From March to November 2021, a team of 8 Quebecers accomplished the longest north-south crossing of Canada ever attempted, using only human power. This was the first time ever that people attempted to link the country’s northernmost island (Ellesmere) to the American border in southern Ontario. This journey is among the longest wilderness expeditions in Canadian history. Guillaume Moreau and Nicolas Roulx completed the entire route, while five of their friends came along for some sections.
The starting point for this daring journey was the Eureka weather station on Ellesmere Island, at the 80th parallel. Only 1300 km from the North Pole, this place is the second most northern community in the world. The station is located in northern Nunavut, a territory occupied by the Inuit people for thousands of years. It is with respect for their knowledge and culture that the crew has progressed on their territory.
The final destination was a few miles from the U.S. border in southern Ontario, in Lake Erie.
In total, it took Nicolas and Guillaume 234 days to cover the 7600 km of the expedition. On this distance, 39 parallels were crossed, of which 32 were connected in a continuous way, only with human strength.
In order to cross one of the countries covering the longest North-South distance on the planet, a diversity of means of transport was necessary.
The team had to cross the Canadian High Arctic archipelago by ski on the ice pack, from Ellesmere Island, during 64 days of progression. This section alone constitutes a major expedition.
Once they reached the continent, the team had to continue by canoe. A series of rivers and lakes in the middle of the tundra – and mostly against the current – allowed them to reach the first road on the route in 90 days, passing through the geographic center of Canada.
Once they reached the road in northern Saskatchewan, the adventurers continued on their bikes and cycled for 44 days to the southernmost part of Ontario at Point Pelee National Park on Lake Erie.
That’s 19% of the Earth’s circumference covered by human power to explore the limits of the mind, inspire perseverance and combine adventure, science and education.