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 Bernard Voyer

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 Challenge. 

Older 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 work-outs.

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 Goran Kropp?

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 went well.

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.

Bernard Voyer

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