Expedition News


Here are highlights from our November issue. For a free sample of our complete issue, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the below address.

November 2001 - Volume Eight, Number Eleven

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 this month’s issue:


Many red-blooded American boys who grew up in the 1960's during the Mercury space program dreamed of becoming an astronaut. For Brian Walker, 45, of Bend, Oregon, that dream may someday become a reality. Except in this instance, he won't be applying for work at NASA. Calling himself "Rocket Guy," Walker is a one-man space agency who says he's less than a year away from a mostly self-funded sub-orbital flight. And with his backyard centrifuge rated to 8.2 g's, his money from a variety of toy inventions, and a 6-ft. test capsule, Rocket Guy just might fly.


The Amazon rain forests are known for many medical discoveries, not the
least of which is the cancer-fighting graviola evergreen tree whose leaves and stems contain compounds that are toxic to cancer cells. Scientists also believe Antarctica has pharmaceutical potential as well. An expedition departs for Antarctica's Windmill Islands next month to examine snow algae - conspicuous members of the microbial community that impart a red, orange, or green color to snow. The colors depend on the relative amounts of cellular chlorophyll and carotenoid pigments that protect the algae from ultraviolet radiation.

Research indicates potential cancer-fighting compounds are produced in response to UV light stress, the nature of which remain a mystery that will be studied by Brian Duval, 41, an environmental analyst from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in Worcester.


Memorable Evening at the Lowell Thomas Awards - Leave it to the Explorers Club to pull together a memorable evening combining laughs and good cheer, with some truly somber moments. The Oct. 29 event in New York featured the presentation of an Explorers Club flag that traveled to the International Space Station. NASA's Dan Goldin told the audience, "If Everest becomes too boring, on Mars, there are mountains 80,000 feet tall. And we'll be there within no less than 10 years and no more than 20."

Later, American climber Ed Viesturs said of Poland's Krzystof Wielicki, only the fifth person to climb all fourteen 8000 meter-plus peaks in the world, "Climbing with him is like climbing with Superman and Groucho Marx: he's strong and he's funny."

Peter Hillary accepted the Lowell Award on behalf of his father, Sir Edmund, who, at the age of 82, was too ill to fly from New Zealand 23 hours to New York. "It's quite something growing up with Edmund Hillary," his son said. "It's like having the ultimate adventure travel consultant in the family. We never knew where we were headed for Christmas holiday."

The most poignant moment was the standing ovation given to five firefighters from New York Engine Company 39, guests of the Club who responded to a fire at the Explorers Club earlier this year, and assisted in the rescue operation at the World Trade Center disaster. A few of the Club's guests from Engine 39 were trapped in the rubble for over three hours; their firehouse suffered two fatalities on Sept. 11.


Oprah Honors Climber - Arlene Blum of Berkeley, Calif., was honored as one of eight high achieving women profiled in the September 2001 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. In an article titled, "Are you now or have you ever been ambitious?" she complains to writer Amy Finnerty "… women who are direct and focused are called pushy or aggressive, while men are called determined or impassioned."


Explore 2001 - The Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers) will host Explore 2001, the 25th annual Expedition Planning Seminar, Nov. 17-18 in London. The conference provides explorers with inspiration, contacts and practical advice needed to successfully plan scientific field research and adventurous expeditions.

The weekend is organized by the Society's Expedition Advisory Centre, which assists some 500-plus expeditions going into the field each year. Over 100 high-profile explorers and leading field scientists will be lecturing and providing advice at this year's event. Together, their expertise covers the world's most remote and challenging environments; tropical forests, deserts, mountains and polar regions. Watch for a report about this conference in our December issue.

(For more information: www.rgs.org/eac; eac@rgs.org; or telephone UK (+44) 20 7591 3030).


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A Himalaya, Africa, Aconcagua Inexpensive Climb - With Daniel Mazur, Amadablam, Kangchenjunga, 7000m snowpeaks, EVEREST, Cho-oyu, Manaslu, KILIMANJARO-TREK, Kenya rockclimb, 206-329-4107, www.summitclimb.com, summitclimb@earthlink.net


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. Layout and design by Nextwave Design, Seattle.

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