Libecki Brothers Explore Vertical Virgin Earth in Greenland

My organization Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation has teamed up with fellow National Geographic adventurer Mike Libecki on two new projects. A world-class climber, Mike collected samples for the ASC Scat project and documented polar bear sightings for a pilot project on his latest expedition. Here is Mike’s story about completing the first ascent of Polar Bear Fang Tower in Greenland, while collecting data to help conserve some of wild the places he loves.

By Mike Libecki

I knew exactly where I wanted to go. I had satellite images from the Danish government and every map of the east side of Greenland loaded on my laptop. I zoomed in to double check our location. The 2,800-foot Polar Bear Fang Tower, the object of my obsession, was just around the corner.

It was close to 1 a.m., and the midnight sun was hiding behind the massive mountains surrounding us. Before dropping us off, our captain sailed back and forth looking for polar bears. Last time I was here, there were 11 in the area, but the coast was clear, so he dropped us on the rocky shore.

Andy at the base of the climb. Mike led all the pitches which they climbed alpine style with three open bivies, bringing only minimal gear, Clif Bars and enthusiasm. (Photo by Mike Libecki)

My brother Andy and I unloaded our gear, and then scrambled to a ledge high on the cliffs near shore to sleep, safe from bears. The next morning we set up a deluxe basecamp and then started up the long valley toward the tower. I carried a shotgun over my shoulder, and we carried flares and pepper spray in our pockets.

Six hours later, we saw the magnificent Polar Bear Fang. I pulled out my 300mm —> Read More