Craig Mathieson (polar explorer)

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Craig Mathieson is a polar explorer who is ‘Explorer-in-Residence’ with the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

Craig takes children from high school all over Scotland on a polar expedition


Born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire and raised in Buchlyvie, Stirlingshire, Mathieson was educated at Balfron High School.[citation needed] He began his working life overseas in the military, before moving into HM Customs & Excise as an inspector and anti-fraud officer. He spent seven years with Ernst & Young, before joining Johnston Carmichael in 2007. In January 2014, Craig Mathieson joined accountancy firm French Duncan to head a new VAT department.[1] In 2018 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Abertay University in Dundee. [2]


In 2001 Mathieson participated in an expedition to the summit of unclimbed peaks in Greenland,[1] naming one Mount Mathieson.[citation needed]

He successfully led the first dedicated Scottish Expedition to the South Pole in 2004, man-hauling his sledge 730 miles over the Antarctic Continent,[3] and two years later led an expedition to the Geographical North Pole, taking a 16-year-old boy as part of his team.[4]

In 2009 he was Leader of the ‘Northern Lights’ sea kayaking expedition on the east coast of Greenland[5]


He was appointed special advisor to HM Forces regarding Polar training and guiding in 2012.[citation needed]

In 2013 he was appointed ‘Explorer-in-Residence’ by Royal Scottish Geographical Society.[6][7]

Charity work[edit]

Mathieson established the Polar Academy charity in 2013, taking young adults from a variety of backgrounds and inspiring them through participation in Arctic expeditions. The young adults Mathieson targets for his expeditions are not those who fit the profile of the extreme high achievers or the other extreme, for which there is an abundance of initiatives already in existence. Rather, Mathieson aims to help the average young adult who struggles through life; surviving without recognition, and without ever truly realizing their full potential


  1. ^ a b Reid, Scott (4 January 2014). "Polar pioneer Craig Mathieson explores new VAT role". The Scotsman. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  2. ^
  3. ^ BBC News (29 December 2004). "South Pole success for Scots team". Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  4. ^ Booth, Samantha (2 Nov 2007). "The Teenager Who Skied To The North Pole". The Daily Record (Glasgow). Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  5. ^ Kokatat. "Northern Lights Expedition Prepares For Phase Two". Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  6. ^ The Royal Scottish Geographical Society. "Craig Mathieson appointed as first Ambassador for Exploration". Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Explorer Craig Mathieson appointed first ever explorer in residence at RSGS". Celebrate Scotland. 24 October 2013. Archived from the original on 15 January 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014.