Frequent Flyer: James Castrission

This adventurer fears the unknown, but explores it anyway.

Q Last year you and Justin Jones were the first team to complete an unsupported return journey to the South Pole. Why did you do it?

A The attraction has always been in attempting a journey or voyage that has not been done before. We get to write our own blueprint and try to solve problems that have stumped previous explorers. When it's a worthy objective we both find it incredibly inspiring and rewarding to make the pieces of the jigsaw fit together.

Q Worst part of these challenges?

A On this last expedition, we were walking a fine line between complete exhaustion and just scraping in achieving our objective. Our bodies were dying and it got pretty ugly.

Q Best travel advice ever received?

A The unknown journey of life is the ultimate destination.

Q What's in your hand luggage?

A A diary and SLR camera.


Q Your most exotic sojourns?

A Sailing to Papua New Guinea or travelling through East Africa with my wife, Mia.

Q Where to next?

A Recovery from the expedition is taking longer than we expected. We've still got some nerve damage in our fingertips and toes, and we're doing a good job finding some of the 55 kilograms we lost in Antarctica. My focus since we returned (apart from getting married) has been finishing our book Extreme South. In May, I'm looking forward to taking a bunch of young Australians to Nepal to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest in 1953 by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary (

Q What can we learn from nature?

A Spending time away from the bustle of life in Sydney allows me to prioritise what's important. Nature has taught me more about the world and myself than anything else. I strongly believe young people need to get out there.

James Castrission is an ambassador for the Youth4Youth Challenge being held in Sydney's Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park for the Starlight Children's Foundation on October 14. See His book Extreme South is out now (Hachette, $35).