National Geographic explorers share fearless climbing story at Mesa Arts Center

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By Lindsay Robinson By Lindsay Robinson
By Lindsay Robinson By Lindsay Robinson
By Lindsay Robinson By Lindsay Robinson
By Lindsay Robinson By Lindsay Robinson
By Lindsay Robinson By Lindsay Robinson

MESA, Ariz. -- Inspiring and fearless National Geographic Live explorers Mike Libecki and Cory Richards joined Good Morning Arizona to share their story of braving Bertha’s Tower, a never-before-climbed 2,000-foot spire in one of Antarctica’s most remote regions.

Libecki and Richards braved extreme cold, furious winds and fickle weather in their epic 10-day climb. Their story is a humorous but gripping account, and the adventurers are telling the tale to an audience at the Mesa Arts Center tonight at 7:30 p.m., in a series called "Untamed Antarctica."

According to the explorers, the nearest city to the spire is about 2,500 miles away. The temperatures were below freezing, but they climbed on.

"When we got there, we were exited to pick an objective," Richards said. "Immediately we were really worried that we wouldn’t be able to climb because the wind was so high. There were winds gusting up to 80 to 100 miles per hour, and dropping the temperature to minus 40 at times."

As if those conditions aren’t intimidating enough, the stakes are upped while trying to climb in weather like that.

"It’s one thing to survive on the ground in those kind of temperatures and weather," Libecki said. "But once you’re in the vertical world, you can get hypothermic and die within a matter of hours."

The team spent about 45 days at the base camp in Antarctica, and put in two to three weeks’ worth of climbing time. The explorers pointed out that getting to the top of the tower was only half-way.

"The goal is to summit," Libecki said. "So you get there and you celebrate, but then you start thinking about how you’re going to get down. It can be really, really dangerous."

Join the adventurers and hear the whole story tonight at the Mesa Arts Center tonight at 7:30 p.m.