Having been part of the youngest and fastest team to ever reach the South Pole in 2002, Patrick went on to lead the first ever East to West traverse of Antarctica, covering 1850km in a total of 75 days. Outside of the Polar World, he has been on many successful expeditions, summiting unclimbed mountains in Tibet and Kyrgyzstan, kayaking down unchartered rivers in the Amazon and being part of the team to set the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.
After an expedition to Antarctica in 2006, Robyn turned her attention to the other end of the planet and skied the last degree to the north pole. She now combines her polar experience with running the London and South African office with Patrick. Robyn manages Marketing, Financial, Human Resources, Governmental and client liaison side of the business. Affable, energetic and organisational skills to put soldier ants to shame, Robyn will be on hand to assist clients throughout their journey. Robyn is an avid global explorer, having travelled to over 85 countries on her last count.
Sam is professional high mountain guide with countless expeditions under his belt. From big wall climbing in Yosemite, USA to descending via snowboard from the summit of Mt Everest, Sam is highly respected in the exploration world.
Despite being an avid BASE jumper and one of the highest level ice climbers on the planet, he is down to earth and easy going. Whatever your ability, Sam will only push you as far as you want to go, ensuring you get the most out of your trip with White Desert.
Dixie Dansercoer is one of the great stalwarts of polar exploration. In the early 1990s, he completed a 4,000km ski crossing of the Antarctic continent and then went north, crossing the Arctic Ocean – 1,800 km in 106 days. He then ski-kited a further 5,013km around Antarctica and broke another world record with a similar style expedition in Greenland. Special advisor to UNICEF and with a 15m statute erected in Newport, Belgium in his honour, his extraordinary achievements are truly one-of-a-kind.
Jerome is another member of the team who grew up in the Chamonix valley. Jerome learnt to ski before he could walk. His adventurous spirit and desire to push the boundaries made him one of the original pioneers of freeride snowboarding. He is a world-renowned snowboard legend who has become famous for descending a number of the world’s highest mountains that were previously thought impossible to ski.
After studying at The Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Justine soon moved on to Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team and has spent the last few years with them. Travelling around the world with the F1 circus, Justine has had to think on her feet. From getting food deliveries in a tuk-tuk at the Indian Grand Prix, to losing gas and electricity at the Brazil Grand Prix at the precise moment when Michael Schumacher wanted his pasta…there was never a dull moment!
Matt is no stranger to exploration and adventure, having embarked on and led many trips into and around Africa. His love for wildlife and conservation combined with his knowledge and survival skills, in the remotest of places, makes him the perfect companion to explore nature in its purest form. Matt has also embarked on some gruelling physical challenges on kayak, foot and bike and recently led a team that summited Mount Kilimanjaro entirely barefoot to raise funds for the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.
For the last 8 years Jenna has been the backbone of the White Desert Camp in Antarctica, turning out an array of amazing dishes and three-course meals even when the weekly food deliveries didn’t quite go as planned!
This season, however, Jenna is staying in Cape Town with the exacting task of managing all White Desert’s logistics. With so much Antarctic experience under her belt, she is the perfect person to support the team on the ice. She says that she is looking forward to hanging up her polar boots….but we suspect it won’t be for long.
Mairi grew up in the outer Hebrides. Her appetite for adventure stems from her merchant mariner father and she eagerly followed his footsteps into a life of travel and adventure. She has worked in remote logistics for a wide range of organisations in locations as diverse as Southern Sudan and the South Pole. She also overwintered as the base commander for British Antarctic Survey and we are honoured to have such a wealth of experience at camp.
Ryan started his career working in manufacturing, on the technical side of product design, before spending some time travelling around Europe. He soon became an electrical engineer at the City & Guilds of London, which led him to the tunnels of the London Underground where he managed various station refurbishments. Returning to South Africa, Ryan started his own company specialising in high-end renovations, and is now White Desert’s go-to guy for technical advice, building knowledge and general all-round problems.
Eric is the man you’ll need if anything needs fixing around camp. His experience stems from working in the steaming hot jungles of Equatorial Guinea which might seem like an unlikely fit for Antarctica, but in each location, the need to be resourceful is paramount. Eric loves the outdoors and is incredibly affable and easy going. This will be his second season with White Desert.
Claire works on the client and media side of the team alongside Robyn in the London and Cape Town offices. In previous incarnations, Claire has managed PR teams, worked for demanding entrepreneurs such as Lord Karan Bilimoria, co-founder of Cobra Beer and, most recently, set up and managed the Family Office of Sir James Dyson, of vacuum cleaner fame. Endlessly cheerful and efficient to the point of scaring those around her, Claire will helps all our clients prepare for their trip South and looks after them while in Cape Town.
Kasha has dedicated her life to exploration and adventure. She has been on the North Face Team as a skier and mountaineer for over 15 years and is a published author, yoga teacher, and amazing cook. She skied from the summit of Choy Oyu at 8201m and had first descents in Mongolia to Alaska. Currently she is working for the World Food Program disaster relief program in Nepal and in Antarctica, will be one of your hostesses at camp and the perfect person to share a story or two.
- A wonderful experience
"Lovely memories of this adventure. We are recommending it, and White Desert, to family and friends and our travel agent. Thank you for a wonderful experience."
Philippe and Trudy Bovay