L'Envol du Monarque
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During the summer of 1983, Gaétan Martineau and his friend Louis Paré have climbed Monarque (Monarch), a mythic and majestic climb located on the left flank of l'Acropole des Draveurs in the Hautes-Gorges.
On July 4th 2015, Charles Roberge and Fred Mauger were the first to climb the obvious dihedral that cuts the whole cliff vertically, next to Monarque.
This route was named L'Envol du Monarque (The Monarch Flight) in honor of Gaétan Martineau, a great Quebec climbing pioneer, who passed away tragically a few weeks before the first ascent.
A thorough cleaning would be necessary before a free ascent (5.12?). Open project.
Pitch 1 - 5.10+ 50m
Climb the ramp that disappears into the dihedral. Sustained pitch in the 5.10 range. A magnificent crack hidden by vegetation is used for protection. Once clean, this pitch will be a genuine jewel! Build a belay station about 3 meter after the left face large chimney's end.
A possible variation would avoid vegetation and loose blocks by climbing the criss-crossing crack on the left face.
Pitch 2 - 5.9+ A1 30m
Delicately stem the dihedral. A piton would potentially save a lot of time here (aid). Layback to a thank-God jug and a nice crack (belay).
This pitch probably goes free in the 5.11 range.
Pitch 3 - 5.10+ 40m
Do not climb the crack above. Traverse right (thin) to a short right-facing dihedral (5.8). The rest of the pitch is easy. Build a belay station where the vegetation ends, at the base of a slab with many cracks.
Pitch 4 - 5.8 A1 50m
Most of this pitch was aid-climbed on the first ascent. Aid-climb the slab for 5-10 meters, pendulum to the left to gain the left face of the dihedral and a slightly overhanging crack. Join the exit dihedral and use a white birch to belay.
This crack is most likely at least 5.12. Other exit variations are possible.
Grades and pitches' lengths need to be confirmed, as the route was mossy and somewhat loose on the first ascent.
Ride a bike or take the free shuttle bus to Barrage des Érables (i.e. the dam).
Approach on a long and obvious 4th glass gully (about 700 meters). Plan at least 2 hours
L'envol du Monarque start is located between Monarque and Momentum, on the left flank of l'Acropole.
Descend by the popular Acropole des Draveurs hiker's trail (1h15).
Double rack to 2-3 inches. One 4-inch cam and extra small cams.
Optional : 1 or 2 pitons (helpful!), a metal brush and a small hand-saw