It takes chutzpah to call yourself “Canada’s foremost adventure guide” when you’re not yet 30 years old. But the raised eyebrows usually start coming down when people learn that Jean-François Carrey was river guiding in the Yukon at age 16. And farther still when they hear that he summitted Everest at 24—the youngest Canadian to then have done so.
Carrey is a utility-infielder among wilderness guides—a ski-traverse across Baffin Island here, a trek to Everest base camp there. But in recent years, Carrey has been working behind the scenes on TV re-enactments of great historical journeys, such as the trudge of Gold Rush fortune-seekers up the Chilkoot Trail from Alaska to the Yukon, or the westward push from Montreal of the voyageurs. “If you want a challenge, wear moccasins and paddle a birch-bark canoe down those rivers,” he says. “It’s probably harder because you know that a mattress and good food are actually close by.”
Carrey tags this twist on travel as an emerging trend; he’s planning a Gold Rush trip next year for the general public. Steal this book title: 1,000 Journeys to Retrace Before You Die.
This profile is part of our Top 30 under 30 feature.