Expedition News


Here are highlights from our April issue. For a complete version of Expedition News - 12 monthly issues - see subscription information below. - The Editors

April 2000 - Volume Seven, Number Four


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.


The search for sponsorship dollars - to pay for air flights within Antarctica, communication and navigation gear, and food and fuel - is occupying Laurie Dexter's time these days. Dexter, 55, of Ft. Smith, NWT, is searching for one or more sponsors to take along on an ambitious crossing of Antarctica in late October. If his Canadian Antarctic Millennial Expedition is successful, he will become the first ever to ski across the North Pole (the 1988 Soviet-Canadian Polar Bridge Expedition from Russia to Canada), and across the South Pole as well.


Pole To Pole

- A team of eight specially-trained young people begin their long-awaited Pole To Pole 2000 Expedition this month (See EN, June 1997). The young explorers, ages 18 to 25 and representing five continents, will traverse the globe beginning at the Magnetic North Pole and culminating at the South Pole nine months later.

Explorers Isolated by Collapse of Iridium

- For a time last year, Iridium marketing executives were frantically trying to prove their new satellite call-from-anywhere-phones by handing them out free to various explorers. Now, as the bankrupt $5 billion, 66-satellite telephone system is about to literally fall out of the sky starting this month, some explorers are scrambling.


A Night to Remember

- From appearances by Buzz Aldrin, Bertrand Piccard, Johan Reinhard, and Jim Fowler, to the scorpion and cricket hors d'oeuvres, the Explorers Club Millennium dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria on Mar. 25 was a night to remember. "In the scheme of things, humans are late-comers to the Universe," said Neil de Grasse Tyson of the newly-renovated Hayden Planetarium in New York. In terms of space and time, "we're just a speck," he told the 1,300 dinner guests. "As members of the Explorers Club, get busy. There's a big universe out there."

Astronaut Eugene A. Cernan, who, 27 years ago, was the last man to leave footprints on the moon, said that from space, "you can look from ocean to ocean, continent to continent in a single glance. In 1968 astronauts went to the moon, and instead discovered the earth." Johan Reinhard, the man who found the Inca Ice Maiden, said of his discoveries, "Mummies open a window on the past that with the help of technology, we're just beginning to understand."

Said dinner chairman Doc Hermalyn, "The Millennium dinner was one of the best attended in many years and should be the largest fund-raising event in the Club's history. As specks in the universe, we humans do pretty well." Dinner guests received a free sample of Amber "InsectNside" candied scorpions, but no one was ever seen actually eating it. (Ed. note: we would have partaken, but unfortunately we're on an insect-free diet. Doctor's orders).

In a related development, on Mar. 26 the Club appointed the first woman president in its 95-year history. Faanya L. Rose, 61, a native of Africa and currently a British citizen, resides in New York and London and recently retired as treasurer of BAA plc, the largest international airport management company in the world. She has participated on expeditions studying unrecorded herds of Nepalese elephants, and last year accompanied the Everest E3 Expedition to the mountain's 17,500-ft. Base Camp.

Returning the Stone

- A commercial photographer from Providence, R.I. is attempting to provenance (determine ownership) of an 8-in. flat, oval stone that his late father purchased in the mid-1960's from a religious mission in the Central Desert near Alice Springs, Australia. While its origins are unknown, John Harkey, 50, learned last year that the small stone engraved with concentric circles, is, in fact, an Aboriginal tjurunga stone. "Possessing the stone is similar to owning the bones of a saint," he said. "I have come to respect the secrecy around it, so the stone is put away safely until we can return it."

Everest Round-Up

- You can always depend upon the lure of Mount Everest to encourage climbers to come up with new ways to do the same old thing. This month EN offers highlights from among the 50 teams attempting Everest this season.

Blind Climber Attempts Ama Dablam

- A team that includes blind mountaineer Erik Weihenmayer, 32, of Englewood, Colo., departed last month in an attempt to summit Mount Ama Dablam (22,493-ft./6856 m) in Nepal. Sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the Ama Dablam 2000 Expedition is a prelude to a planned Everest attempt by the same team in spring 2001.

Using Their Celebrity

- Round-the-world-balloonists Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones gave $100,000 last month to help African children afflicted by Noma, a deadly disease that eats away childrens' faces.


Dead Reckoning

- Lynn Robinson of Pasadena, Calif. was profiled in the Mar. 5 Los Angeles Times magazine after completing what some consider the toughest hike in the world - the 224-mi. Snowman Trek in Bhutan. Since the entire terrain has never been mapped, Robinson, 40, determined her 31-day supported journey by sight, or dead reckoning. On high altitude climbs, she says some guides think she's too slow. "Those guides had what I consider a masculine climbing style - going great guns for the summit," she tells writer Maria C. Iacobo.


The New York Eskimo

- The little known tale of Minik Wallace, the New York Eskimo, will be retold by author Kenn Harper at the April 28 meeting of the New England Chapter of The Explorers Club. A Polar Eskimo from northwestern Greenland, Minik was taken to New York in 1897 by the American explorer Robert Peary, and, in a very un-PC-like manner, was presented to the American Museum of Natural History as one of six prize "live Eskimo specimens."

The event, at the Union Club in downtown Boston at 8 Park Street, begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the general public. Admission is $10 and reservations are required. (For more information: Gregory Deyermenjian, chapter chairman, 617 926 5349; greg_deyermenjian@yahoo.com).


Himalaya Climbs

- Tibet, Nepal, China - Easy 7000, 8000 meter peaks. Cho-Oyu, Mustagh-Ata, Nojin-Kansa. Low cost. Well organized. mazur@cybernet1.com, www.cybernet1.com/himalaya; tel. 406 363 7747.

Zegrahm Expeditions

- This summer, join ZEGRAHM EXPEDITIONS/ DEEPSEA VOYAGES on our Northwest "SUBMARINE SAFARI" expeditions, using the revolutionary new DUAL DEEPWORKER SUBMERSIBLE. Dive 500 feet in the 2-passenger Dual Deepworker (and 3-passenger Aquarius sub) to see
alien-like marine creatures, including the rare SIXGILL SHARK. The submersible's viewing spheres and multiple lights are ideal for photographers. Small groups led by experts; 5 and 6-day programs July-August, 2000. For reservations/information: ZEGRAHM EXPEDITIONS, 192 Nickerson St., #200, Seattle, WA 98109. Phone: 800-628-8747 or 206-285-4000; Fax: 206-285-5037; Web site: www.zeco.com; E-mail: zoe@zeco.com.


is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 28 Center Street, Darien, CT 06820 USA. Tel. 203 855 9400, fax 203 855 9433, blumassoc@aol.com. Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. 2000 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. Layout and design by Nextwave Design, Seattle.

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