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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 new routes 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.

Book Eric as a speaker here

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IPGA Polar Expedition 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 Polar Expedition 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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Polar Expedition Consultant

In the harsh reality of a polar environment there's often only one chance at success. Don't squander that opportunity with guesswork, assumptions or bad advice.

I offer 4 levels of consultation, giving you the opportunity to balance your growing knowledge with my professional advice to create your optimum polar journey.


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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

Thanks Eric for the amazing adventure, I've enjoyed every single moment of it. You're an inspiring and dedicated professional, always capable of keeping the team together. You made the impossible feel possible and within my reach.

Gianluca Morini. Italy (North Pole 2013)

Eric, it was incredibly influential to watch you in your element, amongst the Arctic wilderness. Thank you for your guidance and mentoring me.

Eliza Brown. UK (Svalbard Expedition 2022)

You were a consummate professional. Not only do you have the experience and ability – you are also one of the most patient people that I know. Your constant encouragement at all times was appreciated by all.

Paul Lewellen. England (North Pole Odyssey 2012)

I’d like to thank Icetrek and in particular, Eric Philips, for helping me extreme ski to the North Pole and realise a life long goal. Discovering the unknown & experiencing one of the last true frontiers on earth is really a dream come true for me. The mind blowing icescape that is the North Pole is a visual memory that will stay with me forever. After nine days of navigating huge amounts of open water (leads), ice rubble & experiencing gale force winds and - 30 degree temperatures, Eric got us there not only safely & soundly, but one day ahead of schedule. Never did I feel fearful, even tho pushing myself to the limits. The experience was not only TOTALLY exhilarating, but extremely achievable. As a consequence, I have returned home a stronger person (not only physically), but mentally, knowing now that I am capable of achieving anything I truly put my mind to. Eric, I just want to say thank you for that.

Louise Allard. Australia (North Pole Extreme 2006)

I have enjoyed telling people of my experience and reminiscing about the great trip we had and the super team to have travelled with. I have felt a certain feeling of calm and peace ever since returning.
The best compliment that I can pay you is that if you were to put all your design experience and skills towards designing the ultimate polar guide, I feel that the result would be pretty close to describing you!

Robin Vaudrey. Belgium (Svalbard Polar Expedition 2019))

I just came back from "Last Degree Trip to North Pole". The whole trip was an incredible experience. Already getting to the starting point at 89° north was an adventure. 3 hrs flight to camp Barneo, then 25 min helicopter transfer. It was great to see with how much enthusiasm and professionalism these transports in an extremely unfriendly environment were executed by the Russian staff. Thereafter came the "meat" part of the trip: 6.5 days walking in a stunning, overwhelming nature, letting me feel like an ant. The guiding by Eric was EXTREMELY safe and client-oriented! We continuously took profit from Eric's 20Y experience in Arctic travelling and behaviour. It was great to see our progresses day by day. To my opinion, You do not have to be a SUPER-athlete to complete this trip. Some continuous training, stamina and tolerance to the cold will allow to enjoy it.

Lorenz Gürke. Switzerland (North Pole Ski Last Degree 2018)
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