Expedition News

August 2002 - Volume Nine, Number Eight

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.


Undersea explorer Barry Clifford of Provincetown, Mass., announced plans to search for sunken treasure confiscated from the Jesuits in the 18th century off South America. At an Explorers Club luncheon in New York on July 23, Clifford said the treasure he's seeking in Uruguay this fall was accumulated throughout the time of Jesuit missionary work in Brazil and eastern South America, from the 16th to 18th centuries.


Writer/adventurer Jon Bowermaster of Stone Ridge, N.Y., will lead a five-man sea kayaking expedition through the remote Tuamotu chain this September. The Tuamotu, one of five French Polynesian archipelagos, are 78 coral reef atolls spread over 900 miles in the middle of the South Pacific, equidistant from South America and Australia. They are dubbed the "dangerous archipelago" since the reefs served as a kind of speed bump to explorers from the west. Magellan and Heyerdahl both reported washing up against the submerged reefs during their voyages.


This month, a former English teacher from Yokohama will begin a one-year solo effort to climb Japan's 100 tallest peaks. According to Ginger Vaughn, 24, the average elevation of Japan's tallest 100 peaks is 2200 meters (7,218 feet). They range from the highest, Mt. Fuji (Fuji-san) at 3776 meters in Shizuoka prefecture, to the lowest, Mt. Tsukuba at 876 meters in Ibaraki prefecture. If she succeeds, Vaughn believes she will be the first foreign woman to do so.


Russian Paraplegics Summit McKinley - Pulling their weight up 45-degree grades on specially designed sleds, disabled Russian climbers Igor Ushakov and Grigory Tsarkov became the first paraplegics to reach the summit of Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America. The two climbers said at a news conference that they hoped their expedition would draw attention to the lack of enforcement of Russia's accessibility laws.

Ushakov and Tsarkov - accompanied by a team of professional climbers, rescue personnel and a doctor - reached the summit of Mount McKinley, also known as Denali, on June 15. About 1,200 people each year attempt to ascend the mountain, but only half make it to the top and 92 have died trying.


Hot Rocks - A cover story in Pacific Northwest magazine (June 23) tells of the battle for control of the west's "hot rocks" - a popular climbing area called Frenchman Coulee in Eastern Washington under pressure from hordes of climbers from Seattle and Spokane. "They form lines at easy routes as if ordering at Burger King," writes Craig Welch of the Seattle Times. Local rock jock Bill Robbins adds, "It's not a team sport. To be good you have to be arrogant. You have to believe in yourself." If you doubt, you could screw up, he says in words not meant for polite company. "You could die." Robbins, 44, was part of the team that helped paraplegic climber Pete Rieke up Mount Rainier.

Author Seeks Everest Summiteers - An Australian-based author/publisher is working on a book about high achievers currently titled, Reaching the Top - Reflections from Men and Women Who Have Summited Mount Everest.

Margaret Gee says it will be a collection of short quotations from people who have successfully climbed the mountain. She expects up to 250 climbers will be featured in the book, which will be published next year to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.

The deadline for quotations is August 31. Twenty-five percent of the book's net income will be pledged to the newly formed Australian Himalayan Foundation. (For more information: Margaret Gee, Sydney tel. (+61) 2-9365-3266; margaretgee2@bigpond.com)


Let's Party Like It's 1903 - The American Alpine Club will hold a Centennial Celebration on Sept. 28 at the Sheraton Denver West Hotel. Speakers are Tami Knight, Dee Molenaar, James H. Powell, John Spencer, and Betsy White. The dinner menu will incorporate items served at the AAC's inaugural annual meeting held on Jan. 2, 1903 - medallion of striped bass, filet of beef, and a vegetarian option. (What? No insects?) (For more information: www.americanalpineclub.org).

Explorers Club Plans First Film Festival - The Explorers Club joins Banff, Sundance, and Telluride by offering its own film festival. The first annual Explorers Club Documentary Film Festival, Nov. 3, will be a daylong celebration of the best in short films on the subjects of scientific exploration, field research, wildlife and conservation. Films are being solicited that share the Club's commitment to a healthier planet in the 21st century.

The Festival, which will be open to members of the Explorers Club as well as the general public, invites filmmakers to submit their work for consideration. In addition, the Festival will feature a selection of the best films from the archives of the Club. Deadline for submission is Sept. 6. (For more information: Jeanette Salfeety, 850 449 2636, filmfestival@explorers.org, www.explorers.org/filmfestival).


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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