Here are excerpts from the March 1999 issue of Expedition News. To order a subscription by credit card go to

March 1999 - Volume Six, Number Three

EXPEDITION NEWS is a monthly review of significant expeditions, research projects and newsworthy adventures. It is distributed online and by mail to media representatives, corporate sponsors, educators, research librarians, explorers, environmentalists, and outdoor enthusiasts. This forum on exploration covers projects that stimulate, motivate and educate.


National parks come in all shapes and sizes, but the world's largest and least visited is in Greenland. The North East Greenland National Park covers 375,000 sq. mi., an area larger than Texas and Colorado combined. Former World Cup paddling champion Andy Bridge, manager of kayak manufacturer Dagger Composites in Harriman, Tenn., plans a 500 mile exploration this spring of some of the unnamed and unclimbed mountains that lie along Greenland's northeast coast.


Most people have limited knowledge of the organutan, the ape about two-thirds the size of a gorilla, with brown skin, long sparse reddish-brown hair, and long arms. One named Clyde starred with Clint Eastwood in "Every Which Way But Loose." There are orangutans in zoos, and the occasional circus uses them for entertainment. But what is happening to the species is serious, according to Helen Morrogh-Bernard, 26, a master of science student at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, England. She and two fellow students, Simon Husson, 24, and Laura D'Arcy, 22, will leave in July for Borneo to study orangutan populations and peat swamp forests, an important habitat. The expedition, titled, "For Peat's Sake," will count orangutan nests over a period of 75 days within an area of 5,000 square kilometers.


There's a Reason Few Climb McKinley in Winter - Alaskan climber Trigger Twigg, 48, and his Russian partner Artur Testov, 32, both attempting the first winter ascent of the north side of Mt. McKinley via the 14,000-ft. Wickersham Wall, were turned back about 20 miles from the base of the mountain by record cold plunging to minus 62 degrees F. (See EN, October 1999). Calling from a bar in Talkeetna, Alaska last month, Twigg told EN the bitter cold, combined with the partial immersion of Testov, did them in after three brutal weeks.


Canadians Attempt Desert Crossing - Three Canadians with a dozen camels in tow departed the coastal town of Salalah, Oman, on Feb. 2 in a bid to become the first Westerners in more than 50 years to cross the world's largest sand desert.

Millions of Students Link to Jason Project - From March 1 to March 12, more than two million students across the U.S. will link up with Titanic discoverer Dr. Robert Ballard, this time on the banks of the Amazon River in Peru. Broadcasting live from his generator-fueled camp in the steamy jungle, Ballard will reach out to students via the JASON Project. In real time, they'll move together through the darkness of the towering rainforest and the cacophony of more than 30 million species of insects, looking for secrets about the world's most diverse biosphere.

Norman's Stormin' New York - Over 1,400 members of the worldwide exploration community will assemble at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel on Mar. 27 for the 95th annual Explorers Club dinner. This long-awaited event, which this year features an address by senator-astronaut John H. Glenn, 77, will review the past year's achievements in exploration. The Club will also honor Glenn's wife, Anna, for her four decades of support of space exploration.

Sharing the speaker's podium will be Col. Norman D. Vaughan, 93, a member of Admiral Byrd's first expedition to the Antarctic in 1928. Col. Vaughan will receive The Explorers Medal, the highest honor that can be bestowed by the Club.


Across the Pacific in a Reed Boat By Tim Vandenack, special correspondent

Nearly two years after the ill-fated voyage of the Mata Rangi I, Spanish adventurer Kitin Munoz, 40, has launched a new-and-improved version of the vessel into the Pacific and is attempting to cross the ocean to test the navigational attributes of the craft.

The 88-foot Mata Rangi II, made of reed and powered only by wind and ocean currents, is modeled after the craft used by the pre-Columbian inhabitants of South America, and Munoz, who set out Feb. 14 from Arica, Chile, hopes to cross the sea in five months.


Pumping Ice - Film director and producer George Butler of White Mountain Films of New York, is planning an IMAX film and a feature-length documentary for theatrical release about the harrowing tale of British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914-16 Antarctic expedition, and the subsequent rescue of his 27-man crew after their ship was seized by pack ice "like an almond in a piece of toffee." The film projects are based upon Caroline Alexander's book, "The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition" (Knopf, 1999).


Zegrahm Expeditions - They are remote and exotic, spectacular and visually compelling. The world's untamed lands are the focus of our 1999 expeditions, starting with the SEYCHELLES & MADAGASCAR in March, the tropical islands of MICRONESIA in April and May. Venture to the land of fire and ice - the KURIL ISLANDS, KAMCHATKA & ALEUTIANS - during May and June. And finally, ANTARCTICA for the Millennium - the Peninsula, South Georgia, Falklands, even a "first light" voyage from New Zealand. Small groups, expert leaders, intriguing destinations. For reservations and more information: Zegrahm Expeditions, 1414 Dexter Avenue N. #327, Seattle, WA 98109 U.S.A. Phone: 800-628-8747, 206-285-4000; Fax: 206-285-5037; or Web site and E-mail. Ask about bold new adventures offered by Zegrahm DeepSea Voyages and Space Voyages.

EXPEDITION NEWS. is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 28 Center Street, Darien, CT 06820 USA. USA. Tel. 203 855 9400, fax 203 855 9433, Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Copyright © 1999 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. Subscriptions: US$36 /yr.; international postal rate US$46/yr. Highlights from Expedition News are also located at where you can order a subscription to the full edition with your credit card.

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