April 2023 – Volume Twenty-Nine, Number Four
Celebrating our 28th 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.

Space For Humanity Selected as Beneficiary for William Shatner Documentary You Can Call Me Bill
Space For Humanity (S4H), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization we covered in November 2022, announced that it will receive 25 percent of gross producer revenue earned by CCG Guardian Entertainment from the documentary You Can Call Me Bill, which explores the life and career of William Shatner, including his trip to space aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard Mission NS-18 in October 2021.
Shatner has been very vocal about the shift in perspective he experienced while in space.

The beloved 91-year-old actor of Star Trek fame was extremely emotional upon his return to Earth after an 11-minute sub-orbital flight and emphasized that "everyone in the world needs to do this." Since then, Shatner has been very vocal about the shift in perspective he experienced while in space, which is commonly referred to as the Overview Effect.
Shatner's profound overview experience prompted him to dedicate much of his life's continued work to improving life on Earth, including global issues like climate change.

"In working with Bill on this film it became abundantly clear how critical increasing awareness for the importance of space travel was to Bill and we are thrilled to be able to support an organization that aligns perfectly with that mission in Space For Humanity," said Stewart Williams, senior executive producer, CCG Guardian Entertainment.
"I can't wait for the rest of the world to see this film and encourage everyone to learn more about Space For Humanity and the work they are doing to improve the planet."

You Can Call Me Bill, which was financed by over 1,200 fan investors through Legion M, premiered at this year's SXSW film and TV festival on March 16 in Austin.
Watch the pitch which helped the fan-based documentary sell out in four days:

Founded by space entrepreneur Dylan Taylor in 2017, Space for Humanity is expanding access to space for all of humanity. (www.spaceforhumanity.org)
Solo Trekking Banned in Nepal
After a decade of deliberation, Nepal has announced a ban on solo trekking starting April 1, 2023, eliciting an ambivalent response from the outdoor community.
The government's reasoning? The well-being of hikers and travelers in Nepal’s remote regions, and the added goal of producing more jobs for locals. “In addition to safety, the new provision will create employment for workers in the tourism sector of Nepal,” the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) said in a statement.
Previously, all that was needed to take off on one's own was a route permit and a Trekkers’ Information Management Systems (TIMS) card. Now, the NTB says it will not issue TIMS cards to hikers unaccompanied by a guide, and those who plan to hike individually with a guide (as opposed to joining a larger group) will need to pay the doubled price of $15 USD for their TIMS card. 
Read the statement here:
Well Before Captain Kirk There was Nemo
For many of us, Jules Verne opened our eyes to a world of adventure. The History Of Diving Museum, whose tagline is “The Quest to Explore Under the Sea,” has announced that it is celebrating the Jules Verne classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The museum is located in the Florida Keys in Islamorada.

The inspirational story is over 150 years old, and it was first published in serial form in the French magazine Magasin d’education et de récréation.

When writing the book, Verne was inspired by many inventions he saw at the 1867 World’s Fair in Paris. These include the Nautilus submarine, which was inspired by the French submarine Plongeur. At the same time, the diving suits are based on the Rouquayrol-Denayrouze diving apparatus.

Verne also used the first-ever transatlantic telegraph in the story, which was a communication revolution when it launched in 1858. The cable reduced the time needed to convey a message across the Atlantic from weeks to minutes.

Celebrating the work, a piece of the original transatlantic cable is on display at the History of Diving Museum. In addition, there’s also a model of the Nautilus and a working replica of the helmet worn by Captain Nemo in the 1954 Disney film version of the story.

Learn more about the History of Diving Museum here:

“The sea is everything. It covers seven-tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides. The sea is only the embodiment of a supernatural and wonderful existence. It is nothing but love and emotion; it is the Living Infinite.”

Jules Verne (1828-1905), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. (See above story.)
Humans and elephants don’t mix in India’s Chicken’s Neck. Photo:Avian Saha.

Documenting Human-Elephant Conflict Along India’s “Chicken’s Neck”
It’s called the “Chicken’s neck” of India, the Siliguri Corridor at the base of the eastern Himalayas, bordered by Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. However, the real issue here is not poultry but the ongoing devastating conflict between humans and elephants.
While issues involving African elephants are widely known, stories of interactions between wild Asian elephants and humans receive far less attention.

Currently, there is an intense conflict raging between humans and elephants throughout India, but the conflict is particularly acute in the remote foothills of the Himalayas within sight of Everest. 
“It’s shocking, to be honest, there are people living in the path of elephants – I’ve seen many homes destroyed to the ground, even those made of cement.

"There are stories after stories of relatives killed by elephants looking for food. It’s a pretty dire situation in that part of the world,” says documentarian Kim Frank of Sun Valley, Idaho. 
Northern West Bengal, which is just three-quarters the size of Long Island, New York, accounts for more than 12 percent of the approximately 500 people killed annually by elephants in all of India.
“The elephants themselves are losing habitat and they’re having to encounter humans more than ever before.”
Elephants have traditionally inhabited vast forests and roamed freely through corridors distributed across northern West Bengal. Traditional elephant habitats and migration corridors are being destroyed at an alarming rate due to deforestation, immigration, militarization, differences in religious beliefs, the adverse impact of a railway stretching across the region, and the construction of the new “Asian Highway” to Sikkim.

This leads to even more pressure and complexity in problem-solving options, according to Frank. 
Kim Frank (center holding Explorers Club Flag No. 71)
with expedition teammates Trevor Wallace (left) and Avijan Saha.
The Asian Elephant Conflict to Coexistence Project is documenting the human-elephant conflict and highlighting new methods for peaceful coexistence, particularly those being employed by local partners and that require village residents’ engagement and participation.
To reduce this conflict, the Indian government, non-governmental organizations, local groups and ordinary citizens are working in the field – sometimes together and sometimes apart – to search for and implement a variety of solutions.

All parties recognize that the current situation is unsustainable. For one thing, it is illegal to kill or harm elephants in India. India also has a human-elephant relationship that spans millennia and is very complex. 
Frank, an Explorers Club Fellow, was expedition leader of last year’s flag expedition to the region. She has also participated in expeditions to the Titanic in 2021, Britannic in 2015, the Salween River in China in 2014, and ongoing trips to the Himalaya in North India since 2018. 
Frank and her team, comprised of local experts and filmmakers, plan to return in summer 2023 to continue production of the documentary, Where the Forest Roars, which will eventually be shown at film festivals, theatrically, and through streamers. 
“Our hope is to bring the story of human-elephant conflict to the Western world and why it should matter to us. The vision is peaceful co-existence, but right now the conflict is pretty intense. I’m just one voice, but hopefully, through this film, we can bring this urgent story to a broader international audience.” Frank tells EN.  
For more information: kim@kimfrankwriter.comwww.kimfrankwriter.com or follow on Instagram, www.instagram.com/kimfrankwriter/
Eric Larsen becomes emotional recalling his health challenges.
Polar Explorer Eric Larsen Makes a Grand Return
After fighting for his life following a cancer diagnosis, world-renowned polar explorer Eric Larsen is lacing up his boots again, this time to lead others to new heights. CBS Morning's lead national correspondent David Begnaud reports his poignant – and emotional – story of resilience.
Watch the March 23 piece here:
Lhakpa Sherpa, a quiet climbing pioneer, worked at Whole Foods in
West Hartford, Conn. Credit; Stan Godlewski for The New York Times
“Queen of Everest” Trained at Whole Foods
Lhakpa Sherpa holds the record for the most Everest ascents ever by a woman. Unlike the routines of most climbers, who drop into specialized training for months or even years, Lhakpa’s training regimen took place at a Whole Foods in West Hartford, Conn., where she carried large stacks of boxed fruits and vegetables.

Occasionally, she hiked to the top of the 6,288-foot Mount Washington, a meager stand-in for the highest mountain on earth, according to a New York Times story by Bhadra Sharma and Adam Skolnick (Jan. 31)
In 2000, Lhakpa became the second Nepali woman to reach the summit, and the first to make it back to base camp safely. (In 1993, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa became the first to summit the mountain, but she died on her descent – see Correction below.)
“I’ve lost many of my heroes, many of my best friends,” she tells the Times.
She started washing dishes in the commercial kitchen of a Whole Foods branch. Co-workers gradually learned of her story because she would sometimes leave town to guide foreigners up Mount Everest. The money she earned went toward her daughters’ college savings.
In 2022, she quit her supermarket job to try her 10th summit, a hallowed number in Everest mountaineering akin to 500 home runs or 3,000 hits in baseball.

Thirty-four men had achieved it. Twenty-six of them were Nepali of Sherpa descent, including Babu Chhiri, and Lhakpa wanted to shatter one more Himalayan glass ceiling, according to the Times story.
As usual, she had no sponsors. Lack of sponsorship deals is not a new issue in women’s climbing, and if she were going to successfully summit the mountain, she would need to do so with her own funding.
Lhakpa tells EN in late March she has since left Whole Foods to focus on a mountain climbing service she founded called Cloudscape Climbing, and is visualizing her next spring season in the Himalayas. She’s training to climb K2 in 2023, but has no current plans to climb Everest. 
“I hope I will bring 20 daughters,” she said. “I want to teach them climbing skills and show them that all girls can climb mountains.”
Later this month she’ll receive the Tenzing Norgay Award from The Explorers Club during its annual dinner in New York.
Read more about her extraordinary life here:
Passengers aboard the MS Roald Amundsen from Norwegian-owned Hurtigruten Expeditions are encouraged to become citizen-scientists.
The Many Ways to Visit Antarctica
A lot has changed since 1966 when Lars-Eric Lindblad led the first nonscientific expedition to the White Continent, writes Jen Murphy in the Wall Street Journal (March 25-26).

Antarctica is experiencing an exceptional travel boom and there are more ways than ever to experience the continent. For one thing, travelers can help make scientific discoveries.

“Does sitting in a cruise ship lecture hall learning about penguin nesting habits sound like a snooze when Antarctica (and those penguins) are so tantalizingly close? On a handful of cruises you can join researchers in the field thanks to citizen-science programs affiliated with prestigious institutions such as Cambridge University and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology,” Murphy writes. 
Inflatable Zodiac boats from the Sylvia Earle, the newest ship from Aurora Expeditions, take passengers to glaciers where they help researchers count seabird colonies or gather microplastics.
Aboard the MS Roald Amundsen, from Norwegian-owned Hurtigruten Expeditions, passengers can collect seawater from glacier-fed fjords and then examine the phytoplankton present using high-powered microscopes in the shipboard lab.
Guests on two ships from cruise-line operator Viking, meanwhile, can plumb the icy depths in a submarine and observe rare marine life with scientists. Last year, sightings of the elusive giant phantom jellyfish were published in a scientific paper.
Why be a tourist when you can be so much more and make a tiny difference in understanding the planet?
Read the story here:

There Goes the Neighborhood: Moon Edition 
Rovers capable of imprinting the Moon and Mars landscape with customized words and pictures is a new line of business being offered by RKF Engineering of Bethesda, Maryland. For example, once the made-to-order imprint is emblazoned on lunar terrain, the wheeled printers can then photograph the images against an Earthrise glowing over a lunar horizon, according to space journalist Leonard David writing on LeonardDavid.com.
RKF explains that Moon-emplaced imagery can survive millions of years, “immortalizing consumers’ words and likenesses.”
RKF reports, “Images can be anything from portraits to eternal love letters, words of wisdom, epitaphs of loved ones who passed, or even advertisements. The options are limitless. Once in place, a lunar rover printer can stamp and photograph millions of unique images and text messages over its operating life.”
According to the RKF statement, unlike plopping down big dollars for space tourism, “which is too expensive and impractical for most people, space printing will be affordable and provide a tangible, lasting product.”
Moonpies, Mars bars, Comet cleansers, Venus razors – advertisers will likely salivate over this latest proposal to commercialize space.
Read more:
Listen to Whittaker, Tackle Interviews on the American Alpine Club Legacy Series 
“When you’re outside in nature, it’s always a surprise, it’s a mystery. You don’t always know what’s going to be around the corner,” says famed climber Jim Whittaker, the first American to summit Everest (1963), during a podcast interview on the AAC’s Legacy Series.
Jim Whittaker, summit of Mount Everest, May 1, 1963.
"If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space."
The Legacy Series pays tribute to the visionary climbers who made the sport what it is today. The series is a commitment to securing their legacies. 
Later he would go on to say, “What you treasure about the mountains is the wilderness that challenges you. You learn a lot about yourself.
“I’ve been lucky climbing mountains. I’m lucky to still be vertical. What the hell, I’m 87 and still milling around.”

In another episode in the series, listen to legendary mountaineer Jack Tackle talk about his first ascents in the Alaska Range, his reflections on mountain life, and what motivated him to keep pushing his technical edge. (https://tinyurl.com/AACTackle)
Faraday Bag
A Faraday bag is a cell phone signal-blocking bag that prevents any kind of radio waves that your cell phone is built to receive from entering the bag, keeping your phone safe from tracking methods or incoming calls and notifications.
Vasque Footwear is giving out branded Faraday bags to find reprieve from the everyday, every day; they consider technology a barrier keeping people from enjoying the outdoors.
“By stepping outside, we can change how we feel on the inside,” reads company promotional material. The average American spends seven hours each day in front of a screen. With its “Log Outside” campaign, Vasque hopes to change that. Watch their video here: https://tinyurl.com/logoutside
The bag is named after its inventor, English physicist and chemist Michael Faraday (1791-1867) who created the first Faraday cage in 1836. He built a large box and lined it with wire mesh. To test his invention, Faraday zapped it from the outside with electricity while he stood inside.
The Other Pasang Lhamu Sherpa
Last month, in some editions of Expedition News, we carried an incorrect headshot of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the Indigenous trailblazer who battled racism, gender discrimination, and political opposition in the quest to become the first Nepali woman to summit Everest.

Instead, we showed a more current image of the similarly-named Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita, Nepal's first female mountaineering instructor.

The EN Eagle Eye Award goes to readers Norbu Tenzing of the American Himalayan Foundation and son of first-on-Everest Tenzing Norgay, and Danika Gilbert, Expedition Leader and Program Development executive of Ascend: Leadership Through Athletics.
The corrected image of the first woman Nepali on Everest,
the late Pasang Lhamu Sherpa (1961-1993).
Roy Chapman Andrews 20th Distinguished Explorer Awards, April 14, Beloit, Wisconsin

The Roy Chapman Andrews Society will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of its Distinguished Explorer Awards which honors modern-day explorers who exemplify the legacy of Andrews (1884-1960). This year’s honoree is Dr. Sarah Stewart Johnson, an American planetary scientist, astronomer, biologist, and geochemist.

Dr. Johnson is the Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor of Planetary Science at Georgetown University. Her research is driven by the goal of understanding the presence and preservation of biosignatures within planetary environments.
Established in 1999, the Roy Chapman Andrews Society builds awareness for Beloit's most celebrated explorer, adventurer, naturalist, and educator who later became director of the American Museum of Natural History, and president of The Explorers Club.  Andrews, for whom adventure and narrow escapes from death were a staple of exploring, is said to have served as inspiration for the Hollywood character Indiana Jones.
Beloit Public Library, 4:30 p.m., free. For details: roychapmanandrewssociety.org/
Living Kidney Donor Sought – Share Your Spare

A long-time member of The Explorers Club, Royal Geographical Society, and American Alpine Club seeks the donation of a kidney from a living donor, otherwise, the wait for a deceased donor is three to five years. Today, you don’t need to be an exact match. Your kidney donation can kick off a paired exchange. If you or someone you know might be able to help, start with the confidential questionnaire you can view here: 

The recipient’s Medicare pays the donor’s medical expenses, including full physical and lab tests to ensure the donor is healthy. 

For information from the National Kidney Foundation on being a living donor see: 

Being a living donor is low risk, according to the Mayo Clinic:

Travel With Purpose, A Field Guide to Voluntourism (Rowman & Littlefield) by Jeff Blumenfeld ­– Travel has come roaring back and so has 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
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. ©2023 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr. available by e-mail only. Credit card payments are accepted through www.paypal.com. Read EXPEDITION NEWS at www.expeditionnews.com
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