Posted by: geonarcissa | June 7, 2010

King of the Mountain – A tale of terror and triumph.

On Friday, my neighbours took my son for the day. Now, being the mother of an almost-four-year-old is kind of exhausting, so I used my free day to…

… climb a mountain to find a geocache.

After running some errands, Taoiseach and I set out for Gatineau Park to find Quebec’s oldest active geocache, King of the Mountain. There are numerous ways to get to the cache. Naturally, we took the character-building, arduous, death-defying, straight-up way. Horizontal distance to the cache from starting point? About 600m. Vertical distance? Just above 200m.

Sadly, I do not have a lot of pictures from en-route, because I spent most of the climb clinging to trees and rocks, trying not to fall backwards to my death. Grappling with the camera wasn’t going to help my chances.

Partway up, we found a safe place for a rest and I took these pretty shots of the scenery.

Gatineau Park - King Mountain

Gatineau Park - King Mountain

We were pretty close to the top when this guy hopped onto the ground in front of me with a big PLOP. He was fairly big – larger than my hand. I had the telephoto lens on and didn’t want to change it just then, so I did what I could to get a decent shot of him. He seemed to have some weird damage on the side closest to me.

Gatineau Park - King Mountain

We made it to the top. I was very sweaty and a little out of breath, Taoiseach was tired but somehow not sweaty. The sky was starting to get a little pink – it was past 7pm – so we just spent a few minutes taking in the view and headed back down. And yes, my face is nearly as red as by Canadiens shirt.

Gatineau Park - King Mountain

Gatineau Park - King Mountain

Gatineau Park - King Mountain

Looking down on the Ottawa Valley from the Eardley Escarpment – if any of these pictures are worth clicking on to see them larger, this is it.

Gatineau Park - King Mountain

Before we headed down, I took one last artsy shot through the trees.

Gatineau Park - King Mountain

Sadly, this geocache won’t be there for much longer. It’s within a designated conservation zone, and the NCC has asked for all geocaches to be removed from this portion of Gatineau Park by July. Thankfully, only 30 or so caches are on the list, but it’s still sad to say goodbye to older geocaches with so much history. Just yesterday, Nikon-Guy and MacWhat encountered a bear on their way to this cache!

Maybe with time, the NCC will recognize that this park’s true value is the open green space it provides to the residents of Ottawa-Gatineau within a short drive. It’s not a pristine wilderness by any stretch of the imagination – it’s been mined and logged and developed for over a century – but it is beautiful.

Gatineau Park - King Mountain



  1. […] see that geonarcissa has posted about visiting the oldest active geocache in Quebec last Friday. She mentions that this cache is […]

  2. omg, Im glad YOU didn’t run into the bear! yikes! You take awesome pictures btw!

  3. oh well done you – I would have maybe made it one tenth of the way up before collapsing in an exhausted heap 🙂

  4. I had wanted to visit this cache but now is gone and archived!!!


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