Eric Philips – Polar explorer

YB tracking with Eric Philips – South Pole Emperor Odyssey 2014

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Eric Philips OAM


Eric Philips is a polar adventurer dedicated to exploring the vast and varied ice landscapes that typify our polar regions. His outdoor career spans more than 25 years during which time he has worked professionally as an IPGA Polar Guide, outdoor educator, film maker, motivational speaker, team facilitator and musician.

As an adventurer, Eric has visited every continent on earth, often leading lightweight and self-supported expeditions to remote areas.  He has explored the world’s four largest icecaps and was the first Australian, together with companion Jon Muir, to ski to both the North and South Poles, locations that he has since visited many times as a polar guide.

Through his experiences Eric has developed alternative and highly efficient methods of travel in the polar regions and has embraced the use of specialised plastics in the construction of polar-specific equipment. He is the inventor of Flexi Ski Bindings as well as a range of other niche adventure products used in extreme-cold. He has been a professionally-sponsored adventurer and product-tester since 1995 for established brands such as Mont, Smith Optics, Baffin Mountain Hardwear, Grivel, Oakley, Leki, Dagger, Perception, Sony, Suunto and Iridium.

Eric is the author of Icetrek. The Bitter Journey to the South Pole and his expeditions have produced four internationally-screened documentary films, most notably, the Emmy Award-winning Greenland production, Chasing the Midnight Sun.

Eric lives in Hobart, Australia with his wife, Susy, daughter, Mardi and son, Kip. He is the owner and director of Icetrek Expeditions.


Eric Philips


Summary of experiences


  • 2013 – Guided a team from Greenpeace to the North Pole within the last degree
  • 2013 – Spitsbergen training for Aussie adventure cyclist Kate Leeming for a South Pole cycle expedition
  • 2013 – Training wounded soldiers in Iceland for a race to the South Pole
  • 2012 – Founded the International Polar Guides Association (IPGA)
  • 2012 – Polar guide for Pole to Pole Run. Union Glacier to South Pole.
  • 2011 – Guided team of 11 Chinese to the South Pole.
  • 2011 – Polar guide for Pole to Pole Run. North Pole to Canada.
  • 2010 – Guided team of 11 Chinese to the South Pole.
  • 2010 – Icetrek Expeditions appointed guiding company for Trip TM in Beijing, China
  • 2010 – Guided two expeditions within the last degree to the North Pole
  • 2009 – Guide for Geelong Grammar School Antarctica. First school expedition to Antarctica
  • 2009 – Polar guide for Greenpeace’s Arctic Climate Impacts expedition to Greenland
  • 2009 – Guided two expeditions within the last degree to the North Pole
  • 2008-09 – Antarctica’s Gamburtsev Province (AGAP) Project. Field Leader.
  • 2008 – Guided two expeditions within the last degree to the North Pole
  • 2008 – Ski expedition across Spitsbergen
  • 2007-08 – Guided 925km ski expedition to the South Pole
  • 2007 – Guided last degree expedition to the North Pole
  • 2006-07 – Sarsen voyage to Antarctica. Guide
  • 2006 – Guided two expeditions within the last degree to the North Pole
  • 2005 – Guided last degree expedition to the North Pole
  • 2004 – Awarded Medal of the Order of Australia for achievements in polar exploration
  • 2004 – Guided last degree expedition to the North Pole
  • 2002-3 – Host and consultant to US television series, Global Extremes:Mt Everest
  • 2002 – Unsupported expedition to the North Pole from Russia
  • 2000 – Unsupported kayak/ski/kite traverse of the South Patagonian Icecap
  • 1998/99 – New route from Ross Island to the South Pole via Shackleton Glacier
  • 1996/97 – Field Training Officer at Mawson Station, Antarctica
  • 1995 – Kayak/ski/kite traverse of Greenland from Tassilaq to Kangerlussuaq.
  • 1994 – New Zealand mountaineering
  • 1993 – Cycle tour through Patagonia and Tierra de Fuego
  • 1992 – New Zealand mountaineering.
  • 1992 – Traverse of Canadian Ellesmere Island’s largest icecap
  • 1991 – New Zealand mountaineering
  • 1991 – Cycle tour around South Island of New Zealand
  • 1988 to ’92 – Director of Outdoor Education at Geelong Grammar School’s renowned Timbertop campus
  • 1986 – Cycle tour from Netherlands to Egypt
  • 1980 to ’85 – Studied at the University of South Australia, attaining a Diploma of Teaching, a Bachelor of Education and Graduate Diploma in Outdoor Education.




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