Expedition News

July 2002 - Volume Nine, Number Seven

EXPEDITION NEWS is the 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.


An ambitious group of young Brits plan to become the first expedition to complete a circumnavigation of the African continent by land, traveling as close to the coast as possible in one vehicle. The objective is to investigate the issues that shape the African continent, and raise important questions about life on the African coastal margin.

The estimated 10-mos. expedition will head eastbound from Tunisia this November, traveling through 29 countries. Haig writes EN, "While there will be some roads of varying standard, we will be traveling through a diverse off-road terrain - from mountain and forest regions to deltas and through parts of the Eritrean, Namib and Sahara deserts."

Total budget is about $73,200 (£ 47,800 pounds), of which each team member will commit about $7,660 (£ 5,000 pounds) to the expedition. The remaining sum will be sought through sponsorship and in-kind donations. The fund-raising effort recently began in earnest with the distribution of a few hundred target letters soliciting sponsorship. To date, the expedition has received support from Wind-Water, a renewable energy project based in Fife, Scotland, which is developing a sustainable wind-powered desalination unit to generate fresh water. Wind-Water hopes to expand its sustainable technology to Africa.


The Swimmer - French swimmer Benoit "Ben" Lecomte's intentions to swim the Pacific have been put on hold until at least spring 2003 (See EN June 1999). Meanwhile, he's planning a "Swim for Liberty" to pay homage to the victims of the 9-11 tragedy. On September 11, 2002, he will leave Washington, D.C., from the Potomac River and swim along the Atlantic coast towards New York City. When he arrives an estimated 25 days later, he will be joined by other marathon swimmers at the Statue of Liberty. Lecomte, a resident of Dallas where he works for an IT company, says the project has been endorsed by Zodiac, makers of his support boat, and the French Embassy, where a press conference will be held before the swim. He plans to swim during the day and sleep on land at night.


New England Aquarium Studies Kiribati Islands - Last month, the New England Aquarium launched its Phoenix Islands Project - a six-week expedition to eight islands in the Republic of Kiribati. The region is described as an unimaginable hard coral paradise forgotten by the erosive forces wrecking havoc on virtually the entire globe's special places. The animal life - fish, sharks, sea turtles, seabirds, corals and other inverts - is abundant, healthy and eye-poppingly dazzling, according to Steve Bailey, Curator of Fishes for the Boston aquarium.

Climbers Risk High Altitude Lung Illness - Three out of four mountain climbers appear to develop a mild form of a rare, potentially life-threatening lung problem that can occur in those climbing to high altitudes, according to researchers. However, the amount of fluid build-up in the lungs of most climbers is relatively small and they may not experience obvious symptoms.


CNN Program Note - CNN Presents "Harsh Continent: Life in Antarctica," has moved to Saturday, Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. ET, with an encore broadcast on Sunday, Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET. Correspondent Kyra Phillips takes viewers on a journey to McMurdo Station, the largest base in Antarctica, and on to the geographic South Pole, one of the world's most critical testing grounds for scientific study.

Funding Resurrects MountainZone.com - MountainZone.com, the on-line resource for mountain sport enthusiasts, closed on its Founder's Round of funding, securing $300,000. This initial round of funding follows the successful expedition of MountainZone.com and Alpine Ascents International to Everest where 17 members reached the summit.


Discovery Teams With Woolrich - Explorers looking for sponsorship might find a receptive audience at one of the country's major cable channels. Discovery Channel and Woolrich will create a co-branded line of men's and women's outdoor apparel and accessories to be distributed at leading outdoor apparel and sporting goods retailers. The line will also be sold through the companies' proprietary channels, including 167 Discovery Channel Stores, Discovery.com, and Woolrich's 28 retail stores, consumer catalog and Woolrich.com.


National Geo Knows Best - Could National Geographic magazine have been wrong with one of its facts? It sure looked that way when the world's media (including Expedition News) reported that May 16 was a record day on Everest with 61 successful ascents. Meanwhile, National Geo quietly issued an Everest map that claimed May 23, 2001, was a record with 89 summits. Turns out our yellow-bordered friends were right. According to researcher Camas Davis, the 61 refers to the number of 2002 summits from the south side only. The total ascents this year from either side - 80 - were still nine short of the record set last year. National Geographic Adventure magazine will gloat about the discrepancy in their August issue.


Expedition Public Relations - Alex Foley & Associates specializes in expedition PR. Alex Foley is honorary secretary of the Explorers Club British Chapter and has executed PR programs for many ventures including the 1996 Titanic Expedition and recently, Ice Challenger, the Bering Strait expedition flying Explorers Club Flag 176A this March. (www.IceChallenger.com). Contact: Alex Foley & Associates Ltd. (London, UK), alexfoley@btinternet.com Tel: (+44) 207 352 3144; Mobile: (+44) 797 671 3478.

Absolute Adventure Himalaya Climbing Expeditions with Daniel Mazur Announcing new lowered prices due to recent events. These are full service expeditions, including Sherpa and all costs inside Nepal: Amadablam 2002-05, $3,950; Kangchenjunga 2002, $6,950; Manaslu 2003, $6,950; Dhaulagiri 2004, $6,950; Pumori 2002-05, $3,950. We now offer our new low-budget expeditions: Mustagh-Ata 2002-05, $1,450; Cho-Oyu 2002-05, $4,650; Everest 2002-05, $6,000. Everything for the novice, intermediate and expert since 1987. 206-329-4107, summitclimb@earthlink.net    www.SummitClimb.com

Join the AAC - Founded in 1902, The American Alpine Club is dedicated to promoting climbing knowledge, conserving mountain environments, and serving the American climbing community. Your membership benefits include: rescue insurance, timely publications, expedition endorsements, library privileges, discounts, advocacy, and much more. Call 303 384 0110 or log onto AmericanAlpineClub.org

EXPEDITION NEWS 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. Assistant editor: Jessica Brown. ©2002 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr.; international postal rate US$46/yr. Credit card payments accepted through www.paypal.com. Highlights from EXPEDITION NEWS can be found at www.expeditionnews.com and www.webexpeditions.net. Layout and design by Nextwave Design, Seattle.

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