Bernard Voyer O.C.
On August 22,
2001, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of
Canada, announced 104 new appointments to the Order of Canada. The new
appointees include six Companions (C.C.), 29 Officers (O.C.) and 69 Members (C.M.).
These new appointments to the Order of Canada are in effect as of May 30, 2001.
The Order of Canada recognizes people who have made a difference to our country.
From local citizens to national and international personalities, all Canadians
are eligible for the Order of Canada, our country's highest honour for lifetime
achievement. Three different levels of membership honour people whose
accomplishments vary in degree and scope: Companion, Officer and Member. Bernard
Voyer believes that people grow by challenging themselves. This explorer and
mountaineer has some extraordinary achievements to his credit, including the
world first of skiing across Ellesmere Island. He is also one of the few people
to have accomplished the feat of reaching both the North and South Poles and the
top of the world, Mount Everest. He contributes to the exploration and promotion
of Canadian geography, and uses his expeditions to foster scientific research
and the development of new products. A much sought-after speaker in Canada and
abroad, he is also involved with youth, notably through the Young Canadians
Updates on Bernard Voyer are below....
A Gold Medal for Explorer Bernard Voyer
Bernard Voyer has just been honored by the Royal Canadian
Geographical Society with its highest distinction, the Gold Medal, for his
remarkable personal accomplishment and his great contribution to the
exploration, development and promotion of Canadian geography. He has also
contributed to the international promotion of Canada throughout his career as an
explorer, mountaineer and communicator.
Mr. Voyer is the first Canadian from Quebec to receive this honor.
He now joins some of the greatest names in his field, including Dr. Victor K.
Prest, Ambassador Mary Simon and Dr. John Tuzo Wilson, all from Canada, and
David Livingstone, Captain Richard Scott and Sir Alexander Burnes, from Britain,
not to mention Sir John Hunt, a renowned mountaineer who led the 1953 expedition
when Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first to
reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Bernard Voyer is a highly experienced modern-day explorer, with
30 years of expeditions and travels to his credit. He is one of the few humans
to have stood at all three poles of the Earth: the North Pole in 1994, the South
Pole in 1996 and Everest in 1999.
Below is Bernard's Q&A after he
reached the Summit of Everest.
Canadian Climber: Bernard Voyer, "1999 Expedition Everest"
reached the Summit of Everest in Spring 1999. This is his Q&A...
Q.) Tell our readers a little more
about You, Bernard. What do you do for a living?
A.) Having a dream! Between my
expeditions, I give conferences for enterprises and schools. (see the link in our
web site). Working as a speaker is very important for me since it is my
source of revenue and it helps to finance my expeditions.
I love to communicate and be able
to meet thousands of people every year, with whom I share my passion of
adventure. My life is well balanced between my adventures, my communications and my
Q.) And what are your goals?
A.) I have always dreamt of
pitching my tent on the largest lands of ice on our planet. Dreamt of Everest
because of its fabulous symbol, the highest mountain on earth, but mostly because it
would be cold and that I would see marvelous glaciers. Today I know the three poles
and I still dream of climbing other mountains. We are nourishing a project for next
spring, we will you tell about it when it is confirmed.
Q.) How was it climbing
Everest with your wife at BC ?
A.) It was marvelous to climb with
my wife at base camp. We work together and she organizes and co-ordinates my
expeditions.. She was at base camp in 1997 as a manager, in South Pole she managed
the logistics and in Greenland she staid a full month in Nuuk the capital. Knowing
that she is waiting for me and that at every moment she is there to assure my security
gives me a lot of energy. She always supports me and I am lucky not to have to
negotiate each of my departures. We do our training together and we climb more and
more often together, and next spring project is her project.
Q.) What was it like climbing with
A.) He is a fantastic guy. We did
not discuss about mountains but more about my success of reaching South pole. This
is his next goal. He his suppose to come to Montreal to discuss about it. We
shared my gastronomic freeze dried meals, which he appreciated.
Q.) Tell us about Summit day ? Did
you know for sure you were going the night before ? How did summit day go ?
A.) We were suppose to go on the
fourth of May to the summit, but the weather predictions were not good and we
decided to stay at camp IV to sleep at 8,000 meters and make the attempt on the
fifth. Most of the climbers quit and returned to camp II. Pete Athans and his
team-mate and sherpas stayed with Goran and Renata and two climbers who returned at south
summit with sherpas and Elsa the Mexican with the American girl and the guide Andy and
also with an English man and my team Dorjee, Chouangba and I.
I left South col at 11:00 and
arrived at the summit at 12:10, it was long we had to wait and wait for fixed ropes and
back to camp IV at 18:00.
Q.) On the way down from the
Summit, how hard was it ?
A.) On the way down, I was
exhausted like everyone and I had a little problem with my eyes. I also had no
oxygen to sleep and to get down.
Q.) Was it a real plus, being at
Everest a second time ?
A.) Yes, experience counts a lot, I
was faster this year and I knew a part of the route and I felt more secure on
ladders etc. . .
Q.) How is Renata Chlumska doing ?
Sounds like she had a hard climb...How hard of time did she have...
A.) About Renata, she made it with
Goran, both using oxygen. Renata was strong and really well prepared. At the
beginning of the expedition she had little problem with acclimation but after everything
8.) What was your most interesting
climber on Everest ?
Inaki the Spanish climber. He
is funny and human. I have spent quality time with him in 97 and last spring.
Strong and fast. He would deserve to make it. He was strong enough but not
lucky with the weather. He is now in Himalaya for another big climb. We wish
him the best of luck.
I was met in 97. Two Italians
climbers world renowned , Fausto Stefani and Sergio Martini both completed the fourteen
8,000 meter summits.