One early February afternoon I received a call from a good friend asking if I was interested in joining him to climb the Corps de Garde mountain. Adventurous as always I readily accepted and we met at the foot of the mountain 30 minutes later to start the climb. Somehow, I neglected the fact that I hadn’t been quite physically active since 3 months and that would be quite a challenge.
After some strenuous effort and some 15 minutes climb to the first platform where the rest of the path was believed to be easier, I could no longer bear it. I nearly blacked out and my legs could no longer carry me further. I told the guys to continue without me and after some rest I went back home… sad, tired, and in revolt with myself for my failure. I regretted this mishap and decided to catch up again with my physical exercises, in mind to conquer this mountain again.
In early April this same year and with a work colleague, we set off for another attempt. Somehow, having not correctly calculated the trip time we ended up only half way after which we had to descend so as not to get back in complete darkness. Another failed attempt! Well, 50% only since we made half the trip and to say, it was very entertaining and a great (half) climb. (Gallery below)
For my part I was determined to get back to this adventure and make it to the complete top of the mountain, and two weeks later, in the same month, we made another attempt, and setting off two hours earlier that the previous attempt. And had a new companion joining us as well. So it was me, and my two other work colleagues.
The weather was at its best and everything started well. After an hour or so I was still full of energy and nothing could stop me! So I believed but after arriving at half the trip (again), this new companion of ours could no longer continue, not really due to physical constraints but at this point of the journey and climb, the path was much steeper and agility was somewhat required, which he believed he lacked. I requested him to stay and rest at this point while the other two of us continued and we would meet him again on our way back.
The fellowship was reduced to the two of us, and after another 5 minutes climb, my other colleague gave up as well. I told him to join the other guy and I would quickly continue the trip and meet back with them a little after. I wasn’t ready to give up since I was determined to reach the end on this 3rd climb attempt. (Gallery above)
Since I was now all alone, I could rush and make it in time, and was at my own pace. And nothing could stop me. Somehow, after this point where I left the guys, the whole level changed completely. It was not just a straight path towards the top but a combination of narrow paths, forest paths, steep descends, steep ascends… just pure adventure, and I was loving it even more. For sure, the difficulty level rose a lot but it wasn’t time to turn back.
After some 30 to 45 minutes I finally made it to the end of the path and I was overwhelmed. The view was astounding and this inner satisfaction of having reached the complete top made me very happy. I snapped a few shots and packed back.
Well, at the end of the day it was a great climb and I was ready to make it again, on another occasion of course. Our next target: ‘Le Pouce’ mountain.
As a side note, for those interested to climb Corps de Garde Mountain, there are two accesses. One at Trefle and the other one near La Ferme Reservoir (notice Green Marker on map below). The latter is lengthier but less steep climbs, and the one at Trefle is steeper but shorter.
You can download this map by viewing fullscreen and download KML from the share window.