Hanging Tough with Mike Libecki
The Shot: Mile Libecki, suspended from an anchor in the rock, negotiates the previously unclimbed Bertha’s Tower in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, December 2012.
The Photographer: Cory Richards/ National Geographic Creative
The Full Story: In 2012, a four-person expedition team of Mike Libecki, Freddie Wilkinson, Cory Richards, and Keith Ladzinski traveled to perhaps the world’s most far-flung climbing destination: Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. There, in a land of otherworldly rock fins and towers that no one else has ever seen, let alone climbed, the team enjoyed 24 hours of daylight, and an audience of penguins, to nab multiple first ascents. Their most notable was Bertha’s Tower, a 2,000-foot spire, that took ten days of effort due to loose rock and freezing wind.