Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A trip to: Sentier des Caps de Charlevoix

Winter cold, ice, slush, rain, ice pellets, wind chill, etc., keep us off the bike outside in the winter time. But we still need our dose of excitement, and preferably excitement mixed with intense physical effort and resulting fatigue (satisfaction surely?).

So where are we going to go? To St-Tite-des-Caps and the hiking and snowshoe trail Sentier des Caps de Charlevoix, that's where. We would hike to the Refuge Cap Gribane, spend the night indoors, and then hike out the next day.

Why here?
  • Abundance of natural snow
  • Away from roads and other signs of civilization
  • excellent local geography
  • the trail follows the top of the high hills bordering the St-Laurence river
This was our first visit here, and we arrived the day after a big storm, a big BIG storm. Luckily the group that struggled through yesterday's storm to the Refuge Cap Gribane had created an smooth and easy-to-follow trail. This was good news, because some of the other suggested trails were buried under 2-3 feet of very soft snow.

Our night in the refuge was comfortable and warm. In the middle of the winter, in the middle of the woods, and without electricity, this is all that you want out of life.

Our hike in to the Refuge was in overcast and low cloud conditions, but the next day the sun was shining and the walk out was spectacular in every way.

50th b-day backpack enjoying the view of the river on its first adventure.

Best supporting cast member: msr lightning snowshoes

Turn the corner, enjoy the view, repeat.

Charlevoix mountains, to the north of the Rt 138

Up-river view of one of the many caps (Capes) on the river

Inside the refuge Cap Gribane

The Sentier des Caps de Charlevoix is a modern and well-marked trail

Approaching the start of the Caps trail

Winter means no bugs... or does it?

This is likely a stonefly, of the family Perlidae. We didn't know this, so we asked the AEAQ, and they kindly responded with:
Il s'agit d'un Plécoptère (Plecoptera), probablement de la famille des Perlidae.
Ces insectes sont reconnus pour être actifs à des températures froides. On les observe surtout au printemps, à la fonte des neiges.

Association des entomologistes amateurs du Quebec Inc (A.E.A.Q. inc.).

Arriving at the Refuge Cap Gribane

Yesterday's big storm left snow, freezing rain, and these amazing crystals

Conclusion: This is an excellent snowshoe destination.

We hope this region gains a mountain bike trail along the same general route. Because that would also be amazing.


At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Caroline Rodgers said...

Hey! This is the village where I come from and grew up! Isn't it beautiful? Yo went far from Montreal to see nature, but looking at your pictures, I guess it was a very good idea. Vive St-Tite et le Sentier des Caps! Lots of hills to climb overthere!

At 3:50 PM, Blogger Cycle Fun Montreal said...

We are slowly, but surely, visiting every part of quebec. This location (St-T-d-Caps and Charlevoix) is one we wish was a lot closer!

At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your photos look amazing! I am planning to go to Le Sentier des Caps this winter break.

I was wondering if you could lend some expertise:
(1) How did you bring sufficient food (did you take advantage of the backpack transporting service) and (2) how did you charge your digital camera?


At 2:15 PM, Blogger Cycle Fun Montreal said...

1 backpack
2 at home


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