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EXPEDITION NEWS, founded in 1994, is the monthly review of significant expeditions, research projects and newsworthy adventures. It is distributed online to media representatives, corporate sponsors, educators, research librarians, explorers, environmentalists, and outdoor enthusiasts. This forum on exploration covers projects that stimulate, motivate and educate.

November  2018 - Volume Twenty-Four, Number Eleven

Celebrating Our 24th Year!                                   



Hearts in the Ice, a new project launched this year, aims to create global dialogue and social engagement around climate change in the Polar Regions. In August 2019, seasoned expedition leaders, Hilde Fålun Strøm and Sunniva Sorby will inhabit for nine months a historic 215 s.f. trapper's cabin known as "Bamsebu" in Svalbard, Norway. The goal of the project is to show rapid climate change escalation and what can be done to mitigate the effects.

Hilde Falun Strom
Conditions will be rigorous during the Arctic Winter as Sorby and Fålun Strøm will dwell in total darkness for 90 days and occupy Bamsebu with the daily threat of polar bears and  no running water or electricity. Additionally, they aim to have the smallest carbon footprint possible by using solar and wind energy, and reducing all packaging from their suppliers and providers.
"Climate change is having a greater impact in the Arctic than anywhere else on the planet," said Hilde. "Temperatures have increased by twice the global average over the past 50 years. We invite everyone to get involved and take the time to understand what is happening in their own neighborhoods, and what they can do locally to mitigate the effects of climate change," says Sorby.

Sunniva Sorby
Life at Bamsebu will be broadcast and published in real-time via Iridium satellite through social media to scientists, students, adventurers, and interested citizens from around the world.
Sorby and Fålun Strøm will conduct observations and gather data in collaboration with the Norwegian Polar Institute, The Norwegian Meteorological Institute, NASA, and The Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Their findings will add to existing research in the Arctic. Two of these projects will be mirrored in Antarctica with Polar Latitudes' Citizen Science Program (www.polar-latitudes.com)
Sponsors include Garmin, Hurtigruten, Iridium, and Polar Latitudes.

For more information: www.heartsintheice.com

See their pitch video here: https://youtu.be/RA1pNAPILA4

Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong in First Man, apparently not very convincingly.
Hollywood, We Have a Problem
In addition to the shitstorm over the failure of the film First Man to show Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin actually raising the U.S. flag on the moon (see EN, September 2018), the movie is also not very good, according to one space insider who has worked closely with NASA.
In a recent Facebook post, Alan Stern, the principal investigator of the New Horizons mission to Pluto, was aghast. He writes:
"Saw First Man last night. It was terrible. It was a disservice to Armstrong and Aldrin and all of Apollo. Even the eye candy special effects were - and I rarely curse - crap. Save your money. Don't go.
"Poor CGI. Shallow script. Poor character development. The depiction of spaceflight was completely off base. This movie is a disgrace to Apollo, to Armstrong, to the Greatest Space Generation. The film made Neil a nothing - and it made Buzz a cad. Do not go!

"In one thousand years Neil Armstrong will prove to be single most towering historic personage of the 20th Century. This film completely missed the point.

"Worse, this film is a mockery of the man I knew. Grade: F."
Ok Alan, now tell us what you really think. Stern was named this month to the National Science Board (NSB), the policymaking body of the National Science Foundation (NSF) that advises Congress and the Administration on issues in science and engineering. He and co-author David Grinspoon wrote Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto (Picador, 2018).

The world's oldest shipwreck dating from 400 BC of ancient Greek origin, most likely a trading vessel. Photograph: Black Sea map

World's Oldest Intact Shipwreck Found in Mile-Deep 
Waters Off Bulgarian Coast

A team of researchers has found the world's oldest intact shipwreck. The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (MAP) recently found the 75-ft. wreck off the coast of Bulgaria. It's believed to be from a Greek merchant ship. Carbon dating has shown it to be more than 2,400 years old. The ruins were discovered more than a mile underwater, in oxygen-free conditions that helped preserve the ship's parts. It's just one of several ancient vessels the Black Sea Archaeology project has found over the past three years.

"A ship surviving intact from the classical world, lying in over 2 km (6,562-ft.) of water, is something I would never have believed possible," said Professor Jon Adams, the principal investigator with MAP, the team that made the find.

"This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world."

Read the story here: 

Meteorologists hope to return to Mt. Everest

Mothballed Mount Everest Climate Observatory Could Reopen Soon

Scientists hope that a Himalayan climate observatory that had its funding cut four years ago could be back in action by early next year. Managers of the Nepal Climate Observatory - Pyramid station say they are close to reaching an agreement with the Italian National Research Council (CNR). The council helped set up the station near the base of Mount Everest in 2006 but stopped funding it in 2014 because of how its budgets were managed, according to a story in Nature (Oct. 30) by Lou Del Bello.

"For the first time in four years, I am extremely optimistic about the fate of the station," says philanthropist and climber Agostino Da Polenza, who heads the Ev-K2-CNR Association, a non-profit group that promotes research in mountain areas and helped to set up the Nepal Climate Observatory-Pyramid, one of the highest climate observatories in the world. 

Read more here:

"Mountains are the bones of the earth, their highest peaks are invariably those parts of its anatomy which in the plains lie buried under five and twenty thousand feet of solid thickness of superincumbent soil, and which spring up in the mountain ranges in vast pyramids or wedges, flinging their garment of earth away from them on each side. ... the mountains must come from under all, and be the support of all; and that everything else must be laid in their arms, heap above heap, the plains being the uppermost."

­­- John Ruskin (1819-1900), English art critic of the Victorian era, from "O Truth of Earth." A portion of the poem appears in stainless steel set into the black granite of the Hyatt Regency Denver's porte-cochère.


O'Brady's kit included the prestigious Explorers Club flag. (Tamara Merino for The New York Times)

Head-to-Head Across Antarctica

Two adventurers are racing head-to-head to cross Antarctica and bag the honors of first unsupported solo crossing. One's a British army captain. One's a social media star. Though very different, Colin O'Brady, 33, and Louis Rudd, 49, are both being quite cordial with each other, according to The New York Times (Nov. 11) story by Adam Skolnick.

The two men, who came to this quest from very different backgrounds but forged a competitive bond during their time in Chile, were each determined to become the first person to cross Antarctica alone without support - a 921-mile odyssey on ice through blasting winds that could take as many as 65 days, according to Skolnick. It's the same trek that killed Rudd's friend, Lt. Col. Henry Worsley, two years ago.

Both O'Brady and Rudd hope to conquer a continent that has become the new Everest for extreme athletes.

Rudd is more of an old-school adventurer. He enlisted in the Royal Marines at age 16 and remains in the British armed forces. He fought in Kosovo, Iraq (three tours) and Afghanistan (four tours).

O'Brady is more of the age, a seasoned adventure athlete and budding social media star forged from injury and perseverance. He grew up in Portland, Ore., and swam at Yale. He climbed each of the Seven Summits and skied the last degree to both polesThis summer, he climbed the high points in all 50 states in just 21 days, obliterating another record - to the delight of his social media followers.

He calls his expedition "The Impossible First'' and plans to show much of it on social media (Rudd's presence online is minimal.)

"Though a handful of adventurers have used kites to ride the winds across the continent or arranged for caches of food and fuel to be dropped along the way, the accomplished English polar explorer Ben Saunders was the last to attempt a solo, unsupported crossing. He chose a different route and tapped out after covering 805 miles in 2017," writes Skolnick.

The year before, Rudd's friend Worsley had made the same valiant attempt. He covered more than 900 miles but died from an infection two days after being rescued from the ice, just 30 miles from the finish line.

Rudd and O'Brady each raised upward of $200,000 from corporate sponsors and private donors to make their attempts.

Read the Times story here:

Editor's note: In 2012, Felicity Ann Dawn Aston MBE, an English explorer and former climate scientist, became the first person to ski alone across the Antarctic land-mass using only personal muscle power, as well as the first woman to cross the Antarctic land-mass alone. Her journey began on November 25, 2011, at the Leverett Glacier and continued for 59 days and a distance of 1,084 miles (1,745 kilometers). She had two supply drops.

Michael Brown's Blind Kayakers Documentary 
Wins Banff Mountain Film

Boulder, Colorado, director and producer Michael Brown of Serac Adventure Films won Grand Prize at the 2018 Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival for The Weight of Water, an 80-min. account of the descent of the Grand Canyon by blind adventurers Erik Weihenmayer and Lonnie Bedwell. The film depicts kayaking Lava Falls, the toughest rapid in the Grand Canyon. 

Erik Weihenmayer and Michael Brown (Photo: Denver Film Festival/Jason DeWitt)

"We selected the film that touched us most deeply - the one that caused us all to shed some tears...," said Rebecca Martin, a member of the 2018 Film jury. 

"The human achievement that was the focal point of this work gripped us and the emotional journey of the main protagonist as the narrative unfolded was palpable, while also being exquisitely subtle. We were moved. We were immensely inspired. And we were drawn into the story so intensely, we felt a part of the exhilaration of an unimaginably hard-won accomplishment." 

After receiving the award, which elicited a prolonged standing ovation, Brown posts, "The best part for me was bringing my sweet six-year-old on stage. It meant the world to be able to share my biggest professional moment ever with so many people I love."

Read about the other festival winners here:

When Erik Weihenmayer finished his first climb, he thought, "This is what I want out of my life." Photo by Skyler Williams

In a related story, Weihenmayer explains to Elaine Glusac of The New York Times (Oct. 21) how he feels fortunate to attract "awesome" friends and mentors. "On a big mountain, they're hiking in front of me and a lot of times I can hear their crampons crunching in the snow, so I can just follow them.

"When you're on a rock, they're jingling a bear bell and I'm using two trekking poles to feel my way. And when I get in more technical terrain, I'm just feeling my way up the rock face or an ice face. So I'm just doing it by sound and by touch."

Read the Times interview here:

Astronaut Scott Kelly: "In Space, You Can't See Political Divides"

Astronaut Scott Kelly saw the sun rise and set about 32 times each day during the 520 total days he spent in outer space. He also spent considerable time looking at Planet Earth. Naturally, it changed his perspective ­- in the most literal sense. 

Scott Kelly on Cheddar TV

During a book tour this month, Kelly tells Cheddar.com, "You do get more in tune with the environmental issues when you see that our atmosphere is very fragile looking, very small ... you see pollution over certain parts of the planet. You see the Earth with no political borders between countries.

"That makes it seem like, you know, we're are all in this together - this thing called humanity - and we need to work together to solve our problems."

Kelly's latest book, Infinite Wonder: An Astronaut's Photographs from a Year in Space (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2018) contains personal photography, which captures the Earth and Moon, sunrises and sunsets, and even life aboard the International Space Station, where Kelly spent so many hours.

See the entire interview here:

Titanic Artifacts Sold to Hedgies

Some of the richest people in the world lost everything when the Titanic sank. Now a consortium of new-money risk takers is poised to profit from turn-of-the-20th-century artifacts that curators had hoped to claim, according to a New York Times story by Amie Tsang (Oct. 17).

Three hedge funds banded together to submit a $19.5 million bid to buy the once-lost treasures of the ocean liner, thwarting a group of British museums backed by the National Geographic Society and James Cameron, who directed the 1997 movie Titanic. The museums could muster only $19.2 million and withdrew this month.

The new owners - Apollo Global Management, Alta Fundamental Advisers and PacBridge Capital Partners - said they would keep the collection as a tourist draw, but declined to comment further.

Bowler hat recovered from the wreck site in 1993. The ribbons are grosgrain. (Premier Exhibitions) 

"The 5,500 items recovered from two miles below the surface in international waters off Newfoundland are remnants of a gilded era: a bowler hat, the crusty leather folds of a once-sumptuous Gladstone bag and the dark, sleek curves of a bronze angel that graced the post of a staircase," writes Tsang.

The objects are "time capsules that take you back to 1912," said Kevin Fewster, director of Royal Museums Greenwich, which was part of the museum bid. "It's this complete section of humanity and society."

Read the story here:

Wingsuit/BASE Jumping Couple Unafraid of Death, Surprised by Love

Men have been making light of what they see as "women's stuff" for centuries, and quite possibly forever. Calling the wedding notices in The New York Times "the women's sports pages" is a classic, writes Candace Bushnell, whose New York Observer column was adapted into the bestselling Sex and the City anthology

Steph Davis and Ian Mitchard with Cajun

But in this case, Lois Smith Brady's Vows column was really about sports - skydiving, BASE jumping and wingsuit flying to be exact.

Steph Davis, 46, is a professional rock climber, BASE jumper and wingsuit flyer, as well as a blogger, author and public speaker, was married this month in Utah to Ian Mitchard, 38, a tandem instructor at Skydive Moab, a sky-diving operation, as well as a wingsuit flyer and BASE jumper, according to the story. 

Davis and Mitchard met at various air sports events and gatherings over the years but did not fall in love until late fall 2013, when both were car camping and sky diving near Skydive Arizona in Eloy. She was sleeping in her Honda Fit and he in the green rusty van he called home at the time. On a few of their early dates, they cooked dinner together in his van. "I had no kitchen so she brought the stove," he said.

At the time, she was emerging from a long depression after the death of her second husband, Mario Richard, who died while wingsuit flying during a flight with Ms. Davis in 2013 in Italy's Dolomite Mountains. (Ms. Davis's first husband, whom she had divorced, was Dean Potter, a well-known rock climber, slack rope walker and all-around daredevil who died in 2015 in a wingsuit flying accident in Yosemite National Park.)

Writer Lois Smith Brady asks, "What about the obvious, the possibility of death?"

"It's in our face all the time," Mitchard said, even if they avoid risks.

Both said they were prepared to die, legally and financially at least. "We have taken care of the logistical things in our lives because we know we are mortal," said Davis.  

Still, she added: "My biggest life dream would be for Ian and me to live this long, happy life and then be together in our bed and holding hands and pass away together. It could happen!"

Read the entire society page story here:

2018 National Outdoor Book Award Winners

A race to reach the North and South Poles. A trip down the Arkansas River.  An investigation of a murder deep within the Grand Canyon. These stories and more are among the winners of 2018 National Outdoor Books.

The exploration of the North and South Poles is the subject of this year's winner of the History/Biography category: To the Edges of the Earth (William Morrow, 2018) by Edward Larson. Larson concentrates on one year when explorers are on the verge of attaining some of the great prizes in polar exploration.

That year is 1909. Expeditions are underway at the top and bottom of the globe. It is the year in which some of the great figures in exploration make their marks: US Naval Officer, Robert Peary; African American adventurer, Matthew Henson; Italy's Duke of the Abruzzi; and Britain's Ernest Shackleton.

"To the Edges of the Earth is quite simply great writing backed up by great research," said Ron Watters, chair of the National Outdoor Book Awards.  

Larson's book is one of fourteen winning books in this year's award program.  Sponsors of the program include the National Outdoor Book Awards Foundation, Idaho State University and the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education.

Complete reviews of these and the other 2018 winners may be found at the National Outdoor Book Awards website at: www.noba-web.org.

Political Thriller Brings Murder to the Moon
Not even the moon is safe from homicides. Red Moon (Orbit, 2018) by Kim Stanley Robinson, is set in 2047, when the U.S. and China have returned to the moon, establishing permanent settlements on its surface. 

An American named Fred Fredericks is sent to the moon to deliver a quantum-enabled phone to the head of the Chinese Lunar Authority, Chang Yazu. But after shaking the man's hand, Yazu is poisoned and dies, and Fredericks is accused of murder. The incident kicks off a major political crisis between the U.S. and China as Fredericks escapes and goes on the run.
Read a sample chapter here:

Explorers Club Annual Dinner Honors 50th Anniversary of Apollo Program, March 16, 2019, Marriott Times Square

As the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 fast approaches, The Explorers Club and its members find themselves with a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to celebrate the pioneers of the space program. The 115th Explorers Club Annual Dinner will toast the living Apollo moonwalkers, astronauts, and engineers, alongside those they inspired, March 16, 2019, at the Marriott Times Square. Tickets start at $500.

For more information: 212 628 8383 or reservations@explorers.org.


Jan Reynolds Wins "KUHLest" Moment in Exploration Contest  
Writer, photographer, author and explorer Jan Reynolds of Stowe, Vermont, has won EN's 24th anniversary contest sponsored by KUHL, the well-known mountain culture apparel company. What was her KUHLest Moment in the Wild?

Jan Reynolds of Stowe, Vermont 
"As both Ned Gillette and Jim Bridwell looked at me, deciding I would go last on rappel off this bollard we freshly hacked, as the Himalayan winter jet stream winds lowered down on us, it was confirmed I was just another team member, not a lady, not the female among them. There was no "ladies first," for my safety and protection. "You're the lightest, you should go last," they determined.
"I agreed. I would be the least likely to pop the rope off over the bollard or cut through, and we needed to descend as rapidly as possible and make our rope as easily retrievable as possible, thus the bollards. We held the rope down on the bollard for both Jim, then Ned to descend, and I had no one to do this for me, as I swung under the lump of snow, holding my breath and rappelled down, without tumbling off, or breaking through. We were a team, I was a teammate. No more ladies first. How Kuhl is that?!"
Reynolds wins a women's long sleeve LYRIK Sweater. 

Learn more about Reynolds at www.janreynolds.com

Get Sponsored! - Hundreds of explorers and adventurers raise money each month to travel on world class expeditions to Mt. Everest, Nepal, Antarctica and elsewhere. Now the techniques they use to pay for their journeys are available to anyone who has a dream adventure project in mind, according to the book from Skyhorse Publishing called:

Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would Be World Travelers.

Author Jeff Blumenfeld, an adventure marketing specialist who has represented 3M, Coleman, Du Pont, Lands' End and Orvis, among others, shares techniques for securing sponsors for expeditions and adventures.

Buy it here: 


Coming in Spring 2019: Travel With Purpose, A Field Guide to Voluntourism (Rowman & Littlefield) by Jeff Blumenfeld
Advertise in Expedition News - For more information: blumassoc@aol.com.

EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, LLC, 290 Laramie Blvd., Boulder, CO 80304 USA. Tel. 203 326 1200, editor@expeditionnews.com. Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Research editor: Lee Kovel. ©2018 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr. available by e-mail only. Credit card payments accepted through www.paypal.com (made payable to blumassoc@aol.com).  Read EXPEDITION NEWS at www.expeditionnews.com. Enjoy the EN blog at www.expeditionnews.blogspot.com





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