Expedition and Wilderness Medicine is chosen to provide backstop support for Pen Hadows latest expedition to the pole

The Catlin Arctic Survey

The Catlin Arctic Survey

Pen Hadows latest expedition supported by HRH Prince of Wales is to be supported by the medical resources of Expedition and Wilderness Medicine.


The Catlin Arctic Survey Expedition is an international collaboration between polar explorers and some of the world’s foremost scientific bodies. It seeks to resolve one of the most important environmental questions of our time:

How long will the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice cover remain a permanent feature of our planet?

The team will be travelling on foot, hauling sledges from 80°N 140°W, across 1200-km of disintegrating and shifting sea ice, for around 100 days, in temperatures from 0ºC down to -50°C.

Essential data:

Despite the technological advances of the 20th century, we still only have estimates of the thickness of the sea ice cover on the Arctic Ocean. Travelling across the sea ice, the Catlin Arctic Survey team will take precise measurements of its thickness and density. This will enable the programme’s Science Partners to determine, with a greater degree of accuracy, how long the ice cap will remain. Currently, its predicted meltdown date is anywhere between four and a hundred years from now.

Global significance:

The melting of the sea ice will accelerate climate change, sea level rise and habitat loss on a global scale. Its loss is also a powerful indicator of the effects of human activity on our planet’s natural systems and processes. The Survey’s scientific findings will be taken to the national negotiating teams working to replace the Kyoto Protocol agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Pioneering technology:

The Catlin Arctic Survey has developed and tested a portable, ice-penetrating radar. This will take continuous and detailed measurements of both the snow and ice layers along the 1200 km route.

Ground-breaking satellite communications equipment, developed specifically for this project, will allow the survey team to transmit their unfolding story directly from the ice to a global audience.



Expedition and Wilderness Medicine Staff Bio: Ceri Williams

Ceri Rhys Williams

Ceri’s passions are people and their behaviours. He believes that concentration on great behaviours is the way for all individuals and teams to reach their true potential.

Ceri has spent the past 20 years working as a sports and adventure coach, operating on rivers and in mountain ranges throughout the world. Part of this time was spent serving in the Armed Forces.

Ceri actually spent 22 years in the Royal Marine Commandos specialising in Physical and Adventurous Training. Alongside his service as a soldier he became a British Canoe Union (BCU) Level 5 Coach, earned the Mountain Leader Training Board (MLTB) Mountain Instructor Award (MIA), The Winter Mountain Leader Award (ML Winter). Throughout his commando service he spent numerous winters in northern Norway which played to his strengths. Here in the Arctic he gained considerable travel and survival experience. During his time with the Royal Marines, Ceri also played representative rugby and squash and was a member of the Great Britain Dragon Boating Team, paddling in two World Championships.

Ceri works now as a professional outdoor coach, a personal and team performance coach and an expedition leader. Together with his outdoor qualifications he is a certified practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming and is a master practitioner in Hypnotherapy and never ceases to be exited by the power of language in all forms of coaching.

Since leaving the Royal Marines, Ceri has focused on transferring the skills and lessons learnt from operating in high performing teams to the worlds of corporate business and of individual personal development. He has coached at the highest level in organisations such as Diageo, Unilever, Red Bull and Reuters. His personal dynamism, creativity, thoughtfulness and charm combined with his great leadership skills continue to win him plaudits and motivate teams and individuals both in business and the outdoors.

Ceri’s expedition and corporate work conspire to take him away from home a great deal; in the past 12 months Ceri has successful led charity trekking adventures to Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, Mount Kinabalo crossed the Continental Divide in Costa Rica, trekked across the Great Wall of China and spent several weeks Charity Dog Sledding in Norway. He remains above all however, a dedicated family man. He has been married to Geraldine for 27 years and together they have two fantastic daughters – Sarah and Katie.

Ceri lives in Devon where he continues to train on a daily basis by swimming, mountain biking and wherever and whenever possible by whitewater kayaking, which remains his first love in the outdoors. Ceri is due to Dog Sled the last degree to the North Pole in April 2009.

Expedition and Wilderness Medicine training team.