Think South: How We Got Six Men and Forty Dogs Across Antarctica

Chapter 2: Valery

“Valery,” I shot back, “I have over sixty people here from all over the world who must be fed, transported, entertained, and listened to. I have an expedition that we have been planning for two years ready to take off in two days with tons of gear which we must finish packing and move to the airport. I have the press breathing down my neck, wanting umpteen things at once. I have fifty volunteers waiting for instructions. I have forty dogs we are trying to keep cool and cared for in this god-awful July heat. I have a farewell ceremony to run. You have a broken airplane.

You don’t yet have permission from the FAA to fly the plane from here, and you don’t yet have permission from the Cubans to land the plane in Havana, its next stop. I don’t think either of us have time to petition the governor to let us sell dolls at the airport!”



Video: B-roll footage of the Illyushin’s landing on King George Island from inside the plane.

Photo: Map of the bases on King George Island.

Article: History of the collapse of the Soviet Union, including explanations of Glasnost and Perestroika

Website: Chinese Great Wall Station on King George Island.

Website: Adventure Network recent feature on Artur Chilingarov.

Wikipedia: Artur Chilingarov “official” biography.

Article: Daily Telegraph article on Artur Chilingarov's planting a flag below the North Pole, August, 2007

Article: US is Seen as Laggard As Russia Asserts itself in Warming Arctic, New York Times, August 2015

The Soviet Illyushin 76 takes off from King George Island, July 1989. ©Trans-Antarctica photo by Per Breiehagen