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Hadow Pen

Contact :

Websites : Own website / His travel company / NYT / / / City Speakers International / The London Speaker Bureau / Exeter City Council / Speakers for Business / Norman Philips Organisation / All Electric / Performing Artistes Online / Guardian Unlimited / UKC UK / (books) / LookSmart Find Articles / The Edge Entertainment Agency / TimesOnLine /

Major Accomplishments

Solo - North Pole 2003. Pen is preparing to complete is previous missions to make the first solo expedition, without resupply, by the hardest route (from the Canadian coast) to the North Geographic Pole in March and April.

Arctic Survival Course 2002. Pen developed and guided the first commercially organised Arctic survival course held on the high Arctic island of Spitsbergen.

BBC Consultancy 2001. Acted as consultant to explorer Benedict Allen's highly acclaimed 'Ice Dogs' series about dog-sledding in easternmost Siberia to the Bering Strait.

Polar Orchid Challenge 2001. Pen guided Ben Saunders, the youngest person ever to attempt an All The Way to the North Geographic Pole. Additionally it was to be unsupported and on low calorific rations to experiment with a revolutionary high carbohydrate, low fat diet that could be taken by future polar expeditions. In the event the team sledge-hauled 109kg sledges from Cape Arktichevskiy (northernmost Siberia) 620km across the Arctic Ocean towards the North Pole in the coldest season since 1987 reaching 86º43'North, some 15 days short of the Pole. Valuable scientific data was collected, which together with a book about the expedition, will be published shortly.

The Last Degree - North Geographic Pole 2001. The Polar Travel Company organised an expedition out of Borneo (with clients arriving through Russia and Longyearbyen) to the North Pole, led by polar guide, Ann Daniels. In addition training was provided on the Arctic Ocean to two private teams planning All The Way journeys to the North and South Poles in 2002.

The Last Degree - North Geographic Pole (March & April, 2000). Pen guided two expeditions, on skis hauling supplies, the last 110 kilometres across the Arctic Ocean sea ice to the North Pole, with the first expedition approaching from the Canadian side, and the second from the Russian side via Khatanga in Siberia and the ice airport called 'Borneo' at 89° North on the Russian side. The first expedition was undertaken by a specially trained team because of the particularly severe weather conditions anticipated - no sledging expedition had ever been to the Pole so early in the season, indeed the team experienced the last place on Earth to witness the dawn of the new Millennium as the sun rose at the North Pole in late March.

Crossing of Resolute Passage - Training Expedition (March, 2000). Pen guided five person team, as part of preparation for a particularly arduous Last Degree expedition in March, from Resolute Bay airbase to the shores of Griffith Island and back to Resolute Village.

The Last 50 Kilometres - North Geographic Pole (April, 2000). Pen guided a private client on a bespoke, shortened expedition to the North Pole from the Russian side via 'Borneo'.

M&G ISA Challenge 2000. Technical consultant in the UK, Chile and Antarctica to the first all-women expedition to the South Geographic Pole undertaken by Caroline Hamilton, Ann Daniels, Pom Oliver, Rosie Stancer, and Zoe Hudson - all originally participants on our McVitie's Penguin Polar Relay in 1997, the first all-women team expedition to the North Geographic Pole

All The Way - South Geographic Pole (2000). Promoted the first British guided expedition from the coast of Antarctica (Hercules Inlet) to the South Geographic Pole (1,200 Kilometres) enabling Catherine Hartley (the first of two women to ever make such a journey) and Justin Speake (also British) to reach their goal 61 days later, led by Geoff Somers.

The Last Degree - North Geographic Pole (1999). Guided two separate expeditions, each of five-men, on skis hauling supplies, the last 110 kilometres across the Arctic Ocean sea ice to the North Pole, following a training and acclimatisation phase at Resolute Bay, Canada.

National Polar Express (1998). Ground-breaking, ultra-lightweight solo North Pole attempt - reaching 87° 18 North faster than any previous solo or team expedition. Medical condition forced withdrawal.

McVities's Penguin Polar Relay (1997) - World First. Organiser of the first internationally renowned all-women's relay expedition (22 women) to the North Geographic Pole from Ward Hunt Island, Canada - including its promotion, the selection process, contracting of guides, physical training, polar base management and media relations.

Oyez solicitor's Polar Expedition (1997). Guide to a seven-man expedition to the North Magnetic Pole from Resolute Bay in the Northwest Territories, Canada. The expedition was by snowmobile to Lougheed Island, then via Twin Otter to the North Magnetic Pole. (Private clients)

That Last Degree (1997). Guide to a five-man expedition on foot by a British team from the eighty ninth degree to the North Geographic Pole. The Expedition raised over £75,000 for the British charity Whizz-Kidz. (Private Clients)

North Magnetic Pole (1995). Guide to a successful (200 kilometre) sledging expedition across the frozen McLean Strait from Northern Bathurst Island to the North Magnetic Pole by foot in the Canadian high Arctic.

'Search for Kruger' (1995). Guide to a reconnaissance expedition for television, to an islet in the Queen Elizabeth Islands of northern Canada in search of evidence of Hans Kruger who disappeared without trace in the locality in 1932. (Commercial client)

Solo North Pole (1994). The first attempt to reach the North Geographic Pole on foot, without air support, from Ward Hunt Island, northernmost Canada. Membership of the No Limits Team an international team for extreme athletes sponsored by Sector Sport Watches.

Trans Spitsbergen Exhibition (1991). Guide to a successful two-way crossing by snowmobile of the high Arctic Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. (Private client)

'Project Polar Night' (1991). Guide to a successful two-way crossing by snowmobile of the high Arctic Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. (Private client)

Greenland by Foot (1990). Guide to a series of extended tours by foot in the Angmagssalik region of Greenland's east coast. (Private clients)

'Arctic Voyager' (1989). Co-partner on the 'furthest north' voyage by open boat from British shores - to east Greenland - and the longest voyage (3,500 kilometers) by inflatable craft. (Sponsored expedition)

'Polar Bears in the Wild' (1989). A seventy-day, two-man sledge-hauling journey, without resupply, across the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard photographing polar bears. (Private expedition)


Pen Hadow, one of the world's leading explorer-guides, against seemingly impossible odds, has made it possible for people from all walks of life to make ground-breaking expeditions to the most remote points on planet Earth - the North and South Poles. The secret behind his success has been his exceptional ability to motivate individuals and teams to perform at their peak in even the most extreme situations. His superbly illustrated presentation reveals the inspirational story behind this remarkable leader and polar pioneer.

Pen (aka 'Polar Pen') is a rare breed amongst explorers, because he chose to bridge the divide between his professional achievements and the potential he saw in the wider public to undertake substantial polar expeditions. He had made a series of progressively bold expeditions of his own in the high Arctic in the 1980's and 90's, culminating in three extreme solo expeditions on the Arctic Ocean. The rigorous life-style and harsh environment of these endeavours developed a passion in him for the polar regions, which he felt others would like to share if they had the opportunity.

Pen's eyes had first been opened, when he was just fifteen. He completed a solo marathon, long before marathons became a mass-participation sport. Teachers, coaches and doctors had all advised against the attempt. But Pen ran it anyway and discovered for himself that the vested interests of experts could create barriers to progress. He encountered the same negative attitude again in the polar world … and knew what had to be done. He set up the only specialist guide service in the world - The Polar Travel Company - and dedicated himself, single-handedly, to opening up the Arctic and Antarctic to everyone.

First he had to change a nation's perception of what was possible - the Poles wereregarded as the exclusive domain of the professional explorer. He also had to create a new market - travel industry experts assuring him that no-one would be attracted to high-cost,sub-zero temperature, expedition-style holidays. And then, in the most inhospitable conditions on Earth, he had to lead novice teams on pioneering expeditions to the remotest points on planet Earth - the Poles. Effective teamwork and appropriate leadership techniques were critical to each expedition's outcome.

The national wake-up call to launch hiscommercial venture was to be a dramaticone. It was to test his entrepreneurial and management skills to the limits. He devised, promoted, and organised the first all-women expedition to the North Pole … and three years later, the internationally-acclaimed McVitie's Penguin Polar Relay reached the North Pole - on schedule to the day, with no injuries, and a catalogue of 'world firsts' by the team of twenty-two. Public perception started to shift. Two years later he supported the high profile British all-women expedition to the South Pole - the M&G ISA Challenge. Public demand for expedition places began to grow rapidly. Armed only with a laptop, a phone line and a total dedication to success, Pen's vision had become a reality.

Pen's is an inspirational story because many of the lessons he has learned and the skills he now applies on his expeditions are of equal importance in the less hazardous environment of the workplace. As explorer, guide and entrepreneur, he has discovered for himself, the hard way, some profound insights about personal capacity and team performance while preparing his extra-ordinary teams of 'ordinary individuals' for the ultimate full-on polar experience. And he has come to recognise the real value of vision, preparation, and leadership - and above all, mental attitude, the universal key to success, in the reaching of one's chosen goal.