David Rivest & Catherine Lalande
Chasing Adventures in Our Van
May 6th, 2018 marks the day we left for the adventure of our life. On a mission to drive from Montreal to Alaska, and onward to Argentina in our 1977 VW Bus named Octave, we will be living on the road for the next two years. Hitting close to 20 countries we are challenging ourselves to see the world through a new lens and live life to the fullest. We climb, hike, trail run, and paddle as much as we can, making each day a different experience than the last. We want to open our lives for others to be a part of, so please accept this invitation into a snapshot of our first two months of our van life!
Leaving our condo in the hands of a new tenant, we drove for six days straight to Canmore, Alberta; it marked the perfect destination-playground to begin our adventures. While in Canmore, we rock climbed at several different crags, and found the highlight our day came from the unbeatable view at Barrier Mountain.
Spirits were high as we continued our journey and set our eyes on bagging two spectacular peaks: Ha Ling Peak and Lady McDonald. Inspired to get moving early we made it to the top in time to catch the sunrise! The cool mountain air at that time of day can cut through you like a knife, so we were thankful to have our Salewa Jackets
After about a week spent in Alberta meeting new people and exploring the city, we drove North on the legendary Icefield Parkway. Mount Edith Cavell was closed for trail work, so we hiked the Sulfur Skyline trail instead. As we ascended from the base to the top, we quickly realized that our summer apparel was no longer appropriate. Armed with our Ultra Train backpack, we were able to keep all the essentials to stay warm without adding extra weight. It was incredibly windy at the top, so we were excited that our gear management was dialed with Salewa!
Just an hour’s drive West of Jasper stands the renowned Mount Robson. Before setting off on our van life adventure, we were dead set on venturing through Berg Lake to get the base of Mount Robson. Weighing in at 28.5 miles round trip, with just over a half mile of elevation gain, we were ready to test out our new Salewa shoes. With our camping gear in our backpacks and Salewa boots on our feet, we finished the hike in three amazing days. We don’t know much about high alpine climbing, but it sure made us want to climb its summit after feeling the comfort and performance our shoes offered!
Back from Robson, and after a few days on Vancouver Island, we stopped for a week in Squamish, British Columbia- Canada’s climbing paradise! We could have literally spent the summer there and still had hundreds of routes left to climb. Our best memory from our time in Squamish was when we climbed Skywalker up by Shannon Falls; what an amazing pitch graded as a 5.8 trad. It was hot and sunny, and took us a few hours to top out, but we were again prepared with our lightweight Salewa day pack that held our snacks and 2L camelback to keep us energized for the walk back down.
With Squamish in the books, we drove North to Pemberton and stopped at Joffre Lakes National Park. We slept in the parking lot and woke up early the next day to test out our Lite Train shoes and run the trails. Our early start gave us an opportunity to avoid the mass of tourists that flooded in and enjoy the beautiful 2.3 mile uphill path that brings you to three different glacier lakes. It was certainly much easier running down than up, but we were extremely impressed by the performance of our shoes!
After two memorable months in Alberta & British Columbia, we are now on our way to Yukon and Alaska! Octave is running strong, and our hiking boots and paddles are ready to move. We can’t wait to see what these places have to offer! For more details about our journey, we invite you to have a look at our website : Destination Aventure