Wild Adventure Tour in Antarctica.


This is a Wild Adventure Story of Curtis Lieber, a modern day explorer on the South Pole.

A wild adventure!  This is truly a wild adventure by Curtis Lieber.  Traveling across the frozen continent of Antarctica, Curtis pursues a truly wild adventure that would stand up to anybodies wild adventure story.  Here is a photo of the first hot air balloon to be launched on the South Pole.
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A Wild Adventure Crossing the Desert of Snow 
On the South Pole 

Almost Leads to Disaster on the way to launch the First Hot Balloon on the South Pole, Antarctica.

by Curtis Lieber

Survival Equipment - Survival Supplies  

Curtis Lieber's Wild South Pole Adventure Continued.

The sun is shinning bright, the wind is calm, and it is about -20 degrees Fahrenheit.  The Pilots of the Hot Air Balloon see this as the opportunity for flying over the pole. We all focus on the balloon preparation as Alfonso Gonzalez, Ivan Trifonov, and Faust Romeral man this first balloon flight over the South Pole. The balloon flies majestically over the horizon and with the snow buggy chasing after it. We become worried as we see no sight of the buggies return for over four hours, only to find that it broke another gear box retrieving the balloon. 

Tents are pitched beside the commemorative South Pole and the group sleep for several hours. We are awakened early in the morning by Jerry Marty of the National Science Foundation, who invites us for a tour of Amundson-Scott Base. This is truly the privilege I have waited a lifetime for. Shortly afterward, we have a Russian Orthodox Mass at the Commemorative South Pole. 

We have been at the South Pole for 25 hours. We now must go! That certainly is a horrifying feeling to see a warm safe American Base fade over the horizon. We have received radio communications while at the American Base that Ernst Zinnhobler developed, severe kidney stones and urinary blockage and over the past three days organized a daring rescue landing at the Middle camp and evacuated himself and three others. 

Now we are racing against time to reach the middle camp. The weather finally drops the bottom out and we are in the middle of a heavy white out and wind storm, fortunately it is blowing us northward in the direction we wish to go. We arrive at the middle camp on January 10 at 8 pm Chile Time. Everyone at middle camp looks worn and weary. Breaking camp takes several hours since it has been here for over a week now. We are on our way by 7:30 am January 11th. The weather is overcast and gray with winds of 15 mph and blowing snow. It is -40 F with the wind chill. 

We drive for over 16 hours when finally the expedition stops and the drivers simply slump over the wheels and sleep for two hours. Then we go on for several more hours, of course with our customary mechanical breakdowns along the way. It's obvious that the order has been given for us to drive straight on until we reach Patriot Hills. At 72 miles out the Ellesmere Mountain Chain becomes visible and we begin to pick up speed as our moral also improves. We stop once more to boil water and cook instant mashed potatoes and sausage, as the drivers sleep for about two hours. 

In the distance off to the west, there is a windstorm heading straight for us. But we go on and soon we out run it as we round the eastern end of the Ellesmere Mountain Chain and head straight on to the Patriot Hills Base Camp. We arrive at the camp on January 12, to the main group that cheer our return and success at reaching the South Pole.  Picture of the launch of the First Hot Air Balloon on the South Pole

Now we must wait strategically for an 8 hour window where the huge Iylushin-76 can fly over Drake Passage from South America and land here on the blue ice runway, load the expedition and take off before any bad weather. The jet plane would have to return to South America if fog or a white out prevented clear visibility of the entire runway. Likewise the plane would be stranded on the icy runway if fog settled in before it could take off, because there is no way to fly out of this mountainous location blindly. It will be 5 days before this opportunity presents itself. 

Until then we explore the nearby wreckage of the DC-6 Norman Vaughn Expedition Airplane. This plane is six miles from Patriot Hills and crashed while attempting to land here in 1994. The fuselage of the airplane has been covered by years of snow and wind but the tail section still marks the site. Inside the plane, there is an eerie spirit because everything remains as it was then. Cages for the sled dogs are unopened, and all are frozen in time. 

Joining our camp is a NASA Research Expedition returning back with us on the Iylushin-76 for South America. They have successfully found thirteen Meteorites on Antarctica and many have tiny microbes present. Jim Lovell, astronaut of Apollo 13, suggests that the meteorites entered the earth's atmosphere with these microbes riding piggyback. Since there is no bacterial life on the surface of Antarctica, these microbes had to come from life elsewhere in our galaxy. 

The Patriot Hills Camp is enthusiastically broken down after news that the Iylushin-76 has left South America. The landing of this huge plane is awesome. We leave Antarctica January 17, but it remains unchanged as it has for millions of years. It boggles the mind to think that this huge continent has been lost in time and forgotten by civilization. Righteously so, that this is the origin of a major part of our global weather. I am glad that man is unable to make a lasting affect on this seventh continent of the earth. But for me, I have come to find myself and see what I was made of, and I have survived!

The End
Copyright by Curtis Lieber

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