January 2000 - Volume Seven, Number One
is a monthly review of significant expeditions, research projects and newsworthy adventures. It is distributed
online and by mail to media representatives, corporate sponsors, educators, research librarians, explorers, environmentalists,
and outdoor enthusiasts. This forum on exploration covers projects that stimulate, motivate and educate.
While Everest gets the press, the book deals, and the IMAX movie, its slightly shorter neighbor, K2, maintains its allure as arguably the hardest mountain to climb in the world. At 28,251 feet (8611 m), the world's second tallest peak has never been summitted by an American woman. Heidi Howkins, 31, of Ridgefield, Conn., attempted a first American woman ascent in 1998, but was turned back at 23,600 feet by high winds and thigh-deep snow. Undaunted, she and 11 experienced climbers and base camp coordinators will return to the so-called "Savage Mountain" with team leader Jeff Alzner, 41, a landscape contractor from Portland, Ore.
An American team will converge in Islamabad, Pakistan this May, then travel through Pakistan and China to the northern side of K2. The goal of the K2000 American North Ridge Expedition is an ascent of the North Ridge route, in lightweight expedition style, without the aid of supplemental oxygen or high altitude porters.
- In time-honored expedition tradition, American rower Victoria "Tori" Murden, 36, of Louisville, Ky., was taken on a full-fledged New York media "schlep" after becoming the first woman and first American to row solo across an ocean. The 81-day trip from Tenerife, Canary Islands, concluded Dec. 3 in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. With her Sector Sport Watches publicist in tow, Tori conducted interviews with CBS News, CNN, and appeared Dec. 9 on both the NBC Today Show and Good Morning America within the same hour - a rare doubleheader on the fiercely-competitive New York morning talk show circuit.
- In May 1997, the two-man International Greenland Expedition - American Lonnie Dupre and Australian John Hoelscher
- began a 15-month, 4,800-mile expedition to circumnavigate Greenland by dog sled and sea kayak. Circling the world's
largest island was a goal that had been attempted by adventurers before, but never achieved (See EN, August 1996).
The project was 18 months in its planning and was supported by over 400 individuals and corporations with financial
contributions, in-kind donations of products and services, and volunteer time.
By August 1998, the team had traveled 3,200 miles by sea kayak and dog sled, which included establishing a record for the longest Arctic kayak journey in a single season. With photographic, video and written documentation in hand, and an educational program coordinated by Dupre's wife, Kelly, the expedition was considered a success except for the ice conditions that forced them to curtail the final 1,600-mi. dog sled portion of their journey.
On Feb. 15, Dupre, 38, and Hoelscher, 36, will depart on their five-month Thule 2000 Expedition transit by dog sled of the north Greenland coast from the tiny village of Scoresbysund on the east coast to Qaanaaq in the northwest. Dupre calls the non-mechanized circumnavigation of Greenland, "one of the few remaining 'Polar Grails.'"
Helly Hansen joins an ever-growing list of outdoor manufacturers sponsoring expedition award programs. The HH Mountain Adventure Award will honor innovative teams of explorers dedicated to self-reliance, human-powered endeavors, respect for the wilderness, and an understanding of history. Judges will prefer small, non-guided, non-commercial, non-research-based American expeditions.
Alex Tilley, the founder of Tilley Endurables, the Canadian adventure travel clothing and hat company, was honored Nov. 16 with the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation's first President's Award in recognition of over US$125,000 in support spanning 15 years.
Sir Edmund Hillary, 80, combined his Nov. 15 visit to Toronto with an appearance at the company's flagship store, signing 450 copies of his new book, "View From the Summit." Specially autographed copies of the new Tilley T2000 hat were sold for US$70, which included a US$35 donation to the Foundation.
- Australia, the country affectionately known as Oz, is a hot-bed of adventure sports. Visitors to the Olympic
Summer Games next September won't think they're in Kansas anymore if they visit BridgeClimb, one of the country's
most unusual tourist attractions. Since late 1998, over 140,000 climbing enthusiasts have gathered at the base
of the 3,770-ft. (1149 m) Sydney Harbour Bridge, for a government-sanctioned ascent of the world's largest steel
arch bridge - the one millions saw on worldwide television coverage of New Year's celebrations.
In 1996, a fateful year in the Himalayas, a group of American climbers were shocked to find Sherpas with many years of expedition experience were unfamiliar with tying into their harnesses properly.
Members of the Team Tanager Rolwaling Himalayan Expedition, based out of Tanager Lodge in the New York Adirondacks, decided four years ago to create a school, staffed with Sherpa and American volunteer instructors, to provide free climbing instruction to residents of the Solu-Khumbu district.
Chuck Huss of Iowa City, Iowa, attracted the attention of the Cedar Rapids Gazette on Dec. 6 by demonstrating his training regimen for an expedition to Mt. Everest this spring. The 50-year-old climber walks up and down his driveway every day on his hands. Training in the flatlands of Iowa for Himalayan mountaineering might seem like a challenge, but Huss has it down to a science, writes Dan Geiser.
- Join ZEGRAHM EXPEDITIONS and the world's TOP EXPLORERS as we travel to the most remote and remarkable places on earth. Underwater archeologist JAMES DELGADO leads submersible expeditions to the wreck of the legendary Titanic. Explorers FRED McLAREN and DON WALSH dive deep under the Arctic ice in high-tech subs to a 19th-century shipwreck. In July, oceanographer SYLVIA EARLE and nature photographer ART WOLFE delve deep underwater to observe six gill sharks. And in November 2000, best-selling author CAROLINE ALEXANDER tells the story of explorer par excellence, Sir Ernest Shackleton, during our Circumnavigation of South Georgia.
For reservations/information: ZEGRAHM EXPEDITIONS, 1414 Dexter Avenue N. #327, Seattle, WA 98109. Phone:
800 628 8747, 206 285 4000; Fax: 206 285 5037; Web site: www.zeco.com; E-mail:
is published by:
BLUMENFELD & ASSOCIATES, INC.
28 Center Street, Darien, CT 06820
Tel: 203 855 9400
Fax: 203 855 9433
Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld
Copyright © 1999 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977.
Subscriptions: US$36 /yr.; international postal rate US$46/yr. Highlights from EXPEDITION NEWS can be found at www.expeditionnews.com; credit cards accepted through www.mountainzone.com/news/expedition.