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Polar Explorer

Since 1992 I've been exploring the Earth's fragile polar regions.

Exploration has been at the core of my instinct. From my inaugural 1992 expedition to Canada's Ellesmere Island, to pioneering a new route through the Transantarctic Mountains to the South Pole, to kite-skiing solo to the iconic peak of Ulvetanna, I've followed the urge to go where others haven't. To explore the path less travelled.

It's what drives me every day of my life.

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IPGA Master Polar Guide

Since 2004 I've been guiding ski expeditions and training in the Arctic, Antarctica and Australia. Any opportunity to introduce people to our wonderful ice environments is a privilege that I will forever appreciate.

In 2011, together with a team of guides spanning 6 nations, I launched the International Polar Guides Association, of which I am its President and a Master Polar Guide. Polar guiding is an awesome profession, one that combines my loves of adventure and education.

Contact me if you want to join a trip, need help with your own or are interested in becoming an IPGA guide.

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Polar Equipment Designer

Like many of the polar enthusiasts who use my products, I place absolute trust in the ability of my designs to do what's required of them.

Whether I'm guiding a short trip or on a long demanding expedition, I don't want the anxiety of worrying about gear failure or poor performance so I base my design work on a simple credo: Design and build things to perform dependably in the harshest conditions on the planet.

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Photographs

Most of the images on my website were taken by professional photographers. Martin Hartley, Petter Nyquist, Christian Åslund and Nick Cobbing are widely known for their work in the fields of polar adventure, conservation and science and I've enjoyed working with them immensely.

They all possess the rare ability to render an ordinary moment as an extraordinary event, an ephemeral blur as static motion, a fleeting nuance as an indelible memory.

My sincere thanks to these superlative artists.

+ Photographers

My name is Tom Smit, in 2004 I went with Eric and some other crazy Aussies on a last degree trip to the North pole. To me it's one of the exceptional things in life I have done, we had a great time and Eric was very helpful arranging good weather! He is a very good guide, experienced and knowledgeable about the Arctic. When you have the chance to do this trip, just do it!

Tom Smit. Netherlands (North Pole Extreme 2004)

This is just a quick note to say thank you for providing me with one of the most fantastic weeks of my life and a life experience I will cherish for the rest of my days. I always felt comfortable in your care and guidance and felt we were assisted to achieve our goals but always within the boundaries of safety and you put us ahead of your own comforts. Above all, it was a lot of fun.

Don McDonald. Australia (North Pole Odyssey 2010)

What an unforgettable trek you have given us. Granted you are running a business, but you give so much of yourself and so much more. We could never pay enough for the once in a lifetime adventure you gave us. We are humbled by your ability, experience, sense of humour and enthusiasm that you have shared, and then you took such good care of us. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you Eric for your kindness and generosity. I hope our paths will cross again.

Lyndy Burdet. USA (North Pole Explorer 2008)

Many thanks for your efforts in getting me there. The whole experience of Svalbard, the activities there, the people I met and finally getting to the North Pole after so much 'hurry up and waiting' was pretty amazing.

Tony Fosgate. England (North Pole Direct 2005)

Eric, I know I speak for the entire team when I say that you are the best guide on the planet and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend time with you on the ice. I learned so much from you -- and I will always be grateful to you for your leadership during this trip.

Alison Levine. USA (South Pole Messner Route 2007-08)

I had the pleasure of having Eric Philips guide me on my successful North Pole expedition in 2005. His ability, professionalism and knowledge all combined to make my experience in the high Arctic one I will treasure for the rest of my life. I have the highest recommendation for Icetrek and Eric as a guide; his ongoing success rate in an environment where others have failed is a testament to his amazing talent.

Matthew McFadyen. Australia (North Pole Extreme 2005)
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