Meet Carl Alvey and South Pole ski team – Hercules Inlet route 2015-16

ANI ski team: Carl Alvey (guide), Emma Tamsin Kelty and Khai Nguyen.
(Correne Coetzer) Two years ago, Carl Alvey guided the youngest ever skier on a full route to the Geographic South Pole, 16-year-old Lewis Clarke. They started at Hercules Inlet. This year, Carl is back, guiding another team for Adventure Network International (ANI), also from Hercules Inlet. Team members Emma Tamsin (Em Tam) Kelty from London and Khai Nguyen, a Vietnamese Canadian who lives in California, checked in at Pythom.

Emma Tamsin Kelty

Flying the flag for the lady skiers, Emma Tamsin told Pythom she has dreamt about hiking to the South Pole since she was “knee high to a grasshopper and I can’t put into words the intense excitement and disbelief as it unfolds and becomes a reality. However I also see this expedition as a learning/ practice run as I hope to return in the next year or two to complete the journey solo.”

“In short, with only two weeks to go, I am so excited, I think I may actually burst!”

“I have a blog that shows a few of my previous adventures and I hope to update it in Antarctica as we go along.” She did ultra-long distance running and South Pole training in New Zealand. Earlier this year Emma completed a 2600ish mile wild trek (PCT) from the Mexico border near San Diego to the Northern Border of Washington state (Manning Park). Em Tam’s blog will be streaming live on Pythom.

She is also raising money for Cancer Research and have a just giving site:  “that gives an insight to why Cancer Research and living life to the full in this very short life of ours.” See also this link in the Fundraising section on

Khai Nguyen

Khai skied the Last Degree of Latitude (110km) to the South Pole in 2009-10. He also did Ski Last Degree North Pole in 2008. “Now it’s time to go back to do the full length,” he told Pythom.

“Between then and now, I had quite a bit of mountaineering expeditions as I am also working on 7 summits (attempted 4: Denali, Aconcagua, Mt Elbrus (summited) and Kilimanjaro (summited)).  If everything goes well this time skiing to the South Pole and time permits, I will attempt to climb Mt Vinson immediately after.”

Khai will be blogging on his “old blog” and plans to have a Facebook page up, hopefully ready by next week. His blog will also live stream on Pythom.

Carl Alvey

Carl, a Brit who lives in Norway, is an experienced Greenland and Antarctic guide. He is one of the founders of Expeditions 365, which provides polar training to prospective skiers in Norway and the USA.

Here go a Q and A with Carl:

PYTHOM: You are guiding the Hercules Inlet route again. What are the challenges on this 1130 km route?

CARL: The biggest challenge by far on this route is keeping focused over such a long period of time and not let your thoughts get the better of you. Also managing your body in regards to temperature, fitness level, nutrition etc. is always a challenge on a long trip.

PYTHOM: You present training courses to potential polar skiers. Where do you present these? How long? When? Some of the skills that you teach these adventurers?

CARL: Myself and Hannah McKeand run the Expeditions365 open polar training course at my home in Norway. I am very lucky that I live in Norway. The country offers a great location to run these kind of course. We have snow from mid-November until mid-May. The Course is 14 days long.

It starts out in the first week with indoor-outdoor workshops; looking at all the skills needed for a long polar expedition, skiing, winter camp craft, looking after your body in the cold and safe travel.

The second week is out on expedition putting all the skills from the first week into practise, you can find more info here:

PYTHOM: Your three favorite items in your sled?

CARL: My sleeping bags. I have two, one Whisper 600 Down K Series, and one Hispar Down Overbag: K Series both from PHD. I can either use them both as stand alone bags or combine them to have a really warm bag. This gives great flexibility. And they are supper light for the warmth they provide.  

My tents boots have to be the second as it feels nice putting them on after a long day skiing. u2028

The third I think has to be my iPod that is full of music to keep me going for miles in a strait line. 

PYTHOM: Gear?u2028 

Skis: Asnes Holmenkollen

Skins half/full: Half

Sled: This season I will be using the New 230 expedition sled from Acapulka, over the past few years I have been working with Alex on the design, and now I am really looking forward to using it on a trip (for more info on the sled you can contact Alex ACAPULKA Alexander Bierwald )

Boots: Alfa North Pole

Clothes: Wool from Aclima, shell clothing from Klättermusen.

PYTHOM: What is still on your to-do list?

CARL: Most of my prep work is done but there are always a few little things that need picking up at the last minute. But for the most part I will be spending as much time as possible with my 10 month old daughter before I head South. 

PYTHOM: Scheduled departure date?

CARL: I fly from Norway on the 12th of November, and stay in Punta Arenas until about the 20th of November, weather permitting. 

#polar #skisouthpole #southpole2015 #antarctica

Previous 2015-16 South Pole interview, with Doug Tumminello, in the link below…