South 2014 – ITACE
Joanne Davies FRGS – Expedition Coordinator
Joanne (Jo) is a world record holder and experienced adventurer having rowed across the Atlantic and skied across Greenland. Shackleton has always been one her heroes and has dreamed of carrying out the goals of the great man for many years. Now the concept has become reality.
Jo was born in 1978 in Kenya where she spent the first eight years of her life running round in the sunshine, sailing boats and swimming in the sea. The sea formed the basis for Jo’s passions later in life and this led her to study Marine Geography at Cardiff University. As a rower, sailor and kayaker Jo not only spends her free time on the water but works offshore as a Hydrographic Surveyor in the oil industry.
In 2005 she embarked on her first expedition as part of an all girls team – “Rowgirls” – to row across the Atlantic, combining her love of the sea and her passion for rowing. Unfortunately things did not go to plan on this expedition and after suffering a fall, Jo had to retire from the race with a back injury. Not able to forget her “Unfinished Business” she returned in 2007 to conquer the Atlantic in another boat with a different team of girls. After the success of her second row, where she achieved a Guinness World Record for the fastest women’s fours ocean rowing boat she then took to the mountains and attempted a climb of Mt Kilimanjaro.
Ever since she can remember Jo has had a fervent interest in Antarctica and the explorers who pioneered Antarctic travel:
“Shackleton is my hero – I believe he is one of the greatest leaders of our time, he led his men through some of the harshest conditions in existence and brought them all out the other side. On his incredible boat journey he never lost a man; they all had trust and faith in his leadership.”
In 2009 she took part in an expedition skiing across Greenland from West to East Coast which gave her a good taste of things to come in Antarctica. Jo never believed it would be possible to ski to the South Pole but after rowing the Atlantic she thinks that anything is achievable and has set her sights on her one true ambition in life; to ski to the South Pole.
Zac Poulton, MIC,FRGS – Training and Equipment
Zac is 36 years old and an Expedition Guide and Mountaineering Instructor (MIC) from the Lake District.
In 2011 he led a very successful expedition to the North side of Everest which put 18 climbers including himself, on the summit. Among his clients was a 16 year old who became the youngest Briton to summit and the youngest person in the world to complete the seven summits.
Zac has also worked down South guiding a successful ascent of Mt Vinson, the highest point in Antarctica and another of the 7 Continental Summits. He has led 5 expeditions to Greenland including a successful North – South traverse of Liverpool Land. Other expeditions have included Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, Khan Tengri, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Pumori and Baruntse. In 2012 he provided safety and technical rigging for a BBC Natural History film shoot in Greenland. He brings a wealth of logistical experience having worked for four years as a Logistics Manager for one of the UK’s top expedition companies. He currently runs MountainZ offering expedition & mountain training in addition to mountain safety services to the film industry www.mountainz.co.uk
He is a member of the Alpine Club, The Association of Mountaineering Instructors and a former member of Mountain Rescue. His photography has been used by the Discovery Channel, the British Mountaineering Council, the British Army Guards Magazine & Adventure Peaks
Supported by a background of Sport and Exercise Science Zac has completed more than 20 marathons, ultra-marathons and adventure races including the Bob Graham Round and an Ironman Triathlon. In the Alps his “unique and robust” skiing style has got him over the Vannoise Ice Cap and the Classic Haute Route.
Summer in the Lakes, winter in Scotland and expeditions to the world’s highest mountains will now be interspaced with dragging tyres and perfecting his thousand yard stare as Zac makes the transition and goes Polar!
Ian Prickett – Communications
Ian is a 34 year old self confessed travel and adventure addict. He is currently ‘down south’ as an important part of Ranulph Fiennes ‘Coldest Journey‘, an expedition which plans to make the first winter crossing of the continent.
Born and raised in Gosport, Hampshire, he was out from an early age exploring the hills of the UK as a Naval Cadet where his interest in the the outdoors began. Taking part in the events such as the Tens Tors Challenge and expeditions through Snowdonia and the Lakes galvanised his love for the outdoor adventure world.
After serving his apprenticeship in HM Dockyard, Portsmouth, he packed his bags and departed on his first of many backpacking trips exploring what the rest of the world has to offer.
He spent a few years living in Australia and New Zealand, traveled through Asia, South America and the Pacific Islands and has recently spent time travelling through South America climbing and trekking through the Andes.
On his return to the UK he went back to the Naval Dockyard in Portsmouth and one of his first projects was refitting British Antarctic Survey’s research vessel, the RRS Sir Ernest Shackleton. This inspired him to apply to BAS and soon found himself sailing through the Falklands and South Georgia on his way to Halley Research Station, situated on the Brunt Ice Shelf in the Weddell Sea. Since his first trip to Antarctica in 2005 he has been heavily involved with BAS, working at Rothera, Halley and King Edward Point in South Georgia. The past five summer seasons Ian has been working at Halley building the new flagship research station, Halley 6.
During his time on the ice, Ian ran the first ever Halley Antarctic Marathon, was the first and only person to kite ski from the coast of the ice shelf , through Halley 5 and on to Halley 6 and has taken part in various expeditions ice climbing and camping. With all his time on the ice Ian has been surrounded with the amazing and heroic tales of adventurers past and present and Shackleton has played a big part in his love of the Continent.
After sailing down on board the ship named after him and reading about the heroic rescue of his team, it will be a great honour for Ian to be a part of his amazing expedition 100 years on.
Ian is currently down in Antarctica taking part in the Coldest Journey Expedition – the brainchild of Sir Ranulph Fiennes – sadly no longer leading the expedition. The Coldest Journey aims to cross the Antarctic Continent in the winter. This will be the first ever winter crossing.
Stewart Stirling, RSGS – Partnerships Manager
Stewart was born and brought up in Dundee, Scotland where he attended Morgan Academy before leaving for London at 17 for a career in the Metrolpolitan Police.
He served 30 years with both the Metropolitan Police and Heddlu Gwent Police where he was a Forensic Collision Investigator and has now retired to take on a new career in the outdoors industry – he has set up his own company as a freelance Expedition Guide and will be leading groups of people on expeditions all over the world.
The Outdoor life has always played a big part in his life since being introduced to the Scottish Highlands as a boy, walking and camping with the Boys Brigade. Later he was commissioned as an Officer in the Territorial Army where he gained a great deal of valuable experience. He has also gained his Mountain Leader Qualifications and is currently working towards further climbing qualifications. He devotes a great deal of his spare time to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme working with Rougemont School.
In 2005 he took part in the Chemin de la Liberte across the Pyrenees and in 2007 Stewart followed this up in an unsupported expedition crossing the Pyrenees Haute Route from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea, 500 miles and 150,000 feet of ascent in 48 days.
When not in the great outdoors Stewart also indulges in his other passion of riding his Triumph motor cycle. ITACE 2014 will be his greatest challenge to date and he looks forward to it with relish.