Day 155 of a 365-Day Portrait of Canada: L’Ile D’Orleans, Ice Climbing and Ice Canoes in Quebec

We stood and watched this young man scramble up the side of the “sugar loaf” at the Montmorency Falls five or six times before he made it to the top.


Ice Climbers


Many Quebecois are very active during the winter. These people were out at 8:00 am on a Saturday morning to enjoy the warmer weather.


This was a steep climb. We talked to some men who were going to climb this part but said that it was too vertical for them.


This observation bridge was busy both times we visited the Falls. It would probably be just packed in the summer months.


Ready to Climb


These ice climbers are from Mont Tremblant, but they came to climb at the Falls for the first time.


Ice Canoe Race across the St. Lawrence from Quebec City to Levis

We were lucky enough to catch the ice canoe races. Had we caught the earlier ferry from Quebec City to Levis, we would have driven off without even knowing that they were on! This competition was called the Grand Defi Des Glaces (Big Ice Challenge), and this was its 14th year running.


We asked organizers if the approaching cargo ship would be held back to wait for the canoe race to finish. “No, they train to deal with the ships passing by them, they’re used to it.”


Quebec City was a stunning backdrop for the ice canoe races.


The mens teams had to cross the St. Lawrence five times.


Onlookers of the race.


Pushing Over Chunks of Ice


Three races were going on at once. The men’s elite, the women’s elite and the sport races.



You would have to be in impeccable shape to participate in this sport.


With so many canoes racing at once, there were a number of collisions and near misses.


The races were very intense and exciting to watch.


This is a strategic sport…teams have to figure out the best way to get across.


Paddling on the Open Water


The Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours Roman Catholic church in L’Islet Sur Mer was built in 1768.


A naval boat is perched on the banks of the St. Lawrence River at the Musée Maritime du Québec in L’Islet.


Manoir Vincelotte Campground and Cabin Rentals Office


400 year old mill. We spotted this round building beside a bunch a run down cabins and stopped to ask how old it was. In Quebec you never know what misplaced or forgotten piece of history you will come across.


Quebec leads Canada in dairy production, with an amazing 10266 dairy farms! This is 38% of the milk produced in Canada. The countryside is dotted with scenes like this one.



1 Response to “Day 155 of a 365-Day Portrait of Canada: L’Ile D’Orleans, Ice Climbing and Ice Canoes in Quebec”

  1. March 9, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Wow, that canoe racing looked very exciting and a little chilly. lol I wonder how many of the racers have gone for unscheduled dip. brrr

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