested near it is a gorgeous little village, filled with quaint homes and small businesses. Getting there is simple: take the 241 from highway 10. Once you’ve arrived in the village, you’ll need to pay for the privilege of being here: 5 dollars per person. You can actually pay with paypal off their website.

Maps are sold at the tourism office or the 520 entrance for 5$. It turned out to be far less helpful than the indications on the trails themselves. The hike begins at 520 meters elevation, which theoretically makes reaching the 968 meter summit far less impressive. The trails themselves are nice and wide, reasonably easy compared to Sentier des crĂȘtes over near Orford. Even the most difficult trail was no harder than an intermediate according to SEPAQ standards. That being said, The forest appears healthy and the fall colors were breathtaking. 

Fall scenery 

However, we were limited in the paths we could travel because of the last dregs of the current hunting season (what is it with us and hunters?) We could only travel up the sentier du lac spruce and the round top, pass des caps area. Mind you, that was a pretty good choice, none the less: we got to climb all the way to the top. I imagine that if the top was not under a heavy cloud cover that the view would have been worth the trip. However, we’ll need to come back (or google harder) to find out.

First view

Overall, this would be a good intermediate hike for someone who wants to test himself a little bit more without truly going all out on a difficult trail elsewhere. You still get a true sense of accomplishment without risking life and limb in the process, unless...

Yes, unless the paths are swamped in mud. In which case, coming down will prove to be a far greater adventure than anticipated. I straight out fell twice. Cedric actually fell down for the first time this season, and did so again, once or twice. It’s slow going, and fairly dangerous at times. It takes some careful planning, however, it gives you more time to enjoy the views and the beauty of your surroundings. 

In conclusion, well worth it but, besides the newness of the event, it was a fairly easy climb. Getting down during the summer months must be much safer, however, october seems like a poor choice. We suggest summer or late spring.

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