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One of the last-remaining polar records is a totally unsupported solo crossing of Antarctica. At least three explorers traveled south recently in search of this polar grail.
Fiennes Races for Antarctic Record
Sir Ranulph Twistleton-Wykeham-Fiennes of Britain has departed on his quest for a first-ever self-sufficient solo crossing.
The explorer will set off from sea level on Berkner Island in the Weddell Sea, traveling across the deeply crevassed Filchner ice shelf towards the mainland at the base of the Argentina Range. From there he will begin his climb up the South Pole plateau before descending to the Beardmore Glacier, the Ross ice shelf and about 110 days later, finishing at McMurdo Base.
Ousland Repeats Solo Attempt
Norwegian Borge Ousland, 34, will depart separately to make another attempt at the record. He is expected to meet up with Fiennes and Polish explorer Marek Kaminski (see related story) at the starting point on Berkner Island.
Kaminski Plays Down Competition
Polish polar explorer Marek Kaminski flew to Chile in late October for the start of his own solitary trek across Antarctica, also from Berkner Island to the Ross Sea.
Kaminski's own claim to fame was becoming the first man to reach both the North and South Poles on foot and in the same year.
SWAN EXPLORES ONE STEP BEYOND
In 1985-1986, British polar explorer Robert Swan walked from the Ross Sea to the South Pole, a trek recounted in the best-selling book "In the Footsteps of Scott." This month Swan and three others will pick up where he left off 10 years ago and continue 800 miles in 45 days from the South Pole to Berkner Island, thus completing the crossing of Antarctica.
FRENCHWOMAN SOLOS TO SOUTH POLE
Laurence De La Ferriere, 39, of France will attempt to become the first French woman to make a solo trek to the South Pole.
One-Man Sub Launched
The revolutionary one-man winged submersible called Deep Flight I, covered in our August issue, was officially launched Oct. 24 off Monterey, Calif.
Well-Known Sherpa Dies on Everest
Lobsang Jangbu Sherpa, 23, a Nepalese member of the ill-fated Scott Fischer expedition to Mt. Everest last May, perished Sept. 25 in an avalanche on the mountain while employed by a Japanese expedition.
American Mountaineering Center Raises Over $3 Million
Establishment of the country's first national mountaineering center is a step closer to fruition with announcement that nearly 75 percent of the funds needed for the Center - just over $3 million - have already been raised.
Norman Vaughan Travels on Internet Field Trip to Antarctica
Antarctic explorer Col. Norman D. Vaughan is one of the e-mail guests visiting Blue Ice: Focus On Antarctica/Food Webs, a seven-week virtual field trip to Antarctica that began late last month.
Death on Annapurna
The media's continuing fascination with climbing disasters was evidenced by ABC-TV's Oct. 8 PrimeTime Live coverage of the deaths of two American climbers who suffocated in their tents on Nepal's Annapurna IV (24,690 ft.).
Steve Roberts, EN's nomadic web-mate www.microship.com, was featured on Discovery Channel's "Cyberlife" program, Oct. 1. The Nomadic Research Labs' modern-day road warrior is an example of what happens when you marry technology to high adventure.
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