Bora Through The Ages

As we planned to launch the newly designed Bora pack over the winter, folks around Arc’teryx HQ began to share stories of where they’d gone in the world with their old, trusty Boras from the turn of the century. Read some of our favourite Bora memories from our friends and fans around the world:

Devin Hughes: Brothers trip 2011(bags and blood). Bora 62 and Altra 75, Chris and Devin Hughes. We were the second or third group of the season to complete the Brazeau loop. This picture was taken at Jonas Shoulder. It was hot and sunny for the whole hike which which was great until we had to cross Nigel Creek on the way out. Turns out that lots of melting snow changes the depth and flow rate of a creek quite a lot.


Ryan Jillard: I got my Bora 35 in the mid-90’s for a high school graduation present. Since then, it has been everywhere with me- countless field days working forestry, all over western Canada on day hikes, taking in the fall colours in Gatineau, backpacking through Europe, and scrambling up a 14er in Colorado – just to name a few.

Probably my most memorable adventure with my Bora was my first trip to Yoho National Park in 2001. It was there that I fell in love with with not only the falls, peaks, streams, and lakes of the area – but also with the beautiful woman who would become my wife, mother of our children, and my best friend.


Danny Mason: I got my Bora 80 as a college graduation gift in 2004. It has carried everything necessary to get me all up and down the Appalacians for a decade after that. I have since moved and now call the Rockies my home; my Bora has been to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up, all over the Elk Range by Crested Butte, and the San Juans. This photo is of me and Rocky and my Bora 80 in front of Vestal peak this past October.


Jean Francois Nadeau: Bought my Bora 80 in June 97. The year that followed was one of the best of my life. I left with my best friend from Quebec City for my first trip on my own to study in the UK. We thought we’d leave a couple of weeks before to explore a little and get some drinking practice in preparation for London U. We hiked the Austrian Alps, the Mont Blanc, Scotland’s Skye Island, and stopped at hundreds of pubs, breweries, beer halls, brauereien and whatever else they were called in between. Then followed Mount Fuji, the Japanese Alps and volcanoes, a near-death experience near the Japan Sea (pack was too heavy!), and finally a month in the Canadian Rockies. I have a hundred years worth of memories in that single year! My 12-year-old son now proudly uses the pack when going to his scout camps. It’s still in perfect condition; he’ll probably pass it over to his own son in 2040!

Kim Herrick: I remember picking up my Bora at the Wolfville NS post office in 2001. I was starting a Recreation Management degree and needed a book bag. It’s the only day pack I’ve ever owned and it’s been awesome. Day trips, overnighters, canoe trips, travelling to Europe and Thailand, outdoor education work pack, grocery shopping, carry on luggage, beach bag…you get the picture. I think it has one partial hole along the bottom…basically indestructible. My most recent highlight with this pack is from a ski day trip featured as my profile and cover pic. Here’s another one. Blue bird day. Slayin the pow with a couple giddy sticks.


Robin Barlett-Blackmore: My wife and I hiked up to Vinicunca (Rainbow Mountain) ???????? in Peru ~5200m to help acclimatize in preparation for the Inca Trail with our Bora packs – incredible experience; as was the trail itself & a spectacled bear ???? wandering across our path, the evening before Machu Picchu…not sure when we got them, but our Arc’teryx kit has never let us down!


Randy Yee: My Bora 70 on the road out of El Chalten to Cerro Fitzroy, Patagonia in 2007. 3 weeks’ hiking & photography in Torres del Paine & Los Glaciares national parks. Using satellite weather forecasts we criss-crossed the Andes between Chile & Argentina in our diminutive Suzuki Vitara to avoid weather coming from Antarctica. We finished up hiking only 3 days in the rain for the entire trip.


Karen Williams: Of course I remember my first Bora pack – although it wasn’t new. I received it from a dear friend when I found out I was going on a heli-hiking trip! You have to understand, I live in Saskatchewan, Canada, and the only hiking I’d ever done was in the river hills – total elevation gain 374 feet! I was excited but terrified. I knew adrenaline and enthusiasm would keep my legs moving, but what about all the gear? I’d have to carry water, food, layering clothes, etc. I’d never done that. Enter my hiking friend who knew what I’d need. She assured me the Bora was super comfy (very important to me!), would carry everything I needed and have room to spare. I was doubtful (how could a pack be comfy?) But it was. It didn’t even feel heavy. That meant I wasn’t thinking about my pack or pain – so I could just delight in moment – the grandeur of the mountains.

The thrill of new experiences in the silence of the mountains. I did things I never thought possible – rock climbing, standing on a glacier, doing a Via Ferrata. It was a once in a lifetime experience, which I will never forget – and the Bora carried my water, food, rain layers without complaint. This “bucket list” experience opened my eyes and heart to the thrill of knowing that there is a whole world of hiking out there to explore and I want to do it! I doubt I’ll ever scale Everest, but I will be seeking out new trails and enjoying the beauty in every step.


Ken McCurdy: I’m a Search and Rescue Member in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. My Bora 50 is with me on every task. Banff National Park is on my doorstep and my BORA 50 is the perfect pack for me to explore with.

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Have your own adventures immortalized online when you #celebratewild.