Speakers for your next conference

Tom Avery

Record-breaking polar explorer and mountaineer




Adventure has been in Tom Avery’s blood all his life. A pioneering polar explorer, climber and ski mountaineer, Tom is one of the UK’s foremost adventurers. He is best known for his record-breaking polar expeditions which have taken him to the furthest corners of the planet.  Tom is part of an elite group of less than ten people in history to have completed the polar trilogy; the South and North Poles and a crossing of Greenland.

Avery has organised over a dozen expeditions across the globe and is the youngest Briton to have been to both Poles. His 2005 Ultimate North team made headlines around the world for recreating Robert Peary and Matthew Henson’s disputed discovery of the North Pole in 1909 , and in the process entering the Guinness Book of Records for “The Fastest Surface Journey to the North Pole”.

Avery’s passion for adventure began when he first read about the exploits of Captain Scott as a seven-year-old boy. So consumed was he by Scott’s story that he knew his life wouldn’t be complete until he had followed his hero’s footsteps to the South Pole. He learnt to climb in the Welsh and Scottish mountains, first on rock, before moving on to snow and ice. A born leader, he subsequently went on to organise and lead expeditions to some of the world’s biggest mountains, including the Alps, Tanzania’s Rift Valley, the Andes, New Zealand’s Southern Alps, the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and the Himalayas, climbing an array of challenging peaks, including several unclimbed summits up to 20,000 feet in height.

In December 2002, days after his 27th birthday, Avery became the youngest Briton to complete the perilous journey to the South Pole on foot. His team also broke the South Pole Speed Record; man-hauling their sledges more than 700 miles from the Antarctic coast and using state-of-the-art kites to power them across the ice on the few days when the winds allowed.

In April 2005 Avery and his five-strong team electrified the exploration world by recreating Peary and Henson’s controversial 1909 expedition to the North Pole, travelling with teams of Eskimo dogs and replica wooden sledges. Avery’s ambitious aim was to prove the sceptics wrong and match Peary’s 37-day journey to the Pole. After an epic dash across the most unforgiving environment on the planet, his exhausted team rewrote the history books by making it to the Pole with five hours to spare. More than a decade later, they remain the fastest team in history to reach the North Pole.

Avery’s most recent challenge saw him breaking another World Record, this time for the fastest coast-to-coast crossing of Greenland in May 2015. Using kites and pulling two sledges each, Tom and his three team mates smashed the previous record by more than a week, completing the crossing in just 9 days, 19 hours with hardly any time for sleep. During one night, the team kited an incredible 180 miles in 16 hours, the equivalent of travelling from London to Manchester.

Avery is a graduate of Bristol University, where he gained a degree in Geography and Geology. His highly acclaimed first book, Pole Dance, was released in 2003 and his second, To the End of the Earth, was published on both sides of the Atlantic in 2009. He was an official ambassador for the London 2012 Olympic Games and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Explorers Club of New York.

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