Canada’s 90 Greatest Explorers: Human limits

Part of our roundup of 90 of Canada’s greatest explorers, these eight explorers pushed their physical and mental limits in pursuit of knowledge and to inspire others
  • Jan 27, 2020
  • 808 words
  • 4 minutes
Richard Weber Expand Image

1776-1862 | St. Andrews West, Ont. 

Charted much of B.C., and descended the perilous Fraser River with voyageurs and Indigenous guides while seeking new trade routes to the Pacific — a journey still considered one of the greatest feats in European exploration. 

1945- | Banff, Alta. 

Chic Scott Expand Image

International mountaineering great, guide and historian. He was the first Canadian to break into the international climbing scene, guiding in the Alps, and later made many Canadian first ascents and major ski traverses in the Rockies and Columbia Mountains. 

1969- | Chelsea, Que. 

Global adventurer and ultramarathoner who has run more than 14,000 km through the world’s most extreme environments, including the Sahara and Gobi deserts, Antarctica, Lake Baikal and Baffin Island. His foundation impossible2Possible harnesses “adventure learning” to empower and educate youth. 

1968- | Calgary

Mountaineer and endurance adventurer: climbed the Seven Summits and the highest peaks of almost 20 countries; was the first Canadian to climb Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen; and set the speed record for rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean (53 days). 

1970- | Toronto 

George Kourounis Ambrym volcano Expand Image

Storm chaser and Angry Planet host who specializes in documenting natural disasters and extreme weather all over the globe, including Kansas tornadoes, Gulf of Mexico hurricanes, B.C. forest fires and an erupting volcano in Vanuatu. 

1976- | Canmore, Alta.

Ultra-endurance athlete, geologist, television host and founder of Adventure Science, which combines ultra-endurance athletics and field-based research such as health studies and large-scale archeological searches. 

1978- | Montreal 

Mylène Paquette Expand Image

Ocean navigator and the first North American to row solo across the North Atlantic (a more than four-month journey) in the more difficult west-to-east direction. She is a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps. 

Previous: Geographic feats • Next: Going beyond


Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

Related Content


The naturalist and the wonderful, lovable, very bold jay

Canada jays thrive in the cold. The life’s work of one biologist gives us clues as to how they’ll fare in a hotter world. 

  • 3599 words
  • 15 minutes


Why cave exploration matters

2022 is the International Year of Caves and Karst. Here’s why you should care about the hidden worlds beneath our feet.

  • 2517 words
  • 11 minutes


Trans Canada Trail celebrates 30 years of connecting Canadians

The trail started with a vision to link Canada coast to coast to coast. Now fully connected, it’s charting an ambitious course for the future.

  • 1730 words
  • 7 minutes

Science & Tech

20 Canadian innovations you should know about

Celebrating Canadian Innovation Week 2023 by spotlighting the people and organizations designing a better future 

  • 3327 words
  • 14 minutes