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McNeill Jim (Great Britain)

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McNeill Jim

McNeill Jim

© McNeill Jim

With more than a quarter of a century of Arctic travelling, Jim McNeill is an accomplished polar explorer, presenter and keynote speaker. In January 2001 he conceived the idea of combining his professional rescue expertise with his polar expeditioning into a long term vision known as the Ice Warrior Project.

Jim has worked in the environmental science sector, trained army personnel to use mountains safely and has 12 years of blue‐chip marketing communications experience at consultancy level. In 2006 after fifteen years he resigned his position as a Fire Officer for the Royal Household and from his local authority fire service, to engage in "professional exploring".

Jim's guiding, survival and logistics expertise is now employed by BBC film crews on location in extreme environments. In 2006 Jim was ITV News' own "Ice Warrior", reporting the reality of climate change directly from the Arctic Ocean to audiences around the globe. The story will continue on ITV next year as he attempts the last, so far unattained, World First in polar expeditioning ‐ to be the first person to reach the very centre of the Arctic Ocean - the Arctic Pole.

Throughout his career Jim has selected, trained and led teams in key business situations, where the reputation and share value of corporations is won and lost on strategic and tactical media relations; to critical life saving situations, where effective leadership and hands on teamwork are key to preserving the lives of car crash victims; through to longer term life‐threatening situations in extreme climatic situations with multiple risks over long periods of time. Jim thrives on challenge and change. He has a passion for leadership and getting the very best performance out of individuals and teams, at any level.

Jim lives in Windsor, Royal Berkshire, UK with his wife, Lori and his son Mac. He also has two daughters Kirsty, 28 and Helen, 24.


Outdoor and Expeditionary Experience

  • Arctic Experience Since 1984 - Each year Jim has conducted expeditions in the Arctic countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Canada. Extensive sea‐ice and land based travel by ski, Skidoo and foot-accommodated in huts, tents and snow holes. Many mini‐expeditions either on a solo or small group basis.
  • Outward Bound Course E273 - Eskdale Outward Bound Mountaineering School, Cumbria December 1977. Reference available.
  • Teambuilding training for corporations including the use of Neuro‐Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques, all conducted using the outdoor environment.
  • The creation of a portfolio of adventure tourism expeditions involving the setting of criteria (particularly with regard to safety) and the vetting of guide/instructor competence, equipment and commercial suitability.
  • Active rock climber and mountaineer since 1977 -rock climbing to E3 5c standard- snow and ice climbing to III/IV standard. Climbed in Australia, Flanders Range ; New Zealand, Southern Alps ; Canada, Rockies and High Arctic ; USA, California ; Spain, Pyrenees ; France ; Eire ; Scotland ; Norway and Sweden. Much of this experience has been instructing adults.
  • Mountaineering Instructor for London Borough of Harrow and London Borough of Barnet, Youth and Communities Services - Instructing groups of underprivileged youths in mountain safety and general outdoor pursuits including sailing, canoeing, abseiling, rock climbing, navigation, wild camping, teambuilding activities, hill walking and expedition preparation and practice; including Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme expedition training and practice.
  • Her Majesty's Army. Having entered the service as a mountaineer, my skills were quickly put to use training others in basic mountaineering, navigation, abseiling, Arctic survival training and general outdoor safety;
  • Norway - Mainland
    - 1984 to 1994, extensive Arctic travel by ski and snowmobile
  • Norway ‐ Svalbard
    - 2007 ‐ 23 days, polar bear counting expedition - circular route from Longyearbyen to the
    east coast and return on a more northern route
    - 2007 - 14 days, snowmobile recce, Spitsbergen
    - 2010 ‐ 14 days training Longyearbyen area
  • Baffin Island
    - 1995 - 20 days, Penny Ice Cap crossing
    -1996 - 32 days, Northeast Baffin Island Expedition May - To establish and report on the feasibility of Adventure and Wildlife Tourism in the region, for the Canadian Tourist Commission. This involved leading a party of four persons - 2 mountaineers, 2 Inuit - on a recce expedition involving 750km of sea‐ice travel around the coastline and into the fiord and hinterland areas, by snowmobile and kommatik - ascending an unclimbed peak, identifying mountaineering, ski routes and wildlife viewing areas. Report written and presented to the Canadian Government.
    - 1997 - 18 days, Northeast Baffin Island Expedition to Salem Island to recce the potential
    for climbing in the region - summated two unknown peaks.
    - 1998 ‐ Pangnirtung Pass, 20 days of solo exploration.
    - 1999 - 10 days, Arctic Bay and environs by ski, solo.
  • Ellesmere Island
    - 2004 ‐ 40 day expedition through the Sverdrup Pass from Eureka and up the eastern coast.
    to the Darling Peninsula and the Geomagnetic North Pole.
    - 2007 - 72 day expedition following a pack of eight wolves.
    - 2008 - 66 day expedition following a pack of three adults and 6 cubs.
  • Cornwallis Island
    - 2003 ‐ 73 days expedition around the island exploring other islands offshore.
    - 2005 - 30 day expedition in the Northwest Passage.
    - 2006 - 12 day acclimatisation expedition to Polaris Mine site and return.
  • Arctic Ocean
    - 2003 - Northern Pole of Inaccessibility - First attempt thwarted due to contracting necrotising fasciitis (a flesh eating disease) of his left ankle - did not leave base.
    - 2006 - February Northern Pole of Inaccessibility - Second attempt initially postponed 6 days from leaving Isachsen due to an un‐crossable lead over 20 miles wide. Later in March, having re‐grouped in Resolute he was flown out to the other side of the lead and lasted 17 days before the condition of the sea‐ice became so bad he abandoned the attempt. Jim was measuring sea‐ice parameters for the US, National Snow and Ice Data Center and reporting for UK news broadcaster ITN (also syndicated to NBC, CNN France 2 and others around the world)
    - 2011 will see Jim's third attempt to reach this pole with the help of two teams of novice explorers who have been trained by Jim.
  • Bathurst Island
    - 2009 - 15 days ‐ polar bear counting and wildlife watching expedition, snowmobile from Resolute Bay.
  • Canadian Mainland
    - Numerous years and extensive expedition travel.
  • 1993, Expedition Training for Wilderness Expertise Ltd. Including Duke of Edinburgh Award training.
  • Ice Warrior Project. Since 2001 ‐ Taking novice Arctic volunteers and visitors through to being competent sea‐ice travellers in readiness for an Ice Warrior flagship expedition. We have trained over 215 people (26 people reaching a North Pole).
  • Further details : Winner of The Captain Scott "Spirit of Adventure" Award 2003.
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