In 234 days, Nicolas Roulx and Guillaume Moreau recount their journey across Canada from north to south, from Eureka Station, on Ellesmere Island, to Point Pelee, Ontario. They will travel 7,600 kilometers by ski, canoe and bike between April and November 2021.
But there is also a friendship that disintegrates during the canoe section, a difficult moment that Nicolas Roulx tries to approach as delicately as possible.
It was essentially him who wrote the nearly 500-page book, with the help of notes from Guillaume Moreau and Jacob Racine and newsletters written by his brother Dominic Roulx during the long expedition.
“I have always written,” says Nicolas Roulx. I am very happy with the result, but above all it shows to what extent I am incapable of having a spirit of synthesis. »
The book is, however, very easy to read thanks to short chapters which often end with an element of suspense.
“I really like contrasts in tone,” explains Nicolas Roulx. I like it to have a sustained language in a sentence, then a coronation in the next sentence. I find that it keeps you going, it makes you want to read more. »
You have to go to the antipodes to follow Caroline Côté’s story, The Call of the Antarctic. In December 2022 and January 2023, the young woman will travel alone 1,100 kilometers between Hercules Inlet, near the coast, and the South Pole. She set a women’s speed record, a crossing of 33 days, 2 hours and 53 minutes.
Caroline Côté devotes a large part of the book to preparing for the expedition. “It’s the most important part, but also the most stressful,” she says in an interview. If it’s done poorly, the rest won’t go very well. »
She takes the opportunity to give tips and advice that outdoor enthusiasts who are planning their own little adventure can follow. It also mentions studies and research on various topics related to expeditions in hostile environments.
“It’s also part of my lectures. I like people to leave with perhaps more knowledge about polar environments or about humans, or even about the cold. »
Shipping is difficult, obviously. The weather conditions can be brutal, the cold causes equipment to break down, you have to be very vigilant: a forgotten detail can lead to a disaster. But Caroline Côté doesn’t want to talk about extreme expeditions.
There is therefore room for happiness and wonder.
Writing the book, begun in his small tent beaten by the winds, allowed him to take stock of his expedition. “I wondered if I would have been proud of myself if I hadn’t broken the record. At the time, I would have said no. But over time, I realize that I would have been proud to simply be able to complete the adventure. »