Exweb interview with South Pole skier, Ian Evans: Attitude is everything

Exweb interview with South Pole skier, Ian Evans: Attitude is everything

Posted: Feb 19, 2015 10:46 pm EST

 

(By Correne Coetzer) Pain and hunger are two issues that Polar skiers deal with on the ice. Ian Evan had a good share of both.

 

"There were tears of despair, especially when I was injured and in pain at the end of each day and we still had 400 miles to go, but I never thought of quitting,” says Ian Evans. At 58, he became the oldest Canadian to ski form a coastal start point to the Geographic South Pole.  

 

"I tried to manage the problems and break them down into manageable pieces - the next day, the next hour or the next chocolate bar.” Explorersweb caught up with Ian at home where he told us he never thought he would get to visit Antarctica, let alone ski to the South Pole.

 

 

Explorersweb: Liked you weekly observations in your blog ;-) What are your complete-expedition observations?  

 

Ian Evans: Antarctica is a fantastic place and to ski from the coast to the South Pole fulfilled a lifelong dream. My bookshelves are lined with Antarctic Exploration publications and quite frankly I never thought I would get to visit the place, let alone ski to the South Pole! 

 

You feel very small out there, it can be a very humbling experience and being mentally prepared is a lot more important than fitness alone. 

 

Having the right team is so important. We were very fortunate and worked superbly together.  

 

Although the trip was hard for everyone, we still managed lots of laughs, especially one day when I skied off and left my sleds behind!



Explorersweb: You were the oldest Canadian to ski to the South Pole? How did your body cope with such a long strenuous expedition? 

 

Ian: Doing this trek at 58 was very tough on my body, especially as both feet were injured for virtually the whole trip. This, combined with losing 25 LBS (170 is my normal weight) gave me some extra challenges. 

 

There was a cumulative tiredness and fatigue that creeps up day after day.  At the South Pole, I did not have much left.



Explorersweb: What advice would you give to someone at age 58+, or anyone for that matter, who wants to ski to the South Pole?

 

Ian: Think twice about it!  Maybe rent a snowmobile…….

 

Joking apart, my advice would be to train very hard and drag tires over a rough ploughed field (as this is exactly what it is like). Also make sure you put on some weight before leaving. I lost weight with all the training, which was a mistake.



Explorersweb: How did you mentally cope. What made you keep going? Were there times that you thought It is too much?

 

Ian: This expedition tested me like nothing else I have done before. High altitude mountaineering or cycling across Australia on my own just did not compare. There were tears of despair, especially when I was injured and in pain at the end of each day and we still had 400 miles to go, but I never thought of quitting.  

 

As my daughter told my wife – “It’s OK, Dad is too stubborn to quit”. Instead, I tried to manage the problems and break them down into manageable pieces - the next day, the next hour or the next chocolate bar.


Explorersweb: Food craving is a challenge on these expeditions. How much weight have you lost? What did you crave? What was the best on the menu?

 

Ian: As I mentioned above, I lost 25 LBS, but managed to put almost all of it back on in 2 weeks, probably not advisable, but fun all the same. Back in Canada, I ate everything and typically had 5-6 meals a day. 

 

The cravings were many, but if I had to pick it, would be a fresh salad and an orange!

Explorersweb: Anything else?

 

Ian: At my age, completing this expedition was very tough as I did not have the energy and strength of the younger guys. Our expedition member ages ranged from 30 to me at 58. However, the flip side is that I drew on all my experience to find ways to keep going. 

 

Attitude is everything and no one can choose yours for you. 

 

Thanks to Keith, Andy and Bradley, as without their support, I would still be dragging the sleds towards the Pole as I write this!

 

I am now working with a professional film maker to complete a documentary film of the ski to the South Pole. We are really excited about the possibilities and should have a film ready for release towards the end of the year. Check in with the website for a soon-to-be-released trailer and film release status.

 

Ian Evans is an adventurer, businessman, pilot and motivational speaker.  For more information and too book Ian for a keynote address, visit: www.ianevans.ca  or email him at: info@ianevans.ca

 

Around 5:30 PM Chilean time, January 6, 2015, the PolarExplorers team, Keith Heger (US, guide), Ian Evans (CA), Andy Styles (UK) and Bradley Cross (UK) reached the Geographic South Pole. They skied the Messner route, starting at the Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf on 24 November at 5:30 PM when the pilots dropped them off at 890 km (in a straight line) from the Geographic South Pole (90ºS). The men received resupplies along the route.

 

 

Previous/Related

 

Ian Evans’ South Pole blog

 

Keith Heger and team arrived at the Geographic South Pole

 

AdventureStats 

 

ExWeb interview with South Pole traverse kiter Frédéric Dion: One step at the time

 

 

#polar

#Antarctica
#southpole

#southpole2014

#southpole2014-15

#ianevans

#exwebinterview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ian Evans: "You feel very small out there, it can be a very humbling experience and being mentally prepared is a lot more important than fitness alone."
courtesy Ian Evans, SOURCE
Ian: "Make sure you put on some weight before leaving. I lost weight with all the training, which was a mistake."
courtesy Ian Evans, SOURCE
"There was a cumulative tiredness and fatigue that creeps up day after day. At the South Pole, I did not have much left."
courtesy Ian Evans, SOURCE
"Having the right team is so important. We were very fortunate and worked superbly together." Ian Evans (CA), Keith Heger (US, guide), Andy Styles (UK) and Bradley Cross (UK) at the Ceremonial South Pole, January 6, 2015.
courtesy Ian Evans, SOURCE
Antarctica ski and kite-ski routes.
courtesy Map compiled by Explorersweb, SOURCE
Route from the Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf
courtesy Ian Evans, SOURCE
×