Le Pro of Mont Pinacle

While the rest of the world has experienced a collective Groundhog Day over the past 15 months of Covid lockdowns, I’ve had an identity crisis of a different variety. I’m living in Quebec and I wonder, am I a climber posing as a skier, or a skier posing as a climber? And, is it silly to define yourself as either in a place where you can’t practice either for the majority of the year? Would it make more sense to simply play video games? Every day must be a pow day if you live to fire up the Playstation.

The Planétarium Sector

These thoughts rolled through my head as the wheels turned putting Montreal in the rearview. We were on the way to tick Camay, a classic 5.6 multi-pitch on Mont Pinacle.

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Sport 400 Charlevoix

The towering new bolted climb first came to my attention when I noticed the announcement of it last summer on EscaladeQuebec. The topic was popping with comments on their social media.

Sport 400 Charlevoix

The cliffs — in remote parts of Quebec — have an esoteric appeal and the website, in French, contributes to that. There is little subtlety in statements like “Biggest Sport Climb East of the Flatirons, Colorado” and the Flatirons are a great point of reference for the 5.6ish Sport 400.

The Sport 400 lived in the periphery of my imagination until a friend set a date to actually climb it. Just like that, we were off, leaving work at 3pm hoping to make the 6-hour drive to Saint Simeon in time to erect our tent before sunset.

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A Love Letter to Val-David

Some towns have all the luck. They’re the kind of places that beg you to ask yourself if it’s possible spend all of your time there. These places come right off the tip of my tongue: Keene, New Paltz, Stowe, North Conway, and for that last couple of years, Val David.

Val David cliff

Three years ago, I don’t think I knew of Val David, I learned of it shortly after relocating to Montreal. It’s an hour north of the city but a world away.

If rock climbing legend Fritz Weissner spent his time here, you can rest assured that it is absolutely spoiled with classic rock. For skiing, it is a mini-paradise too: Mont Alta is one of three downhill ski hills in town, and now serves as the only uphill area I know of in these parts.

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