Cadet learns leadership, perseverance on expedition

Skyler Kaplanchuk has participated in many expeditions during his days with the Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps.

Skyler Kaplanchuk

Skyler Kaplanchuk has participated in many expeditions during his days with the Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, but none as rewarding as when he summited the mountain in Torres Del Paine in Chile.

Kaplanchuk, a cadet from 2483 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps in Victoria, was one of 18 cadets across Canada (and one of two in the province) selected to take part in a one-in-a-lifetime international expedition to Chile last month.

As part of the 10-day expedition, designed to teach leadership and promote physical fitness, cadets trekked, kayaked and rode horses through the Patagonias.

“When I went down there, I expected just another expedition — get together, hike a bit, have an okay time,” said the 19-year-old.

“It was really good. The culture was amazing, the views were great, everything about it was very peaceful. It brought all your thoughts together.”

The training cadets received throughout the expedition led them to their final challenge — summitting the mountain in the Torres Del Paine National Park.

Kaplanchuk, who joined the cadets in 2011, has completed all levels of expeditions. He’s also hiked mountains in the Rockies and summited Mount Albert Edward near Campbell River, however, Torres Del Paine, proved to be the hardest journey of the cadet’s career.

On the day of the climb, cadets started at the base camp, but as they trekked on, the changing environment and conditions proved to be their biggest challenge.

Kaplanchuk battled winds of up to 100 to 120 kilometres an hour, along with a host of different landscapes that transformed from flat and dusty shrubs to forest to mountains.

After several hours, the group managed to reach the summit and a breathtaking view of the landscape below.

“When we got to the top it was great, but even on the way up, everything about it was great,” Kaplanchuk said, adding the hike was his favourite part of the expedition.

The hike was also his last as a cadet, since the program only allows participants to be a maximum of 19 years old.

The expedition taught him to have a goal in mind for any task, he added.

“Push for what you want. I told myself when I was a cadet at the beginning, exactly what I wanted to do and that I wanted to strive for something big like that. Have a goal in mind or else you won’t push for it,” he said.

Capt. Brandon McAuley, training officer expedition for the regional cadet support unit (pacific), has known Kaplanchuk for the past three years.

“He’s a very mature young man, he’s very dedicated to the program and is always looking to coach and mentor the younger cadets ,” said McAuley, adding there were 40 cadets who also applied for the expedition.

“Based on his experience and overall dedication and commitment he was selected as one of the two cadets to go from B.C.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A sentencing hearing began for Joel Conway who was convicted of break and enter and sexual assault last year. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Saanich man sentenced to three years in prison for breaking into woman’s home and sexually assaulting her

Crown is asking Joel Conway be sentenced to four years for both charges, to be served concurrent

Victoria fire crews quickly extinguished a multi-unit apartment building fire near Beacon Hill Park on Oct. 30. (Courtesy of Chief Paul Bruce)
Victoria fire crews extinguish multi-unit fire near Beacon Hill Park

Two people have suffered non-life-threatening injuries

Blanshard Street, between Burdett Avenue and Douglas Street, will be closed to traffic Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 while crews repave the road. (City of Victoria)
TRAFFIC ALERT: Section of Blanshard Street will be closed this weekend

Crews will be repaving Blanshard Street between Burdett Avenue and Douglas Street

Victoria police are asking for help locating 14-year-old, high-risk missing youth, Anabella Lilly. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating high-risk missing youth

Police say the circumstances under which 14-year-old Anabella Lilly went missing are ‘high-risk’

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read