Mt. Caubvick is the highest mountain in the Torngat Mountains, located on the northern tip of Labrador and eastern Quebec called the Ungava peninsula. The Torngats are one of Canada's best kept secrets and boasts some of the highest mountains in Eastern Canada, including 7 peaks in excess of 1500 meters. Caubvick is the undisputed highest point in both Labrador and Quebec reaching a height of 1652m or 5420 feet.
In order to climb Caubvick one must be prepared to climb 1400 meters or roughly 85% of the peak. Mt. Caubvick has three main ridges they are called the Korak, Minaret and Newfoundland ridges. The most frequently used path to the top is via the steep and at times exposed Minaret ridge. Mt. Caubvick is one of the few peaks in the Torngats that has permanent glaciers. The Korak ridge is the most exposed route to the summit. It has been said that the ridge is MUCH more exposed then Borah Peak or Mt. Katahdin. For a section the trail narrows to only 15-20cm (6-8in), Which takes a very stout hearted individual to walk or even straddle. The Newfoundland ridge has been only climbed one time
In Quebec, Mt. Caubvick is known as Mont D'Iberville… which offended many Labradorans as D'Iberville mounted many punishing sorties against the people of Labrador in the late 17th century. The official provincial boundary neatly bisects the peak in two; the summit proper in fact.... While the higehst point of Caubvick is located in Labrador, Quebec's highest point D'Iberville is only 30cm lower (and only a few meters away). Both provinces claim the peak as their highest point.
The Torngats are named after the Inuit God of the wind and the name when translated means 'place of the wind devil'. The area is known for its notoriously harsh and even brutal storms. The window to visit is July and August before and after the weather is far too dicey.
There is NO road access into the park. Visitors arrive by Twin Otter or Float Planes or can take a 400km boat trip form the nearest village Nain.
Because of the mountains remoteness, the weather and other logistical difficulties most chose to visit the area with a tour operator. Most expedition like tours last from one to two weeks and can run from $1800-3000 per person. One such tour operator www.explorenorth.com which one can visit for more information.
You can also explore the park on your own its simply important to plan, plan and plan like any trip into a remote area of the world. Flights can be arranged out of major eastern cities or from Newfoundland itself. All flights I believe stop in Nain irregardless whether one is taking a boat or plane up to Saglak Bay.
The Torngats are part of a 22000 square kilometer protected wilderness area that is in the process of becoming a National Park. The park is home to one of the largest herds of Caribou on earth (in excess of 300 000), golden and bald eagles, wolves, black bears, the occasional polar bear, peregrine falcons and the endangered Harlequin duck.
The traditional route through the Torngats is from Saglak Bay to Navchak Fjord a distance of roughly 100km that takes between 6-9 days to cover and follows the course of the Steeker and Korok River Valleys. Caubvick is located near the Steeker River along a corridor valley, south of Navchak fjord and north of the Korok river.
The mountain was first climbed in 1973 by two men named Goetze and Adler via the saddle known as Cadillac Pass and the Newfoundland Ridge. It is selom climbed even these days due to its remoteness and the difficulties involved in simply getting there.
To get to the Torngats one must first fly out of Halifax, St. John's or Saint John up to the village of Nain where you will either take a float or Twin Otter plane or take a long boat ride up to Saglak Bay.*To view a map of the Torngats simply go to the Cirque Mountain page.
From Saglak Bay where the journey begins it is several days along the Steeker/Korak River Valley before you can see Caubvick and gain entrance to the small unnamed valley it occupies. There are no established trails in the park most people pick their across streams and along the valley. The information on this peak is more than a little sparse though topos are available more than likely through the federal or provincial government. I will try and get the information ASAP.
As previously mentioned the mountain straddles the border of Quebec and Labrador and is only a day trip out from the Steeker/Korok river Valley to climb it. The climb will be a long day and will in itself require 6-9 hours roundtrip. Most climbers ascend via the steep Newfoundland ridge which is very exposed near the top. Often teams rope up for the final 2-300 vertical meters.
All of the mountains in the Torngats are treeless, so the climbs are straightforward up and over rock... also most of the areas largest peaks are no more than a day trip away. So as long as you make allowances for bad weather and day trips to climb there should be little in the way of logistical difficulties.
The Torngats are one of Canada's most unsullied areas and natural beauty abounds so please respect the park and its flora and fauna. The mountains themselves are about 220km long and stretch at their widest around 100km along Labrador's northern tip.
At this time there are no permits required (as far as I know). Though in the near future it will be a National park and the fees are as follows: For Backcountry camping it is $8-10 Cdn per person per night and a seasonal pass for the year 2005 will run $63 Cdn with an increase of seven dollars (up to $70) planned for 2006.
There are no seasonal closures... simply put the only time people really go into the Torngats is from the end of June to the end of August. That is the two month window that Mother Nature provides for those who wish to see the beautiful valleys and mountains of the Torngats.
It is asked that you pack out what you pack in... encounters with bears have never been documented. The polar bears stick to the coastal regions and never venture into the valleys. Simply leave the animals alone and try not to trample any of the newly emerging flowers and plants underfoot.
To find out more info. about the Torngats (and outfitters) you can contact Newfoundland and Lbarador Tourism at 1 800 563 6353 or email them at email@example.com.
When To Climb
The only time of the year that one can climb in the Torngats is from the end of June to the end of August... its as simple as that. Unless one is made of money and is prepared to risk their lives flying into the notorious storms of the region.
Camping is allowed, there are no official camping areas, though it is advised that one camp up on the mountain slopes to avoid the worst of the bugs.
The only fees are the ones already mentioned in the Red Tape and those have yet to be implemented. Though the costs involved in simply getting there are more than enough.
One thing to be careful of is the bugs... they come out in droves during the brief Ungavan summer. Experienced hikers stick to high ridges or the upper slopes to avoid the worst of the plague, it is also mentioned that you simply keep up a brisk and constant pace. Bug nets and a tent with zippers are also essential to ensure that this beautiful trip doesn't become a nightmare.
The best way to check the weather is to go to www.theweathernetwork.com, click on Canadian cities and then head to Labrador and Newfoundland. From there the cities are listed alphabetically and you can find the weather for the city of Nain... this is the closest you will most likely be able to get.