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ExWeb interview with Ian Evans, skier with PolarExplorers on Messner Route

Posted: Oct 28, 2014 03:50 pm EDT


(By Correne Coetzer) Commercial company, PolarExplorers, is having an All the Way ski team on the ice this year, with their experienced polar guide, Keith Heger leading them. The team will start from the Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf to ski the Messner route to the Geographic South Pole (890 km). They will be resupplied.


One of the team members, Ian Evans, owning a Chartered Accounting firm when he is indoors, checked in at ExplorersWeb. Ian is originally from the UK but lives in Elora, Ontario, Canada. At age 58 he aims to be the oldest Canadian to ski to the South Pole.


Yesterday we heard from fellow Messner Route skier, solo Newall Hunter that it goes pretty hectic with the last preparations. Today Ian described it as feeling like he is “in the middle of a padded cell with 4 bungee cords attached to me and the 4 corners – training, fundraising, logistics and technology and “life”.” Fortunately his wife is lending a much needed helping hand.


ExplorersWeb: How did you get to the idea to ski to the South Pole? What is you adventure background?


Ian: I have always been fascinated by the explorers from 100 years ago, such as Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen. Being originally from the UK, Antarctic exploration was very much viewed as an heroic pursuit.  


I am most at home when undertaking a self-sufficient trek, where the complexity of today’s life is stripped away – choices, focus and goals are easy to identify with. I love an end-to-end trek and have completed many cycle adventures including; Australia coast to coast (solo), Canadian Arctic, Iceland coastline and end-to-end in the UK (1,000 miles and 100 different beers).


I never imagined I would get the opportunity to go to Antarctica, let alone ski from the coast to the pole, so I feel very privileged!


ExplorersWeb: How did your training program look like?     


Ian: Tire dragging – building up to 8 hours a day, twice per week.  Running – long distance, hills and intervals.      


ExplorersWeb: What do you still have on your to-do list?     


Ian: I feel like I am in the middle of a padded cell with 4 bungee cords attached to me and the 4 corners – training, fundraising, logistics and technology and “life” ( family, business, friends etc.). 


Joking apart, things are coming together, thanks to my wife who is sewing and modifying virtually everything.


ExplorersWeb: Gear:


Clothes: Ventile smock – Snowsled UK, typical, down gear etc.

Boots: Baffin 3-pin polar boots – Baffin Canada

Skis: Fischer E99

Sled: Red!! I think we are pulling 2 sleds.


ExplorersWeb: Anything else?            


Ian: Documentary film - one of the big challenges is going to be filming on the expedition. I have made several documentary films before, some submitted to the International Bike Film festival and the Australia by Bicycle film has been shown in Ontario and the UK. We have a lot of footage already of pre-expedition preparations.


I have also been connected for several years with Borderbrook School in Wales, UK. They have entrusted me with their school mascot to take to the South Pole – my wife has dressed him (Oscar the cat) in the same gear I have!


The PolarExplorers’ team is an all men team with two Brits completing the team, Andy Styles and Bradley Cross.


Ian Evans will be reporting on his website  www.ianevans.ca/southpole

His Facebook page is  https://www.facebook.com/ian.evans.9634340


PolarExplorers told ExplorersWeb that they will also be blogging during the expedition.



Follow daily updates in the News Feed on ExplorersWeb.





ExplorersWeb South Pole 2014 Interviews


ExWeb interview with Newall Hunter, solo South Pole skier: "pretty hectic last preparations"


French married couple and Norwegian adventurer for South Pole crossing: ExWeb interview with couple


ExWeb interview with Tractor Girl, Manon Ossevoort: tractor passed tests and arrived in Cape Town


ExWeb post South Pole interview with Fagan couple


Lessons from a yachtswoman: Paula Reid to ski to the South Pole


Geoff Wilson’s Top 5 South Pole Tips


ExWeb interview with Faysal Hanneche, "I learned to be patient on Antarctica"


Rules and Regulations in No-Man's Land: ExWeb interview with ALE's Steve Jones


Mount Sidley, Antarctica’s highest volcano accessible to climbers


AdventureStats and Rules of Adventure


Polar Technology


Rules and Regulations in No-Man's Land: ExWeb interview with ALE's Steve Jones


Polar Tech Week Roundup: 2014/2015 Recommendations


Your Smart Phone going Global: Review of Iridium Go


ExWeb Special: 2014 Polar Tech Roundtable Conference


HumanEdgeTech Expedition Technology (e.g.CONTACT software)




Mission to Mars: Stage 2 Report


A journey to the South Pole in a wheelchair


Antarctica video trilogy


Video: Second 2012-13 Ilyushin-76 flight lands at Union Glacier, Antarctica


ExWeb interview with Antony Jinman, flying a drone at the South Pole


NASA Worldview


Current Polar Sea Ice Situation (Sept 2014)


Animated map of global weather conditions


New satellite map of Antarctica freely available


Antarctic ski/climb/pole/science Logistic Operators


Adventure Network International (ANI and ALE)


Antarctic Logistics Centre International (ALCI and TAC)



Gateway port Cape Town, South Africa: 

To ALCI /TAC base camp Novolazarevskaya / Novo 

70° 46’37”S, 011° 49’26”E 


Gateway port Punta Arenas, Chile, South America: 

To ALE/ANI base camp, Union Glacier 

79° 45'S, 083° 14'W


Hercules Inlet is located at 80°S near Union Glacier, 1130 km from the Geographic South Pole.

The Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf (Messner) start is 890 km in a straight line from the Pole.

The bottom of the Leverett Glacier, at the Ross Ice Shelf, is located at about 85ºS, a distance of 550 km from the Geographic South Pole.

Axel Heiberg Glacier start is also located at the Ross Ice Shelf and 535 km in a straight line from the South Pole.


1 nautical mile (nm) = 1.852 km

1 nm = 1.151 miles

1 knot = 1.852 km/h

1 degree of Latitude is 110 km / 60 nm / 70 miles

Sastrugi are hard snow bumps and can be as high as 10 feet

A nunatak is a top of a mountain visible above the snow surface.


South Pole of Inaccessibility 2011-12 position: 

S82°06.696, E055°01.951

Geographic South Pole: 90 degrees South


A "solo" ski requires an unassisted status (therefore no supplies carried by pilots or car drivers, or anything received from any person).















Ian Evans when circumnavigating Iceland on his bicycle.
courtesy Ian Evans, SOURCE
"[Preparations] are coming together, thanks to my wife who is sewing and modifying virtually everything."
courtesy Ian Evans, SOURCE
"I have always been fascinated by the explorers from 100 years ago, such as Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen."
courtesy Ian Evans, SOURCE