June 2023 – Volume Twenty-Nine, Number Six
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.

Arctic Cowboys Rustle Up for Northwest Passage Expedition
West Hansen and his Texas-based team, “The Arctic Cowboys,” will attempt history again by being the first to cross the 2,000-plus mile Northwest Passage in kayaks. An expedition was launched in 2022, only to be abandoned after 260 miles. (See EN, January 2019).
The six-person team plans to depart Pond Inlet, the largest community in northern Baffin Island, in June, prepared for up to eight weeks without resupply from Baffin Bay to their first resupply point at Cambridge Bay – roughly halfway through the Passage.
They are accepting tax-deductible donations to their nonprofit, Worldwide Waterways, a 501(C)(3). See their GoFundMe and a video about their specially customized Seaward Kayaks from Vancouver Island with reinforced hulls, strengthened keels, and an array of practical modifications. At press time they’ve raised almost $5,000 of their $37,000 ask.

Sponsors include Epic Kayaks, NRS, The North Face and, not surprisingly Resistol, makers of cowboy hats and western apparel. Hanson plans to present an official Texas cowboy hat to one of the team’s main supporters in Pond Inlet.
Learn more at www.thearcticcowboys.com
Magar (center) on Everest summit
(Photo: Shantanepali Productions - Jeet Bahadur Tamang)
Amputee Summits Everest
A Gurkha veteran who lost both legs in Afghanistan has achieved mountaineering history after reaching the top of Mount Everest. (See EN, September 2022). Hari Budha Magar, 43, became the first double above-the-knee amputee to summit Everest.
Hari, who lives in Canterbury, Kent, UK, reached the summit at 3 p.m. on May 19, having started the climb on April 17 – exactly 13 years since he lost his legs after an IED explosion. While waiting 18 days at Everest base camp for the weather to clear, the veteran and his crew faced freezing conditions and saw two dead bodies being dragged down.
Hari has been supported by over 30 organizations including Team Forces, Barratt Developments, Branding Science Group, Ottobock, Therabody, the Oriental Club, and over 600 individuals. In return, he is seeking donors from around the world to support five veteran charities: Team Forces, the Gurkha Welfare Trust, Pilgrim Bandits, Blesma, and On Course. His Foundation hopes to raise over £884,900 (approx. $1.1 million), the height of Everest in meters plus two zeros.
To support Hari’s Everest appeal: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/harieverestappeal
Learn more about Hari here: www.haribudhamagar.com

For a unique behind-the-scenes look at life in Everest Basecamp last month, watch a 3-1/2 min. tour from camp manager Samir Thapa. The video is courtesy of Hari Budha Magar’s Everest expedition.  

Hundreds Summit Everest This Season, At Least 12 Perish
As the Everest spring season ended and EN went to press, the season is approaching 600 total summits by climbers and Sherpa guides, according to AlanArnette.com. Arnette reports instances of theft on the mountain were “rare but not uncommon.” Check his website for the latest updates.
At press time, a total of 12 people have now been confirmed dead during Everest expeditions this season, and another five are missing and presumed dead, as no contact has been made for at least five days in all cases, according to the Himalayan Database, which tracks mountain fatalities.
The death toll was confirmed by Yuba Raj Khatiwada, the director of Nepal’s tourism department. “Altogether this year we lost 17 people on the mountain this season,” he said. “The main cause is the changing in the weather. This season the weather conditions were not favorable, it was very variable. Climate change is having a big impact in the mountains.”
According to The Guardian (May 30), this year is one of the worst on record for deaths on Everest, matched only by the events of 2014 when 17 died, most of whom were local Sherpas killed in an avalanche. On average, between five and 10 people die on Everest every year but recent years have seen a spike.
Other feats achieved during this, the 70th anniversary of the first successful summit (see related story):
•           Nepali Kami Rita Sherpa, climbed Everest for the 28th time, the most by any mountaineer.
•           British climber Kenton Cool, 49, set a new record of 17 summits of Everest, the most by a foreign climber.
Arnette, by the way, also runs Summit Coach, a consulting service that helps aspiring climbers worldwide achieve their goals through a personalized set of consulting services based on his 25 years of high-altitude mountaineering experience and 30 years as a business executive. He has helped many climbers become successful, from a Colorado 14er to Denali, Cotopaxi, Everest, or even K2.

New York Honors Tenzing Norgay Sherpa
In honor of the 70th anniversary of the first summit of Everest, 75th Street from Broadway to Woodside in Jackson Heights, New York, was renamed Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Way.
Mingmar Lama, program coordinator and senior vice president of the U.S. Nepal Climbers Association, Inc., said the commemoration included a light vigil at the Sherpa Kyidug monastery in Queens in memory of those who lost their lives while mountain climbing.
The naming event was a collaborative effort between the U.S. Nepal Climbers Association, United Sherpa Association (USA), Inc., and the Sherpa Association in America, and coincided with the 70th anniversary of Norgay reaching the summit of Mount Everest for the first time in 1953, alongside Edmund Hillary of New Zealand. Norgay died in 1986 at the age of 71, and Hillary in 2008 at the age of 88.
Norgay, “The Tiger of the Snow,” famously said, “No man on a mountain or elsewhere gets more out of anything than he puts into it... Be great, make others great.”
Read more here:
“God himself could not sink this ship” – Titanic, the movie
The Titanic in 3D; Was This the World’s First Single-Use Submarine?
An ambitious digital imaging project has produced what researchers describe as a “digital twin” of the R.M.S. Titanic, showing the wreckage of the doomed ocean liner with a level of detail never before captured.
The project, undertaken by Magellan Ltd., a deepwater seabed mapping company, yielded more than 16 terabytes of data, 715,000 still images and a high-resolution video. The visuals were captured over the course of a six-week expedition in the summer of 2022, nearly 2.4 miles below the surface of the North Atlantic. The study also located a lost Megalodon tooth necklace lost for 111 years.
See the famed ship in 3D here:

In a related story, the ship, misnamed the Titan 1 C, is humorously called the “world’s first single-use submarine,” in the Netflix series Cunk on Earth.
Released in the United States in January, Cunk on Earth is a delightful fake historical survey of humanity's progress on Earth. The five-part mockumentary stars British comedian Diane Morgan as Philomena Cunk, an assertively self-involved and slightly oblivious journalist. It’s quirky and amusing.
See an excerpt from the Netflix mockumentary here:
Dr. Deep Sea enjoys the view.
Florida Man Breaks Record For Underwater Stay
It sounds like another crazy Florida Man story, but this one has a legitimate scientific purpose.
Joseph Dituri, Ph.D., an associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of South Florida, last month broke the record for the longest time spent living in a fixed underwater habitat. When he reached 73 days underwater at the 37-year-old Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, he beat the previous record set at the same facility. He now intends to remain submerged at 22 feet below the surface of the green-tinted lagoon until June 9 when he will resurface after 100 days.
A Guinness World Records spokesperson says the organization is reviewing Dituri’s attempt.
Meanwhile, DiTuri, 55, a retired U.S. Navy saturation diver, has been conducting a range of experiments and has been visited by NASA astronaut Mike Gernhardt, and even a woman dressed like a mermaid. The unusual project was even mentioned during a Saturday Night Live Weekend Update report. (See it on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/joe.dituri.96)
The goal of Project Neptune 100 is to understand how being underwater can influence human health and explore the ocean’s role in the treatment of disease, and gain insights into life in space.
Visiting researchers are studying his bodily response to long-term exposure to extreme pressure. The exams include submitting blood, urine, and saliva samples, using electrocardiograms on his heart and electroencephalograms on his brain, and running pulmonary function exams. He’s also undergoing psychological and psychosocial tests so experts can study the impact of being in an isolated, confined environment for long periods of time.
Dituri, who calls himself “Dr. Deep Sea,” has been documenting his experience on Instagram and YouTube, sharing his day-to-day existence with viewers, including how to poach a salmon with a microwave (open flames are not advisable), and what happens to bananas at that depth (they explode). 
Using a dry-erase marker on his large porthole window, he is teaching classes online to students around the world, hoping to encourage more students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.
“Today I broke the world record for living underwater. The curiosity for discovery has led me here. My goal from day 1 has been to inspire generations to come, interview scientists who study life undersea, and learn how the human body functions in extreme environments,” Dituri Tweeted.
The Marine Resources Development Foundation, which owns the lab, organized Dituri’s fact-finding mission.
For more information: https://www.mrdf.org/project-neptune
Tour the six-foot-high, 100 sq. ft. facility here:
“The most effective way to do it is to do it.”
– Amelia Earhart (1897 – 1937), was an American aviation pioneer and writer.
On another occasion, she has said, “Adventure is worthwhile in itself… decide…whether or not the goal is worth the risks involved. If it is, stop worrying….”
Underwater Camping at Arizona’s Biosphere 2
A May 2023 diving science and technology exercise successfully demonstrated the concept of an “underwater camping trip” with a subsea portable inflatable space.
The project took place within the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 facility, which is best known for its enclosed environments for earth science research, as well as for studying human performance within such environments. 
Within the Biosphere is an “ocean,” which for three years has been utilized as a testbed to advance lightweight, portable underwater tent technology.
The tent, or habitat, provides a relatively dry and protected space underwater for divers to enter, remove their equipment, and carry out any number of tasks before returning to the surface.
Scientific Diver Brandon Carr interacts with an ROV purpose built for human-robot interaction exercises. The Ocean Space Habitat, deployed in background, provided accommodations for an overnight stay within the Biosphere 2 Ocean. Photo by Jona Silverstein.
Co-inventor and diving scientist Michael Lombardi of Lombardi Undersea LLC, Middletown, R.I., commented, “Underwater habitation and the quest to live beneath the sea has been a dream for over half a century, though is met with very complex challenges – the reality of human physiology and expense make it a difficult proposition. Techniques in saturation diving, where humans live under pressure for weeks or longer, are well established and used in the offshore oil and gas industries via mobile diving saturation vessels.
“By contrast, marine science has sporadically made use of fixed permanent habitats resting on the seafloor. Both rely on high operational costs and heavy infrastructure. In the last 20 years, techniques in ‘technical diving,’ typically for sport, have made dive excursions in excess of five hours using only personal life support fairly routine,” Lombardi says.
“We’ve leveraged technology and techniques from that sector to afford a new lightweight mode of intervention, akin to camping, where we’ve demonstrated these five hours can be extended to a day or more all without the massive infrastructure of the current paradigm.”
During the recent tests at Biosphere 2, the Ocean Space Habitat proved far less expensive than conventional fixed habitats and saturation diving and is expected to make further advances in marine sciences possible.
The Ocean Space Habitat program has benefitted from support from Subsalve USA, New York University, the University of Arizona, Lombardi Undersea LLC, Ocean Opportunity Inc., the National Geographic Society’s Waitt Grants Program, and the Discovery Channel.
Watch Lombardi in his bubble helmet in these videos:
View of an Easter Island moai standing upright,
with a Chilean boy sitting on a horse for scale, 1919
Final Jeopardy Shows Some Lovin’ to Exploration
Exploration was the category in a Final Jeopardy game show question on April 13, 2023. The answer was:
James Cook’s account of a 1774 visit here records an object “near 27 feet long, and upwards of 8 feet over the breast or shoulders”
The question of course was, “What is Easter Island?”
As you might expect, there’s a website that recounts each episode, including the open spiels dating back to 1964. You can see it here:

Thanks Johnny.
Across the Americas on Horseback  
Brazilian-born Filipe Masetti Leite is reportedly the youngest person to cross the Americas on horseback. When Leite leaves his adoptive home of Canada, the aspiring journalist sets out on an epic quest to ride from Calgary to his family's home in Brazil - and later beyond - entirely on horseback.
His award-winning documentary, The Long Rider, is being released in theaters in the UK. It tells the story of his eight-year ride across 12 countries from Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina – more than 25,000 km (15,534-miles) in the saddle with 11 majestic horses.

Inspired by Aimé Tschiffely's 1925 equestrian journey, Leite’s odyssey sees the young immigrant battle intense heat, drought, speeding transport trucks, nature's wrath and corrupt border guards on his history-making long ride home.
Watch the trailer here:
Husavik’s Örlygur Hnefill Örlygsson looking otherwordly.
The Most Popular Movie Prop in Northern Iceland
The movie production industry in Iceland has thrived for years with movie crews attracted by the wide range of landscapes in this Kentucky-sized island nation between the Greenland Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. The list of Hollywood productions filmed there is impressive, from A View to a Kill and Die Another Day, to Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Tomb Raider and Batman Begins.
One Icelandic rental prop service reports its most popular movie prop is not, as you might suspect, a helmet with horns, but a replica of the iconic Apollo A7L moon suit, according to Film Húsavík, a one-stop-shop for production, equipment rental, location scouting, and casting. The moon suit commemorates the role Husavik, a tiny northern Iceland fishing village, played in the moon landings.
Neil Armstrong takes some time off during lunar training in Iceland.
Before their missions to the moon, the Apollo astronauts traveled to northern Iceland for training in the moon-like landscapes around Húsavík, close to the Arctic Circle.
NASA believed it was essential for its astronauts to prepare for their intragalactic journey by training in the most otherworldly terrain on Earth. After scouring the globe, officials determined that the Moon’s lunar landscape was strikingly similar to that just outside Húsavík. NASA sent 32 astronauts to train in its crater-filled terrain in 1965 and 1967, according to BBC Travel.
“Iceland really looks like the Moon. It has this otherworldly landscape, especially in summer when there is less snow and ice on the northern Arctic desert,” said Örlygur Hnefill Örlygsson, owner of the replica spacesuit and director of The Exploration Museum in Húsavík.
“NASA wanted them to pick the best rock samples to bring back to Earth. Their exposure to the geology of Iceland and its varied rock assemblages found in glacial outwash channels resembled the complexities of the lunar surface and contributed greatly to their experience as they prepared for lunar exploration,” Orlygsson tells BBC Travel.
The Astronaut Monument located in Husavik contains the names of 32 Apollo astronauts who were sent to Iceland for training in geology for crewed lunar missions. That’s Gavin Tolometti, a post-doctorate researcher at the University of Western Ontario and the Institute for Earth and Space Exploration. (@GavinontheMoon)
You can see the faux spacesuit in the Inspired By Iceland “Better Than Space” ad campaign:

Le Commandant Charcot is a luxury icebreaker that hosts scientists aboard while providing dedicated research laboratories, science coordination and equipment.
Conduct Research on Ponant Icebreaking Cruise Ship
In collaboration with its travel partner, Ponant, Explorers Club members, scientists, and explorers have the opportunity to traverse new frontiers in search of discovery and a more sustainable future. Applications are being accepted to conduct research aboard Le Commandant Charcot, the first hybrid-electric polar exploration ship powered by liquefied natural gas. for a multi-week expedition voyage.
Recipients of these science grants are a diverse community of changemakers from around the world working to support the mission of illuminating and preserving the world’s landscapes, cultures, and wildlife through science and education. The purpose of these expeditions is to advance scientific research while encouraging conversations of conservation as travelers explore new frontiers in search of discovery and a more sustainable future. 
Applications may be for one or a team of two scientists; applicants must be affiliated with a research institution and be at least 18 years of age.
Tom Hornbein in March of 2023. Photo by AAC member Jim Aikman.
Tom Hornbein (1930 – 2023)
Tom Hornbein passed away on May 6, 2023, at his home in Estes Park, Colorado. He was 92. He is best known for his audacious climb of the West Ridge of Mount Everest in 1963 with Willi Unsoeld, but also for the warm and caring friendship he extended to so very many.
Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld ushered in the modern era of mountaineering and set the standard for future generations. Their audacious feat has perhaps yet to find an equal in the annals of Himalayan climbing, according to the American Alpine Club.
Hornbein was born in St. Louis on November 6, 1930. As a boy, he was attracted to climbing trees and the slate roof of the family home where he realized that “getting off the ground was in my genes.” At the age of 13, his parents sent him off to Cheley Colorado Camps in Estes Park near Rocky Mountain National Park for the summer.
Hornbein would later say, “Looking back, discovering mountains has been the major pivotal event of my life. Those high hills became my spiritual home, underpinning all that followed: mountaineering, medicine, research, family, and community.” 
His professional achievements rivaled his feats in the mountains. Dr. Hornbein was Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He studied human physiology and performance at high altitudes, making his work a link between medicine and mountaineering.
Read his obituary in Climbing magazine:

View his five-minute interview with the AAC’s Legacy Series, including numerous archival photos:
World Oceans Week, June 5-10, 2023, The Explorers Club, New York
The Explorers Club seventh annual World Oceans Week, June 5-10, 2023, will coincide with World Oceans Day at the U.N. on June 8. Talks include presentations by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Sylvia Earle and John Vermilye discussing the movement to give our oceans legal rights, as well as launch their new network: Ocean for Ecocide Law; and an excursion on Shinnecock Bay aboard a research vessel owned by The Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University.
Closing out World Oceans Week is a presentation by the team from the Endurance22 Expedition, which discovered Shackleton’s lost ship Endurance in 2022 after it had not been seen since it was crushed by the ice and sank in Antarctica’s Weddell Sea in 1915.
For more information and tickets:
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:

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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. ©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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