Saturday November 12: Moose to Jumping Pound to Cox Hill

Saturday November 12: Moose to Jumping Pound to Cox Hill
December 8, 2016 Nathalie Drotar
dramatic sky that day!

Dramatic sky that day!

That morning we took two cars to arrange to have a one at each end of the trail. Andy, Al, Elisabeth, Rebecca, Pierre and I were the day’s keeners. The car shuttling took a while but we kept entertained all packed up in Andy’s car. We parked at the top parking lot and started hiking the easy trail toward Moose Mountain, leaving behind a horde of Asian hikers out for the day. The pace was fast, the group was made of strong hikers/runners/mountaineers all up for a big and fast day.. I was going to be the slowest but it didn’t matter, I had wanted the challenge.

We started facing some strong winds coming up Moose Mountain so hid on the lee side of the weather station for a quick break once the summit reached. We continued towards the north summit of Moose, scrambling down then along the ridge where there was a visible track we could follow. From there we admired the western views then quickly made our way down towards a visible road that leads to a gas facility.

Nihahi ridge isn't far at all

Nihahi ridge isn’t far at all

the panoramic views west

The panoramic views west

The side sloping was awkward but zigzagging made it somewhat easier. We were on the road for a little bit before scrambling up towards the next ridge that would connect us to Jumping Pound. We encountered a bit of snow on the slope up but the ridge was dry and pleasant. Of course the wind was again at us so we welcomed a nicely forested area for a while where we took another quick break. Ridge hiking is interesting, ever changing, never too steep, never too hard, its rolling terrain takes you up then down and in then out of trees to let you admire the view and to let you see how much progress you’ve made…or not. At some point I had the giggles, seeing how much more we yet had to go and feeling the previous day in my legs.

Moose from Jumping Pound

Moose from Jumping Pound

Once on Jumping Pound, we sat down for a good lunch break away from the wind. Dark chocolate was distributed and the spirits got high again. The rest was going to be a piece of cake, we just had some down and a 200m up and some distance and we’d be done. Too bad the wind kept blowing relentlessly from the west trying to enter in my left ear and freeze my brain. I didn’t let it happen and managed to keep my head protected with neck warmer, head-band and toque. Difficult adjusting layers at this speed with strong winds especially for someone like me who easily sweat buckets if in a jacket. We learned later winds up to 70km/hr were recorded in that area that day.

There was no welcome party on Cox Hill, too windy! The few ahead had looked for shelter a bit further and in the sun where we could all admire the whole ridge we had walked all the way to Moose Mountain, quite cool and rewarding! The last of the chocolate was distributed and we headed for our last 5kms back to the car. We kept seeing people going up Cox Hill when we knew it was going to be dark in about 1hr, did they not realise? Obviously not, hiking up in runners in the snow with no cleats, no poles and very little clothing.

I think we were all happy to get to the car – especially those who hiked 2 days in a row – after 27kms distance with 1,300m elevation gain and 1,800m elevation loss which we covered in 6h20 with about 1h. break altogether. Phew what a w.end! What a bunch of troopers! What fun! Give me a couple days to recuperate and I’m in for the next challenge! J

Nathalie Drotar (-Roulin)


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