The total distance is approximately 10 kilometers and can be done in 5 - 6 hours, depending on the mode of transportation, number and duration of stops and side-trips taken. The first 3.5 k is on a logging road. Upon leaving the road you will encounter wet and boggy conditions, and thick tuckamore (tuckamore: thick growths of stunted spruce or fir that is almost impenetrable). Following moose trails through the tuckamore is the easiest and most times the only way through it. Deep holes and cracks in the rocky ridges may also be hidden by dense vegetation. Walk carefully to avoid falling into them, and suffering serious injury. Navigation equipment such as map and compass is a necessity. If you venture onto the route without it, getting lost is a real possibility.
• General description: This hike can be done by a person of average physical fitness and novice level hiking experience. Advanced knowledge of topographic map reading is required, in order to understand the Universal Transverse Mercator grid reference numbers and compass bearings given in the route guide. A concise explanation of grid reference is usually printed in the right margin of most Canadian topographic maps. The total distance is approximately 10 kilometers and can be done in 5 - 6 hours, depending on the number and duration of stops and side-trips taken. The first 3.5 k is on a logging road. Upon leaving the road you will encounter wet and boggy conditions, and thick tuckamore. Following moose trails through the tuckamore is the easiest and most times the only way through it. Deep holes and cracks in the rocky ridges may also be hidden by dense vegetation. Walk carefully to avoid falling into them, and suffering serious injury. Navigation equipment such as map and compass is a necessity. If you venture onto the route without it, getting lost is a real possibility. Before you leave, make sure someone knows your route plan and report back to them upon your return. • Location of Crash Hill: Crash Hill, is located near Black Duck Siding, which is approximately 15 kilometers from Stephenville, and 10 kilometers from the Trans Canada Highway, along route 460. The UTM grid reference for Crash Hill is: 392783 meters east, 5384182 meters north, as determined in the field using a GPS. In the remainder of this guide the 6-digit UTM grid reference number is given in the format as explained in the right margin of the map. 6-digit UTM grid references are given to help pinpoint major points on the route and may be used with a GPS to aid in navigation. It would also be useful to plot your course on the map before leaving. • Topographic map needed: All references to Jeanette are from Canadian 1:50 000 topographic map "Harry's River 12 B/9", Universal Transverse Mercator grid zone 21 U, square identification UD, mean declination 1985 (center of map) 24º 00' W, annual change decreasing 6.5'. Compass adjustments must be made accordingly in order to navigate accurately. The bearings can be read as they are given in order to verify location on the map. Note that elevation is given in feet and horizontal distance is given in meters and kilometers. Older Canadian topographic maps are printed like that. More recent publications give both horizontal and vertical measurements in meters. Maps may be available from: Canada Map Office, Surveys and Mapping Branch, Department of Energy Mines and Resources, Ottawa, Canada, K1A 0E9 • Gear and equipment suggestions:
A 25 liter day pack should be sufficient to carry all you will need for a day trip. Carry a camera, binoculars, standard first aid kit, snacks or a substantial lunch if you intend to make it a day. A walking staff may be among your list of essential equipment. Since the route is not marked beyond the end of the logging road, a map and compass must be used to navigate the described route. Depending on the season, the amount of clothing you need will vary. Determine the weather forecast before departure, and act accordingly. During any season, dress for the current weather conditions. However, be prepared for sudden changes in the weather. Carry extra clothing such as wind pants and jacket, even in the summer. At least, light hiking boots are recommended; waterproof boots would be better,some parts of the route are wet. Water is present in several small ponds, numerous bogs and small streams. It is highly recommended that you carry your own drinking water, or include some means of filtering or otherwise purifying available water. Giardia is rare but not unknown in this area. In addition to beaver and muskrat, larger animals such as moose are active in and around the waterways. Human activity in this area is somewhat intense. However, within a kilometer of the summit you will enter almost pristine wilderness, making the ugliness somewhat bearable!
• Wildlife: Moose sightings are highly likely. Black bears inhabit this region. Smaller animals such as fox, coyotes, beaver, muskrat and squirrel, as well as a variety of birds, make this area their home. On the mountain tops you may spot rock ptarmigan (partridge), but arctic hare would be a rarity. • Minimum environmental impact policy: You are advised to observe a minimum environmental impact policy. Avoid open fires, leave wildflowers for others to enjoy, be cautious of wild animals and carry out whatever you carry in. • Detailed route guide:
To get to Crash Hill from Stephenville, drive 15 kilometers from Stephenville on route 460 to Black Duck Siding. At Black Duck Siding, turn onto the side road at UTM 979812. During the winter season, the road may not be cleared of snow beyond Black Duck Siding. Depending on your mode of transportation and the season, you may have to walk, ski or snowshoe from here. Continue on to the intersection 974833. Turn left here and continue on about 1 kilometer to 965831. Here the road takes a right hand turn and begins to ascend the hill. If you can, and you choose to drive, take the route to the right. This route follows a gentler slope and meets with the other road at the top. Follow the logging road to 944847. It is at this point you must leave it. A logging trail, now a washed out gully, may be visible on the left, 286º. Follow it for about 300 meters to a clearing. Continue through the clearing for about 500 meters to the edge of a tuckamore grove 935848. At this point a moose trail may be visible. Follow the trail through the tuckamore to an open boggy area. Look carefully and you may see that the route takes a turn to the left. Continue on a bearing of 192º. Follow the moose trail, and the open leads around the bog, fens and tuckamore to a small bog at 930846, with a prominently large rocky outcrop on the right. Even though the summit is in clear view, you cannot easily approach it directly. Following open leads and moose trails through the tuckamore groves, keep on a bearing of 225º to the end of another bog at 927845. Follow the moose trails through the tuckamore and rocky ridges to the summit at 927841.
From the summit you may be able to see the crash site graveyard. On a bearing of 263º the white crosses may be seen through the treetops at 922842. The route to the site is dictated by the vegetation and terrain. Allow two extra hours if you plan to visit. The tuckamore makes the scramble difficult and time consuming. There is no best route. Using what you already know about tuckamore and moose trails, decide whether you want to go, then pick your own best route as you go!
The route back to the starting point is, of course, the same as you followed up. It is recommended that you not try to make "shortcuts". The route described is the best we could find, having tried several others on many different ascents.
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