Showing posts from February, 2013

Snowshoeing Montagne d'Argent in La Conception, Quebec, Canada: It' ain't boring!

There is too much to say and too many pictures to tell the story of this cool snowshoeing and rock-and ice climbing destination.

But here's a hint. I like it. It has made the snowshoeing trails in Quebec's Gatineau Park, and the National Capital Region of Canada seem so boring and tame.

Montagne d'Argent (10 minutes north of Mont Tremblant off Hwy 117) is part of the Laurentians (French: Laurentides), an awesomely beautiful mountain range in southern Quebec, Canada, north of the St. Lawrence River and Ottawa River. So, it's not really fair to compare flat forest trails and hills to mountains. But your mind will do it anyway!

They say Montagne d'Argent (Silver Mountain) is a jewel, discovered and developed for outdoor recreation by climbers. I'll agree. It's a jewel.

If you're bored to death of those tromped down walk-in-the park snowshoe trails you find in so many urban areas, you may want to give Montagne d'Argent a try for a great mountain snowsh…

Are you feeling Quinzee?

A few snowshoe buddies and I came across an odd, deserted winter camp in Gatineau Park over the weekend, which was blessed with perfect winter weather - fresh snow, sunshine, and cold. And finally, no rain or freezing rain!

"It looks like Armageddon! What happened here?"
 A few snow-entrenched fire pits smoked.

There were odd rows of six foot long trenches in the snow, 4 or 5 big snow domes with sticks and small shovels poking out of them, and camping gear strewn about.
"Hey, anybody in there!?" There was no answer. All the winter campers were off playing in the woods somewhere.

"What the heck are these man-made things?"

Then, I remembered a group of 10 snowshoers with heavily-loaded backpacks and shovels that we crossed paths with as we headed out and up a trail for a day snowshoe around Lac Philippe. They were heading back from a winter camping trip. All were smiling.

I asked, "Are you happy to be getting out of here and back to civilization?"


Are you running from ice or looking for it? Montagne d'Argent Ice Climbers

While most of us turn back on steep mountain snowshoe trails covered in ice and slippery rock after last week's big melt with lots of rain, freezing rain, and then sudden freeze (and rightly so to turn back), the ice climbers are out in force at Montagne d'Argent (Parc d'Escalade et de Randonnée de la Montagne d'Argent), in La Conception, Quebec, Canada, 10 minutes north of Tremblant.
They like ice!  It's ice pic and crampon weather. And the climbers are well-equipped with helmets, harnesses, and ropes. There's natural ice and man-made ice to climb at this internationally known climbing mountain.

I'll never understand why they do this, but it's interesting to watch.

Montagne d'Argent is also a great snowshoe spot when there's lots of snow, especially if you like a bit of a challenge and to hang onto a few ropes tied to trees as you make your way up and down some of the steeper trails. Timing is everything. Later, I'll post about the awesome…