Alexander Mackenzie ambitions to expand the scope of trading right across the continent, thus finding a passage to the Pacific Ocean.
In 1789, Mackenzie set out paddling up the Slave River to Great Slave River and entered another river (Mackenzie River) which headed north into the Rocky mountains. The Mackenzie River emptied into the Arctic Ocean and not the Pacific which he was hoping it would have. In 1793, Mackenzie in his second attempt left Fort Fork along the Peace River heading west. The river was narrow and full of hazardous areas of rocks and white rapids. After attempting the ferocious rapids of the Fraser River, which left his party swept into the river fighting for their lives. After the destruction of their canoes, Mackenzie and his party head west over the mountains. Mackenzie with help from the Bella Coola Indians had found the Northwest passage but the route that he had travelled had almost killed him and his party.