5 minute read
Catherine Vaillancourt-Roy is a true adrenaline and adventure junkie. Currently in Slave Lake, Alberta, where she works in forestry, the skydiver is used to be cloistered in the woods. A few months of hard work for a few months of extreme freedom.
“In the winter, I work in forestry, says Catherine on the other end of the phone. It’s always either British Columbia or Alberta. It’s just for work, I spend a couple of months here so I can fill my bank account up and get back to the adventure! “
Catherine has had thousands of adventures over the last few years. The 33 year old woman cumulates more than 5000 parachute jumps and 350 BASE jumps. She has become one of the leading figures in BASE jumping in Canada.
She has launched from the top of the Cité de l’Énergie, the Olympic Stadium Mast, as well as from steel structures. But what makes her particularly wriggly is to launch herself into the void from gigantic cliffs.
To do this, she had to travel a lot in Europe and south of the border.
“If you want to be able to push in there, you have to at least go to the United States, where you can legally jump off several cliffs, she explains. In Quebec, we don’t really have cliffs and most of the cliffs in Alberta and British Columbia are in national parks and we have to forget about that.”
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For BASE enthusiasts, cliff jumps are therefore generally done in the United States during the fall and summer is reserved for trips to Europe. As these numerous trips are expensive, Catherine has decided to take up seasonal forestry, which offers her a better salary and more freedom. Most of the people she jumps with in Canada are parachute instructors.
“They work at the skydiving centers for six months of the year, she says. I stopped doing it full time because it didn’t allow me to do BASE jumps as often as I wanted.”
Having worked and jumped in Norway, this Scandinavian country holds a special place in Catherine Vaillancourt’s heart.
“Norway is like a wonderland… You can basically jump off from anywhere and everything is legal. The mentality is really different, the people are mountain people and everyone is super active. When you jump here or in the United States, you often do a hike of maximum one hour to get to the top, but in Europe you sometimes have to hike for four hours before you get to the exit.”
Imagine for a moment. You’re doing one of the most beautiful and difficult hikes of your life… and you don’t have to suffer walking down the mountain. Once at the top, you throw yourself down into the void. What a trip.
“It’s definitely more satisfying for me! You feel like you deserve your jump!”
Moreover, it is in Norway that Catherine’s Holy Grail is found. Her next major project: the Troll Wall in Norway.
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Between BASE jump and her is a solid love story. But she is looking for even stronger sensations.
“Doing BASE jump is really what will allow me to go as far as wingsuit jumping… and it’s the closest thing to flying.”
Catherine is featured in our JUMP OFF web series on JACKALOPE.TV. Recently, she and her crew went to Chelsea, in the Outaouais region, where they launched themselves from a mega crane… images that will surely give you goosebumps. Check it out right here.