June 2022 – Volume Twenty-Eight, Number Six
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.

May 16th, 2022. Pete Casey at the top of Nevado Mismi, Peru. 18,363 ft (5,597 m) above sea level. Photo courtesy: Piotr Chmielinski
UK’s Pete Casey Completes Ascent of the Amazon
Six years, five months and 12 days - this is how long it took for the Brit Pete Casey, 51, from Sussex, to accomplish his dream journey from the mouth of the Amazon River to its source (see EN, January 2022).
The direction of the muscle-powered trip was upstream, which reportedly was opposite to the direction of all other expeditions undertaken so far. The way it was carried out meant a long, arduous, sometimes dangerous walking journey, and when necessary, swimming from shore to shore.
“Remarkable also was Casey's stubbornness, self-discipline and determination. He did not give up and went forward consistently, despite the obstacles and problems that arose on his way to his goal,” said his friend and support team member Piotr Chmielinski.
Pete Casey's route (courtesy MensJournal.com)
“There were just too many of them (challenges), and they extended the journey for a good few years.”
His destination was Lake Ticlla Cocha at 16,900 ft. (5,150 m) above sea level, hidden in the Peruvian Andes, which is the source of the Amazon. What's more, he also climbed the volcanic peak of Nevado Mismi at 18,363 ft. (5,597 m) covered with ice and snow. This mountain is considered by the descendants of the Incas a sacred place, from which the first drops of water flow down to the lake and give rise to the largest river in the world. 
“I feel privileged to have managed to achieve this, but if others feel envious then all I can only say is look at what I have sacrificed to do this - practically everything, the price and risks were huge. But I don’t currently feel any regret. I never gave up hope’” he tells Chmielinski.
“Of course, it’s a life-changing event for me. I feel slightly uncomfortable with going back to the UK in debt and with no home now. Having to start over at my age will be challenging and scary in the sense that it has dramatically changed my life, I guess.”
Read Casey’s blog here:

Read about the expedition on MensJournal.com:
Artifacts in the Space Age Museum’s collection.
Space Age Museum Launches Crowdsourcing Campaign
In the October 2014 EN, we took a delightful tour of the private 4,000 s.f. Space Age Museum, in Litchfield, Connecticut, located in an unassuming former hay barn with sunlight streaking through its cracked wooden sides. 
In 1988, John and Peter Kleeman, on their first father-son flea market adventure, found a 1930s toy ray gun. Their foray into Space Age “archaeology” marked the beginning of a cultural history preservation initiative they now call the Space Age Museum project.
Today, the Space Age Museum project encompasses early space toys, rocket amusement rides, spaceship playground climbers, flying saucer appliances, space-themed advertising, futuristic fashion, mid-century design, science fiction costumes, robot trade stimulators, UFO encounter folk art, and vernacular photos of ordinary people participating in the adventure of space exploration. These artifacts represent a dynamic convergence of art, science, and imagination.
Now the museum is ready for primetime, hoping to make museum artifacts
available to students, scholars, and enthusiasts by creating online and physical platforms for participatory engagement. Digital archives, curated exhibitions, and a center open to the public are part of future objectives, pending funding. Currently they are trying to raise $20,000 to cover administrative expenses and operations for the second half of 2022. 
Learn more at www.spaceagemuseum.com
Dr. Mikki McComb-Kobza and friend.
Colorado Shark Expert Becomes Researcher in Residence at Key Largo Lab

Dr. Mikki McComb-Kobza, 54, who we dubbed the “landlocked shark researcher” in October 2017, isn’t landlocked so much any longer. While still a resident of Longmont, Colorado, the shark biologist is now the Researcher in Residence for Ocean First Institute, hosted at MarineLab in Key Largo, Florida. MarineLab is located on almost two acres crawling with iguanas on Largo Sound.

Only one hour south of Miami, the location provides quick access to both the coral reefs of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the seagrass and mangrove communities in Florida Bay in Everglades National Park. It is here that McComb-Kobza and her team will conduct vital research on hammerhead sharks and other endangered species.

Below the surface of the Emerald Lagoon located at the same facility, is the fabled Jules Undersea Lodge, an underwater former research laboratory available for overnight stays starting at $1,688 per couple The Lodge is operated by Key Largo Undersea Park (jul.com).

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in October, the watery hotel is equipped with a kitchen, microwave, sink and head. It’s hardly hardcore; they’ll even deliver a pizza to you via waterproof Pelican case. There are security cameras within the cabin, accessed by a five- by seven-foot moon pool, but no cameras in the bedroom area, which for some couples provide a welcome sense of privacy, if you get our drift.

For the 4,000 students and teachers who attend MarineLab every year, the most eye-opening activity is conducted on the prevalence of microplastics in ocean water, which migrates into the fish that humans consume. Clothing and textiles, plus other plastic waste, are a major source; microbeads used in cosmetics were banned by the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015.

“Microplastic studies in our labs energize the kids the most because it’s something they can help campaign against now,” says Ginette Hughes, CEO of MarineLab. MarineLab is supported by the Marine Resources Development Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization founded in 1970.

McComb-Kobza holds a Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from Florida Atlantic University, is faculty in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at CU Boulder, a National Fellow of the Explorers Club and the president of the American Elasmobranch Society. She is the executive director of Ocean First Institute where she can engage in research, conservation, and sustainability initiatives.


Here are a few notable results of the 2022 Everest climbing season. There were an estimated 639 Nepal summits by 240 climbers supported by 399 Sherpas, according to alanarnette.com, plus approximately 50 summits on the Tibet side.
Full Circle Everest team.
Full Circle Everest Expedition – Seven out of 11 team members of the first all-Black team to attempt Everest, summited via the South Col route at 2:40 a.m. on May 12, 2022. Expedition leader Eddie Taylor, 32, a teacher from Lafayette, Colorado, told EN during the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, “In the future, we plan to become a nonprofit dedicated to leading other trips and increasing access to the outdoors.”

According to Chris Weidner of the Boulder Daily Camera (June 8) there had only been 10 Black climbers out of roughly 6,000 different people who had summited Everest prior to this spring. They had raised over $184,000 through a GoFundMe campaign. Major sponsors were The North Face, Microsoft and Scarpa.

For more information: https://www.fullcircleeverest.com/
After reaching the summit, Lhakpa (center) says she usually thinks of her
?children Sunny (far left) and Shiny (far right)
•           Most Summits by a Woman – Lhakpa Sherpa, 48, no stranger to these pages, climbed Everest for the 10th time on May 12, making her the first woman in history to do so. The Nepalese single mother was born in a cave, had no formal education and worked as a janitor. She last made the 8,848.86 m (29,031.69 ft.) ascent in 2018. Lhakpa was chosen by the BBC as one of its 100 most inspirational and influential women for 2016.
During her 2003 climb, she was joined by her brother and sister, becoming the first three siblings simultaneously on an 8,000-meter-high mountain. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized the feat.
Lhakpa now lives in Connecticut with their two daughters. She also has a son from a previous relationship. Financially, things began to change after she learned to speak English well. She gave interviews, and spoke at events. She got a sponsor for her ninth summit. But this time, her 10th, she raised the money through crowdfunding.
Read more about this extraordinary woman:
Lucy Westlake, 18
Youngest American Woman – Lucy Westlake of Naperville, Illinois, age 18, is recognized as the youngest American woman to summit. She arrived at the summit at 5:36 a.m. on May 12. Westlake credited her sherpa, Mingma Chhiring Sherpa, for guiding her. It was his 16th summit. She’s also the youngest woman to reach the high points of all 50 states. Next up for her is a Seven Summits attempt.

Watch the NBC News interview of the well-spoken young woman here:

Learn more here:

Can’t get to Long Beach? Try the Seattle Aquarium where this image was taken.
Dive for Free
The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, is looking for volunteers to assist the Husbandry staff by feeding the animals and observing their behaviors. Divers spend time cleaning the artificial rock and coral, using a variety of tools from toothbrushes to power washers. With additional training, divers may qualify to participate in on-mic presentations to visitors. All volunteer applicants must pass an interview process, a background check, and complete an orientation training program.
Applications are accepted from January through August. Diver selection is based on basic qualifications, water skills, underwater competency, schedule availability, commitment, and communication. Must be at least age 18, be rescue diver certified, and have logged at least 50 dives.
Divers should be comfortable being in close proximity with marine animals (i.e. fish, eels, sharks, rays, turtles, mammals) and should not be bothered by fish odor. If that sounds like you, apply here:
Rendering of the Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE / Source: Nissan
Pole to Pole Stunt Has the Juice
Nissan announced a partnership with Pole to Pole founder and adventurer, Chris Ramsey, to drive a custom-built Ariya from the Magnetic North Pole down to the South Pole. The nearly 17,000-mile trip, slated to start in March 2023, will be made by Ramsey and a team behind the wheel of a Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE – the first vehicle to complete such a drive if successful.
Ramsey is an all-electric adventurer, Guinness World Record holder, and founder of Pole to Pole. The electron-powered team will travel from the North Pole through 14 different countries. He previously drove his own Nissan LEAF over 10,000 miles from the UK to Siberia in the Mongol Rally – the first person to complete the trip in an EV.
“Our mission is to show that electric vehicles can tackle the harshest of environments – from the bitter cold of the poles to the hot and humid jungles of South America, and illustrate that they are exhilarating to drive whilst meeting the daily demands of drivers around the world,” Ramsey said. 
Read the Nissan announcement here:
No word yet on how they plan to navigate the Darien Gap (see related story).
Winging across the Pacific.
Solo, Wing Foil Transpacific Crossing is Heading to Honolulu
The Transpacific Wing Project, reportedly the world’s first solo, wing foil, transpacific crossing – a 2,550-mile journey by wing foil across the Pacific Ocean – launched on May 31 from Lighthouse Point in Santa Cruz, California, traveling to Honolulu, Hawaii.

Its mission is to raise awareness of climate change and climate action, while enriching minds through ocean conservation and ocean education. The project will also raise money and awareness for ocean conservation through partnerships with Conservation International and Sea Shepherd, all facilitated through the Chris Bertish Foundation.

The 950 lbs., 19.7-ft. wing foil craft is powered solely by wind, solar energy and hydropower to be carbon net-zero. The expedition requires Chris Bertish, a stand-up paddle world record holder and pubic speaker, to complete the equivalent of more than two full marathons per day, winging a minimum of 8 to 12 hours per day, for over 60 days, unsupported and unassisted until he arrives at the Aloha Dock at the Hawaii Yacht Club in Honolulu, Hawaii, between the end of July to the beginning of August. 
In 2017, Bertish, 47, from Cape Town, South Africa, paddled solo and unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean, over 4,000 miles from Morocco to the Caribbean in 93 days, raising money for Operation Smile and the support of youth, education and ocean conservation initiatives. 
Learn more here:
At press time, Bertish was well on his way, due west of Catalina Island. Track his journey in real time at:
Gold sponsors are Armstrong, AV-Boards, and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.
“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”
– Henry Van Dyke (1852 – 1933), an American author, educator, diplomat, and Presbyterian clergyman.
Rick Stanton, center.
Thirteen Lives
On June 23, 2018, a Thai youth soccer team and their coach became trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave beneath the Doi Nang Non mountain in Thailand's Chiang Rai province. The location was a normal haunt for the boys, but on this trip, they were unfortunately trapped by rising flood water levels from heavy rain. News quickly spread across the world and a rescue mission was started. It wasn't until July 2 that two British divers, John Volanthen and Rick Stanton, found the 12 members of the Wild Boars and their coach alive in the cave system, about 2 to 3 km from the entrance.
While they were able to bring them food, medical aid, and other help, they still had to figure out how to get all 13 of them out, and some of them couldn't swim. To make matters worse, heavy rains were in the upcoming forecast, adding an intense deadline for the rescue. As the situation grew more dire, the authorities running the rescue declared July 7 was to be the day they got the boys out of the cave, and they did. Through a complicated yet almost perfectly orchestrated plan, they were able to rescue all 13 Thai individuals from the cave.
Thirteen Lives?, set for release in August, was directed by Ron Howard, and stars Joel Edgerton, Colin Farrell, Viggo Mortensen, and Tom Bateman. It will receive a limited release in theaters before streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Stanton was honored by the Great Britain and Ireland Explorers Club Chapter in November 2021.
Learn more:
(Photo: Chris Burkard)
Fatherly Advice From World’s Greatest Adventurers
When it all comes together, it’s hard to overstate how much of an impact a relationship with nature can have on a kid. “The hard skills, the conservation ethics, risk tolerance, stewardship, and more will eventually come if they are drawn to the thing, whatever it is, that brings them outside more often,” says Eric Larsen, a polar explorer and dad of two kids who know their way around a campsite.
Still, nature can be harsh – a cold, wet, and downright dangerous classroom – and as parents, we need to guide the kids, writes Jayme Moye on Fatherly.com (posted May 24).

Before one can safely swim and surf, says outdoor photographer Chris Burkard, they (kids) must learn to observe the ocean, preferably from an elevated perspective like a pier, cliff, or the top of a staircase.
Climber Alex Honnold hopes to pass along his love of adventure to his infant daughter, who was born in February. He says the most useful skill for that is a mental one: getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. “Or at least to develop a tolerance for the discomfort,” Honnold says. “It gets dark and starts to rain? No problem, that's just part of life. Being a little cold and wet doesn't really matter on the grand scale.”
According to Moye, oceanographer and environmental activist Philippe Cousteau Jr.’s two kids are 7 months and 2-1/2 years old – a bit young for serious outdoors skills. But for Cousteau, there’s no time like the present. He has started their outdoor education in the backyard planter boxes where, this season, the family is growing tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs.
Mountaineering guide Peter Whittaker wanted his son and a daughter, both now in their early 20s, to make the transition from being guided by him to becoming independent thinkers who could hold their own in the mountains. He started with simple decisions, with consequences that weren’t too extreme. “When they were little, I’d tell them, ‘Don’t wait to get cold before you put your jacket on.’”
Read the story here:
Looking for Corporate Sponsors?
Dust off those expedition proposals. Outdoor Adventure X, a new outdoor consumer festival, will debut at Snowbasin Resort in Huntsville, Utah, next June. The three-day event, scheduled for June 16-18, 2023, is open to the public and will include hands-on outdoor product experiences – camping, climbing, cycling, hiking, overlanding, water sports, and more – along with consumer driven education, advocacy programs, live music, films, food, and family fun. It will be an effective way to meet your next potential sponsor.
Outdoor Adventure X is a collaboration between the new Xcelerator division of Emerald (organizers of Outdoor Retailer) and Lodestone Events, producers of the Overland Expo event series, and will take place the weekend prior to Outdoor Retailer Summer in Salt Lake City and County. (www.emeraldx.com, www.lodestoneevents.com)
It's all A-0K with a safety sausage.
Safety Sausage
A safety sausage is a type of surface marker buoy that is a very important piece of a scuba diver's gear. It serves as a valuable tool for alerting the dive boat of a diver's position, should the diver surface a further distance from the boat than is feasible to swim. (Source: Scuba.com)

Watch this clip from the 2003 film Open Water, for a sense of how critical this slender fluorescent tube can be:


Dirty Job
Our caption of the cave divers in the May 2022 issue of Expedition News wasn’t quite right. The six intrepid and well-soiled cavers of the PESH expedition had just returned to the surface and were not about to descend. They emerged after four days camping deep underground and rigging ropes to a point deeper than any cave in the U.S. Our thanks to expedition leader Bill Steele for pointing this out.

Learn more at: www.peshcaving.org
Narcos Plague the Dangerous Darien Gap
Our story in April about the Longest Possible Walk on Earth brought back memories for Michael J. Manyak, an explorer, author, Professor of Urology at George Washington University, and corporate medical executive, who once attempted to cross the dreaded Darien Gap, a 66-mile stretch of dense jungle which marks the border between Colombia and Panama. He writes EN:
“Just a note to you on the Darien Gap. I did a site visit in Panama about 15 years ago with the intent of looking for pre-Colombian artifacts in Darien. After meeting with the VP of Panama who said he could not protect us from being kidnapped or worse by narcotrafficers because the military did not control the area, I met with CIA officials who are friends of mine who advised strongly not to go there.
“They said the narcos would know we were there (no secrets in the jungle) and that they would decide whether we were worth kidnapping for ransom. It would not help us that we had Nat Geo journalist with us. I made the decision to cancel the expedition.
“According to my sources that danger still exists. You may want to have a caveat about that. Like investments, some of best decisions are those you decline,” Manyak writes.

Editor’s note: Thanks Mike. We’ll keep that in mind.
Kidney Donor Sought
Longtime member of the exploration community has been struggling with chronic kidney disease for almost a decade, with the function of this vital human organ steadily declining. By becoming a living donor you will be providing a chance to live without dialysis which would severely diminish the explorer’s contribution to the field. The usual wait for a kidney from a deceased donor is approximately five years. The first requirement for a live kidney donor is good health. The kidney recipient’s insurance will pay for testing and surgery.
For more information: editor@expeditionnews.com
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:

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. ©2022 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
Website hosted by 2100.com