Going Places

A generation ago, mounting an expedition meant drafting a herd of porters, slogging loads of gear to a rocky base camp, and laying siege to a Himalayan peak. These days, light, fast, and self-supported expeditions are in, and multisport explorers like Mike Libecki, Mark Synnott, and Brad Ludden are showing us how to do it. Here, our preview of the hottest adven

Dec 1, 2002
Outside Magazine

Lights on: an expedition awaits the dawn at the base of Mount Everest.    Photo: Urban Golob

Team: [ Andrew McLean, Mike Libecki ]
Location: Antarctica

UNTIL NOW, TRAVERSING a couple hundred miles of ice cap, climbing a new mountain, or nailing a first ski descent has been enough to give Antarctic adventurers serious bragging rights. But when 29-year-old climber Mike Libecki and 41-year-old ski-mountaineer Andrew McLean, sponsored by Mountain Hardwear and Black Diamond, head to Queen Maud Land in November 2003, they'll raise the stakes considerably, combining all three in a two-month, $60,000 expedition. Using kites to help them tow their 200-pound sledges, they'll climb routes on the faces of 3,400-foot cliffs like Midgard, Ulvetanna, and Kinnetanna. If the weather holds, the duo will attempt first descents on some of the area's steep, untouched chutes. "The biggest challenges are the unforeseen variables," says Libecki, who helped pioneer Arctic climbing in Greenland. "That's what makes this an ultimate adventure."
Team: [ Alfred McLaren, Don Walsh, Mike McDowell ]
Location: Canadian Arctic

UNDERWATER ARCHAEOLOGISTS spend their lives dreaming about lottery-winning discoveries, and Alfred McLaren, 70, is no exception. In April, his team will investigate the HMS Breadalbane, a perfectly preserved three-masted sailing ship that sank in 1853 while searching for traces of Sir John Franklin and his crew, who disappeared trying to find the Northwest Passage a few years earlier. The ship now rests 350 feet below the ice, 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle. "There haven't been all that many dives there," says McLaren, expedition leader and renowned deep-sea explorer. "We could discover anything." To improve his chances, McLaren will employ a cutting-edge submersible called the Dual Deepworker, made of two side-by-side acrylic viewing domes, which will whiz explorers around under the pack ice.

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Not Now

Got Wanderlust?

Escape your daily grind with Outside’s best getaways.

Thank you!