Avery Tom (United Kingdom)
As one of only 38 people in history to have reached both the North and South Poles on foot, Tom Avery is quickly gaining the reputation as one of the UK's leading young explorers.
Tom's outdoor career began at 16 with a series of rock and ice climbsin Wales and Scotland. At university he organised and ledmountaineering expeditions to the Andes, New Zealand, the Alps,Tanzania, Patagonia and Morocco.
After graduating from Bristol University in 1998 with a B.Sc. inGeography and Geology, he began a 15-month career as an accountant withArthur Andersen. Eventually forced to choose between the City and themountains, Tom chose the mountains. As a ski guide in Verbier in theSwiss Alps, he developed a love of ski touring and continued toorganise mountaineering expeditions.
Based largely on his South Pole journal, Pole Dance is Tom's first bookand was published in September 2004. His astonishing story is told withyouthful enthusiasm as he shares the triumphs and near disasters of histeam's battle against the harsh Antarctic conditions. He also drawsattention to the achievements of the historic Discovery expedition,which has been largely overshadowed by the drama of Scott's tragic,final journey.
Outside of expeditions, Tom's career includes giving motivational talksto businesses and schools, plus he is an official ambassador for boththe London 2012 Olympic bid and the Prince's Trust. He is also a Fellowof the Royal Geographical Society and works as an ambassador for theSwiss watch manufacturer, TAG Heuer.
Tom's other interests include golf, skiing and climbing.
List of major accomplishments:
- 2005 : "The Barclays Capital Ultimate North Expedition"; together with companions Andrew Gerber, Geroge Wells, Matty McNair,Hugh Dale Harris, Tom Avery claims to solve the greatest polar mysteryof all time â did Commander Robert Peary discover the North Pole in1909 in a record 37 days? Start : Friday March 25th, arrival at NorthPole on April 27th, a 37 days trek covering 445 miles.
- 2002 :On 28th December 2002, at the age of 27, Tom Avery walked into therecord books by becoming the youngest Briton to complete the perilousjourney to the South Pole. Tom's team managed to break the South Polespeed record by using state of the art kites to power them across theice and covering the last 47 miles to the Pole in a marathon 31 hours.
- 2000 :Tom Avery leads a pioneering British expedition to a previouslyunexplored 20-mile mountain range close to China's western border. Histeam scaled nine unclimbed and unnamed summits up to 6,000 metres highin the Eastern Zaalay Mountains of Kyrgyzstan. Tom named one of themountains (the 5 439m Pik Quenelda) after his mother, whose birthdayfell on the day the team reached the summit.