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Tom Avery

Record-Breaking Polar Explorer


Motivation & Leadership





Tom Avery is one of the UK's foremost adventurers - he is a pioneering polar explorer, climber and ski mountaineer and adventure has been in his blood all his life. Tom 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 just nine people in history to have completed the polar trilogy; the South and North Poles and a crossing of Greenland. That is fewer people than have walked on the surface of the moon.

Avery has organised over a dozen expeditions across the globe and is the youngest Briton to have been to both Poles. He is a graduate of Bristol University, where he gained a degree in Geography and Geology

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.

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,. According to The Sunday Times "Avery is shaping up to join the ranks of such British immortals as Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Dame Ellen MacArthur".

He is a regular on the international motivational and corporate speaking circuit, lecturing in a variety of venues from the Davos World Economic Forum to an uninhabited sandbar in the Maldives. He has also spoken about his expeditions at the Royal Geographical Society and Alpine Club in London, as well as the Explorers Club in New York and the National Geographic Society in Washington DC.


  • How to motivate ourselves and those around us in extreme conditions
  • Leading a team of talented and different individuals to achieve a common goal
  • Using passion and self belief to achieve goals


  • To the End of the World, 2009
  • Pole Dance, 2003