We have been in St-Alban for two days and the crag is located in some kind of recreational area called “Le Secteur des gorges de la rivière Sainte-Anne“. They provide Wi-Fi, bathrooms with hot showers and running water. Those services are probably for the people who pay for a campsite there but we asked at the office and they do not charge for people to use their facilities. We made good use of their site so we will donate a little something on the way out. We are on a roll when it comes to showers. We had free warm (not hot) showers at the pool in Quebec City and now really hot showers at the crag.
Rain was in the forecast and it’s been raining fairly steady for the last 48 hours. We happened to run out of propane sometime overnight Saturday. We googled it and found a small gas station with propane right on the way to the crag. Unfortunately they weren’t open on Sunday so we had to wait until the next day to get our fridge back up and running again. We made a little video below about the situation. Propane was refilled pretty much by Mathieu since the propane attendant was about 90 years old. Matt’s getting better at it but we may have sent 7$ worth of propane into the atmosphere before getting maybe half a fill up. So far no one is asking about how old our propane tank is and for all we know, we may be good to go with that old thing underneath the van.
A few crags apart, most climbing spots in Quebec are under FQME (Federation Quebecoise de la montagne et de l’escalade) which means it’s NOT free to climb there. Therefore we had to drop half of our weekly budget to get memberships for a total cost of $104. We aren’t going to lie and it did cross our mind to not pay and simply go ahead and climb but after some brainstorming, we figured paying was the right thing to do. When you take a moment to think about it, most climbing areas aren’t free (you need to pay to enter National parks in Canada, or USA) and furthermore it’s supporting the local climbing community. It just means we’re going to eat a little more pasta this week 😉
Anyways we were able to climb quite a bit yesterday and today given the weather conditions. The climbing is fairly good and as one route description calls it, Saint-Alban might actually be the kingdom of 5.10s. Most of the routes are overhanging with at least one roof to clear in all of them. We have been wearing our helmets when belaying due to the amount of crappy/loose rock. We had been told before hand but it’s true. You can climb in St-Alban even if it’s raining hard. A stick clip is handy for a few routes with big roof and no protection below the roof. It’s also right next to the river so hearing each other is at time a challenge. Elaine’s been practicing her roof passing skills and Mathieu has been sending everything on sight up to 5.11b! Tomorrow we are hoping to go to Lac Long if the weather holds up.
We visited the recreational area and found an obstacle course. We filmed some of it and called it Spartan Mini.. Beware you are never going to get this 3.5 minutes of your life back.
M & E