By Daniel Savouyaud, guide for Terre Boréale since 2021
After guiding for two seasons for Terre Boréale, I realize how difficult it is to accurately express the level of difficulty of the trips offered by the company. Although the ratings are quite fair, many participants find themselves surprised beyond what they had imagined. And for good reason, it is not easy to perceive the challenges of such trips for anyone who has never explored the mountain off trail. And the least experienced are not necessarily the most surprised. Why? Because, more than treks, Terre Boréale trips are adventures, and an adventure happens above all in the head.
“We literally make our way through a wild mountain, which has not been arranged for us in any way”
To be honest, I have myself been a little surprised during my first guiding experience for Terre Boréale. Although I knew what it was about, it was only when I got there that I took the exact measure and realized the uniqueness of these trips. A subtle combination of immensity, a feeling of isolation, challenging passages and varied terrain. Think about it, we literally make our way through a wild mountain, which has not been arranged for us in any way! Some could be destabilized by the terrain, by the steep descents, others by the climbs, the crossings of rocks, the feeling of isolation, or even the height. In fact, there is nothing, in itself, that is inaccessible to a person in good physical shape, simply, the combination of unusual factors is enough to make us lose our bearings and sometimes play in our head. This directly appeals to our capacity for resilience.
“The brightest moments always follow the most difficult ones”
And this is precisely what makes the richness of these experiences. I do believe that adventures are a metaphor for life. They remind us that nothing is linear and above all that the brightest moments always follow the most difficult ones. Within a few days of travel, we experience a rollercoaster of emotions, in relation to the effort, the weather conditions, the terrain or unexpected events. Some moments may seem insurmountable and generate frustration, fear or even discouragement… but together, we get through it and the next moment, without warning, at the bend of a ray of sunshine, a breathtaking view or a wild encounter, time stands still and the smile returns to illuminate our faces. Our vision opens again on the flamboyant spectacle that is given to us, and the happiness then felt is increased tenfold by what we have just gone through. We feel alive, accomplished, grateful.
“If I had known what it was before, I probably would have wanted to cancel the trip. But now, if I could go back in time and talk to myself, I’d tell myself to go anyway.”
Isabelle, guest, last day of the Kluane Colours trek.
So, yes, it is quite possible that you underestimate the trip and that you will be surprised, because, as with any self-respecting adventure, the challenge is hidden where you least expect it. But you also certainly underestimate your resources and your ability to face adversity. To experience it is an immense gift for oneself. The experience of a lifetime, no doubt. The most important thing is to prepare and, above all, to come with the right mindset. So, ready for the adventure?