We'd like to introduce you to our 2019 North Pole Last Degree Ski Teams! These international teams will kick off their expeditions on April 13 in Longyearbyen, Norway. Make sure to bookmark our blog to read the daily updates and listen to the daily audio dispatches!
(Each team is color-coded)
North Pole Last Degree Expedition Teams
| I'm 65 years old and have been blind for the last 40 years. I'm a dedicated skier and will be the first blind man to ski to the North Pole. I am determined to inspire other blind people and change sighted people's view on what blind people can
| My name is Claus Geleff, Im 51 and from Denmark. My whole life I have had a passion for skiing and going to the Northpole is a dream of mine. Im going with Arne who is blind. I have been guiding him since 1991.
| My name is Ege Heckmann, im an 34 year old filmproducer from Denmark. I
have honestly never really thought about going to the Northpole before I got the possibility of going on this trip. But now I love the idea and I really look forward to the challenges - both the physical challenges and the film technical issues atrip like this gives.
|Eric came to Polar Explorers with an extensive, well-rounded background in a wide variety of outdoor skills. His real strengths lie in his teamwork and problem-solving abilities. His empathetic nature and fun personality are put to good use helping our polar teams reach their goals. Eric is an avid backpacker, bow-hunter, and fisherman. His advice is, “Take every opportunity offered to enjoy nature. Experiencing the outdoors is what keeps us grounded and allows us to appreciate our day-to-day lives.” His favorite expedition? North Pole Last Degree Ski.|
|I am a 30-year-old Bostonian turned New Yorker, banker turned mountain man. I enjoy long walks on the beach, deep conversations, and being spontaneous. Did I do that right? I kicked off my Grand Slam back in July 2018, and I'm scheduled to finish all nine expeditions by June 2020.|
|I am from Chicago and have been happily married for 26 years and have two wonderful daughters. Over the past many years I have pursued a passion big adventures and have kept my sights fixed on completion of the Explorer’s Grand Slam. Sometimes I am asked why I am pursuing the Explorer’s Grand Slam and it is hard to offer an entirely rational and straightforward explanation. I simply offer that for me the project provides opportunities for personal growth, extraordinary experiences of all sorts, and is part of my pursuit to live a full and adventurous life.|
|I am 53 years old and live in Edmonton, Canada with my partner and our four daughters and one son. I am hoping to reach the North Pole and complete my Explorer's Grand Slam.|
|I am 54 years old and I have three children. I live in Minnesota and work as a Financial Advisor. I look forward to meeting all of the others on this trip!|
|John Gluckman||New Zealand|
I am an adventurer who likes to discover untouched and pristine destinations I have climbed the 7 highest peaks on every continent (starting with Mt. Vinson in 1990) so I have seen life from a different perspective. I am a cancer survivor and I have never let that hold me back. Most recently I have skied across the Greenland Icecap (May 2018) and the South Pole Last Degree (January 2019).I am really looking forward to meeting you all and enjoying the excitement of the North Pole!
Eirliani is Executive Director of YAKIN (Youth, Adult survivors & Kin In Need), a not-for-profit she co-founded with Assoc Prof Daniel Fung, Chairman, Medical Board of the Singapore Institute of Mental Health to help child victims and adult survivors of child sexual abuse. She is concurrently Program Director at the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation US.
|Annie Aggens - Guide||USA|
|Annie Aggens loves the polar regions and gets to talk about them every day as director of PolarExplorers. She has guided multiple expeditions to the North Pole, South Pole, Greenland and Iceland. She is the author of the Encyclopedia of Outdoor and Wilderness Skills and often lectures about polar history and expedition travel. Her role as polar guide allows her to teach people about the effects of climate change on the Arctic and polar regions. Favorite tent pastime? Playing her "guitarita" and having poetry slams. She is on the board of the International Polar Guide Association.|
|Taylor Sweitzer - Guide||USA|
|Taylor Sweitzer first traveled to the North Pole when he was only 9 years old then came back at age 15 to become the then youngest person to ski the last degree to the Pole. He's also climbed six of the "seven summits". But you would never know this from talking with him. He is humble, soft spoken and more interested in other people's experiences. Taylor has guided at both Poles, Greenland, Iceland, and around the world. You'll enjoy his tendency to celebrate the best parts of any situation and he is quicker than lightning to lend a hand whenever one is needed.|
|I am somewhere in my late 40s and have been an avid traveller for most of those years, having visited 168 countries so far. Given my name, I figured I should probably add the South and North Pole to that list. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, but having lived in Europe for the past 20 years, I thought I needed to get back to my roots and just make sure that -30 wasn't so bad. By profession, I work in the world of central banking and am currently based in London, UK.|
|I live in the temperate region of Northern California (wine country), but I enjoy some of the extreme weather areas of the world also. I like blue water (ocean) yacht sailing, climbing at elevation (expedition mtn climbing), and even cold weather skiing/camping, which brings up the idea of a North Pole, last degree ski trip. I've never been there before, so I look forward to the adventure.|
|I’m Harry, 34, born and bred in London, England. Currently working in technology I used to work in film and have a feature film coming out this year. I love skiing but hate being cold so I’m excited and nervous for the task ahead! I’m used to challenges having cycled solo from Rome to Paris to London when I was younger, as well as trekking through the Sinai desert for four weeks, and spending two weeks in the Belize Jungle with the army when I was at school.|
|Hi my name is Sam, I'm 24 and live and work in London. I've been looking forward to this trip with my dad and brother for the best part of 7 years. It's my first arctic trip and may be the first of many. Can't wait!|
|Keith Heger - Guide||USA|
|Keith Heger is a master at navigating rubble zones and he is famous for cooking up delicious fajitas après ski. He has guided more than a dozen North Pole, South Pole and Greenland Crossing expeditions. Keith is a gear head, he loves to talk about gizmos and gadgets relating to polar travel. You just might find him testing out the newest piece of kit during an expedition. In his free time you'll find him SUP boarding with his two sons or teaching them how to ski.|
|I am the CEO of global marketing communications company and currently live in Dubai. I have climbed some Elbrus, Kilimanjaro and Everest base camp and very much looking forward to this adventure.|
|I am 38 years old from lebanon attempting to finish the explorers grand slam. I live in Dubai and work in the food and beverage industry. So far I have finished 5 from the top 7 summits, the north pole marathon, the 777 continents marathon, the associate marathon grandslam, Everest marathon and many ultra marathons and triathlons.|
|Born in Lebanon, live in Dubai, just turned 40 and discovered my love for adventure and extreme expeditions. Skiing across the North pole is my 2nd – after Elbrus – and hoping to accomplish more in the near future with my Omnicom team mates.|
|I am 22 years old and doing this expedition with my dad, for charity (http://www.in-visible.org/) . I live in London with my two sisters and work at Farfetch. I've never done anything quite like this before but I love a bit of a challenge :)|
|Hello, I'm a 40-year-old Lebanese/Canadian with outdoor-life being part of my DNA for almost the past 40 years. An avid scout for almost half my life and have experienced Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp and Elbrus, and along the way have amassed enough mileage under my feet to fully appreciate the various experiences from the Great Outdoors. The North Pole Last Degree is another life-changing experience I am enthusiastically looking forward to. I try to balance my passion for the outdoors with my passion for my personal life (an amazing wife and 3 awesome kids) and for my professional life as well (15 awesome media agency offices across MENA).|
|Extreme sports and outdoor enthusiast. Always looking for new thrills & adventures.
I work in the banking industry and most recently co-founded LastSeat the first travel app to bid on airline tickets. I believe that travel is the best education one can get and try to visit at least 1 new country every year.
|Andrew Leary - Guide||USA|
|Andrew came to Polar Explorers with an extensive background of guiding groups in the outdoors. He is an incredibly gifted educator and has a knack for being able to relay technical skills and concepts to anyone he's with. His calm, friendly demeanor makes him a hit with just about everyone. Andrew's day job is developing youth curriculum for Leave No Trace, the most widely accepted outdoor ethics program in the USA. When not on an expedition, you'll find Andrew instructing mountaineering courses for the University of Utah, ski touring in the Rockies and entertaining his highly energetic dog named Benny.|
|Chris Paustian - Guide||USA|
|Chris Paustian loves the cold and always prefers to be on the water, even if it's frozen. During winter storms Chris likes to play "surf & turf", that's an hour of surfing the swells of the Pacific followed by an hour of skiing. He loves to share his passion for the outdoors with other adventurers, especially in the Arctic. If you like spicy food, be sure to sit near Chris at mealtimes. He is the official PolarExplorers hot sauce thaw-master. When he's not on expedition, you can find Chris kayaking, paddleboarding and surfing in the vicinity of Seattle, WA regardless of wind, rain or snow.|