Expedition News


April 2001 - Volume Eight, Number Four

EXPEDITION NEWS 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.

Here are Highlights from our April issue. Subscriptions are available for the entire issue, see subscription information below.


At 3,435 miles (5,540 km), the little-known Yenisey river is the world's fifth longest river after the Nile, Amazon, Yangtze, and Mississippi. It begins in the Hangayn Mountains of Mongolia, then flows into Siberia, through Lake Baikal and continues north to its terminus at the Arctic Ocean. Its upper tributaries are a churning maelstrom of unchallenged whitewater. Beyond the mountains, it flows through broad plains of ice, snow and permafrost. In Siberia, the river is frozen for two thirds of the year. And reportedly, no one has ever voyaged the complete length of the Yenisey starting from its longest tributary, the Ider, to the sea.

That's exactly what a 29-year-old adventurer from Victoria, British Columbia, plans this May. Team organizer Colin Angus and three teammates will descend the length of the Yenisey via oar-powered raft and dory, and whitewater kayaks.


They've already learned how to x-ray the living. Soon, 10 radiography students from Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Mich., will learn how to x-ray the dead.

The student radiographers, accompanied by Jerry Baker, department chair of the Radiography program at the college, will travel to Centro Mallqui, an archaeological center near Ilo, Peru, to excavate, radiograph, and document the mummy bundles of the Chiribaya Indians who predate the Incas.


Dire Straits - Two British explorers have failed in a bizarre attempt to become the first people to cross the frozen Bering Strait between Alaska and Siberia by land vehicle.

Steve Brooks and Graham Stratford had hoped to claw their way across the strait in a specially-adapted snowmobile that doubles as a raft. After getting stuck in a pressure ridge on Mar. 28, the two decided to return to the U.K. with the Snowbird 5, a customized snow tractor equipped with two large cylinders designed to keep it afloat if the ice breaks up.

High Altitude Sight - Lack of oxygen, often experienced by climbers at high altitudes, causes a temporary change in vision in people who have undergone the LASIK refractive surgery procedure. But the difference in the degree of vision change was still very small compared to those who have had radial keratotomy (RK), an earlier type of refractive surgery.

Only at the Explorers Club - Where else but at an Explorers Club dinner in New York would a speaker - in this case, Faanya Rose, the Club's first woman president - remain totally calm after a 4-in. Madagascan Hissing Roach fell down her dress in front of 1,200 people? Shortly after explaining that the Mar. 24 dinner was a "celebration of our position at the forefront of man's achievements," one of the giant roaches, out of a bucketful on the main stage, went on an unplanned descent. Unfazed, Rose calmly turned her back to the audience, fished out the little cucaracha, and returned it to its compatriots. Knowing the Club's propensity for enjoying insect hors d'oeuvres, it could very well have been eaten.

Guest of honor was the famously shy former astronaut Neil Armstrong who, while accepting the Explorers Club dinner invitation, made a characteristically low-key entrance, eschewing the opportunity to mingle with patrons.

Emcee George Plimpton explained that Armstrong, not sure the "Eagle" would actually reach the moon, waited until the last minute to write his famous "One small step for man..." Plimpton was incredulous, "Armstrong sits there for 30 minutes on the moon and writes the most famous line in the history of mankind." Later Armstrong told dinner guests, "Gravity and distance still imprison us. We must inspire and continue to pursue our human curiosity, our compulsion to learn, and the will to know. "If we're successful," he continued, "we'll have an obligation to expand the human frontier. For the explorer, all frontiers are endless."


"There are no guarantees about space exploration. If you want success and guarantee against failure, stay on the ground." - NASA administrator Daniel S. Goldin, speaking at the Explorers Club dinner on Mar. 24.


Payback Time - Sometimes, a company sponsors an explorer, then hardly hears back after the expedition. Not so with Everest extreme skier Davo Karnicar who trekked to a first-ever appearance at the giant SIA SnowSports Show in Las Vegas last month to hobnob with Elan, his ski sponsor. Karnicar presented a slide show and conducted media interviews in broken English - "expedition English" he calls it - accompanied at times by a Slovenian interpreter.

Snow Sports Today, the trade show's daily newspaper, gushed how Karnicar was "perhaps one of the gnarliest men on earth."


Volvo Wins Logo Sweepstakes - Swedish car maker Volvo won big on Mar. 12 when Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen were interviewed by Katie Curic on the NBC Today Show.

While neither Antarctic explorer had an opportunity to plug their sponsors verbally, their Volvo patches were clearly visible. To a lesser extent, visual i.d. was also generated for expedition sponsors Yourexpedition. com, Pfizer, and Motorola.


Mountainfilm 2001 - An impressive line-up of speakers are scheduled for Mountainfilm 2001, the American festival of mountain, adventure, environmental and cultural films and videos. Invited to speak at the Telluride, Colo., event, May 25-28, are climbing luminaries including Conrad Anker, Babu Chiri Sherpa, Sir Chris Bonington, Chris Boskoff, and Dr. Geoff Tabin.

Also on the roster: Everest skier Davo Karnicar; kayakers and authors Jon Bowermaster and Lonnie Dupre; and adventure writers Caroline Alexander, Sebastian Junger, and David Roberts. (For more information: 970 728 4123; info@Mountainfilm.org; www.MountainFilm.org).


Africa and Himalaya with Daniel Mazur

Kanchenjunga, Ama Dablam, plus trekking peaks. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya Rock Climb. Low Prices. All Abilities.

E-mail: africa_inc@cybernet1.com, himalaya_inc@cybernet1.com,

Web: www.himalayaclimb.com, www.kilitrek.com, www.kenyaclimb.com, www.nojintangla.com, tel: 406 363 7747

Zegrahm Expeditions

South Georgia is our favorite place on earth. The abundance of wildlife (penguins, albatross, whales, and seals), the extraordinary scenery (icebergs, mountains, and glaciers) and the island's fascinating history of exploration combine to create an unforgettable adventure.

Join us November of 2001 as we journey to South Georgia, land of Ernest Shackleton, aboard the M/S Explorer: Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands, Oct 30 - Nov 18 and Circumnavigation of South Georgia, Nov 15 - Dec 4.

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. ©2001 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.

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