Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration

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The Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal recognizes outstanding Canadian explorers for extraordinary achievement through expedition(s) in Canada or abroad, or a citizen of another country for extraordinary exploratory achievement and expedition(s) within Canada.

Achievements in the realm of geographical exploration and/or discovery, which have fostered a greater appreciation for and understanding of the Canadian land mass, people and/or environment, can be considered. A Canadian whose exploratory achievements transcend Canadian borders, but which make a similar contribution, is also eligible.

2019 Recipient: Dr. Charles (“Chas”) Yonge

Dr. Charles (“Chas”) Yonge has made significant contributions in Canada and internationally as a climber, cave explorer, scientist, entrepreneur and author for over forty years. Chas has combined his skills as one of Canada’s premier explorers with lifelong, pioneering scientific contributions and building a groundbreaking educational business. His achievements have added to our knowledge of the world and have influenced countless Canadians in adventure and scientific discovery.

As a climber he has pioneered many first ascents and new routes in the Bow Valley and has recently produced a guidebook for a popular rock climbing area.

As a cave explorer, he has over 40 major expeditions or projects to his credit. His exploits have taken him to many of the world’s major karst areas including Cuba, Barbados, Belize, Mexico, United States, Norway, Indonesia, Australia, China, Vietnam, Bhutan, England, Wales, Ireland, France, Spain, Turkey, Papua New Guinea and Canada. Chas has discovered, explored, and mapped numerous significant caves in the Rocky Mountains, and published his results.

How to Nominate

Anyone can submit a nomination, except RCGS Expedition Committee, and employees of RCGS and Canadian Geographic

Nomination deadline: September 5, 2021 by midnight EST. 

Ondaatje Medal Nomination

Nominator Name

Brief description of nominator including relationship to nominee

Nominee Name
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