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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 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

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)

Just wanted to say thanks again so much for an awesome week, I learned an absolute heap and had a great time as well.

Scott Sears. UK (Australian Alps Advanced - Polar Training)

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)

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)

At Longyearbyen, Eric reviewed my equipment and gave advice and encouragement. He arranged for us to get one of the four window seats in the transport to Borneo.The cold was intense, but with proper preparation, caution and the right equipment, quite manageable. Arriving at the Pole was far more rewarding than I imagined. I was prepared for the ice and the cold and the joy of reaching our destination. I was not prepared for the wonderful people I would meet, and the ways by which making their acquaintance would make the trip even more incredible. I was coincidentally able to meet some wonderful, adventurous people who accepted me as an equal. It was the trip of a lifetime. My wife said that for the first time in my life, I was rendered speechless when I tried to explain the experience.

Richard Laronde. USA (North Pole Odyssey 2006)

I think Eric was born to do this and did a tremendous job in balancing the need to maintain safety, push us to achieve our goal and have a good time. I gained valuable experience and a greater clarity in the direction of my life, good friends, an experience to tell my grandchildren about in 60 years and buns of steel.

Rob Knight. Australia (North Pole Extreme 2007)
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