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Difficult New Route Climbed on Remote Quebec Wall

Patrick Brouillard and Charles Lacroix have established the most difficult route on Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie, north of Quebec City.

Their new route is a 200-metre six-pitch 5.11 A0 called Contortions. The first few pitches follow cracks and chimneys at around 5.9.

Looking up one of the splitter pitches on Contortion on l'Acropole des Draveurs.  Photo  Patrick Brouillard and Charles Lacroix
Looking up one of the splitter pitches on Contortion on l’Acropole des Draveurs. Photo Patrick Brouillard and Charles Lacroix

The final pitch could go free, but as the sun was setting, they were forced to pull on some gear to make it to the top.

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Looking down one of the first splitter pitches on Contortion on l’Acropole des Draveurs. Photo Patrick Brouillard and Charles Lacroix

The l’Acropole des Draveurs is about two hours northeast of Quebec City along the Malbaie River, which was once used by log drivers to float log booms down to the St. Lawrence River in the early part of the twentieth century.

The wall is in the Hautes Gorges de la Riviere Malbaie National Park, which is a UNESCO world biosphere reserve. The largest rock walls in Eastern Canada, outside of Auyuittuq on Baffin Island, can be found in the park. Some walls are nearly 700 metres and are slightly taller than those in Gros Morne, Newfoundland. The l’Acropole des Draveurs is the highest peak in the area reaching a height of 1,040 metres and rising over 850 meters from the river’s edge. The 10-kilometre approach can take up to five hours through thick bush and up steep slopes.

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Looking up at l’Acropole des Draveurs from the approach. Photo Escalade Quebec

Two other worthwhile routes climb the wall, Momentum 5.9 and Sens Uniue 5.8.