|Hautes-gorges Ice Climbs
I do not know how this climb has managed to stay off of MP for so long. I was shocked to not find it here. La Pomme D'or is THE classic long ice route in La Malbaie, Quebec. Many hardmen have cut their teeth on this beautiful climb. From multi day adventures to day long solos, this climb gets traffic and deserving so. This climb is a classic in every sense of the word.
The route can range from 4+ to 5+ depending on your line of attack. The opening pitches are in the easy 4 range until about 1/3 the way up. They things get steeper. On the upper 1/3 you can choose to move either right or left and select from vertical pillars to lower angle ice In my experience the far left was easiest with the right being harder.
La Pommed D'or is located approximately 2.5 hours east of Quebect City. The nearest decent sized town is Malbaie, Quebec. You enter the Parc de Haute Gorges I believe and drive as far as they will allow, before you begin your ski approach.
As of winter 2010-2011, you could drive past the outer gates and into the park itself on minimally maintained road to the inner gate. This shortens the approach significantly. In the past you could hire a snowmobile to shuttle you the rest of the way. This is currently illegal but still practiced by some. For the human powered approach begin a 8 mile or so gently rolling ski approach along the unplowed road. Pass a damn and then you can begin skiing on the river itself. You will pass many climbs in route but La Pomme will be noticeable off in the distance on your left.
On the river below the climb you can look up to scout your approach up the talus, and snowfield. There are alternative starts but the main route goes up a tight corner at the top of coulouir that cannot really be seen from below.
Many parties camp below the route upstream a short ways in the woods. Also across the river on the road side there is a small designated camping site with a picnic table as well.
The route goes with screws alone. Bring enough to build all your anchors off of screws as well as protect each pitch. Later in the season you will usually find a nice line of V-threads leading the way down. Trust them at your own risk!
View from camp/river. You can see the very distin... Where the harder climbing begins about 1/3 the way... Total view on approach, La Pomme is the line on th...