Chris Fagan and her husband became the first American married couple to ski without guide, resupply or other assistance to the South Pole–and became Guinness World Record holders. She has summited Denali, in Alaska; run 100-mile trail races through the mountains; canoed the hippo-laden Zambezi River, in Zimbabwe; and biked through remote Tanzania. Chris is a wife, mother, and business owner who loves to get her hands dirty and feet wet. Her adventurous spirit shines through in her work as a writer, speaker, trainer, and consultant.

When not outdoors playing in the wild, you’ll find Chris leading creative discussions in corporate conference rooms and at off-site locations around the country. For over two decades, Chris and her company, SparkFire, have helped Fortune 500 companies develop innovative new products and services. Along the way, she’s trained hundreds of people in creative thinking processes. A popular keynote speaker, Chris consistently gains praise for her dynamic style and natural spark. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, teenage son, and two labs, Winston and Kiya. The Expedition is her first book.


Meet Chris and Marty—a married couple working on their careers, raising their only child, and chasing big adventures. At midlife, they suddenly find themselves weighing the responsibility of parenthood against the possibility of one more grand adventure, before their aging bodies and the warming continent of Antarctica further degrade. They ultimately decide it is time to pursue their biggest dream: Ski 570 miles from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole. With no guide or resupply.

From the lush Pacific Northwest to the barren landscape of Antarctica, Chris and Marty embark on one of the hardest challenges on the planet. After three years of intense planning and training, including meticulous preparations for the care of their twelve-year-old son, they are ready.

Experience a boundless white wonderland like no other on earth. Encounter life-threatening dangers lurking in the bitter cold. Feel the intensity of 220-pound sleds, relentless wind, 40-below temperatures, and mind-numbing isolation. This is not an average couples getaway. Chris and Marty go where few others have dared on the way to making history—stretching their bodies, minds, and marriage to the limit in the process. Riveting and inspiring, The Expedition is about the power of family and community, the adventurous spirit that dwells within us all, and breaking through to feel fully alive.

TALKING POINTS (and many more in each category!)

  • Parenting/Family: 6 marriage hacks Chris learned by adventuring to the South Pole with her spouse
  • Parenting/Family: 5 steps to take the family backpacking trip to the next level: start “fastpacking” to lighten the load and heighten the fun
  • Race to Alaska/R2AK (June): Why Chris’ team of 3 chose a 30’ Hawaiian outrigger sailing canoe and how it performed in the cold coastal waters of the Inside Passage for the first time
  • Fitness: 4 reasons it’s important to recover after completing a big adventure
  • Adventure/travel: 4 ways exploring wild places in the world opens us up to exploring wild places within ourselves
  • Planning: September is preparedness month: what to pack, how to train, checklist to get plans in place for kids, family, pets, etc. before going on a prolonged adventure
  • Creativity: 4 ways to unleash your creativity by moving your body
  • Women’s Interest: September is self-care month. How to boost your courage in 7 days
  • Women’s Interest: 5 ways to make time for adventure
  • Women’s Interest: How to deal with your period while adventuring in the wild
  • Mid-life: Why you should start strength training if you are over 45 years old
  • Polar Exploring Season is October – January: Lessons learned about adventuring in Antarctica from past polar explorers
  • Cancer: How hiking to Everest Base Camp taught Chris’ family to deal with her husband’s advanced cancer


“Chris Fagan’s new book is a wonderful story of a husband and wife coming together as they conquer the daily hardships and challenges of an extreme journey. The story is a celebration of what it takes to meet big goals and dreams, as well as a testimony to an enduring partnership.” —Helen Thayer, author of Polar Dream and Walking to Gobi

“Chris has written a wonderful book, as honest and revealing of her emotions as the physical challenges she endured. She draws the reader into her life and family in a powerful way. I wouldn’t be surprised if she finds complete strangers, thinking they know her, showing up to share a cup of tea. This book is going on my recommended reading list.” —Steve Jones, Expeditions Manager at Antarctica Logistics and Expeditions

The Expedition is an epic, heartwarming story about moxie and the power of family. Travel to the coldest and southernmost reaches of planet earth where Chris and Marty dig deep into their reserves and ultimately strengthen their bond of marriage in this remarkably told story. Bravo!” —Susan Conrad, author of Inside: One Woman’s Journey Through the Inside Passage

“The gaze of polar narratives are all too often focused exclusively on the destination, at the expense of the real heart of any journey— the family and the support network back home that make it all possible in the first place and that determine so much of who we are as individuals. The Expedition is the first polar account I have read that has given ‘home’ equal billing to the ‘ice’. Congratulations on a heartfelt memoir and a journey completed with integrity.” —Felicity Aston, author of Call of the White, Alone in Antarctica and Chasing Winter

“In her stunning memoir The Expedition, Chris Fagan details her trip with her husband, Marty, through remote, harsh, and otherworldly Antarctica, a place that presents challenges unlike any others on Earth….Intimate and brutally honest, Fagan’s story is about the dynamics of relationships, too—with oneself, one’s partner, family, and community.” —Kristine Morris, Foreword Reviews