AKOR Expedition Complete: 1,500km to Nain

Six young Canadian adventurers have completed their 1,500km canoe journey through northern Quebec and Labrador.

They set out in early June from Schefferville, a former iron ore town in interior Quebec. They descended the De Pas and George Rivers to Ungava Bay before making their way up the Koroc River and through the Torngat mountains to the Labrador coast.

Giroux and Moreau on the De Pas River in June. Photo: Expedition AKOR

While in the Torngats, the team scrambled up 1,652m Mount d’Iberville (also known as Mt. Caubvick), the highest point in Quebec/Labrador. Two members of the expedition, Sarah-Jeanne Giroux and Philippe Poulin, then left to return home. Pier-Luc Morissette, Guillaume Moreau, Nicolas Roulx and Charles Fortin paddled a further 500km south along the open Atlantic. After a final 70km battle against headwinds, they arrived on July 12 in Nain, the northernmost town on the Labrador coast.

The George River just before Ungava Bay. Photo: Expedition AKOR

The northern Labrador coast is dense with polar bears, and every night, they set up a perimeter alarm fence in case a curious or predatory bear wandered into camp while they slept. Surprisingly, they did not report a single sighting.

The team collected 50 wood samples under the guidance of Moreau, a trained forestry expert. Photo: Expedition AKOR

The expedition will now rest in Nain before returning to Quebec City. There, they will give the wood samples that they collected on the partly forested subarctic rivers to Laval University: Analysis of the wood will help scientists understand how climate change is affecting the region.

Martin Walsh is a freelance writer and wildlife photographer based in Da Lat, Vietnam. A history graduate from the University of Nottingham, Martin's career arc is something of a smörgåsbord. A largely unsuccessful basketball coach in Zimbabwe and the Indian Himalaya, a reluctant business lobbyist in London, and an interior design project manager in Saigon. He has been fortunate enough to see some of the world. Highlights include tracking tigers on foot in Nepal, white-water rafting the Nile, bumbling his way from London to Istanbul on a bicycle, feeding wild hyenas with his face in Ethiopia, and accidentally interviewing Hezbollah in Lebanon. His areas of expertise include adventure travel, hiking, wildlife, and half-forgotten early 2000s indie-rock bands.

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