Ice canoeing, the brutal sport you never knew existed

Canoeing through a river with expansive chunks of ice in your way may not seem like the best means of transportation, but once upon a time that was the only way to cross the Saint Lawrence River during the winter.

Fast forward to 2017 and ice canoeing is a popular sport. In Quebec they even have their own association: the Association de Canot a Glace de Quebec, also known as ACCGQ. There are several annual races but one of the most popular events takes place at Quebec City's Carnaval de Quebec, which is the largest winter carnival in the world. More than 40 teams converge on the Saint Lawrence River to see who will come out on top.

See the frosty event below:

Each team will face strong currents and bone-chilling temperature's on the quest for first place. The participants must cross the river starting in Quebec City and touching down in Levi, only to cross the river once more to finally end the race at their original starting point.

The race is the main event of the 17 day carnival. While this event draws quite the crowd the Saint Lawrence River is the only place in the world where this grueling sport is practiced.