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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

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)

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)

I learnt a lot about myself and my limitations and how far I can push myself, which is further than I had imagined. I really enjoyed the friendships and the team aspects, it was a trip of a lifetime and I feel I would like to visit the 'backyard of ice' again sometime in the future.

Paul Bonney. Australia (North Pole Extreme 2007)

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)

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)

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)
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