A good conversation starter or the best way to bring people together is through a common interest – be it sports, games, philosophy, food, etc. With that in mind, it’s not all work and no play for us here at Tempo.
Our Tempo hiking group has always kept the annual hiking mission to conquer mountains in Iceland over the years. As our team in Montreal continues to grow, we decided to take the mission across continent — from Iceland to Canada — to strengthen our connection through our shared passion for a good hike and a good story.
While technology may have enabled a collaboration platform for distributed teams to work together, nothing beats spending quality time face-to-face.
Planning for the mission: Let’s find some beautiful place and get lost
The planning for this trip began in January 2017 when we decided to organize several hikes for our teams in Iceland and Montreal as part of fostering team building, development, and bonding.
In case you don’t know it yet, Le Fjord-du-Saguenay is one of Quebec’s most beautiful fjords. Therefore, it wasn’t a difficult decision when it came to choosing a location for our hiking mission. The hike at Parc National Fjord-du-Saguenay lasted 3 days on a trail spanning over 27 km with a total elevation of 1345m
Parc National du Fjord-du-Saguenay is a national park located in Quebec, Canada and is a major attraction in Eastern North America. It is a witness to the movement of the icebergs that moulded this area’s stunning landscapes and mysterious fjords.
The Parc adjoins the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park for over 100 km (60 mi.) in length, this inlet etched in stone and inundated by the sea, is the longest fjord in the world at this low latitude. For over 30 years, the park has protected and showcased both fjord’s banks that stretch over 326.8 km2 of protected territory.
The Fjord-possible mission
DAY 1: Take a Hike
At 9:30 AM, our group of 17 hikers drove in 3 cars from Montreal (Quebec) towards L’Anse-de-Roche in Saguenay (Quebec) for approximately 7 hours. On our way we made a lunch stop in Quebec City and another one in Malbaie (Charlevoix) to admire the iconic scenes of the St. Lawrence river.
The ferry crossing at the Tadoussac–Baie-Sainte-Catherine lasted about 10 minutes, giving us a break from driving during which we got to admire, on one side, the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord, and on the other side, the Tadoussac Bay.
We arrived at L’Anse-de-Roche around 6:30 PM where we met our two guides and then headed out on the 2-km hike to our first cabin. 10-15 min to the hike carrying our hiking backpacks and sleeping bags, we were caught up by the dark and we began to descend into the valley of l’Anse-de-Roche shining our headlights up and down to find the best place to cross through the rocky footpaths. After over 30 minutes of walking through the dark, we finally made it to our first cabin ‘l’Anse Creuse’ with a sigh of relief “home sweet home”.
DAY 2: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Our second day started around 7:30 AM with a delicious breakfast containing authentic pancakes and maple syrup accompanied by coffee, wild berries and tons of smiles. We were all excited to start our first adventure of the 15-km hike. We packed our bags, laced up our hiking boots, put our best smiles on and we let the new adventure begin. Our first day of the hike started around 9:00 AM on a gradual intermediate to difficult uphill trail, zigzagging to decrease the gradient of some of the very steep ascents.
During this hike we stumbled upon burbling water streams and we discovered some of the most beautiful viewpoints in Quebec. Our first stop of the day was at l’Anse à la Barque after 3 hours of steep hiking. During this stop, we had lunch on top of the rocks near the fjord’s water and the exposed sea-weed covered bed and we also took time to enjoy the sun and the stunning viewpoints of the fjord and the surrounding mountains.
After this energizing stop we continued the steep hike for another 4 hours until we reached out our second cabin around 6:15 PM, right on time, to watch the evaporating sunset and the magnificent tri-colored rainbow sky.
Our 3rd and last day of the trip started around 9:30 AM towards the Tadoussac village, our last destination in Saguenay. Accompanied by our guide Alex who showed us different animal tracks and thoroughly shared information about the varieties of mushrooms and vegetations that lives in the park.
The hike started uphill for a couple of hours and then it got easier for a little while. The weather was stunning, sunny & warm, and our 2 guides were exceptional! We thoroughly enjoyed hearing our guides explaining how a glacier created the fjord and the spectacular sceneries. In about 2 hours to our last destination, the experience got ‘stungy’ when some of us were being attacked by bees but we all made through alive :).
On the way to our final destination we made few stops, one to have lunch and several others to take pictures and to appreciate, one last time, the spectacular views before heading back to Montreal. We spent the last hour of the hike descending towards Tadoussac village where we had our 3 cars waiting for us.
“In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took,
but how many moments took your breath away.”
― Shing Xiong
In the end, each of us went back home to our families and regular lives but our minds and hearts were filled with beautiful and cherishable memories that will last a lifetime. We have met so many amazing people during this trip and we shared together great memories and laughter and as much as we enjoyed this experience together, as much as we were ready to come home and reunite with family and friends but with hope that we will meet each other again soon.
Until our next adventure my friends, be blessed!