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Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration

2017 Recipients - Pat and Baiba Morrow, and Wade Davis


Pat and Baiba Morrow
Mountaineers, photojournalists and filmmakers; Pat was the first climber in history to reach the Seven Summits.

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is recognizing the mountaineering duo Baiba and Pat Morrow with the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration. Baiba and Pat Morrow have dedicated their professional and personal lives to the discovery and documentation of the world’s physical and human landscapes, and in the process, they have produced stunning photography and videography.

Pat Morrow is recognized internationally for being the second Canadian to stand on the summit of Mount Everest, and the first person to have completed the Seven Summits project. His book, Beyond Everest: Quest for the Seven Summits, has earned him recognition as both an adventurer and a filmmaker. In 1988, he received the Order of Canada, and in 1990, he was recognized with the Summit of Excellence at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.

Baiba Morrow is well-known for her contributions to adventure journalism and for her commitment to teaching the next generation about conservation and environmental stewardship.

Wade Davis
Anthropologist, “plant explorer” and prolific author; has studied Indigenous cultures around the globe.

(Photo: Ryan Hill)

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) is awarding a Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration to one of its most esteemed members. Wade Davis is the RCGS Honorary Vice-President, recipient of the Society’s Gold Medal, and has been named an Explorer-in-Residence and an Explorer for the Millennium by National Geographic Society. In 2016, Davis was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

Davis is internationally-recognized for his accomplishments as an explorer, anthropologist, photographer, filmmaker, and author. Travelling the globe, he has spent more than 40 years documenting his passion and concern for the erosion of both cultural and biological diversity. His expeditions have taken him all over the world, from the jungles of the Amazon to the high Arctic, where he has lived among indigenous communities and learned about their customs and traditions.

He has shared his experiences and travels with a worldwide audience through lectures, public presentations, films, and innumerable publications. Davis is the author of 17 best-sellers, including Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest, which won the 2012 Samuel Johnson Prize, the most prestigious prize for non-fiction in the English language. One of his most recent publications, Wade Davis: Photographs, is a collection highlighting his life’s work, showcasing Davis’ ability to uncover unique stories that exemplify the wealth and diversity of human experience and cultures.


« 2016 Ondaatje Medal Winner

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