Place Louis Babin
"Louis Babin Place", a climbing site with a negative slope, that I just named myself in honour of this late mountain climber who loved this place. It is used as a training site and its best feature is the negative slope, offering an interesting challenge to mountain climbers. It is located just beside the St-Lawrence river and almost under the Pierre Laporte bridge.
It is refered to by climbing enthousiasts as "Champlain".
A french commemorative plaque is riveted to the rock and can be translated as:
In memory of Louis Babin 1949-1993.
Louis Babin passed away on February 22nd 1993 in Quebec city. He was a pioneer of modern mountain climbing in Quebec. He founded the first climbing school in the seventies. His teaching of rock and ice climbing was based on the ethics of the quest for perfection of oneself regardless of the level. He was one of those men for which authenticity and intense living were fundamental. He loved this cliff and its surroundings. The arrangement of this place remains his work and his faithfull friends', who put in numerous hours of joy and work. We remember. The friends of Louis Babin. Quebec, June 20th, 1993.
A specialised Internet site on this cliff describes its features in detail: http://www.drtopo.com/quebec/167
Entre les Ponts de Québec et Pierre-Laporte
Sous le Pont de Québec, Québec, Canada
Quebec is the largest province in Canada and the only one with French as its official language. It takes its name from an Algonquin word meaning "narrows" where the St. Lawrence River cuts deeply through rock cliffs.
Quebec has strong nationalistic feelings about its identity within Canada and has almost seceded twice (in fact, Quebec has held two referendums in order to seperate but it was not THAT successful.. though in 1996 it was really close...). It recently (as of 2006) acquired symbolic status as a Quebecois nation within Canada.
Quebec was founded in 1763 when France signed Canada over to Britain; the ceremonial head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, and the country's government functions as a parliamentary democracy.
That being said, we are free to talk about poutine.
Poutine is an amazing gastronomic assault weapon invented by a truck driver in 1957. If the Abominable Snowman could be a food, it would be poutine. Poutine is the heavy artillery of the food domain.
Like the foundation to the house, the hull to the ship, like a Red Cross blood drive to Count Dracula, is poutine to Canadians.
Now let me stop here to tell you: this is not the only amazing food combination that a truck driver has come up with. In Pittsburgh there's a place called Primanti's that serves sandwiches with both french fries AND coleslaw piled on top. They're too big to pick up even with both hands. Legend has it that a trucker with no time to spare ordered a plate of food, mashed it all between two pieces of bread and took it on the road.
Well, poutine has a similarly glorious beginning except it's about sixteen million times better (and that's saying a lot).
A hungry truck driver came into Fernand LaChance's restaurant one day and ordered LaChance's special potatos and cheese curds combination. Then he asked for a side order of gravy and POURED IT RIGHT INTO THE BAG ON TOP OF THE FRIES!!!
The earth shook, stars fell from the sky and a few deep sea creatures stirred in the muck as he plunked down at a table, ripped the bag apart and ate the whole thing.
Thus poutine was born and it is here to stay, probably in your arteries somewhere next to the bacon. Empires may crumble and fall, mountains may wear down to dust, glaciers may creep across the face of the deserts but a Canadian's love for poutine will echo onward through the madness of space, for all time.
Text by Steve Smith.