EXPEDITION NEWS is the 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.
EVERESTMANIA PEAKS DURING 50th ANNIVERSARY
If you thought Mt. Everest gained attention in 1953 during the first successful ascent, then again in 1996 during a tragic climbing season, wait until this May when media attention intensifies for the 50th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay's feat. Over a dozen expedition teams have applied to the Nepalese government for permission to climb the mountain on the anniversary. Here's a roundup of some of the projects you can expect to see in a few month's time:
Sir Edmund Hillary Returns for His 50th
The first man and the first woman to conquer Mount Everest will join the celebration in Nepal to mark the 50th anniversary. New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary and Japan's Junko Tabei will be in Nepal for two days of festivities beginning May 28, which are expected to attract renowned mountaineers from around the world to this Himalayan nation.
Dick Bass Joins 2003 American Northeast Ridge Expedition
This spring, the irrepressible Seven Summiteer Dick Bass, 73, plans to return to Everest with Jim Wickwire, the first American to climb K2 (1978); Himalayan climber John Roskelley; and his 20-year-old son Jess Roskelley, a guide for Rainier Mountaineering Inc. If successful, Bass would be the oldest to summit.
Jim Whittaker Celebrates His 40th
Although he was the first American to set foot there, Jim Whittaker, 74, spent only 20 minutes on Everest's barren summit on May 1, 1963, before the lack of oxygen, dehydration, hurricane winds, and exhaustion forced him to descend. But Jim Whittaker has been recounting that moment for 40 years and now plans to return to 17,500-ft. Everest Base Camp this May. "I'm going to trek in with my family, have a rum and Coke, and say to the mountain, 'Hello, good friend.' Then I'll climb down," he tells EN.
Wings Over Everest 2003
Photos taken during an aerial reconnaissance of Everest in 1933 are credited with helping Hillary and Tenzing reach the summit 20 years later. This year, an international team is preparing to re-create the first flight over Everest by British aviators in an open-cockpit, single-engine aircraft.
EXPEDITION NOTES Mugs Stump Awards Total $15,000 – This year, five grants totaling $15,000 were awarded as part of the 2002 Mugs Stump Awards. Three strong teams will travel to Asia for objectives in the crucible of modern alpine climbing, the great mountains of the Himalaya.
Steve House, Marko Przelj, and Jule Cartwright will attempt the North Face of Masherbrum (7821 m) in the Karakorum Himalaya of Pakistan, tackling this huge mixed face in the minimalist style they've perfected over the past several years. (For more information: (+1) 509-996-2054, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Russel Mitrovich and Jimmy Haden will attempt a new route on the seldom-visited South Face of Changabang (6864 m) in northern India, also in pure alpine style. (For more information: (+1) 760-935-4086, email@example.com)
Doug Chabot, Bruce Miller, and Conrad Anker will attempt the often-tried Meru Shark's Fin, also in northern India. (For more information: (+1) 406-581-1110, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Josh Wharton and Chris Dobbins will attempt the remote South Face of Kichatna Spire in Alaska. (For more information: (+1) 720 352 4951, Joshua.Wharton@colorado.edu)
Sean Isaac and Scott Semple will attempt a new ice and mixed route on the remote West Face of North Howser Tower in the Bugaboos, tackling the face in spring when the ephemeral line (thin frozen smears of ice routes that are seasonal or only form for a brief period) is most likely to be formed. (For more information: (+1) 403-609-3668, email@example.com)
The awards are sponsored by Black Diamond, ClifBar, Mountain Gear, Patagonia, and W.L. Gore & Associates.
For Those Who Dared to Dream
By Buzz Aldrin
(Excerpted courtesy of The Explorers Journal)
The seven heroic astronauts who died aboard Columbia now belong to the ages. They take their place in history with those who perished in frail ships on uncharted seas, who vanished with their Conestoga's out on the vast prairie, or who fell on Omaha Beach so that others might succeed.
Risk has always been the price of any successful venture, whether it is the discovery of the New World, the shaping of a continent, or the preservation of that new freedom. Those who risk their lives to accomplish great ends, who have a vision of something larger than themselves, lift all our lives to a higher level.
Our failures in space-the Challenger explosion, the flaws in the Hubble Telescope, the nightmares aboard Mir, the miscarriage of two Mars missions, and now this tragic loss-have caused many to question the danger and the expense. But we often forget that there can be no meaningful success without the opportunity to fail.
It's easy to see the glass half empty. To see it half full would be to wonder at the fact that in 22 years of shuttle flights, only two have been lost, that no one perished on Mir, that astronauts were able to repair the Hubble in space, and that most missions are enormously successful.
There are tense moments in any space mission. The most dangerous part of our Apollo 11 moon landing, the descent to the lunar surface, was accomplished in the face of onboard computer failures, faltering telemetry, a field of boulders, and only seconds of remaining fuel-prompting Flight Director Gene Kranz to quip: "You'd better remind them there ain't no damn gas stations on the moon."
Today's young may live to walk on the far worlds of the solar system. The only obstacles to our destiny in space are complacency and a lack of clear commitment. If we insist that the human quest await the healing of every sore on the body politic, we condemn ourselves to stagnation.
The urge to explore has been the primary force in evolution since water creatures first reconnoitered the land. Like all living systems, cultures cannot remain static; they evolve or decline. They explore or expire. They take risks.
Beyond all the rationales, space flight is a spiritual quest in the broadest sense, one promising a revitalization of humanity and a new birth of hope. We are alive at the dawn of a new Renaissance, a moment much like the morning of the modern age, when most of the globe lay deep in mystery.
Like the sailing ships of that era, or the great steam locomotives that embodied the building of America, the spacecraft reflects the nobility of the human species, a people who can abide tragedy, gather the pieces, and set out again on their unyielding journey-an imperfect people of irrepressible spirit, of mathematics and music, of love and wonder, who dare to dream of reaching the stars.
Expedition Public Relations – Alex Foley &
Associates specializes in expedition PR. Alex Foley is honorary secretary
of the Explorers Club British Chapter and has executed PR programs for many
ventures including the 1996 Titanic Expedition, David Hempleman-Adams Chase
de Vere Atlantic Challenge, David Hempleman-Adams and Josh Wishart's Polar
Race, and Ice Challenger, the Bering Strait expedition flying Explorers Club
Flag 176A last March. www.IceChallenger.com
Affordable Himalaya with Daniel Mazur – Please tell your
friends. Announcing new lowered prices due to recent events. These are full
service expeditions, including Sherpa and all costs inside Nepal: Amadablam
2003-06, $3,950; Manaslu 2003, $6,950; Dhaulagiri 2004, $6,950; Pumori
2003-06, $3,950. We offer our new low-budget expeditions: Mustagh-Ata
2003-06, $1,450; Cho-Oyu 2003-06, $4,650; Everest 2003-06, $6,000. Everything
for the novice, intermediate and expert since 1987. Ask about our treks. We
give slide shows too!
Rescue Insurance, Journals, and More – Founded in 1902, The American Alpine Club is dedicated to promoting climbing knowledge, conserving mountain environments, and serving the needs of climbers like you.
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