Canada West to East Trades Pedals for Paddles

Nicolas Roulx and Catherine Chagnon have completed the cycling section of their six-month, 6,500km west-to-east journey through Canada. The section went smoothly until they approached the entrance to the Little Nahanni River. Just under 100km short of their entry point, they found the road blocked by mud and snow. They also discovered the river was still frozen — not ideal for paddling.

Friends Mathieu Beland and Guillaume Moreau have joined them for the upcoming 2,800km canoe section. However, the frozen Little Nahanni necessitated a change of plan. They would take the “rarely frequented” Flat River to join the Nahanni.

“A rather rough start, the river getting rocky and crowded, quickly gave way to smoother days,” they wrote in a recent update.

Ahead of schedule

Last week, they joined the Nahanni. It was a stressful transition; the river was flooded, with plenty of sediment and “muddy, ugly water.” The team covered 200km on the Nahanni, passing through three massive canyons, before moving to the Liard River.

The team has strict time constraints because of the logistical complications involved with different team members joining for various sections of the trip. Keeping a few days ahead of schedule is vital so the team puts in long days, paddling 10-11 hours and covering around 60km.

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh is a writer and editor for ExplorersWeb.

Martin has been writing about adventure travel and exploration for over five years.

Martin spent most of the last 15 years backpacking the world on a shoestring budget. Whether it was hitchhiking through Syria, getting strangled in Kyrgyzstan, touring Cambodia’s medical facilities with an exceedingly painful giant venomous centipede bite, chewing khat in Ethiopia, or narrowly avoiding various toilet-related accidents in rural China, so far, Martin has just about survived his decision making.

Based in Da Lat, Vietnam, Martin can be found out in the jungle trying to avoid leeches while chasing monkeys.