Explorer Spotlight: Lucas J Pols

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Name: Lucas J Pols | Age: 28 | Location: West Hollywood, CA.

What’s your day job?
Up until two weeks ago I was a Regional Sales Executive that managed a team of consultants that specialized in helping small businesses but I walked away to pursue my MBA and build up my professional photography portfolio before I head back to school.

What are your favorite things to do outside?
Volleyball, hiking and exploring. Love adventuring into the unknown!

What first drew you to the outdoors?
Becoming an Eagle Scout. We used to go backpacking all over California and this exploration of the unknown lead to me falling in love with the outdoors!

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?
Since it’s LA we have the beach and you can usually find me playing beach volleyball every Saturday morning. Beer after? We always head to a place called Tex Mex in the Santa Monica Canyon

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?
Has to be my camera gear. It can be a burden to always have my gear with me but I never want to be in a position where it isn’t my choice whether or not to take the shot.

What’s your favorite trail snack?
Nature Valley protein bars or Kind Bars

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?
If I am in the US going to National Parks then I am always listening to Above and Beyonds Podcast. Outside of the US it is Dave Matthews Band

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/ or funniest?
I’ll give you two, they were scary then but I think they are funny now:

1 - The first trip I ever took backpacking with the scouts was to Devils Canyon (Devil for a reason). It was only four miles down but we lost what I believe was 3k feet in altitude (I was small). Everything was going great! First backpacking trip sitting next to the fire talking and enjoying the outdoors. We set up camp and fell asleep….I wake up and my eyes are on fire! What the… Why can’t I open them! What is happening— what is this pain??

We set up camp on top of a colony of fire ants and they had been biting my eye lids while I was asleep. I had to be lead up the trail holding someone because my eyes were so swollen that I couldn’t open them.

2 - The other one was when I was in Antarctica. We had been on three mountaineering climbs so far on the trip and had no issues. Snow was a little too soft in some areas, we couldn’t summit because it was the middle of summer and there wasn't any snow on the top of mountains but we were managing it.

We are doing our fourth and final climb and we are walking across a snow ridge. Now my guide goes first and everything seems fine. I step in the exact same places that she did but unfortunately I weighed double what she did.

All of a sudden the ground just disappears and I fall into a crevasse. I was fortunate that it was an A crevasse and not a V crevasse or this might not be a story that I could tell! My body stopped itself right at my shoulders and I was able to use the ice axe to get myself out.

The feeling of falling into a crevasse was an odd one though. When watching movies of people falling into them I always thought that you’d be able to jump or get some type of leverage but that was just not the case-- ground is there one second and the next second you’re falling!

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?
The person that inspires me would have to be my dad. He was a photojournalist in his golden years and ventured to over 100 countries and all seven continents. I started taking photography seriously after his passing to continue his legacy.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?
Tibet, Antarctica, African Safari.

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?
Australia since it is my last continent and stepping foot on it completes a life goal

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!
This is my first favorite photograph and Lower Antelope Canyon is one of my favorite places in the US

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?
If you’re comfortable, you’re doing something wrong.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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