With Crossing the Ice making its premiere on Fillim.com on the 6th of December and having watched the film with complete awe, I felt I needed to let everyone know some more info about these guys who walked to The South Pole and back.
Why on earth did you decide to go to the South Pole and back?
Cas and I always thought about it. We were always reading about these stories of the explorers, Robert Scott and Ernest Shakleton. Antarctica was this mythical place; it represented adventure. We had this same idea during the paddle across the Tasman sea and we started organizing our Antarctic trip right after getting to New Zealand.
Knowing no one was going to be there to greet you at the South Pole was this adventure different to your kayaking one?
The arrival at New Zealand was amazing but that wasn’t part of the adventure. The adventures that Cas and I do is more about the challenge. It’s for internal reasons rather than for glory or anything like that.
You looked like you were shitting yourself in the video before you left for Antarctica. What were you feeling?
Cas and I felt nervous and excited. It was an amazing feeling, we had been working on this adventure for three years and all of that organization was leading up to this point and the flight from South Africa meant it had finally started.
A lot of people must have said that you couldn’t complete this journey; did that push you to do it more? Did it hinder you along the way? I could imagine those negative voices reverberating in your head at the worst points along your journey.
It didn’t bother us; Cas and I have pretty thick skins and we just ignored negative things like that: it was water off a duck’s back. We didn’t listen to people who didn’t know what they were talking about. But if an expert said something like that then we listened, then those experts helped us learn the knowledge we needed for this trip.
People would say, you can’t go to Antarctica or you can’t this but if people say you can’t do something that is not a reason to not do it.
There were some tense moments in the documentary. What was it like knowing how dangerous it was? Like when you crossed the crevasses that were possibly hundreds of meters deep.
It’s about knowing how dangerous your surrounding is. With the crevasses we couldn’t afford to go around and find another way. It’s all part of the adventure, it’s about taking responsible risks.
It must have been emotionally draining? I was caught in a white out once for about two minutes and had a mini panic attack.
With the white out, we couldn’t see anything and even enjoy what we were doing and it was emotionally draining. We felt like we weren’t making mileage but we knew in our head that we were.
You sounded incredibly prepared for this journey but did your expectations let you down? Was there something that you weren’t prepared for?
Alexander Gamme. We weren’t prepared for him and this idea of a race. If we could do it again there would be things we would do differently, like the equipment and safety precautions and also trimming weight.
You guys did lose a lot of weight. That Christmas must have been exciting. That bacon looked like it was the best present in the world.
We were constantly hungry, I was not in a happy state and it was the little things like that that make you smile and made the trip better.
It was inspiring to see Cas saying, “if we can do this, we can do anything.” Is that why you do these adventures, to inspire others to do something different?
It’s not about doing something different, or about pushing yourself. Cas and I say that adventure is relative, this could be anywhere from starting a business, or acting in a play. We want people to be inspired to take their own path and follow their own passion, to live their lives rather than do what other people think you should do.
What does it mean to you knowing that your film is available for digital streaming on Fillim?
In today’s modern society working on Fillim’s platform is better, you don’t have to own a DVD anymore to see a movie. Everyone wants everything now now now. A dad can buy this film off Fillim and watch it with his family that night and that’s great because we get to share our message and adventures with them.
Watch the film now at Fillim (for Australian Viewers)
Some pretty valuable insights into the minds of these adventurers. Cas and Jonesy have a book available, online from the website and major bookstores, called Extreme South.