Cathy de Moll
What does it take to move forty dogs, three sleds, twenty tons of food and gear, and six men from USA, France, Russia, China, UK and Japan across nearly four thousand of the coldest miles on earth?
Cathy de Moll, the executive director of the historic 1990 International Trans-Antarctica expedition, one of the 20th century´s most challenging expeditions, introduces the wild cast of characters who made it happen, on the ice and off: leaders Will Steger and Jean-Louis Etienne, who first met accidentally on the way to the North Pole; Valery Skatchkov, the Soviet bureaucrat who supplied a “hot” Russian airplane; Yasue Okimoto, who couldn’t bear to leave headquarters in Minnesota while her boyfriend was on the ice; Qin Dahe, the Chinese member of the team, who didn’t know how to ski.
These stories of near misses and magical coincidences are as suspenseful and compelling as the expedition’s headlines - and they have never been told. But they also reflect the greatest lesson of the project: the international cooperation that was needed for the expedition’s success is every bit as essential for the preservation of Antarctica today.
So this enlightening, beautiful and highly interesting book is not about the severe cold, the snowstorms, the endless crevasse crossings and the fights for survival. Much more it watches behind the scenes and is about all the invisible stuff a team of people need to overcome to ensure the success of such an incredible venture of human mankind: politics, tactics, logistics, economics, cultures and personalities.
A superb and highly recommended polar adventure read!