Expedition News

November 2002 - Volume Nine, Number Eleven

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.

Here are Highlights from our November issue. For a free sample copy of a previous issue, send a long self-addressed stamped (37 cents) envelope to the below address. Reprints of our November issue are available at the single issue price of $4. - The Editors


Two British explorers in Antarctica hope to cut what would normally be a 60-day expedition from the South Pole to Patriot Hills down to seven days using specially designed ski buggies connected to kites. The late December expedition by Brian Cunningham, 59, and Jamie Young, 50, will be sponsored by Nestle Kit Kat, the candy bar.

The hero of the Kit Kat Ice Kites Expedition are custom-made ski buggies designed and built by Kieron Bradley, owner of Parastorm UK, a kite buggy company. The ski buggy is approximately 10-ft. by 10-ft. and will use five kites each from Advance Kites of Switzerland - the biggest being 108 sq. ft. which will pull them in any winds over five knots.

The 60 lbs. ski buggies have independent suspension to cope with the expected conditions and have been designed with safety margins in mind. In the event of a serious buggy failure, both members of the expedition, plus all their gear, can safely be carried on a single buggy.


Buhler Summits Sepu Kangri - American climbers Carlos Buhler and Mark Newcomb made a successful first ascent of Sepu Kangri (22,821-ft.) in Tibet, according to a report from their sponsor, bootmaker Tecnica of West Lebanon, N.H. The summit was reached Oct. 2 in a rapidly building blizzard. Buhler writes, "The mountain's wild and unpredictable weather made for difficult going. Our weather windows were short and usually followed long build-ups of snow on Sepu's dangerous avalanche terrain.

Lost WWII Fliers Recovered Along "Aluminium Trail" - The remains of four American airmen killed during World War II were recovered recently during an expedition to eastern Tibet, according to the Associated Press. No one is certain yet who they are, though the U.S. military has the crew manifest of the C-46 transport that went down in March 1944 along the "hump route," named for the spectacular lumps of snow-shrouded mountains pilots see when crossing high above the Himalayas.

Explorers Club Awards Documentary Films - The Explorers Club announced the winners of its first annual Documentary Film Festival, scheduled at the Club's New York headquarters on Nov. 3. Award recipients include:


Climbing for Dollars

In honor of our eighth anniversary as the monthly review of worldwide expeditions, EN is pleased to present an updated round up of expedition sponsorships we first published in May 2001. Despite the troubled economy, we're pleased to report 11 grants totaling thousands of dollars per year are available through various programs. See information above on how to order a copy of our grants review.

Featured grant programs are:


McLaren Heads Back North - Dr. Alfred S. McLaren of New York has probably spent more time than anyone else in the twilight zone beneath the earth's northern ice, measuring its thickness, probing dark waters below, investigating its life and mapping the plains, crags and fissures of its seabed, according to an Oct. 29 story in The New York Times.

Now, at 70, he is happily making plans to go back.

In April, McLaren, president emeritus of The Explorers Club, will help lead an expedition to Canada's northern isles and seas, diving through the ice in a tiny two-man submersible to explore the northernmost known shipwreck in the world, the H.M.S. Breadalbane, a British barque lost in 1853. His ultimate goal by 2004 is to become the first person to dive to the seabed beneath the North Pole and explore a nearby ridge that bears hints of hidden volcanic fire - and, perhaps, lush ecosystems.


Ebullient Swedish Adventurer Goran Kropp Dies - Well-known Swedish adventurer Göran Kropp, who had been living in Issaquah, Wash., the past six months, was killed Sept. 30 in a rock-climbing accident in central Washington state.

An elite climber, skier and cyclist, Kropp, 35, is most famous for an unusual adventure in 1996, when he rode a bicycle 7,440 miles from his home in Jönköping, Sweden, to Kathmandu in Nepal, where he climbed Mount Everest. (See EN, September 2001).

Freediver Drowns - Freediver Audrey Mestre, 28, died in a freediving accident on Oct. 12, approximately 2-1/2 miles off the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic. A member of The Explorers Club, she was attempting to officially break the world freediving record with a dive of 557.7 feet (170 m), a depth she achieved unofficially during a practice dive three days before. The cause of the accident is still being investigated. Mestre is survived by her husband, freediver Francisco "Pipin" Ferreras of Miami.

Mestre was attempting to break the record in the "No Limits" category, which involves riding a weighted sled down the length of a vinyl-coated stainless steel cable.


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, David Hempleman-Adams Chase de Vere Atlantic Challenge, David Hempleman-Adams and Josh Wishart's Polar Race, and Ice Challenger, the Bering Strait expedition flying Explorers Club Flag 176A last March. (www.IceChallenger.com).
Contact: Alex Foley & Associates Ltd. (London, UK), alexfoley@btinternet.com Tel: (+44) 207-352-3144; Mobile: (+44) 797-671-3478.

Affordable Himalaya with Daniel Mazur - Please tell your friends. Announcing new lowered prices due to recent events. These are full service expeditions, including Sherpa and all costs inside Nepal: Amadablam 2003-06, $3,950; Manaslu 2003, $6,950; Dhaulagiri 2004, $6,950; Pumori 2003-06, $3,950. We offer our new low-budget expeditions: Mustagh-Ata 2003-06, $1,450; Cho-Oyu 2003-06, $4,650; Everest 2003-06, $6,000. Everything for the novice, intermediate and expert since 1987. Ask about our treks. We give slide shows too!
206-329-4107, summitclimb@earthlink.net, www.summitclimb.com

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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