Story of Historic Antarctic Expedition Recalled in New Memoir

Share Article

Dr. Mao Yilei vividly recalls extremes of human effort in the historic mission to build a permanent research station on the highest point of Antarctica.

News Image

Mao Yilei was the team doctor for the Inland Detachment of the 25th China National Antarctic Research Expedition. Here, based on a personal diary he kept via vocoder, is Mao’s chronicle of the expedition’s heroic mission to build a permanent research station at the highest point of the Antarctic continent’s ice-sheet. The Top of the Bottom of the World! was reached via the most extreme weather and topographical conditions known to man. It was done with a diverse mix of personalities assigned to the mission, and Mao retells their story with an upbeat, courageous sense of humor–a spirit equal to what nature and other complications laid on the path of their very difficult mission.

The Top of the Bottom of the World! is a real adventure story that has probably few equals in history. The team members are a stellar cast, expert in at least a couple of fields–the author is both a doctor and an expert mountaineer who has been proven capable of surviving extreme cold (he has been to the Mount Everest Base Camp and other venues). The logistics and preparation for the inland trek to ice-bound continent’s highest point, 4,000 meters above sea level, was pored over detail by painstaking detail. On the inland expedition itself, a strong but easygoing, sometimes ribald, camaraderie was developed–they knew the team must work together well in order to survive and accomplish their task. All these happen on the most mysterious and dangerous continent on earth–a terrible beauty whose tantrums they had to respect and survive.

With temperatures reaching 60 below Fahrenheit zero, they would brave snowstorms and overcome technical difficulties such as constantly changing plans, impossible loads, discontented construction workers and low pay…Were they taking crazy risks? Was the research expedition a foolish endeavor? With heroic truth and human nature in the face of the cruelest climactic conditions, Mao’s own vivid descriptions and well-thought insights, The Top of the Bottom of the World! is a larger than life story of human achievement–human exploration in extreme environments–worthy of reading for many years to come.

For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to

About the Author

Mao Yilei was born in Ningbo, China in March 1964. After having his residency training in Australia, he earned his Ph.D. in Surgery at the Medical School of Lund University in Sweden, and then completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard University. He is currently a surgeon at Peking Union Medical College Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. A frequent traveler and adventurer, Dr. Mao served as the team doctor on the Inland Detachment of the 25th China National Antarctic Research Expedition. He helped build Kunlun Station on Dome A, the highest point in Antarctica, and recorded every detail of his Antarctic adventures on a voice recorder pen.

The Top of the Bottom of the World! * by Mao Yilei
A Doctor’s Journey to the Highest Point of the South Pole
Publication Date: August 12, 2013
Trade Paperback; $15.99; 337 pages; 978-1-4836-7387-5
Trade Hardback; $22.99; 337 pages; 978-1-4836-7388-2

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (812) 355-4079 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Marketing Services
(888) 795-4274 7879
Email >
Visit website