October 2021 – Volume Twenty-Eight, Number Ten
Celebrating our 27th 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.
Members of Full Circle Everest train for an Everest attempt in Spring 2022

A group of nine Black men and women calling themselves The Full Circle Everest Expedition is on a mission to become the first all-Black climbing team to reach the top of the world's tallest peak. To this day only a reportedly 10 Black climbers have ever reached the summit. Leading the team is University of Colorado alumnus Phil Henderson, who says this is more than just a historic climb.

“I personally recognize that representation is often lacking in outdoor recreation, education guiding and high altitude mountaineering,” writes Henderson from San Diego.

 “Full Circle Everest is an opportunity for us to support one another and attempt one of the biggest goals in mountaineering but also build a team of role models that will mentor a generation of outdoor enthusiasts. 

"Everest is not the end goal, but just the beginning," Henderson continued. "Our expedition will reshape the narrative of the outdoors to one that is inclusive and where everyone belongs."

The Full Circle will begin their climb in Spring 2022 and is currently fundraising on GoFundMe to ensure they have everything they need to be successful. To date, they have raised $65,000 of their $75,000 goal.

View the GoFundMe page and watch the promotional video:

For more information:

A rendering of the Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park Museum of Rowan University.
Dig This: $73M Dinosaur Fossil Park and Museum Coming to N.J.
An event that was 66 million years in the making took place recently near Rowan University in New Jersey. The Gloucester County school broke ground on a $73 million dinosaur fossil park museum on the site of a prehistoric treasure trove of relics just a few miles from its campus in Glassboro. (See EN, April 2019).
The 44,000 sq.ft. facility in Mantua Township will perch above a former marl quarry where 66 million-year-old marine and terrestrial fossils have been found.
“We are building a museum like no other, on a fossil site of global importance that will connect visitors to the ancient past... and to Rowan University,” Kenneth Lacovara, dean of the school of Earth & Environment and director of the Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park, said in a statement, according to Bill Duhart’s story in NJ.com (Oct. 12).

One of the museum’s planned exhibits will include a replica Dryptosaurus, the first discovered tyrannosaur, which was found a mile from the Fossil Park site in 1866, and a 53-foot mosasaur, like one discovered at the fossil park site, a statement from the school said.
When completed, visitors to the site will be able again to dig for fossils and keep many of their finds as souvenirs. Some of the discoveries, however, will be kept for further research.
Just a few hundred square yards of the 65-acre site have been fully excavated but have still yielded more than 50,000 cataloged marine and terrestrial fossils, from reptilian mosasaurs to sea turtles, sharks, bony fish, coral and clams, the university said.
Read the full story here:
At 8430 m above sea level, the high-altitude expedition team celebrates after setting up the world's highest operating automated weather station during the National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Everest Expedition. (Photo by Mark Fisher, National Geographic)
National Geographic and Rolex Set Three Guinness World Records
National Geographic set out to examine the impacts of climate change on the planet and through their efforts officially set three Guinness World Records titles.
The first expedition under the?Perpetual Planet Expeditions partnership with Rolex, National Geographic and Tribhuvan University in Nepal explored the Hindu Kush – Himalaya environment, examining how Mount Everest and its massive mountain system is coping with the impacts of climate change and human interactions.
From April 2019 to June 2019, an international team of scientists, researchers, storytellers, and climbers, conducted the most comprehensive scientific examination of the mountain in history.
As a result of their research, the team achieved the?highest-altitude weather station on land, highest altitude ice core taken, and highest altitude microplastic found on land. The record-setting expedition is also featured in the latest?Guinness World Records 2022 edition.
The weather stations were installed at Phortse at 3810 m, Base Camp at 5315 m, Camp II at 6464 m, South Col at 7945 m, and Balcony, the highest above sea level. The Balcony station is reportedly the first-ever terrestrial weather station in the “death zone,” which lies above 8000 m (26,247 ft).
The team extracted parts of the ice core from the South Col glacier at 8020 m (26,312 feet) above sea level, achieving the?highest altitude ice core taken. To carefully extract the ice samples, they utilized a specially modified drill system. Test results revealed the samples contained microplastics, leading the scientists to discover the?highest altitude microplastic found on land.
For more information:

YETI gets snarky. (KXAN Photo/Ricky Garcia)
“See Space. Save Billions.” 
“Go outside.” That’s the message behind YETI’s new billboard sending rockets full of shade at billionaires like Elon Musk. Austin, Texas-based YETI Coolers in early October unveiled a billboard over its flagship store in Austin emblazoned with the words, “See Space. Save Billions,” set against a backdrop of mountains and starry skies, according to Outdoor Business Journal (Oct. 6).
The world has been watching as Space X’s Elon Musk, Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos, and Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson battle to be the first to soar in space exploration. Instead of trying to travel to the universe, the cooler-maker says – just go outside, it’s cheaper.
The apparent butt of this joke is the space race between billionaire Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. Musk’s SpaceX announced this year its plans of building a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Austin. Bezos recently took an 11-minute flight to space that cost over $2.5 million per second.
“With SpaceX and Tesla and everyone trying to get to Mars out of Texas it seems, we love the outdoors, and there’s a lot of space out there,” Paulie Dery, YETI’s vice president of marketing, told Business Week Insider. “There’s a big chunk of the world on this planet, and we think it’s pretty special and it doesn’t cost you billions.”
William Shatner turned 90 last March, becoming the oldest person to travel to space. 
Bezos Reaches for a Star
In a related story, Star Trek star William Shatner, 90, accompanied the crew of Blue Origin's New Shepard on a spaceflight on Oct. 13. The Canadian actor, singer and writer "will become the oldest person to have flown to space," Blue Origin said as it announced his trip prior to launch.
“The billionaire space race is happening, whether we choose to pay attention or not. Of course, the billionaires would prefer that we did,” writes John Herrman in the New York Times  (Oct. 7). Read the story here:
Another one of Shatner’s famous roles.
In a 20-min. pre-flight interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, on his show Full Circle, Shatner makes a sly reference to one of his signature roles as a terrified passenger on The Twilight Zone episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.”
He tells Cooper, “Imagine being weightless and staring into that blackness and seeing the earth, that’s what I want to observe …. I want to press my nose up against the plastic window. What I don’t want to see is someone else out there looking back at me.”
See the CNN interview here:
“Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. Travel, and leave the fear behind. Seek out the adventures. Shout out the unordinary places. The grave will provide plenty of time for isolation and silence.”
Richard Bangs, American author and television personality focusing on international travel. (Source: Planet Travel magazine, https://www.planetravelmagazine.com/blog/2021/03/19/richards-dispatches-march-2021-the-quest-continues/)
Elise Wortley is honoring women who have come before.
Female Adventurer Elise Wortley is
Recreating Treks of Early Women Explorers
Adventurer Elise Wortley has replicated the journeys of female explorers through history, using only the equipment available to them at the time. She has followed in the footsteps of French explorer Alexandra David-Néel, who walked across the Himalayas in the early 1900s, and traversed the Cairngorms 75 years after Scottish explorer Nan Shepherd.
Wortley has documented her journeys via her website, www.womanwithaltitude.com, in the hope it will inspire a new generation of female explorers. She is celebrating the women of the past who weren’t taken seriously at the time, and is supported in part by the travel company Wilderness Scotland.

Watch her video here:
Learn more at:
Before Runways, Flying Boats Ruled the Skies

Since well before Lindbergh’s day, aviation and exploration have long been intertwined. Now a 77-minute aviation documentary is making the festival circuit to share the experience of flying the legendary Grumman Albatross, a near perfect blend of form and function, told through 10 passionate mechanics and the pilots who have restored, fly, and maintain the last remaining examples of this legendary aircraft. Now retired, it is a large, twin–radial engined amphibious seaplane that was used by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Coast Guard, primarily as a search and rescue aircraft.
The doc is produced and directed by Dirk Braun, Aspen filmmaker, photographer and pilot. Aerial footage of the aircraft in motion is integrated with untapped archival footage from the long lost era of adventure and romance of the Golden years of aviation.
Seth Masia, the editor of Skiing History magazine fondly recalls, “When I lived on Vashon Island, Washington, I got my floatplane rating at Renton Municipal Airport. It was the most fun I've had without wearing ski boots – sort of a cross between flying, waterskiing and small-boat sailing.”
Braun says he discovered the true potential of the flying boat’s ability to transport those aboard to remote and exotic destinations around the world that would otherwise be a dream.
“My goal for the movie is to encourage those interested in traveling and exploring to realize that travel is about the epic journey as well as the destination.” 
For more information:
See the trailer here:
Husband and wife filmmakers Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and
Jimmy Chin (Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)
The Rescue Recalls Risky Thailand Cave Mission
“It may be a side-effect of a world that seems thoroughly explored, but in our well-mapped topside lives, drenched in Wi-Fi and familiarity, the plight of miners, submariners or young soccer players trapped below the surface of the earth exerts an uncanny pull on the global imagination. This is the lure of Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s The Rescue, a documentary recounting the 2018 Thailand cave rescue …” writes Jessica Kiang in the New York Times (Oct. 8).
The documentary was produced by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and climber Jimmy Chin, co-directors of Free Solo. It recounts the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach, who became stranded two impassable kilometers into the cave system when the waters suddenly rose. The film, financed by National Geographic, heralds the efforts of rescuers Rick Stanton, a retired firefighter, and I.T. consultant John Volanthen. 
The story reveals that Dr. Richard Harris, an Australian anesthetist and cave diver made the crucial – and controversial – decision to inject the boys with a mixture of Xanax, Ketamine and Atropine so they could be transported a mile underwater (about two and a half hours) without panicking.
Had we been in same the circumstances, we’re sure we’d need to be on similar drugs.
Read the Times review here:
View the trailer:


Explorers Club Grant Application Portal Opens; Deadline is Nov. 15, 2021

A number of grants are now available for members of the public from The Explorers Club. They include:

The Rising Explorer Grant – Fosters a new generation of explorers dedicated to the advancement of the scientific knowledge of our world. The average award is approximately $1,500. Best for a high school student, college undergraduate, or independent researcher doing work at an equivalent level.

The Exploration Fund Grant – This category supports exploration and field research for those who are just beginning their research careers. Awards are approximately $2,500 to $5,000. Aimed at graduate or post-graduate students, or an early career scientist conducting fieldwork.

Rolex Explorers Club Grant – This program sends extraordinary young explorers into the field and promotes the significant role that exploration plays in addressing cutting-edge scientific questions, understanding our environment and the world we live in, and learning more about our history to protect our future.

In addition to demonstrating a spirit of exploration, candidates must put forward a project or research proposal that has a clear scientific rationale, represents original work, and has the potential for significant impact or new understanding. Historically, awards have been given in the amount of $10,000. It is targeted at young explorers under the age of 35 conducting fieldwork to address a novel scientific, environmental, or historic question.

The Stephenson Explorers Advancement Program – This category supports exploration and field research for marine exploration and conservation projects. It promotes marine exploration, protection, and conservation projects focused on adding value to people’s lives and the health of the environment. Awards will be $10,000.

Best for college undergraduates, graduate students, or an independent explorer conducting fieldwork focused specifically on marine research. Open to those under 35.

Fjällräven Field Grant – Supports and promotes a sustainable future through exploration and research. Awards will be $5,000. Best for explorers enrolled in a University degree program doing scientific fieldwork in conservation, the environment or the natural sciences.

Exodus Exploration Without Boundaries Grants – Supports expeditions that further understanding of the world through scientific or cultural fieldwork, led by explorers who may have taken alternative routes to acquire the skills necessary to conduct their research. This grant is for ages 18 and older, and all skill levels; it seeks dedicated individuals with brilliant ideas, who otherwise may not have the resources to pursue their work. Grants of $4,000 will be awarded. Open to those age 18-plus with all skill levels.

To apply:

Deadline for applications is 5 p.m. ET, November 15, 2021. Contact: grants@explorers.org

The Apollo Murders
By Chris Hadfield (Mulholland Books, 2021)
Chris Hadfield, 62, went viral as an astronaut singing David Bowie in orbit. Now he has written a Cold War thriller packed with cosmic action. The Apollo Murders, which Mulholland Books released in mid-October, is set in the American space program in the late 1960s and early ’70s, a time of swaggering ambition and Cold War anxiety.
Featuring undercover spies, scheming Russians and psychopathic murderers, sometimes all at once, it teems with authoritative details about what it might be like, for instance, to throw up in space or to grapple with a deadly Soviet astronaut who assaults you during a spacewalk.
Chris Hadfield
In the Oct. 15 New York Times review by Sarah Lyall, Hadfield says, “A spaceship is like a pandemic to its wildest extremes.
“It’s truly life and death, you can’t ever go outside, you don’t know how long this is going to last, bad things can happen any moment, and you don’t have any other company.”
Read the review here:
Watch Hadfield sing Space Oddity, a 2013 video seen over 50 million times, on YouTube:

Adventure Scientists Featured in New Outdoor Research Film
For years, EN has written about citizen-scientists who conduct important research for scientists who might not be able to get outside of the lab. 
Outdoor Research’s new film, The Big Office, celebrates the 10th anniversary of AdventureScientists.org, and features its founder and executive director, Gregg Treinish, who spearheads an effort to collect data from the outdoors that further conservation. The film delves into Treinish’s inspiration for starting Adventure Scientists.
“It takes adventurers to get to these places, and if we can give them the training, suddenly you give access to data that would never be part of the equation otherwise,” he explains.
Watch the film and get inspired to give back to the special outdoor places you explore.
See the nine-minute doc here:
Learn more about Adventure Scientists at:
Erik Weihenmayer appears with actor Will Smith in a new NatGeo documentary.
Welcome to Earth
Disney Plus and National Geographic released the first official trailer for the six-part original series Welcome to Earth, starring Will Smith and streaming this December.

The series follows Smith on an adventure around the world, guided by accredited travelers as he explores Earth’s greatest wonders as well as its most hidden secrets.
“I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve never climbed a mountain, never swum in a lake. I was in a cave once. I’m beginning to think that I might be missing something,” Smith says in the trailer. “I asked the best modern-day explorers: take me to the ends of the Earth. And they said, ‘Oh, we can go further than that.'”
The guides leading Smith through this journey of exploration include marine biologist and National Geographic explorer Diva Amon, polar expeditions Dwayne Fields, engineer and National Geographic explorer Albert Lin, National Geographic photographer Cristina Mittermeier and mountaineer Erik Weihenmayer.
Welcome to Earth is executive produced by Darren Aronofsky, Protozoa Pictures, Jane Root’s Nutopia and Westbrook Studios.
Watch the trailer here:
The title comes from Will Smith’s signature line in Independence Day (1996) when he slugs an alien creature.
Travel With Purpose, A Field Guide to Voluntourism (Rowman & Littlefield) by Jeff Blumenfeld ­– Covid-19 has practically put the brakes on travel, but once we get through the pandemic, travel will come roaring back and so will voluntourism. Be ready to lend a hand wherever you go. How to travel and make a difference while you see the world? Read excerpts and “Look Inside” at: tinyurl.com/voluntourismbook @purpose_book
Get Sponsored! – Need money for your next project? Read about proven techniques that will help you find both cash and in-kind sponsors. If the trip is bigger than you, and is designed to help others, well, that’s half the game right there. Read Jeff Blumenfeld’s "Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would Be World Travelers." (Skyhorse Publishing).
Buy it here:

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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. ©2021 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. Read EXPEDITION NEWS at www.expeditionnews.com
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