Alex Hibbert

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Alex Hibbert
Alex Hibbert "headshot"
Born Alexander Piers William Hibbert
(1986-04-19) 19 April 1986 (age 31)
Southsea, Hampshire, England
Residence London
Nationality British
Education Canford School, St Hugh's College, Oxford
Occupation Athlete (Cross-country skiing, Mountaineering, Rowing, Triathlon, Kayaking), Polar explorer, author, speaker, photographer
Years active 2006–present
Known for Tiso TransGreenland
The Long Haul

Alex Hibbert (born Alexander Piers William Hibbert; 19 April 1986) is a polar expedition leader, motivational speaker, author and photographer. He currently lives in London.

Family and Education[edit]

Hibbert was born in Southsea, England, the second son of Commodore Richard Hibbert CBE RN, an officer in the Royal Navy.[1] The younger of two brothers, Hibbert attended Canford School before reading Biological Sciences at St Hugh's College, Oxford.[2] Whilst attending Oxford University, Hibbert was actively involved in the Oxford University Exploration Club, The Oxford Union and both college and university boat clubs. He graduated from Oxford in 2007. Hibbert trained for 12 months in the Royal Marines Young Officer batch from September 2008, withdrawing shortly before completion due to injury.[3]

Tiso Trans-Greenland Expedition (The Long Haul)[edit]

The completion of the 113-day Tiso TransGreenland

In 2008 he broke the world record, along with teammate George Bullard, for the longest unsupported polar journey in history. At 21 years old, Hibbert led the 1374-statute-mile, 113-day, Tiso Trans-Greenland Expedition. The expedition was notable especially for the youth of the team and for the final week of the expedition, which was completed on dangerously low levels of food. His world record was altered to state 'Arctic', rather than 'Polar', to reflect the 2011 Antarctic expedition by Aleksander Gamme that travelled a short distance further.

Post-Long Haul Projects[edit]

In January 2011, it was announced that Hibbert would attempt to break the speed record for crossing the Greenland icecap. The current Norwegian-held record stands at 8 days 9 hours. In order to break the record Hibbert stated that he and his teammate planned to ski in excess of 40 miles (64 kilometres) and up to 15 hours per day. Despite the team being positioned on the Greenlandic coast on schedule, the planned attempt in April 2011 ended before it began, as low barometric pressure and low cloud cover in the Arctic kept them stranded in Tasiilaq, Greenland for more than a week. On his website Hibbert announced plans to return in the summer. The second attempt on the speed record did take place, starting on 12 August, and finished shy of the record in less than twelve days. Heavily crevassed and turbulent glacial ice and high winds on the plateau contributed to delays which made the record impossible. The pair returned to London on 25 August after flying by helicopter and aircraft from their final position on the Russell Glacier.

Society Elections[edit]

Having been elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (London, UK) in 2007 and a Member of The Explorers Club (New York City, USA) in 2010, Hibbert relinquished both positions in 2012. He cited a reduction of the value of such titles and memberships in his book 'Maybe' as the reason, stating that they latterly lacked distinction and acted purely as revenue generation for societies.[4]

The Dark Ice Project[edit]

Hibbert announced his first multi-month expedition since The Long Haul (2008) in mid-2012.[5] The series of expeditions laid out plans to reach the Geographic North Pole unsupported in the darkness of winter from the last feasible starting point as yet unattained.

The first attempt to launch the first phase ended when Hibbert's teammate suffered a hernia and the pair had to walk back to Qaanaaq.[6]

In 2013 the project was relaunched with a new team and despite good health, cancellation was again called due to adverse ice conditions in the northern Nares Strait. They remained in the Qaanaaq region of the High Arctic and integrated with the local Inughuit, driving over 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) with large Thule dogs, similar to Greenland dogs.

In 2017, the Dark Ice Project website was updated to state 'coming soon', hinting at a renewed attempt.[7]


The launch of The Long Haul, March 2010

Hibbert's first book was an account of his university years and the Tiso TransGreenland expedition, titled The Long Haul, which was published by Tricorn Books in March 2010. The book was launched officially in Stanford's travel bookstore in London's Covent Garden. It attracted positive reviews from Wanderlust magazine and Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

A new paperback, Maybe, was announced as due for publishing in late May 2013. The subject matter is a move towards social commentary combined with expedition accounts.[8] Maybe received mostly positive reviews despite some negativity regarding his forceful and direct style of peer review.[9]


Hibbert competed along with fellow notable graduates of St Hugh's College, Oxford in the Christmas Special of University Challenge of 2013. They successfully defeated Stirling University but did not reach the final.[10]


Hibbert was a finalist in the international BBC Wildlife Photographer Of The Year competition in 2003, 2004 and 2010 and was agency signed from the age of eighteen. He contributed exclusively to Getty Images, Oxford Scientific Films and Robert Harding World Imagery. Hibbert was one of the judging panel on the STA Travel Photo Competition 2010, along with senior figures from the photographic industry.[11]

In 2012 and 2013, Hibbert was part of a group of photographers who publicly criticised Getty Images for their treatment of photographers. Hibbert and some of the other ex-Getty photographers moved their image collections to Stocksy amongst other agencies.

Personal life[edit]

In April 2012 it was reported in the UK's Look magazine and Grazia, that Hibbert had been seen in London with Mollie King from girl band The Saturdays. Neither made any comments on the revelations.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NEW YEAR HONOURS | Military Page - Royal Navy". BBC News. 1997-12-31. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "[ARCHIVED CONTENT] Royal Navy - Careers - Live Chat". Archived from the original on 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  4. ^ "Expedition". Tricorn Books. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  5. ^ "Expedition". The Dark Ice Project. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  6. ^ "A False Start". The Dark Ice Project. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  7. ^ "Expedition". The Dark Ice Project. Retrieved 2017-03-25. 
  8. ^ "Maybe". Retrieved 2013-04-28. 
  9. ^ "Maybe". Sidetracked. Retrieved 2017-03-25. 
  10. ^ "Graduate line-up and fixture list revealed for BBC Two's Christmas University Challenge". BBC. Retrieved 2014-10-09. 
  11. ^ "Winner of the STA Travel Exotic Cultures Photographic Competition | Jim Shannon travel and documentary photography and film". 2010-07-31. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 


External links[edit]