May 2021 – Volume Twenty-Seven, Number Five
Celebrating our 26th year.
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.
Southernmost Tree – This tangled thicket is the southernmost cluster of trees in the world, gnarly Megallanic beeches. Few things in the natural world can be identified as the true end, the last of a kind, the edge, says Brian Buma. “It strikes me that we should know where these things are.”

The general public is invited to become citizen-scientists and explore their own backyards as part of an innovative project to identify the extremes of life on planet Earth.
Brian Buma is a disturbance ecologist, bio-geographer, and climate change scientist from Boulder, Colorado, who works around the world on various types of landscape change and natural disasters. He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado, Denver, and an affiliate faculty member at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Buma is also a National Geographic Explorer, and has led expeditions sponsored by multiple agencies. His recent expedition to Cape Horn discovered the world's southernmost tree, a Megallanic beech.
He explains, “No matter where you live, there are species near you reaching their geographic limits. Documenting each range precisely, from majestic fir trees to beautiful sunflowers to drab little grasses that barely draw your attention, is a huge task - one that can only be done collectively.
“Each one is a valuable record of life's attempt to tolerate climate, migrate, and survive,” says Buma.
One section of his interactive website contains over 19,000 different species, with each point representing the northernmost location where the species was found.
“Although ecologists can study a lot, we cannot study everything. We can’t spend the time to get to know the intricate lifestyles of every species on the planet, or continent. At best we know a few well, but most of our time is spent in classrooms, writing papers, and reading research. So how can scientists possibly hope to notice if any given species starts dying off from climate warming, or if a species does indeed track its climate northward as the summers heat up?
“We can’t. Only by working with community members and the general public can we even hope track how climate change is impacting life.
“Documentation of both the northernmost and southernmost edges of species ranges is incredibly valuable scientifically and for conservation efforts. And all species are important. Although redwoods and cypresses can dominate attention, edges of all sorts are scattered around the continent. Herbs, ferns, shrubs – they are all a unique and invaluable facet of our understanding of the world.”
Working with the iNaturalist app and database, Esri (a geographic information system company), and National Geographic, the public can make globally relevant discoveries with exploration around their hometown or across the country, just by identifying species nearby and pushing their range limits. iNaturalist ( is a joint project between the California Academy of Sciences and National Geographic. An online leaderboard encourages engagement. 
“The edges of species ranges are key indicators of biodiversity's response to climate change. Get involved and set a global record yourself,” says Buma.
Learn more:
Reach Brian Buma at

Mike Horn will teach you what he knows.
Exploration 101 with Mike Horn

ROAM Media, the Colorado-based storytelling and outdoor education start-up, unveiled a new online course led by world-renowned explorer Mike Horn, focused on adventure, motivation and drive. Entitled “Achieving Your Dreams,” the 12-part course culls the best life lessons learned by Horn, the 54-year-old global explorer who has touched some of the farthest reaches on the planet and completed some of the world’s most ambitious and spectacular adventures.

ROAM Media’s course will focus on what it takes to be an explorer, including inspiration, discipline, adversity and resilience.

“This particular class transcends adventure, and is truly about moving from being a dreamer to a doer. Mike has learned over time to develop a straightforward process to figure out the intent of what you want to do, and then how to actually make it happen,” said ROAM Media Chief Operating Officer Andy Patrick.

The “Achieving Your Dreams” course, and others, are available now via a monthly fee of $15 or a one-time annual fee of $149.

For more information:

Watch the sizzle reel here:
Coins celebrating the writer and poet Maya Angelou, left, and the astronaut Sally Ride will be issued next year as part of the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program.
Photo: United States Mint
Quarter Note
Famed writer Maya Angelou and trailblazing astronaut Dr. Sally Ride will be the first distinguished American women celebrated on the 2022 quarters.
The American Women Quarters Program is a four-year program that celebrates the accomplishments and contributions made by women to the development and history of the U.S. Beginning in 2022, and continuing through 2025, the U.S. Mint will issue up to five new reverse designs each year. The obverse of each coin will maintain a likeness of George Washington, but be different from the design used during the previous quarter program.
The American Women Quarters may feature contributions from a variety of fields, including, but not limited to, suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts.

The women honored will be from ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse backgrounds. The Public Law requires that no living person be featured in the coin designs.
The public is invited to submit recommendations for potential honorees through the web portal established by the National Women’s History Museum.
Learn about the new program here:
Nominate an historic woman here:
Climb to the Top of Every Performance: Mt. Everest Has Got Your Back

It seems like one of those Saturday Night Live fake ads, but Mt. Everest pills are as real as they get.

Almost 20 years ago, researchers found a new use for Viagra, after conducting tests on mountain climbers scaling Mt. Everest. The familiar purple pills, which promotes erections by opening the tiny veins and arteries leading to the penis, performs similarly in the lungs of men and women at high altitudes, the study found.

Now comes a new pill you don’t have to use at altitude. If you're one of the millions of men affected by ED don't worry, Mt. Everest has got your back.

Mt. Everest, from Nu Image Medical, is an exclusive combination of medicines compounded with a physician prescription to treat erectile dysfunction and issues with sexual performance. Best of all, it works in as little as five minutes, according to its, er, breathless claims.

As the company’s slogan goes, “Only a few dare to climb to the top.” The company is based in Tampa and is undoubtedly perfect for the aging “Florida man” in your life.
For more information:

Everest Base Camp photo by Lukas Furtenbach
Covid Ravages Everest Base Camp
Most of Nepal is under lockdown, its hospitals overwhelmed.
A prominent mountaineering company abandoned its expedition to Mount Everest, dismantling its tents at base camp this month after members of its team tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Bhadra Sharma writing in the New York Times (May 15).
An American climber and three Sherpa guides from a 51-person expedition were evacuated from base camp and hospitalized in Kathmandu, according to Ang Tendi Sherpa, managing director of the local agency that obtained the permit for the expedition.
A second wave of the coronavirus is ravaging Nepal, overwhelming its feeble health care system. According to The Himalayan Times (May 16), the death toll due to Covid-19 in the country is 5,001, and the nationwide total infection count is 455,020.
Record infections are prompting concerns Nepal could soon look like neighboring India, which is in the midst of a catastrophic surge. Aid workers have warned that the parallels between Nepal and India may continue, as hospitals turn all but the most critically ill patients away.
On the peaks, the spread of the virus is unclear, but signs of trouble are growing.
Starting this month, hundreds of foreign climbers, Sherpas and other support staff have lived at Everest’s high-altitude base camp, preparing for an ascent.
More and more of them are presenting with Covid symptoms, and testing positive with rapid antigen tests undertaken by three doctors Nepal’s government posted to base camp, according to Lukas Furtenbach, the managing director of Furtenbach Adventures, which organized the canceled expedition.
“You can hear people coughing everywhere,” said Furtenbach in a phone call with the BBC from base camp. “But this is not just the regular cough that mountaineers catch here. You can make it out that people are in pain and they have other symptoms like fever and body aches.”
Everest’s peak can be reached from Nepal or from China which has since canceled all of its Everest expeditions out of concern for the spread of the virus in Nepal. The country
has not allowed foreign climbers to ascend Everest from the Tibetan side since the Covid pandemic began last year, according to Justin Housman in Adventure Journal (May 10). Recently China sent some 21 Chinese national climbers to the summit to enforce a line of separation between climbers from Nepal and Tibet. It’s unclear how exactly that line will be enforced, or where it will be implemented.
Nepal’s tourism department has repeatedly said that no one has tested positive at the Everest base camp on their side. They insist that virus safeguards imposed before the climbing season have worked.

After losing an entire season – and millions in revenue – to the closure of Everest during Nepal’s first wave of the pandemic last spring, the country issued a record number of 408 permits for the mountain this year, breaking the 2019 record of 381, says Alan Arnette writing in (April 30, 2021).
It’s ironic: Nepalese Sherpas who guide climbers are among the most genetically and physically-adapted to low oxygen environments, and yet a few of the world’s best mountain climbing Sherpas still needed an airlift and hospitalization for Covid-19. 
Read the New York Times story here:

Read Arnette’s story here:

“Is the right stuff still the right stuff for a team that would go to Mars? I think we’re pretty confident that it is not.”

– Noshir Contractor, a professor of behavioral science at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Dr. Contractor added that, collectively, the new findings suggest the way NASA initially selected astronauts – as famously portrayed in the 1979 book The Right Stuff as an all-male cadre of square-jawed, stoic fighter pilots – was not a recipe for future missions beyond the Moon.

Source: Ivan Semeniuk writing in The Globe and Mail, February 17, 2019,

The first six women at the South Pole on 12 November 1969, from left, Pam Young, Jean Pearson, Terry Tickhill Terrell, Lois Jones,
Eileen McSaveney and Kay Lindsay. Photo Credit: U.S. Navy
National Science Foundation Celebrates First Women to the South Pole; New Explorers Club Film Marks 50th Anniversary of its First Women Members

It was the 1960s and no American woman had ever traveled to the continent of Antarctica for research with the United States Antarctic Program (USAP). Since the USAP’s creation in 1959, only men had made that journey – Mary Alice McWhinnie was the first woman to participate in the USAP, in 1962, but carried out her research on an offshore research vessel.

Though anyone could technically apply for a research grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the federal agency which managed the program (and still does today), it was up to the Navy, which provided travel and logistical support to NSF’s Antarctic program, whether to permit women on the ice.

Read the March 19, 2021 story by Emily K. Gibson, Ph.D. here:

Speaking of strides made by women explorers, before 1981, only men belonged to The Explorers Club (TEC). Today there are more than 800 women members, all pushing the boundaries of science and discovery. A new generation of women explorers reminds the world that the journey to discovery for women is full of possibilities despite the bumpy and circuitous path to gender equality in field science.

In TEC’s new film, Pathfinders: First Women of The Explorers Club, legendary marine biologist Sylvia Earle guides viewers into the deep ocean; archaeologist Anna Roosevelt shares new discoveries about human evolution in Amazonia and the Congo Basin; photojournalist Carol Beckwith illustrates the marvels of Africa’s diverse cultures; and astronaut/oceanographer Kathryn Sullivan shows the world from outer space and from the deepest point on Earth, the Mariana Trench.

Watch it here:

Moving to Greenland is One of Swedish Explorer’s Greatest Adventures

Over 33 years, Mikael Strandberg, 59, professional Swedish explorer, lecturer, film maker and writer, has bicycled from Chile to Alaska, from New Zealand to Cairo, and traveled through Siberia by reindeer and sled. Now he’s documented one of his most arduous adventures on film – relocating his family to Greenland.

This is a bittersweet self-shot family portrait of the Strandbergs as they move to Qasigiannguit, in North-Western Greenland, one of the most isolated places on earth. Once they settle in their icy paradise, everything goes wrong – leaving Strandberg to fear for his daughter’s life and fight for his wife’s love.
They immediately fall in love with the great surrounding nature. His two young daughters integrate quickly into the local school and his wife, Pam, immediately finds a job gutting fish at the local factory.
Winter is coming. Gradually it gets darker, colder, stormier and harsher outside. And the feeling inside is the same. Their little cute cabin turns into a freezing icebox and suddenly the two small rooms they have, and the bucket for a toilet, feel like a prison. Pam has to get up at 4 a.m. each morning to work. We suddenly realize that if a conflict arises, there’s nowhere to go.

There are no roads. It is 24 hours darkness outside and beyond the village limit, there’s nothing but the greatest wilderness on earth. The only way in or out during winter is by snowmobile and helicopter.

One child needs medical attention and turns out his wife is having an affair. Watch the biopic to see how it all turns out.
Man With A Family - A Greenlandic Adventure won Best Swedish Documentary at Lulea International FilmFestival 2021.

Watch the trailer here:

Strandberg is offering readers of Expedition News exclusive access to the film until June 1, 2021. You can view the entire documentary here: (password Ortup10)
A mural in Cuba, Missouri, commemorates the day in September 1928 when Amelia Earhart made an emergency landing outside of town nine years before her
disappearance in the western Pacific at age 39.
The Earhart Expeditions Podcast

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery – TIGHAR – presents “The Earhart Expeditions.” This multi-season series of podcasts reveals the never-before-told story behind the investigation that has made international headlines with discoveries that attempt to answer aviation history’s greatest riddle – what really happened to Amelia Earhart? It features interviews with Richard Gillespie of The Earhart Expeditions.

Access it there:

Apply for AAC Catalyst Grants
The American Alpine Club (AAC) has introduced Catalyst: Adventure Grants for Change to provide BIPOC, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with both seen and unseen disabilities the funds to help them overcome barriers, adapt to disabilities, and reach ambitious climbing goals. The Catalyst Grant will award over $20,000 to individuals and teams who face barriers in accessing the climbing community and identify with an underrepresented group. 
The AAC recognizes that underrepresented groups traditionally face more barriers in accessing the climbing community. The goal of the Catalyst Grant is to break down these barriers and ensure that these groups have access to resources that will help them pursue their climbing goals.
This grant supports all climbing disciplines including bouldering, sport climbing, trad, alpine, mountain running, ski mountaineering, peak bagging, or any other climbing endeavor. Deadline is June 1, 2021
For more information:
Jake Norton Launches Virtual Mount Everest Tour

Climber, filmmaker, photographer, and activist, Jake Norton, has spent most of his life in the high mountains and remote regions of the world.
The Evergreen, Colorado, explorer helped discover George Mallory’s remains on Mount Everest; followed the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton across South Georgia Island; unearthed 3,500 year old human remains in cliffside caves high in the Himalaya; followed the Ganges River 1,600 miles from source to sea; and reached the summit of Everest three times. Recently he launched a massive project to bring Mount Everest to life, virtually – 21 years in the making, four months building and coding.
The result is 47 panoramic images (8-plus total gigapixels), 811 info. popups, covering all sides, aspects, and elevations on the mountain, with an attempt to bring in, draw out, expand and expound upon the history of the place, the peak, the landscape, the history and people.
View it here:


HAFE – High Altitude Flatulence Expulsion
A 2013 paper in the journal Medical Hypotheses found that HAFE is caused not by the expansion of gases in your intestinal tract but, rather, from the “diffusion of CO2 into the intestinal lumen from the bloodstream. Mark Synnott, author of The Third Pole (Dutton, 2021) reports that on Everest “… my flatulence, which had been building since we arrived in Base Camp, had turned the inside of my bag into a gas chamber.”
Penitentes on Everest’s East Rongbuk glacier. Photo by
Synnott also describes penitentes, high altitude ice formations that look like giant shark teeth. They are found throughout the Andes where they were first described by Charles Darwin in 1839. On Everest, some of these land icebergs stand more than 100 feet tall.
Mountainfilm Comes to Telluride, May 28-31, 2021;
May 31–June 6, 2021 (Online)
Mountainfilm, held every Memorial Day weekend in Telluride, Colorado, is a documentary film festival that showcases nonfiction stories about environmental, cultural, climbing, political and social justice issues. Along with documentaries, the festival goes beyond the film medium by bringing together world-class athletes, change makers and visionary artists for a multi-dimensional celebration of indomitable spirit. Mountainfilm, which includes interactive talks, free community events, outdoor programming and presentations, aims to inspire audiences to action on worthy causes.

Theater capacities are limited, Covid-19 protocols are in effect and there will be a new online ticketing system (in addition to stand-by lines). Individual in-person tickets are $20; access to online films and programs is $150.

Learn more:

The Explorers Club's Global Exploration Summit
July 6-10, 2021, Lisbon, Portugal
Keep an eye on the pandemic situation in Europe. The Explorers Club’s Global Exploration Summit (GLEX) is still on the calendar for July 6-10, 2021, in Lisbon, assuming the health crisis eases.

GLEX brings together the world’s leading explorers to share cutting-edge technology and innovations to propel us toward the next frontier in the future of exploration. GLEX is referred to as the Davos of exploration, where explorers from around the world come together to exchange ideas. In fact, the theme this summer is “Together in Exploration.”
For more information:

Photographer Ready to Volunteer on Expeditions

Hello fellow explorers and researchers. My name is Dalton Johnson and I am looking to aid your feats through photography. With a wide range of experiences in the mountains and oceans, I am offering my services to bring a camera into precarious places to document what you are accomplishing. I would love the opportunity to connect and talk about any project you have in mind.

Travel With Purpose, A Field Guide to Voluntourism (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2019) by Jeff Blumenfeld ­– How to travel and make a difference while you see the world? These are stories of inspiration from everyday voluntourists, all of whom have advice about the best way to approach that first volunteer vacation, from Las Vegas to Nepal, lending a hand in nonprofits ranging from health care facilities, animal shelters and orphanages to impoverished schools.

Case studies are ripped from the pages of Expedition News, including the volunteer work of Dooley Intermed, Himalayan Stove Project, and even a volunteer dinosaur dig in New Jersey.
Read excerpts and “Look Inside” at: @purpose_book
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.

Advertise in Expedition News – For more information:
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