About Vincent Colliard
« Hi! I am Vincent Colliard, a professional explorer from France. I grew up between the mountains and the ocean in the Basque Country. After reading some adventurers' stories as a teenager, I dreamt about exploring the most remote places on Earth. I have always been curious and wanted to explore what is unknown to me, especially the Polar regions because it it so inaccessible. That's where all my adventures started! »
An Accomplished Polar Explorer
Vincent thrives in rugged and isolated environments where humans and Nature coexist in harmony. He has been exploring cold climate regions for the past 15 years and has learnt from the greatest explorers. He became professional in 2014 when he started the project 'Icelegacy' with his expedition partner and Polar legend Børge Ousland. IceLegacy is an ongoing series of expeditions crossing the 20 largest ice caps on the planet.
A Ski Expedition Guide
Alongside the Icelegacy project, Vincent works as a ski expedition guide for the company 'Ousland Exploration'. It is possible for you to join Vincent on one of his guided trips to Norway, Svalbard, at the North Pole! and more… There are some preprogrammed expeditions but also customized possibilities and for all levels.
A Public Speaker
Through all his adventures - From crossing glaciers and taking samples of ice for water and carbon analyzation, to being the protagonist of a TV series called Living Simply, what really matters to Vincent is to show how dependent on and connected we are with wild ecosystems both in the Polar regions and the world’s oceans hence his choice to live a 'Simple-Voyage' lifestyle with Léa Brassy.
Vincent aims to illustrate the extent of the damage caused by climate change and hopefully get people to remove their blinkers and be part of a change for a better future.
A Passionate Photographer
Vincent did not have a camera whilst growing up. After taking photos of his beautiful girlfriend Léa Brassy surfing in the Arctic (Ambassador for Patagonia), he realized that photography is a great medium for storytelling and presenting the remote places he cares about.
A Blessed Partnership
Vincent shares his life with Léa, a talented water-woman passionate about surfing and spearfishing. They like to call their lifestyle Simple-Voyage. The meeting of a man and a woman with two very different characters, dedicated to the same quest of living magic moments, SIMPLY. And because “happiness is the only thing that doubles when you share it”, Léa and Vincent bring their skills together for a pure adventure called Love. When not on expedition, Léa and Vincent can be found, either on their 31 foot sailboat in French Polynesia or in the South-West of France.
« I am elated to be living my passions. »
Below are the main expeditions before Vincent became a professional explorer in 2014. All of these adventures enable Vincent to understand what it means to be an Explorer, what it means to go on an unsupported expedition and how to prepare physically and mentally inorder to achieve his dreams.
Patagonia was a key expedition for Vincent and his apprenticeship. Skiing partially across the Southern icecap on an unsupported trip. At first, they were carrying heavy backpacks on the glacier when suddenly one of them lost his balance and the front spike of his crampons went through Vincent’s ski boot. It fractured his foot. Vincent had to continue skiing 10h/day for 2 weeks to reach civilization in the nearest village of El Chalten. Finding himself in this testing situation where he had no choice but to continue, it was here that he discovered his unexpected inner ressources. It was a serious test of mind over matter.
The North Pole
Vincent's enthusiastic, stubborn and insistent disposition lead him to meet one of his heros, the Norwegian Polar Explorer, Børge Ousland. Vincent joined Børge for an expedition sailing around the North Pole in one, single season, aboard « Northern passage » a 31 foot trimaran. The duo sailed for 25 days through the North West Passage, the same route took Amundsen 3 years only a century ago. This was made possible because of the rapidly receding sea ice. Aside from attaining this huge achievement, the experience was a real eye-opener for Vincent. It fulfilled his desire to explore the Polar regions. Subsequently he became extremely concerned by the global ice retreat issue.
2008 / 2009
Vincent’s first 2 expeditions were attempts to climb a new route on a virgin, 6000 meter peak in the Himalayas, with Alpinist Stéphane Schaffter. Despite their efforts to conquer this feat, and much to their disappointment, they had to turn back both times. The instability of the rocks and the risk of avalanch made for many scary moments. Despite defeat on both occasions Vincent learned extensively from these 2 expeditions and such failures would drive him to success in the future.