Thursday, March 22, 2012

Climbing Canada

Brendan Quigley (l) and Frank Callaghan (r) with
Bishop Nicola de Angelis of Peterborough
In 2008 two friends, alumni of Wayside Academy in Peterborough, Ontario, planned and executed a bike trip across the Australian continent, cycling through nine dioceses while begging their way in a manner reminiscent of the Ignatian pilgrimage (of the Jesuit novitiate). They arrived 50 days later in Sydney for World Youth Day. The local newspapers covered their departure, and the young men blogged about their great adventure, which is still a great read. 

Frank and Brendan are off once more, this time planning a monumental expedition to "climb Canada", from sea level in Newfoundland to the summit of Mount Logan in the Yukon. These intrepid adventurers have been leaders in various Catholic groups and projects in their home diocese and beyond, and are an inspiration to many. They have written about their latest mission, with an appeal for support, which I append here below. Be sure to visit their expedition website and blog, and watch their trailer at the end of this post.

Dear Family and Friends,
As many of you know, back in 2008 I, along with Brendan Quigley, completed a self-propelled crossing of Australia by means of a cycling pilgrimage to World Youth Day ’08. Well, I am at it again. I am planning another large-scale expedition. This time my aim is to “climb” Canada, from its lowest point in elevation to its highest, self-propelled. Crazy… I know. To do this I will cycle from Cape SpearNewfoundland all the way to WhitehorseYukon. From there, with a professional mountaineering guide and joined by best friend Brendan Quigley, I will ski-tour some 200+ kilometers into the St. Elias Mountain Range in Kulane National Park. In a final climax to the expedition I will make a summit attempt on Canada’s highest peak, Mt. Logan.
If I were to accomplish this expedition I would be the first person to climb Canada. I’m sure many of you are thinking, “I should hope so!” Yes, it does take a certain amount of craziness to dream up something like this and then actually considered attempting it. Still, I’ve put over a year and a half of research into this expedition and I know it is possible. I also feel like I’ve got one more big expedition in me. I figure this is big enough! 
I am contacting you today to simply ask if any of you would feel comfortable to help fund the early stages of this expedition. Brendan and myself are heading to Calgary/Lake Louise to commit to some ski-mountaineering and backcountry winter travel training with our guide just following Easter in a few weeks. Without this training the expedition is not possible. I have been searching like mad for big corporate sponsorship and some companies have taken interest, however, are unwilling to commit at this time because they feel the expedition is still a little ways off. The world of corporate sponsorship is a rough one. The reality is we need some capital now for the appropriate gear and training. The last thing I’ve wanted to do is ask individuals for financing, however sometimes you have to start small.
So, I would like to make it very clear that I do not expect any funds from you and I truly wish to put no pressure on anyone to feel obligated towards doing so. Simply, if this is something you would like to sponsor I would greatly appreciate it. Any amount at all will go a long way.
Lastly, whether you are able to give funds or not, could you please spread the word about the expedition to others who might be interested. From my experience, it is word of mouth and genuine interest by ordinary people that culminates to make big dreams happen.
The easiest way to donate is to go to the expedition website Once there, you will see a “donate” link. Otherwise you could mail a cheque or cash to: 
The Great Canadian Ascent, c/o Brendan Quigley, 3081 R R#4, LakefieldON K0L 2H0 
Enjoy the site everybody, and thanks for your support regardless of money. God Bless and Keep adventuring.


  1. Amazing video, really!Congrats to the two guys! I wish I could do that as well :)

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  2. nice posting.. thanks for sharing..