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Forty-one days into his attempt at the first solo unsupported crossing of Antarctica (See EN, November 1995), a sinking and unsteady sled forced British explorer Roger Mear to halt the expedition.
Severe Frostbite Ends Ousland Expedition
Norwegian explorer Borge Ousland, who departed days later to attempt the same feat, arrived at the Scott-Amundsen Base at the South Pole on Dec. 21, after trekking 825 miles from sea level to 9,350 feet, in 44 days. On Dec. 25 he continued onward from the South Pole, but within days, the inflammation of a wound caused by frostbite on the inside of his thighs forced Ousland to abandon his trek, with almost 800 miles to go before reaching the U.S. McMurdo base via the Ross Sea.
Leg Injury Slows Hempleman-Adams
Meanwhile, David Hempleman-Adams, 39, another Briton bound for the South Pole over land, was 100 miles from the pole when EN went to press. Expedition coordinator Jock Wishart said, "In a desperate effort to avoid falling into a bottomless crevasse, David injured his leg but is nonetheless still struggling on to the South Pole."
First Single-Year North and South Pole Expeditions
About the only good expedition news to come out of Antarctica this month was word that Polish adventurer Marek Kaminski became the first man to reach both the North and South Poles on foot and in the same year.
ARCTIC DOGSLED EXPEDITIONS PLANNED
At least three Arctic dog sled expeditions are slated for departure in early 1996.
INTO AFRICA: FIRST DESCENT OF VICTORIA NILE
Two Minneapolis paddlers hope to make the first descent of the turbulent first 300 miles of the Nile River, known as the Victoria Nile.
VIESTURS' ENDEAVOR 8000 CHALLENGES TALLEST PEAKS
Only three people have reportedly climbed the world's 14 peaks over 8,000 meters (26,247 ft.). Italian Reinhold Messner became the first in 1986, Poland's Jerzy Kukuczka was next, and this autumn Swiss climber Erhard Loretan, 36, summited India's Kanchenjunga (28,208 feet) to etch his name in climbing history. Yet to date, no American has accomplished this feat.
Seattle resident Ed Viesturs hopes to change that over the next three to five years with "Endeavor 8000."
Solo American balloonist Steve Fossett, 51, is waiting for a weather window to open so he can launch his balloon circumnavigation effort from Rapid City, S.D.
Three months after relocating from Massachusetts to Wolfeboro, N.H., the office of Bob Rice's Weather Window was destroyed by fire. Rice, 64, has been an invaluable weather-tracking resource for expeditions from Everest to the Pacific Ocean since 1976, and tells EN he plans to rebuild.
IMAX Film Brings Everest to Millions
The latest project from MacGillivray Freeman Films, makers of 17 IMAX motion pictures including "To Fly" (1976), is "Everest, Pinnacle of the World."