Expedition News


Here are excerpts from our May 2000 issue. For a complete copy of the next 12 issues, see subscription information below. - The Editors

May 2000 - Volume Seven, Number Five


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.


A herd of wild African elephants in Zimbabwe are slowly starving to death and no one knows why. A condition called somewhat humorously Floppy Trunk Syndrome (FTS), is nonetheless deadly serious. FTS causes trunk paralysis, which in turn leads to starvation as an afflicted elephant can no longer lift food to its mouth. An expedition aimed at finding the cause of the disease will depart this August for Zimbabwe.


Where is it written that an expedition requires great physical hardships? Must all explorers face frostbite? deep crevasses? avalanches? Apparently not. At least not for a renowned Connecticut author and artist documenting the physical diversity of the world's trout along the 41 degrees north latitude. If this is an expedition, you might ask, where can we all sign up?

The answer lies with James Prosek, 24, of Easton, Conn., a tall, lanky master of the flyrod and reel who the New York Times calls the Audubon of fish. Prosek is on a mission to study trout along the line that extends from his New England home and continues through Spain, Italy, the Balkans, China, North Korea, northern Japan, California, Colorado, and back again.


Rower Returns Home

- Exhausted, indebted and having lost eight toes, a Frenchman who tried to row across the south Pacific was flown home Apr. 21. Jo Le Guen, 53, had to abandon his boat, the 30-ft. Keepitblue, on April 3, two months and one-third of the way into his 5,600-mile row from New Zealand to Cape Horn.

Vinson Massif Update

- Antarctica's tallest peak, 16,066-ft. (4897 m) Vinson Massif, a must for anyone attempting a Seven Summits expedition, is expected to lure its 500th summiteer early in the 2000-01 summer season, according to the Antarctic Non-Government Activity News (ANAN).

Cold Cash

- The cold world of polar exploration has become one of the hottest areas for collectors. Interest in exploration has traditionally been confined to book lovers, but the auction houses have discovered a new type of memorabilia - sleds, harnesses, flags, photographs, even biscuits left over from adventurers' rations. A small square biscuit from Sir Ernest Shackleton's expedition to the South Pole in 1907-09 was sold for 4,935 ($7,649) in London last month.

Prowling the Pole

- Antarctica has been crossed by dog sled, cross country ski, snow tractor, on foot, by plane, and with the assistance of parasails. It's only a matter of time before we read about the first crossing by bicycle. Design students at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh are testing a new bicycle called the Ice Prowler as one way to make life better for those working on the continent.


National Geographic Partners With Eddie Bauer -

National Geographic Ventures joined forces with Eddie Bauer in a multi-media, multi-million-dollar alliance that includes the corporate sponsorship of a new giant screen film on Lewis and Clark.


New York Times columnist John Tierney's creation of the word "explornography" is so yesterday. English is a dynamic, linguistic beast that struggles to define new experiences, and no less so than in the world of expeditions. This month's edition includes:

Ahab Climbs

- Climbs undertaken by people motivated by the publicity mountaineering has received and are consumed by reaching the top and nothing else. (Source: RMI guide Joe Horiskey quoted in Sports Afield).


Mountaineers Retrace Shackleton Route -

Climbers Reinhold Messner, Conrad Anker, and Stephen Venables, last month retraced Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton's historic steps across glacier-clad South Georgia Island. Their expedition was filmed in IMAX for "The Endurance: Shackleton's Antarctic Journey."

Keep Australia on Your Left

- These may be simple enough instructions when circumnavigating the Australian continent, but easier said than done. Eric Stiller, a New York kayak instructor and fitness trainer, recounts a hair-raising 12,000-mi. attempted circumnavigation of Australia in a two-man kayak in his book, "Keep Australia on Your Left" (A Forge Hardcover).

Class Act -

Former Outside magazine marketer Kim Gattone, 38, of Santa Fe, N.M., is profiled in the Apr. 3 People magazine. The story reveals that Gattone, a teacher, received $40,000 for an upcoming guided Everest climb from Joe Poletto, a vice president of Microsoft Web TV's network media group.


Mountainfilm 2000

- Babu Chiri Sherpa, the man who slept - or at least tried to sleep - atop Everest without supplemental O's, is one of the featured speakers at Mountainfilm 2000 in Telluride, Colo., May 26-29. Other speakers include Shackleton author Caroline Alexander; adventurer Arlene Chester Burns; pioneering mountaineer Peter Habeler; Everest 1996 survivor Beck Weathers; and Mallory discoverer Conrad Anker. (For more information: 970 728 4123; www.mountainfilm.org).



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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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