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David K. Hempleman-Adams, LVO, OBE, MED ‘00

David Hempleman-Adams, polar expeditioner, mountaineer, balloonist, and pilot, is one of the world’s most accomplished all-around explorers.  He gained international recognition in 1998 as the first person to achieve the Explorer’s Grand Slam by climbing the highest summits in the world’s seven continents and reaching the magnetic and geographical North and South Poles.
David is an established veteran of the Polar Regions. He first visited the High Arctic in 1982 and has returned every year since. David has set many records of the duration to the various poles, visiting them more than seventeen times. David’s research projects are many and diverse. He has conducted research for over thirty years ranging from cold weather effects on industrial polymers to the psychological and altitudinal effects on the human body in extreme temperatures.

He has spent over two years of his life “floating” on the frozen Arctic Ocean in a tent.

Since 1982 to the present day, David has studied extreme climate change in the various remote polar areas. He has conducted thirty polar expeditions.

David gives freely of his time educating the youth of today around the world, from talks at schools, to the creation of books, films, blogs, and social media.

On June 1, 2000, David became the only pilot to fly a balloon to the North Pole. He set a number of ballooning records: including longest solo flight by a British balloonist at 132 hours; the distance record for the Arctic at 1400 kilometers to the North Pole ring and 2451 kilometers total; the first balloonist to fly solo to the North Pole and the first balloonist to fly solo across the Arctic Ocean.

David has set 46 FAI World Aviation Records.

David Hempleman-Adams was awarded The Explorers Club Medal in 2004, the Lowell Thomas Award in 2012, and the Polar Medal with Bar, by HRH Queen Elizabeth II, in 2013.

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste