Expedition News
February 2004 – Volume Eleven, Number Two –

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.

The following are highlights of our February issue, but this is only part of the story. For a year’s subscription, send $36 to the below address or e-mail us for a free sample copy. – The Editors, editor@ExpeditionNews.com


Although confined to a wheelchair now, 98-year-old Col. Norman D. Vaughan’s mind is as sharp today as when he signed on to handle sled dogs for Admiral Richard E. Byrd.

The last surviving member of Admiral Byrd’s original 1928-30 expedition to Antarctica, Vaughan is a living link to the early 20th century’s rich history of discovery and America's oldest Antarctican. Vaughan, who resides in Anchorage with his wife, Carolyn, plans to again ascend the 10,302-ft. Mt. Vaughan in Antarctica, named in his honor by Adm. Byrd. He hopes to summit on Dec. 19, 2005, at the age of 100.

He was first to summit Mt. Vaughan in 1994 when he was 89, a feat documented by the National Geographic Television Explorer series. This time he will be ferried up in a sled by a six-man team, led by his former climbing partner Vern Tejas. To encourage sponsors who may be reluctant to fund an expedition by a centenarian, Vaughan has set up a trust – if he fails to depart on the expedition, monies will be returned. A life-long teetotaler, he’s looking for a champagne sponsor so he can have his first-ever drink on the summit. (For more information: (+1) 907-227-6311, Carolyn@anchorage.net).


Replica Ship Seeks to Prove Africa-Asia Trade Ties – It looks more like a giant spider than a boat, yet the Borobudur has already sailed more than 8,000 miles, retracing an ancient trading route stretching from Asia to the bulge of Africa. The strange craft with its muddle of beams and gangly outriggers seems somewhat out of place moored outside Cape Town's opulent Cape Grace Hotel, wedged between the gleaming yachts of millionaires. The 57-foot-long wooden vessel, based on an 8th century Indonesian design, left Jakarta in August and is on its way to Ghana to prove that trade links between Africa and southeast Asia were thriving more than 1,000 years ago.

R.O.C.K. On – Rock Shoes for Climbing Kids is a grassroots effort to match up school programs, children climbing programs, and individual youths in need of climbing shoes with new or used shoes donated by members of the climbing community. It was founded by Alli Rainey, 29, an accomplished climber, instructor, climbing competitor, and freelance writer from Wyoming who often lives out of her van. Rainey was ranked the number one overall female climber nationwide by the Competitive Climbing Rank (www.ccrank.com) in January 2001.

Rainey tells EN she wants to hear from kids' programs or individuals who could use climbing shoes but cannot afford them. She’s also looking for donations of used climbing shoes from other climbers, donations of cosmetically defective shoes or seconds from retailers and manufacturers, and a resoler who would be willing to resole the donated shoes at no cost. The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) is the first sponsor to climb on board with a donation of 15 pairs for needy kids in Peru.

Rainey envisions a network of local R.O.C.K. programs around the country helping to serve local and regional climbing communities by providing shoes to up-and-coming rock stars who may not have the resources to purchase their own. (For more information: (+1) 307-389-6753; alli@allirainey.com).

With Every Breath You Take – "Oxygen might burn the candle of life too quickly, and soon exhaust the animal powers within," said Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) in "Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air" (1775). Climbers and other athletes have understood the benefits of training and sleeping at altitude, but to do so required access to suitable mountain locations, or to one of the few prohibitively expensive nitrogen-fed buildings, or possibly a massive hypobaric chamber. Hypoxico, Inc. of New York, came out with a better idea in the mid-1990’s – a generator, tent and mask Hypoxic Tent System for $6,500 that permits high altitude training in the comfort of the home. The generator simulates the high altitude environment by pumping in a continual flow of "altitude" (low oxygen) air. The tent can hold a queen-size bed, thus allowing its use during sleep.


GreatOutdoors.com is Resurrected – One of the first outdoor Web sites, GreatOutdoors.com, is being revived by its owners, Altrec, in spring 2004. Editor is author, climber and adventure journalist Peter Potterfield, 52, former editor of MountainZone.com (1996-2002). GreatOutdoors.com will contain high quality stories about the outdoors by professional journalists. Potterfield’s Classic Hikes of the World (W.W. Norton, New York) comes out in December 2004.

Himalayan Peak Bagging for the Rest of Us – Nepal’s new heli-skiing tours from Himalayan Heli Ski Guides offers endless, effortless powder skiing on easy and moderate slopes. This is so new that early visitors are able to give names to the runs they ski and have them marked on the map, according to Patrick Thorne in the January issue of Hemispheres Magazine.

Documentary Film Seeks Advisory BoardEndangered Islands Expedition, Inc. is currently in pre-production for the high definition documentary film series State of Evolution. Producers are looking for biologists, ethnobotanists, anthropologists, oceanographers and others to be part of the advisory board. Also sought: filmmakers, journalists, and experienced guides who have studied the regions of Indonesia and the Pacific. The series hopes to serve as an archival record, recording valuable information before it is lost permanently. (For more information: Sally Reid, (+1) 416-351-9771, sally@eiexpedition.com, www.eiexpedition.com).


Hard Sell – Generating corporate sponsorship for an expedition is difficult enough for legitimate Everest climbs, deep ocean research expeditions, and jungle treks, much less a search for an elusive hairy beast. Look up "hard sell" in the adventure dictionary and you’re likely to find the word "bigfoot." Now imagine the challenge faced by the American Bigfoot Expedition which recently announced to the world, "The only way to prove that some kind of Bigfoot creature exists is to put together a big time expedition to capture and study one." So-called "Bigfoot explorer" C. Thomas Biscardi of Redwood City, Calif., is seeking journalists and corporate sponsors to participate in his "American Bigfoot Expedition," set to launch in the spring or early summer of 2004.


Stefansson Exhibit Opens in Manhattan – An exhibit on the life of Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1879-1962) begins a 60-day run in New York City this month at the Scandinavia House (58 Park Ave.). The American-Scandinavian Foundation, in association with the Consulate General of Iceland, is presenting "The Friendly Arctic," commemorating the life’s work of the so-called "Prophet of the North." The exhibit, sponsored by Alcan, Inc., features photographs, manuscripts, videos, maps, diary excerpts, and Arctic clothing and equipment from the Stefansson Collection at Dartmouth College.


Expedition Public Relations – Alex Foley & Associates specializes in international public relations for explorers, expeditions and adventure challenges creating maximum value for title sponsors.

Alexandra Foley is a dual British-American citizen, Honorary Secretary of the British Chapter of the Explorers Club and a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society. Her firm has executed PR programmes for numerous expeditions including the Titanic 1996 Expedition, The Ice Challenger Bering Strait Expedition, Will Cross’s Novolog Ultimate Trek to Cure Diabetes, David Hempleman Adams’s Chase de Vere, Bank of Ireland and Uniq Atlantic Balloon Challenges, and his solo and unsupported trek to the Geomagnetic North Pole, and Rosie Stancer’s Snickers South Pole Solo Challenge.

Alex Foley & Associates Ltd.
London, UK
Tel: (+44) 207-352-3144
Mobile: (+44) 797-671-3478.

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EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 28 Center Street, Darien, CT 06820 USA. Tel. (+1) 203-855-9400, fax (+1) 203-855-9433, blumassoc@aol.com. Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Assistant editor: Jamie Gribbon ©2003 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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