In the Spotlight - Carl Alvey

Name: Carl Alvey
Role: Guide
1st ALE Season: 2007
Nationality: British

Why did you want to work in the Antarctic? What was the attraction?

I first came to Antarctica as a guest in 2004, on a student Ski Last Degree expedition. I fell in love with the wide open spaces, the cold, the remoteness and of course the adventure. From that point onwards I knew that I would have to find a way to get back to the ice.Alvey_Carl

How did you start working for ALE? Have you always done deep-field work?

After coming down as a guest and then as a visiting guide, I got my first contract with ALE in 2007 as part of the operations team. This gave me a great chance to get to know the company and to learn more about the scope of their Antarctic operations.

What are your greatest challenges as an Expedition Guide in a deep field operation?

For me it’s about having the chance to help people reach their goals, which they may not be able to achieve on their own. It’s about fighting the weather Antarctica throws at us, balancing the team’s emotions, and problem solving for day to day life on a long ski expedition.

What do you love best about your work with ALE?

It’s all the about the people, the great team of people you get the chance to work with and the guests that you meet down on the ice.

Describe your ideal expedition…

My ideal expedition would involve skiing and kiting a long way with great people. One would be:

  • Start on the Ross Ice shelf and ski to the South Pole via the Axel Heiberg Glacier and then kite to Hercules Inlet. This trip would encompass every kind of polar travel from long days skiing on the polar plateau; to the technical glacier terrain of the Axel Heiberg; and covering ground real quickly by kiting on the way back to Hercules Inlet.
  • I would also love to kite from Novolazarevskaya to the South Pole and then out to Hercules Inlet. Just because its long and the wind blows in the right direction!!
What tips can you give to someone who is planning to ski to the South Pole?
  • Take a little extra time in the planning to make sure you have got all of the small details dialled, it will pay off in the end.
  • Get some good expedition training and then physically train hard. The fitter and stronger you are, the more you will enjoy the trip.
  • Polar expeditions don’t have to be about Type III Fun!
What are your favorite three pieces of gear to take on a South Pole Expedition?
  1. My thermarest NeoAir all season sleeping pad, along with 2 Thermarest z-rest sleeping pad; together.
  2. My Klattermusen shell clothing. It’s the most comfortable and practical gear I have used.
  3. And of course, I love sleeping in a Hilleberg Keron 4 GT. It makes the best home for long expeditions.
What do you do for the rest of the year, when you are not in the Antarctic?

When I am not working down south for ALE I live in the mountains of Norway where I run my own company Expeditions365, that provides expedition training and kite skiing courses. In the spring I travel to the Greenland Ice-cap in search of more wide-open, cold places and in my free time I like to get out kiting and skiing as much as I can.

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