Friday, March 21, 2008

Plan A, no? Plan B, no? ok then, Plan C!

Mont St-Hilaire is the mountain in middle, St-Bruno is on left side

St-Hilaire's western summits; Rougement and Yamaska in background

Well, My Plan A of visiting St-Come fell through, so we went instead to ski at the dnd shooting range on Mont St-Bruno. It was closed.

So we had to improvise a plan C, and this turned out be across the Richelieu river to visit the hiking trails at the Centre de la Nature du Mont St-Hillaire.

Mont St-Hillaire has a very good hiking trail network that first goes outbound through mature forest , then climbs and returns along a nice series of exposed summits, with great views in every direction.

We did the loop counter-clockwise, starting with lac Hertel, then to Rocky, then Dieppe, then Pain de Sucre, then Burned Hill.

Summit view: looking west at Mont St-Bruno with Montreal on left horizon.

Away from the summits, the trails are well-sheltered from the prevailing west wind. Which is a good thing because today the wind was gusting to 60 km/h in the city and more at these summits. This wind meant there was some serious wind chill on the exposed summits, and some real weather excitement!

Next stop: the Pain au Sucre summit

So, sometimes the third option is the lucky one. We had a great snow-hike, covered a series of exposed summits, and finished the hike with plenty of we-earned-it brand fatigue.

This mountain has a long history, in 1606 Champlain went past it on the richelieu river to his exploration of the lake that now bears his name, Lake Champlain.


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