Action Adventure Tour in Antarctica.

A Great Action Adventure, Traveling Across Antarctica in a 4 Wheeled Drive Russian Prototype vehicle.

Photo by Curtis Lieber, Action Adventure to Antarctica.
Click Here's a Tremendous action adventure trip to the Antarctica to fly the worlds first hot air balloon over the South Pole, Antarctica.  Curtis Lieber's action adventure across the frozen continent.

This is a Great Action Adventure Story of Curtis Lieber, a modern day explorer.

Read the story below and see what this balloon team had to go through to stay alive when everything started to go bad.  These men, which included Curtis Lieber,  Jim Lovell, the Apollo 13 commander and a Russian Cosmonaut, started going through tremendous equipment failures when their Russian Prototype vehicles hit -40 degrees.   This is a fantastic Action Adventure tour of Antarctica with a lot of great pictures.
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A Great Action Adventure Crossing the Desert of Snow 
On the South Pole 

Almost Leads to Disaster.

by Curtis Lieber

Survival Equipment - Survival Supplies  


“Why have we come here”. “What has possessed us to leave all civilization behind and journey to the end of the Earth onto the lost continent of Antarctica?” Those are the questions that friends and loved ones have asked us over and over again. I reflect upon these questions as we visualize the magnitude of this God-forsaken desolate edge of our huge planet looming over the horizon. But I know the answer…we’ve come here to find ourselves, to find what we're made of, and to survive! 
 Landing the huge Russian Iylushin-76 Jet Cargo Plane on the “blue ice runway” of Union Glacier adjacent to the Ellsworth Mountains and inland from the Ronne Ice Shelf requires the marriage of Mother Nature and man. Otherwise Mother Nature could gust winds up to 60 mph and easily toss this ship into the mountains and end the Expedition before it could ever began. As this 2,000-ton jet plows down the glacier runway, there's no hope of using brakes on the slippery ice; it must rely upon reversing its jets to slow the plane down. So it just barrels down the glacier for over two miles, until all our nerves are This IL-76 takes Curtis Lieber on a real Action Adventure from Antarctica.screaming for it to come to rest. 
  We've made it here at last! It's 10 PM EST December 31, two hours before East Coast America celebrates the New Millennium. Antarctica welcomes us with a crystal clear blue sky and that puts a sparkle in the frozen horizon. We celebrate the dawning of the New Millennium as 36 parachutes open over the sunlit midnight sky of Antarctica. The wind is an eerie calm for our celebration and we launch the hot air balloon up over the camp, but it just hangs there as if it's stuck in one position in the frozen sky. 
  In this day and age of mankind having been to the moon and routinely sending shuttles into Earth's orbit, Antarctica still remains vastly unexplored and as forbidding as it was hundreds and even thousands of years ago. Life only exists on the fringes of the Antarctic Coastline, the inner part of the continent like space has zero life. Only those few humans that dare to tread within the “death zone” defy Mother Nature's laws. Our Expedition consists of a coalition of 17 nations joining together to pool an immense amount of resources. Everything we need to survive must be brought in with us. If we become stranded, there is no food to look for, no trees to burn for heat, and certainly no shelter from the frequent blizzards that can hit at any time. 
Copyright by Curtis Lieber

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    Please Note:  The background picture on this page is an actual photo of the snow on the North Pole taken by C. Jeff Dyrek


Here, Curtis is helping a grade school girl with her special assignment in geography.


Hello Molly:

Click Here are the answers to your questions, and then I’m gonna send you some pictures and stuff after this.


1. How do you stay in contact with people when you are off exploring?

During the times of Robert Peary and Scott, etc….as you know, there was no way to communicate from the expedition party to home, except by sailing ships, the limited teletype (like you see with Morse Code), and by addressed ground mail. Today we are fortunate enough to have satellites up in space which we can bounce messages off by using “Satellite Phones”.  These are super powerful battery operated phones which send microwaves upward into the sky, and which MUST HAVE TO BE TIMED WHEN A COMMUNICATION SATELLITE TRAVELS DIRECTLY OVERHEAD. Since there are no booster stations or towers, we have to send a , strong microwave signal up to the satellite, and cloudy skies or other weather patterns can affect the quality of the signal. Interestingly, most all communication satellites  are positioned around the equator, and there are less and less satellites that service as you go further toward the poles. The reason is because of profits and service. Satellites around the equator can blanket or cover more area and population of people, and as you go toward the poles, there are less financial returns to stick a satellite at either poles. Fortunately, there was one somewhat experimental project by Iridium Company and they put up 3 satellites that circle the poles, but there are gaps in time when you can’t reach them, or that weather plays stronger roles in the signal. Understandably, when I contacted Iridium to ask if we could set up video as well as audio, they discouraged any attempts because those satellites weren’t prepared to deal with video…so no pictures. Only when we get permission from the US Military to move a satellite into a “higher” orbit, have we gotten video “Live” from the North or South Poles, but vary rarely. Jeff, the fellow at Yellow Airplane was working with a NASA Group one year at the North Pole, and they moved a satellite to accommodate a new science program that could measure the thickness of the Arctic Ice, by moving a satellite in outer space around to help us send critical data. Also, a strange physical barrier occurs when using a typical satellite that may circle at the latitude that England and New York are at. The Earth curves and so no matter how high up in space a satellite might be, if you tried to bounce a signal directly to the top or bottom of the Earth…..the curve of the Earth, will cause that signal to be physically blocked by the Earth itself…..(I’ll try and draw this, and send it to you…..if this doesn’t make sense…the picture will explain it quick and simple). So, we now use satellite phones, and can dial a number such as my Mother….to say….”Hi Mom, I’m calling you from the North Pole…..(Geographic North Pole).”  Now there was the time back from 1920 to 1982, when the satellite phone was invented, that explorers used HF Frequency….or “High” Frequency” even UHF…..this is similar to what TV sets run on to receive television stations. Well anyway, we used to use that HF radio to signal explorers, but it could reach perhaps 400 or 500 miles out. This is what we used to use when I first started polar exploring with the Russians, and one year we had a plan set out, and could not reach them by HF Radio, cause of the Suns Solar Flares where acting up that year…….You see due to the Earth’s Electromagnetic Energy… may have learned that the electromagnetic pulses come in over the North and South Poles, which causes the Aurora Borealis (& A> Australis). But anyway, since there were tons of solar flares, and sunspots that year, we lost communication with the plane for over 7 days, and feared they crashed.

Now, I’d like to also answer your question in a different way too…..When an explorer takes off to go on a travel which may take as long as 3 to 4 months, it’s understood that one of the biggest hardships will be the loss of that person in the realm of friends and one’s loved family members. So, many of us have had to sacrifice successful marriages and relationships due to our choice to travel and “Dream Big”……I went to the North Pole one year, through Russia and Siberia, and we got stranded in Siberia for like a month. Then three more months, and when I returned, by Fiance had left me for a friend who stayed home. You can pay a for excitement sometimes…let that be a lesson.

2. How do you navigate?  If you use modern methods e.g.GPS, would you be able to continue if they failed?  Can you read the stars?

Again, when Scott did it…….he did it by a talent greater than anything we do today. He used a sextant, and compass. But there’s one tricky thing when you go to the Poles…….the North Pole is currently smack dab in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, while the “Magnetic” North Pole is now on the Northernmost Islands of Northern Canada. The earth does not rotate right at the North Geographic Pole, but 21 degrees off…….thus over the Northern islands of Canada because that is where the rotation of the Earth axis is……..again…something as huge as the Earth….when it rotates…….causes the electromagnetic energies to …eh……….com-boo-bilate (Hoho)…….as the North Magnetic Pole….due to the rotation of the Earth……but because maps were made in such ways……the geographic North Pole is right at the top of the map, or ball of the Earth. So, to make things fun….when you trek to the North Pole, you can use a compass, but the closer to the North Pole, the less accurate a compass is, and the more you have to use special equations to compensate. GPS was designed using the satellites in space to be able to pin you down to 5-10 feet on Earth, and that’s what we use. However, there comes a time when no matter what ….all equipment follows “Murphy’s Law” and breaks down…or the batteries freeze and don’t work…..and a great explorer whom prizes himself by his (or her) self-reliance…ability to survive just by their own knowledge…..this causes us to try to learn as many other ways as we can, just in case. Therefore, yes we do rely on the stars, and by the location of the sun at a specific time. When using stars or the sun or moon, we also must use time…our watches. We “set” a certain time and celestial marking….then pick a direction of travel….but are mindful of how long we spend going in one direction…thus time is an element of location…to “fix” that place and go to another place, by a certain time period. Now, when I set my groups of skiers out on the North Pole Floating Ice Pack……and remember that the North Pole is smack dab in the center of the Arctic Ocean…..we are walking on 5 to 10 foot thick ice….that is also moving too……the ice may be moving northeast while we are trying to “get” North………so we have to really walk toward the northwest, and as we walk…the ice will correct our direction……..We have spent a full day pulling heavy sledges over uneven ice…..making say….15 kilometers per day north….then set up tent and go to sleep….and wake up to find the ice moved us 20 kilometers south, and we lost all the movement we did the day before……Yuk.

3. Can you melt and drink the snow or does it need purifying? Yes, we not only “CAN”…..we “MUST”….EAT THE SNOW……But, we melt it…because an explorer NEVER eats cold snow repeatedly…cause it will make us get cold. And, when someone is cold, as Expedition Leader, I order them to eat, and put a hat on and then change their socks…cause those are the places we lose heat from the most. When you melt the snow, you sort of get some small sand out, and heat it enough to get gases out, but we don’t experience the Ice Floes as being polluted  to a point that we would have to clean or purify it. Now, also know this…..any explorer accepts that he may die on these trips and so even if there was any small dangers like pollution in the snow, that would be the least of our worries…..I once inhaled benzene for about a week, when we stored it inside my tent (at my objection). Benzene is a chemical that does not freeze, no matter how cold, even at the poles. It’s used to put in engines to keep the fuel from freezing, but when the fuel is burned, it goes into the air within the tent, and this has more dangers than pollution, because it definitely can cause cancer, but most explorers are soooooo willing to reach the North pole or climb Mt. Everest, they …….(as my wife says I do)…”Bargain with the Devil….in order to go on an exciting expedition…..explorers carry certain dangers, in order to go to a place….never seen before…….

4.  Have you seen much pollution at the South Pole?

 I have not “SEEN” much pollution at the South Pole….due to the world dumping and polluting………that is  “see pollution” …or see waste, etc…….except we do see lots of pollution at the North and South Poles due to pollution caused by persons and organizations that are “camped” there…..then, yes there is tons of garbage and pollution……Those explorers of current times, dump their trash wherever they feel like it, and very rarely does anyone say anything…..It is very sad…..but one year, I made it my mission to bring back all the waste that we made while on an expedition to the North Pole…….but when I took it to the plane, they refused me with it, and when I argued, they handed me a bill to carry it back. Pollution and mans impact…including the Greenhouse effect is distinctly causing changes at the poles. The thickness of the ice is definitely thinner in recent years than long time ago…..The polar bears have been affected and are less often seen.

4. Are Scott's wooden huts still there? Yes, the neat thing about polar science, is that due to the extreme coldness, bacteria, and other weather factors are NOT present at Antarctica, and so even a food pan dumped outside in 1912, may be found under frozen snow…..with even food still on the edges!!! Also, one of Scotts wooden huts at the Ronne Ice Shelf, is perfectly preserved to the point it looks like he just left. Also there is an unwritten code among explorers, that if they disrupt another explorers belongings, no matter how old, it will have a negative effect on that explorers outcome of their expedition….sort of…”God is Watching”

5. Name ONE item you couldn't explore without. I would have to say…… GPS Device…….I wouldn’t like to put my life on my ability to read the stars….we might end up in Chicago….Hoho

6. Would you ever attempt to go to the South Pole with the same equipment as Scott? Wow…..I’ve been thinking about this question, more than any you have sent me……”NO”…..I….I would not………Because I feel the greatest items that Scott had was his desire to reach the South Pole, and I may not have that much ZEAL…..He was pushed…pressured…..into a corner…where he had to go on that expedition no matter if he did it in his underwear…..He had his own battles inside himself for he desired to do this great thing…..even tho he had some lousy equipment. He stuck with pushing his sledge full of weight, tho if he had abandoned it and bolted for the food cache 11 miles away from where he died….he could have made it !!But back then, there was a code of honor, and having not reached the South Pole first, he was psychologically dashed…….and this affected his physical abilities and mental strength. However, one supporting thought in favor of succeeding with his equipment is…….that the season he chose…was one of the coldest in recorded history to that time!!! It was proven, that it became soooo cold, that his sledge could not glide over the snow, but was having to have been forcibly dragged over it with terrible cost of energy lost. He had something like 43 days of weather below 40 degrees centigrade, and this cut the men down. Now Amundson…he used dogs and so efficiently, they were having an easier go at it…..where Scott was wasting time trying to press a motorized sledge, and some horses into work, and this cost him precious time.

7.  Your transport caused your expedition a lot of trouble - would it have been easier with dogs and sleds? Yes….if you are referring to the 2000 Expedition, or the “Millennium Expedition” in which we attempted to utilize “Snow Buggies” to go from the Antarctic continent edge….to the South Pole…..AND….AND…..BACK TO THE CONTINENT EDGE……ALL WHILE HAVING NO EMERGENCY RECOVERY, OR METHODS TO BE SAVED……The stupid motorized snow buggies were a pain in the %#&. We would have done much much more better using dogs, and some sledges (sleds)……Amundson used dogs, and Dogs are absolutely a huge winning factor over motors in the extreme cold…..I would always use dogs, and sledges….We call sleds….sledges…or in Russian…and Norwegian, they are called “Pulks”…but they are sleds as you think of then…with metal gliders on each side..

8. What inspired you to explore in the first place?  How old were you on your first exploration?  The inspiration to explore is a complex one…….I am a dreamer…..but my wife is a realist……..My wife looks at things the way they are……I look at things the way they can be…….Both have their merits, but perhaps being a realist is more functional in today’s society. For example, I’ve been a boater for decades, going out in the ocean and the such… year I dreamed up a plan to sail from up the east coast down to the keys south of Florida……I never had done it, but I dreamed it and set sail…..My wife said it was the most wonderful experience, but it was not practical, for it cost 6,000, and we darn near died doing it. A dreamer has a tendency to dream big and either do something stupendous, or….die trying….so it may sound like a romantic dream to explore, but it is dangerous. Also it is not realistic. It cost me 27,000 US to go on one particular expedition to the South Pole…….I had to sell my retirement fund to get there…….thus, where my wife says….”I would sell my soul to the Devil to do some of these crazy things”….so a dreamer has a tendency to blow money and take dangerous chances, while a realist will be conservative, and be more dependable….like a Mom…….

What inspired me………There absolutely has to be some genetics to exploration….it’s in “your blood’…..then the environment of one’s childhood has to be full of chances taken….which were successful……..a youngster used to success as a child, has more tendency to explore…cause he  or she thinks they can beat the odds….the dangers inherent in the trip. I was 10 years old when I wanted to be an astronaut, I was 14 when I hiked into the mountains and came out 4 weeks later…by myself…. A person just knows it……feels it….takes chances…..



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