As of February 1st, 2023, the team formed by Simon-Pierre Goneau and Samuel Lalande-Markon will undertake the complete crossing of Quebec from south to north, by bike and ski. This 2785 km journey is expected to last 100 days and will take them through the Hudson Bay coastal ice.
The epic conclusion of a trilogy of Quebec territory
After completing two crossings of Quebec by bicycle and canoe as part of the Transtaiga expeditions (Montreal – Kuujjuaq in 2018, Blanc-Sablon – Waskaganish in 2021), this ultimate crossing represents for Samuel the culmination of a process of reflection, encounter and adventure on the Quebec territory undertaken several years ago which led him to publish the book La Quête du retour.
For his part, Simon-Pierre previously realized the winter cycling portion of the expedition as part of the Expédition Québec Plein-Nord. Stopped in 2020 by bad conditions and the pandemic near Hudson Bay, he will resume his Chisasibi route, this time swapping the fatbike for skis, with the firm intention of completing this project he has been dreaming of for nearly 15 years.
2785 km from one season to the next
The first part of the expedition will consist of 1535 km covered in two weeks from the southernmost point of Quebec, the 720 border marker, to the Cree community of Chisasibi, located at the mouth of the La Grande River, in the northern part of James Bay. From there, the duo will embark on a 1250 km ski-pulka journey that will last approximately 60 days to the northernmost point of Quebec, Cape Wolstenholme (Anaulirvik in Inuktitut). The planned itinerary will take them through the coastal zone of Hudson Bay, both on the ice and in the surrounding land. This territory is well known to the Inuit of Nunavik, the Nunavimmiut, who frequently travel there and organize the Ivakkak dog sled race. During this part of the expedition, Samuel and Simon-Pierre will visit six Inuit communities where they will resupply. Started in the middle of winter, the expedition will end in late spring, 17 parallels further north.
The team anticipates several difficulties such as the presence of polar bears, winter conditions, the uncertain condition of the ice, the cohabitation with vehicles in the bicycle section, the remoteness and the duration of the expedition.
The Transboreal Expedition is likely to be the first complete human powered crossing of Quebec. However, this requires an important context: Quebec is a recent geopolitical entity that emerged from British colonial structures. The “Ungava District” was only annexed to Quebec in 1912, without consulting the local populations. The negotiations surrounding the signing of the 1975 James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement also took place in a tense context. This integral crossing of the “Province of Quebec” is therefore problematic.
It should also be added that major displacements within this territory, and even beyond, have been part of the daily life of the Aboriginal communities that have lived there for thousands of years. Added to this are historical expeditions that presented technical difficulties incomparable to those of contemporary expeditions.
The Transboreal Expedition is first and foremost a personal project whose symbolic scope aims simply to make the territory of the “Quebec Peninsula” better known, to experience and share its beauty, and to contribute in a humble way to making the links between the South and the North a little more tangible.
An adventure told in a documentary essay
During the expedition, a small team led by director Marie France L’Ecuyer will join the two members of the expedition to capture images for a documentary film.
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A project realized with the support of many partners
A project of this scale could not be realized without the support of many partners, most of which are based in Quebec. The team would like to thank the following partners: Boréale Beer, Panorama Cycles, Telloc, Happy Yak, Air Inuit, Gym Sablon, Blivet, Arkel, 7mesh, Wintergreen Northern Wear, Asnes, Intuition Liners and Julbo.