Ski Antarctica was borne from a joint passion for exploration and adventure in remote and wild places. While Phil was leading a low-budget yacht-based mountaineering expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula he met Cath, the owner of a much more upmarket yacht. The rest is history.
Phil organises and leads our ski mountaineering trips, sea kayaking and backcountry operations. With over 2 decades of leading skiing and mountaineering expeditions in Antarctica, his Antarctic experience is unrivalled.
After completing his PhD at Imperial College London, and having already led and co-led 5 mountaineering and ski mountaineering expeditions to the greater ranges, Phil worked as a field guide for the British Antarctic Survey, being responsible for safety and travel deep in the heart of Antarctica in both summer and winter, as well as training personnel and preparing equipment.
Climbing and skiing trips to Greenland, the Andes and Canada followed, but Antarctica was still calling. and so he returned on a yacht with a group of friends and spent 3 months climbing and skiing as much as they could. He then led the highly successful Alpine Club and Eagle Ski Club expeditions, which summited a staggering 22 unclimbed peaks.
With their combined experience in Antarctic sailing and skiing expeditions, Phil and Cath decided to offer the same formula to a wider audience, and named their expeditions 'Ski Antarctica'.
To date Phil has made more than 20 yacht-based expeditions to Antarctica, reaching the summits of over 140 different Antarctic mountains, including over 50 first ascents, and totalled more than 800 days of skiing in Antarctica.
In addition to his extensive experience, Phil holds the following qualifications:
Cath is the owner and skipper of Icebird. Having skippered charter yachts to Antarctica for almost two decades, plus a wealth of other impressive sailing adventures, she is one of the most experienced and respected skippers operating in Antarctica.
Cath has been sailing all her life, from racing dinghies at the tender age of 4, to offshore ocean racing yachts as a teenager, then sailing around the world with her own children in the 90’s, in a yacht built largely by herself.
Cath has participated in many major ocean races including the disastrous 1998 Sydney/Hobart race and brings a wealth of experience in seamanship, sailing and remote area operations.
In 2003, after her purchase of Spirit of Sydney along with her then partner, Cath skippered Spirit for her first Antarctic season and her love affair with polar regions began. Her dream of providing expedition support in one of the most beautiful and exciting places on earth became reality and to this day Cath loves sharing the adventure with the select group of wonderful and interesting people who choose to join her expeditions.
Icebird was purchased in 2011, and Cath has relished her role as ‘Capitana’ of such a beautiful vessel which is ideally suited to comfortable expedition sailing in the high latitudes. Cath also enjoys cooking and makes a point of excellent provisioning.
In addition to her extensive experience, Cath holds the following qualifications:
Oli is our second skipper. Not only a skipper in Antarctica, he is also a professional sailing instructor, and has sailed and raced yachts extensively around the world. As a climber and mountain rescue team member, his skills and knowledge are invaluable to our Antarctic operations.