Expedition News


Here's a sample of the June 1999 issue of Expedition News. To subscribe to the complete version each month - either by postal or e-mail - see the subscription information below.

June 1999 - Volume Six, Number Six - Highlights


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.


In a small town two hours' drive from Austin, Tex., a French swimmer trains 2-3 times a week at the Kerrville Family Center Sports Club. With every lap he takes in the American heartland, he becomes increasingly determined to achieve a goal more daunting than summitting Mount Everest. In fact, over 1,000 people have summited Everest, but not once in the history of mankind, has a swimmer crossed the Pacific Ocean. For Benoit "Ben" Lecomte, 31, swimming the Pacific represents the logical next step for someone who has already swum the Atlantic.

Raising $1 million by summer 2001 - and finding a crew of three to man a 50-ft. support vessel for four months straight - would seem an almost impossible task had the Paris-born swimmer not already achieved the impossible last summer when he swam 3,400 miles in 72 days across the North Atlantic from Cape Cod, Mass. to Brittany, France.


Climbers are virtually loving the mountains to death. Human waste presents the most serious problem in the mountains, according to John Young, 29, adjunct instructor in the Department of Biology of Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. Young, with the help of Brent Bishop and others, will travel to the Yukon Territory July 27-Aug. 3 to conduct a feasibility study at the Cirque of the Unclimbables, a cluster of granite peaks located in the southwest corner of the Canadian Northwest Territories, in the heart of the Mackenzie Mountains. This area includes classic climbing destinations like the Proboscis, Lotus Flower Tower, and Mt. Harrison Smith.


Two to Go -

Ed Viesturs' ascents of the Himalayan mountains Dhaulagiri and Manaslu marks his 11th and 12th peaks in an effort to climb all 14 of the world's 8,000-meter-high mountains. Only ninth-ranked Nanga Parbat (26,660-ft./8125 m), and 10th-ranked Annapurna (26,545-ft./8091 m) remain before he becomes the first American to summit all 14.


Mallory & Irvine Expedition Criticized Over Sale of Photo

This month we examine the criticism over the sale of a photo of George Leigh Mallory's corpse by the Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition.

The Seattle-based 10-member team was riding high until the climbing world learned the team sold their particularly gruesome photo of Mallory's body to news media.

In response to the criticism, Simonson told a room full of journalists at a press conference in Kathmandu on May 25 that proceeds from the sale of images will go to Himalayan charities to be determined later. "We're climbers, not treasure hunters," he said. "It is not, and never was, our intention to enrich ourselves from this expedition."

Says Robert Sullivan, assistant managing editor of Life magazine, "Let's face it, when you're looking for Mallory's body and you find it, you have to take a photograph. It's a record of the goal. This is 1999 - once a picture like that exists, it's going to be shown.

"You can't keep an historical photo like this under wraps," he told EN. "They probably could have made more money by approaching a less reputable publication than Newsweek."


Paraplegic Attempts Rainier

- Retired U.S. Disabled Ski Team champion Jeff Pagels, 50, of Ashwaubenon,Wisc., hopes to become the first paraplegic climber to summit 14,410-ft. Mount Rainier this month in an expedition sponsored by JanSport, the world's largest maker of backpacks.

In the Name of Ned

- A memorial award has been created in memory of
well-known climber and adventurer Ned Gillette. Gillette was killed during an attempted robbery on August 5, 1998 while trekking with his wife Susie Patterson in the Haramosh valley of Pakistan (See EN, September 1998).

Created by Susie and other admirers and administered by the American Alpine Club (AAC), the Ned Gillette Adventure Grant is a tribute to Ned's imagination and ability to carry out and accomplish the adventures of his dreams.


A Renaissance in Adventure Stories

.... - Former Harper & Row Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Edward Burlingame believes exploration and adventure stories are experiencing a renaissance. "Classic adventure tales have become all the rage," says Burlingame, who points to "Into Thin Air," "The Perfect Storm," "The Endurance," and the new Shackleton exhibit at New York's American Museum of Natural History as evidence. "People are seeing that these books have significant meaning in today's society.


Zegrahm Expeditions

- Join TOP EXPLORERS as ZEGRAHM EXPEDITIONS travels to Earth's remote and compelling places. September finds us among MELANESIAN ISLANDS of Vanuatu & Fiji with oceanographer JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU.

In December, adventurer WILL STEGER is aboard in ANTARCTICA exploring the Peninsula, South Georgia & the Falklands.

Oceanographer SYLVIA EARLE leads first-ever submarine expeditions observing SIXGILL SHARKS in July, 2000.

Best-selling author CAROLINE ALEXANDER tells the story of Shackleton during a CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF SOUTH GEORGIA, November, 2000.

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