I was excited to go back to Quebec after spending most of 2020 in Nova Scotia, at my tiny-house by the ocean. I’ve loved salty air since I was little and it was always difficult to take me away from it, but work led me to return to the beautiful province for winter. I was already feeling grateful about the abundant snow and to be able to reconnect with my favorite parks: the Sentiers du moulin (25 minutes from downtown Quebec), the Jacques-Cartier National Park (45 minutes from downtown Quebec) and the Vallée-du-Bras-du-Nord (70 minutes from downtown Quebec).
First snowfall of the year: my little sister Olivia, a big fan of the outdoors, and I are planning a hike in the Vallée-du-Bras-du Nord. During a pandemic, when it was impossible to see each other in our respective apartments, the valley seemed to be ideal to catch up.
With my suitcases still full, I simply went on a hike with my leggings, my GAMBA II stretch pants and my SIMONETTA coat (which I wear both in town and in the mountains), confident that they are perfect for a hike!
Leaving the city, the sky was gray for miles. Little to no chance of catching a bit of sun today!
With my head in the clouds, I go to the main reception (Roquemont sector) where I usually go for mountain biking, only to realize that I was in the wrong sector. That’s so me! The outdoor destination is made up of two sectors: the main reception of the Roquemont sector and the Shannahan reception. My favorite hikes are in the Shannahan sector.
I therefore continue my journey (the Shannahan sector is an additional 20 minutes). On the exit to the last village, I see the mountains of the valley soaked in sunshine. I’m impatient as the bright decor is already treating me right.
From the reception, we choose to take the Bras-du-Nord Trail which leads to the Delaney waterfall, then to the Delaney yurt. A must in the Valley (13 km round trip), for its versatility. The hike begins by crossing a suspension bridge. From the first few minutes, we’re invited to discover the river that we will follow throughout the path until the end at the Delaney Waterfall. The first segment of the trail, which is easily accessible, is perfect for a good chat between sisters, under the comforting hum of the fall which echoes back to us.
At the waterfall, we take a moment of silence to appreciate its presence. Delaney Falls roars under the heavy crystals of icy water that have formed in its veins.
We put our crampons on to continue our hike towards the Delaney yurt. This second segment is a straightforward climb which offers different points of view over the valley. In height this time, we can appreciate the waterfall in a different way.
Once we get at the Yurt plateau, we appreciate the magnificent view. The yurt is accessible if you need to warm up, but we choose to eat outside, seated comfortably in the snow. I’m happy I chose to wear my SIMONETTA because - thanks to its length - it covers my bum!
Now packed with vitamin D, we start our descent at the same time as the sun, to enjoy the last rays of the day.
On the way back, I return to the fog of the city. The Valley has been a true well of light: what a joy to reconnect with them (the mountain and my little sister) in these rather dark times.
Nature will always be our greatest teacher, being around it can only make us more empathetic, wiser and more resilient.
Wishing you a good chat with mother nature in 2021.