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Lac Sam

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Summary

Generally slabby gneiss/diorite looking down on a picturesque lake.

Description

Lac Sam is a small lake about 70km north of Ottawa. It is horse-shoe shaped, with steep hills and cliffs rising out of the back of the horseshoe up to almost 200m in total height gain, though not all of it rock face.

Note: while the routes at Lac Sam are generally moderates, this is not a beginner crag. It is a rappel-in, climb-out crag. You should be comfortable with both rappelling and top-belaying, or have at least one member of your group that is, before choosing to climb here.

Most of the rock is currently undeveloped, so there are lots of opportunities to open new routes. Even the developed areas are "young" so be wary of loose rock, or holds that may break. A helmet is a very good idea.

Currently (spring 2020), "Right Wing" is the best developed and most accessible section of the cliff, with bolted top anchors, and 17 cleaned and well-described routes. But, if you've climbed them all, or Right Wing is busy, "Left Wing" is now worth a visit with 10 pitches (8 routes) of sport climbing.

Access issues

Other than The Swamp, the cliffs are on crown land.

Note: the private land sign (which appeared in 2018) on the left side of the road as you approach the parking is a lie -- that is crown land. The private land, no hunting sign on the right side of the road was not put up by the land-owner of that particular chunk of land, but by someone else -- the land-owner is unsure who, though he has a guess. (Conversation with land-owner, fall 2018.)

Approach

Most of the climbing is on the "Upper Faces", so this should be your normal approach unless you know what you're doing.

Upper Faces approach:

Shortly after turning onto the Lac Sam road (less than 1/2 km), there is a wider area with a gravel road branching off to the right. This road (Chemin du Lac Sainte Marie, though unmarked as such) leads over to Lac Sainte Marie after a few twistings and windings. (Note: this road may not be plowed in winter (pre-2018 it was not, winter 2020 it appears to have been. I (David) will continue to monitor. You may wish to allow sufficient time for snow-melt in spring, or gamble. (Late May is safe, earlier maybe not.)) After about 4.8 km, there will be a one-lane track turning off to the left, turn on this. Less than 200m up there will be a pull-off to the right with space for about 5 cars (if you park carefully) and a small trail leading into the brush on the opposite side of the track (currently marked with orange tape). Park here and hike up the trail. It will take 10-15 minutes, and bring you out at the top of the escarpment, onto the ride-top trail. This approach intersects the ridge-top trail above the "TnA Wall" sector of "Right Wing". Descend towards the lake for Right Wing, or turn right and hike along the ridge-top trail for "Left Wing" (see sector for details).

This: http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=45.913049,-75.800455&hl=en&ll=45.912914,-75.800568&spn=0.005173,0.011362&sll=45.902911,-75.805463&sspn=0.01553,0.032015&num=1&t=h&vpsrc=6&z=17 should link to a map that indicates where the pull-off and start of the trail is.

Lower Faces & Jumping Rock (DWS) approach:

There is a public access beach with some parking at the tip of the south/west arm of the lake. Boats can be launched from this point. The trip is about 1.5-2km up the lake to the main faces. Then lowest of the cliffs are about a 10-minute bushwhack directly upwards. Lower Cliff is almost directly above the eastern tip of the small island in the north corner of the lake.

Jumping Rock is another 1.5km down the other arm of the lake, past another small island.

5.Superfunwall can be approached by boat, traveling all the way around the lake, or by a bushwhack/trail.

(Google maps can be used to find "Lac Sam, Quebec". )

Ethic

New routes welcome. Please document them on the crag.

Bolting fine; rap-bolting fine. Please bolt for safe sport or mixed routes. If a route is almost completely bolted, bolt it as sport, rather than leaving just a couple of gear placements needed on an otherwise sport route.

There is lots of rock, try to avoid squeeze jobs.

If something has been climbed on gear, please don't retro-bolt without FA's consent.

History

View historical timeline

As kids, in the 70s, we used to canoe accross the lake and hike/scramble up "the mountain". To my knowledge, none of the main cliffs have had any technical climbing done on them before 2010 (possibly one free solo by Randy Reed) and the start of development by David Gibbs and friends in 2011.

A bit of climbing and cleaning was done on 5.SuperFunWall in summer of 2009 by David Gibbs, Randy Reed, and a friend of Randy's.

The Jumping rock has been climbed DWS a few times over the years.

Tags

Areas

Add area(s) Add topo Reorder Bulk edit
Name
Style
Routes
Ticks
Height
Grades
Left Wing Crag
 Sport climbing,  Top roping and other styles
20
64
30m
5
 Trad climbing,  Top roping and other styles
10
67
24m
2
Closed The Swamp Cliff
2
4
20m
Historical Artificial
4
15
25m

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Activity

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