Expédition traversée des deux Mario

Let’s be honest: Getting out a sleeping bag on a Saturday morning is always less interesting when you sleep outside during winter. When we open our eyes, we quickly see that the ceiling of our tents is covered with a thin layer of snow. Once out of the little dwellings, all is white. A fine snow shows what the day will bring and calms our eyes.

The day’s routine begins with a toilet stop, breakfast, tweeting with our Rio Tinto “friends”, preparing our sleds and dismantling the camp. Then it’s time to walk towards our next camp location for our second night.

Today, not once but twice, it was really what we call in the jargon a “white out”, the blinding whiteness. We had to move forward using our compasses to stay on the right path since the great whiteness was all we saw. Quite a unique atmosphere!

The weather was totally different than yesterday. Snowflakes were falling on our heads. There were all kinds of winds. The thermometer was reading around -15 °C, excluding the wind-chill factor. The challenge was the snow that was making the path more difficult to ride on with our sleighs. We must not forget that the level of fatigue is increasing. Also, our morning survey shows that 50 percent of the gang slept well compared to the rest … surprising! Fortunately, the second night is usually a lot easier.

The number of kilometres is dropping as we progress along the path at a speed of approximately 2.5 km/h, which will enable us to complete an additional 13 km for the second leg of our journey. It was a long day!

There is a festive ambience at the camp tonight. Routine set in, the unknown secrets of winter camping are disappearing. However, the wind is tough in the evening, but the morale is good as tomorrow we will reach our final goal!

The second evening is always the most special to the Double défi des deux Marios. In a large dome, a vibrant testimony is usually given to the participants by our two Mario’s. Since Mario Bilodeau is absent this year, Mario Cantin, assisted by Marie-Ève, a doctor who has participated in the Foundation’s therapeutic adventures, is telling us about the impact and the On the Tip of the Toes Foundation’s mission.

Mario also took the time to share with us the challenge he took on last spring as he climbed Mount Everest. The lesson to be remembered is that whatever goal is set, the important thing is to grow through our experiences and live it to the fullest.

It was under this great testimony and a Sortilège shooter that we set out for a good night’s sleep. Let’s hope the adventurers have a great last night’s sleep before the end of the expedition!

Dave Jean, Blogger and Photographer

On the Tip of the Toes Foundation