Wally Herbert Award

The Sir Wally Herbert Award is meant to encapsulate the true spirit and drive of Sir Wally in his lifetime commitment to make contributions to geographical discovery and research in the polar regions. Wally completed the first surface traverse of the Arctic, the longest traverse across the Arctic Ocean, reaching the northern pole of inaccessibility and north geographic pole, 6,700km over the pack-ice. The geographic north pole was attained on April 6 1969. Wally and the other three were unquestionably the first men to have reached this point over the ice surface. From the pole, over difficult ice, they continued to Vesle Tavloya, the most northerly island of the Svalbard archipelago, which was reached on May 29 1969, 464 days from Point Barrow.

The award is aimed at expeditions that are seeking to continue the legacy of uniqueness no matter how small or large the expedition is and the committee considers all aspects of but goes back to the question of ‘what would Sir Wally have thought about it’.

The committee

Kari Herbert

Daughter of Sir Wally, Kari Herbert is a British travel writer, photographer and television presenter. We are so pleased to have Kari’s support as her father’s legacy is something we are so keen to uphold. Find our more about Kari here.

Andrew Regan

Andrew Regan has journeyed to both the North and South Poles on multiple occasions and led the record-breaking expedition to the South Pole in 2005 as well as the Moon-Regan Transantarctic Expedition in 2010 which completed the first ever there-and-back crossing of Antarctica, via the South Pole. Andrew created the Wally Herbert Award, sponsoring new and exciting expeditions. Find our more about Andrew Regan.

Hannah Mckeand

In 2006 Hannah McKeand set a world speed record for skiing solo and unsupported to the South Pole, a journey of 690 miles that she completed in 39 days, 9 hours and 33 minutes. She went on to completed six expeditions to the South Pole and over 6000 miles of Antarctic sled-hauling, more than anyone else in the world today. She works continues to work as a guide, logistics manager and expedition consultant. Find out more about Hannah here.

Shane Winser

Geography Outdoors Manager at the RGS, worked there fore 40+ years and has been a part of some of the most exciting projects that the RGS has backed. Find out more about Shane here.

Steve Jones

Steve started with ALE as a field guide and then served as Field Operations Manager for 6 years. Working from the UK as the Expeditions Manager, he is the main point of contact for all independent expeditions and also contributes to the operations planning for each Antarctic season. Find out more about Stev here.

Latest Grant

The Spectre


This expedition aims to utilise modern polar knowledge & techniques that enable low impact, long distance travel at high speed to access & explore a region previously beyond the reach of independent expeditions, the most remote mountains on Earth; the Spectre in the Gothic Range of the Transantarctic Mountains.

A complete, unsupported traverse of the Antarctic continent will then be undertaken assisted by kite.

The Plan

A ski equipped Twin Otter aircraft will fly the team 600 kms South to ALE’s Theill Skiway fuel depot . After refuel the aircraft will fly to a drop off point at 88˚S, 110˚W, 300 kms towards the Gothic Mountains, the aircrafts maximum return payload range.

For the next 69 days the team will be unsupported and self sufficient. A 20-day food & fuel depot for the return journey will be cached at the drop off point. Kites will be used to travel the remaining 350 kms to the Gothic Mountains. 20 days will be spent climbing first ascents and exploring the most remote mountains on Earth. All climbs will be made in Alpine style. No fixing rope, No drill & No bolts will be carried.

The team will then kite 100 kms down the Scott Glacier to the Ross Ice shelf; the edge of the Antarctic continent. The return journey will require man-hauling uphill, into wind for 450 kms towards the South Pole back to their depot at the original drop off point. Favourable wind patterns can then be harnessed to kite a further 1000 kms to Hercules Inlet on the Ronne Ice shelf on the opposite edge of the continent. If conditions allow the team will attempt to go via the South Pole. A final kite / man-haul journey of 100 kms will bring the team back to the Union Glacier Camp returning from Antarctica late January 2018.


Find out more here