Inspired in his childhood by the likes of Jack London, Farley Mowat, Ernest Hemingway and Antoine de Saint-Exupery. In addition the adventures of Shackleton, Messner, Dr. John Rae, Roald Amundsen, and Richard Burton kept Laval St. Germain dreaming of deserts, stormy southern oceans and high mountain peaks. Terry Fox was perhaps Laval’s most poignant influence, teaching him that simple humanity, human endurance and the ability to tolerate pain are nearly boundless. All of these authors, adventurers and one true Canadian hero’s influences were set against a constant diet of National Geographic magazines and wanderings in the bush of north central Alberta. Hockey, soccer, lacrosse, downhill skiing, archery and hunting served as his main sporting interests as a young man.
Fitness plays and has played a key role in Laval’s life. Starting at an unusually young age, Laval’s parents remember him working out with weights, running and watching his food choices starting at age 8. As childhood gave way to adolescence Laval’s interests turned to backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. At the age of 17, Laval taught himself to telemark ski, quickly becoming an expert. Interspersed with these sport interests, Laval was working hard at developing his flying career. Working as a labourer in the northern Alberta oil industry, attending university, flying sky-divers, tree planters in the northern British Columbia bush, forest fire spotting aircraft and a floatplane in the remote bush of northern Quebec gave Laval the experience to be hired as an airline pilot at age 21.
The travel benefits that come with a career in aviation allowed Laval to visit the far off mountain ranges, jungles, and rivers that he read about as a child. Using no travel agents, tour agencies or guides Laval was organizing extreme adventure travel in locales as diverse as the Andes, the Caucasus and the Amazon, all before age 25 and nearly all solo.
Meeting his match in his wife Janet, Laval set off on his next great adventure – family. While many people simply resign themselves to a more sedentary, grounded life after kids; Laval and Janet have kept living a life of high adventure, but now with with his family as his partners.
Travels to Africa, Central and South America, the wilds of Canada as well as his beloved Canadian Arctic have kept his wife and children busy.
Tragically, the St.Germain family lost their oldest son Richard in July 2014, when Richard was killed while canoeing on the MacKenzie river at Norman Wells, Northwest Territories. Losing Richard has reinforced the notion that life is cruelly short and that we all must live a bit more like Richard did – hard, fast and full of adventure.
Laval is an adventure racer, mountain biker, road cyclist, ultra marathoner, mountaineer, skier and fitness aficionado and first Canadian to summit Mt.Everest without the aid of bottled oxygen.
Laval St.Germain is a Canadian living in Calgary, Alberta with his wife and two children. Laval is employed as an airline pilot for Canadian North Airlines. Read more: