Quebec, National Park
Since I moved to Quebec 8 years ago I really meant to go wander during fall, witness the nature turning colors as it prepares for winter. I mean... Obvioulsy not THAT much otherwise i'd have done it sooner but it was something I had my mind on nonetheless.
So last friday, a friend and I left Montreal, heading east towards Saguenay for what promised to be a weekend of many discoveries: First time in the area, first camping below zero, longest hike planned...
After a long and uneventfull ride, we reached the national park around 01:00 crossing the thankfully-left-open abandonned gates and having the luxury to pick our own camping spot!
The upside of setting camp that late is the shimmering sky over your head
Despite the coldness of the night, the camping gear proved more than sufficient to keep the warmth inside and in the morning I felt ready to tackle the 21km long hike.
First views from the bank of the fjord, the green-orange from the turning trees contrasting with the blue haze in the mountains make for a striking visual
From the start, the trail sinks into the forest, offering rare vantage points as we went through the slopes up until we reached the Géant lookout. Here you get a terrific view over the parc and the Fjord!
Various forest environments ponctuated the following 10Km of the hike, slightly decieved to relize that the second lookout offered no view over the surrounding areas. The light was quickly fading away and I wanted to stop over the shoot a timelapse of the sunset before reaching home (we went back to Géant). The sun was now gone and we had a good 2hours of walk in the forest left which meant it was time to get the headlights out. Now this is the moment in the day where everything starts to suck. Accordingly it was not a hike as difficult & technical as Mt Washington but the distance started to feel heavy on the shoes and the roots suddenly seemed to have the bad habit of crashing your toe!
Even if I like to complain about it, I tend to relish those moments were the conditions start to go off (exhaustion, wind, rain, night, sometimes all of them together) just because it provides such a different sense of adventure from the sunny-day often-planned hike.
So anyway, we made it back to the car welcomed by the stars in the clear sky (this is when I hate myself for being sometimes too lazy to grab my camera gear off), super happy for the new record distance. This was a call for celebration!
For those who'd like to do the same trail ( Sepaq Fjord du Saguenay / Trail Cap Éternité ), all the picture shown here were took between the starting point and the "Géant" lookout (6Km from the starting point); though it was a nice hike, I would encourage you to head back after reaching the Géant lookout and start another trail if you wanna keep going. The 10Km left offered no vantage point but the surrounding forest and there is no actual lookout from the Cap Éternité which is not really worth it except if you do the longest one-way trail up to Tadoussac.