EXPEDITION NEWS, founded in 1994, is the monthly review of significant expeditions, research projects and newsworthy adventures. It is distributed online to media representatives, corporate sponsors, educators, research librarians, explorers, environmentalists, and outdoor enthusiasts. This forum on exploration covers projects that stimulate, motivate and educate.
August 2015 - Volume Twenty-Two, Number Eight
Celebrating Our 21st Year!
A YEAR IN THE WILDERNESS
Educators and explorers Dave and Amy Freeman kick off "A Year in the Wilderness" next month, continuing their efforts to gain permanent protection for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota.
Their expedition will continue efforts to permanently protect the Boundary Waters from the proposed sulfide-ore copper mines on the edge of the Wilderness and support the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters.
Cancel the papers and hold the calls, they'll be back in a year (photo courtesy of Ron Doctor)
Starting Sept. 23, the two will launch their canoe in the Kawishiwi River and paddle into the Boundary Waters and become immersed in the Wilderness for a full year, camping at approximately 120 different sites and traveling more than 3,000 miles by canoe, foot, ski, snowshoe and dog team. This trip is dedicated to bearing witness to the very land and water they are fighting to protect.
To promote the cause, the Freemans are scheduled to appear at the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters booth in the Dairy Building of the Minnesota State Fair on Sept. 4-5, 2015.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a beloved 1.1 million-acre canoe region featuring 237.5 miles of overnight hiking trails, 1,200 miles of canoe and kayak routes and 2,000 designated campsites.
Dave, 38, and Amy Freeman, 33, have traveled more than 30,000 miles by kayak, canoe and dogsled through some of the world's wildest places, from the Amazon to the Arctic. They are 2014 National Geographic Adventurers of the Year.
The Freemans also run the Wilderness Classroom Organization, an educational nonprofit
geared towards inspiring kids to get outside and explore their world. Wilderness Classroom's current reach is 100,000 elementary and middle school students, and 3,200 teachers around the world.
Throughout the project, the Freemans will invite others on resupply missions that will allow them to personally witness the beauty of the Boundary Waters and what's at risk from the proposed sulfide-ore copper mining.
For more information: Ellie M. Bayrd, 612 616 2149, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.SavetheBoundaryWaters.org
F-1 thrust chamber (photo courtesy Bezos Expeditions)
Recovered Apollo Moon Rocket Engines Preserved
Apollo F-1 engine parts recovered from the ocean floor in 2012 have been completely restored by the conservation team at the Cosmosphere International SciEd Center and Space Museum (formerly known as the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center) in Hutchinson, Kansas (See EN, April 2013). They completed researching and stabilizing the 25,000 pounds of Saturn V F-1 engine parts in June, according to CollectSpace.com.
The mangled and twisted Apollo artifacts were recovered by a privately-financed effort organized by Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos more than four decades after the engines were used in the launches of the first, second and fifth manned moon landings.
Bezos Expeditions surprised the world in March 2012 by announcing success in its up-to-then secret search to find the F-1 engines where they sunk some 14,000 feet below the Atlantic Ocean surface. Almost exactly a year later, Bezos again made international headlines by revealing that the same team had raised parts for several engines off the seafloor.
The preserved engine parts now sit in the Cosmosphere's laboratory under protective covers as the museum works with NASA to determine where the F-1 artifacts will go on display. Even though they were sunk and then raised and conserved through a privately-funded effort, the F-1 engine components remain the space agency's property.
The Smithsonian plans to exhibit some engine parts in a new gallery, "Destination Moon," set to open in 2020.
Read the complete story here: http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-080415a-f1-engines-conservation-cosmosphere.html
Learn more about the recovery effort here: http://www.bezosexpeditions.com/updates.html
One of the preserved animal trophies at The Explorers Club HQ in New York doubles as a pipe.
Hunters in the Crosshairs
The killing of Cecil the lion in Africa by an American trophy hunter has sparked enormous outrage and debate in recent weeks. The 13-year-old lion was illegally killed July 1 on the edge of a Zimbabwe reserve. Two African men, an outfitter and a landowner, have been arrested by Zimbabwe officials, who are also seeking extradition of the American hunter, Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota who paid $55,000 to shoot the lion with a crossbow. Palmer has maintained he did not know anything illegal was taking place during the hunt.
Explorers Club member Richard Coe, 47, visiting New York recently, is a merchant marine engineer who grew up in Zimbabwe. He tells EN, "I was unimpressed by the shooting of Cecil. There's just no need to hunt cats today - you're not going to eat it. It's a ridiculous trophy of a magnificent animal."
In an Aug. 7 editorial, the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., calls trophy hunting
Writes Devin Rokyta, "Let's be honest, trophy hunting is about killing a living animal, usually one that is considered rare, for its size, fur or rack. It's not about acquiring the meat to feed a hungry family, as is the case for most responsible hunters, and it certainly isn't about conservation."
Accompanying the story was a file photo of a lion's head and skin from an East African safari expedition donated to The Explorers Club sometime between 1908 and 1910 by former U.S. president, big game hunter, conservationist and adventurer Theodore Roosevelt. The lion's head can still be seen in the Club's Trophy Room today, silent testimony to the Club's 111-year-old heritage.
When he gives tours of the Club's legendary display, Executive Director Will Roseman reminds visitors, "Overwhelmingly, the members of The Explorers Club are conservationists and environmentalists and we do not support sport hunting. The specimens that you see here represent a different era and many were collected for scientific and study reasons."
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"I may say that this is the greatest factor: the way in which the expedition is equipped, the way in which every difficulty is foreseen, and precautions taken for meeting or avoiding it. Victory awaits him who has everything in order, luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time, this is called bad luck."
- Roald Amundsen (1872-1928)
Jimmy Chin, Renan Ozturk and Conrad Anker (L-R) rejoice after their 11-day ascent of Shark's Fin.
Critics Praise Meru Film
Meru charts the efforts of three of the world's best mountain climbers to conquer an "impossible" Himalayan peak that has never been successfully scaled before.
Outside Magazine calls it, "The best climbing movie of the year."
Says Dennis Harvey of Variety, "There's no lack of high drama here, with some of the most hair-raising developments taking place between the trio's attempts to climb the titular pinnacle. Jimmy Chin and E. Chai Vasarhelyi's Sundance audience award winner is one of the best sports documentaries of its type in recent years, with the potential to break out beyond extreme-sports enthusiasts to a broader demo."
Mount Meru is considered by some the most technically complicated and dangerous peak in the Himalayas. Sitting 21,000 feet above the sacred Ganges River in Northern India, the mountain's perversely stacked obstacles make it both a nightmare and an irresistible calling for some of the world's toughest climbers.
See the trailer here: http://www.merufilm.com/press/
The real Matterhorn is almost as popular as this fake one
Crowds are Loving Matterhorn to Death
For over 50 years visitors to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., have thronged to its 147-ft. replica Matterhorn, the highest point of the park since 1959.
Now the real Matterhorn is being loved to death, according to a story by Kelley McMillan of the New York Times (July 13)
Until this year, about 3,000 people climbed the Matterhorn annually, a majority of whom begin their summit bids from the Hornli hut, a shelter at 10,695 feet that serves as a base camp for climbers headed to the 14,692-ft. peak. In years past, over 180 people might be climbing toward the mountain's apex on a busy day during the prime climbing months of July, August and September. The crowds brought more deaths - at one point in the early '90s that number was up to 24 fatalities per year, according to Benedikt Perren, head of the Zermatt Mountain Guides Association, making the Matterhorn one of the most dangerous mountains in the world. Human waste from campers at the Hörnli hut was ruining the mountain's water supply.
Last month a refurbished Hörnli hut was introduced, the result of a two-year, $9 million project.
Camping, which was once permitted on the hut's periphery, will now be banned. The result will be about 500 to 1,000 fewer climbers on the peak's summit per year and a reduced strain on the mountain's resources, according to McMillan.
The Matterhorn still draws climbers hoping to make their mark. In April, Dani Arnold, a Swiss mountaineer, broke the peak's speed climbing record, ascending the Matterhorn's treacherous north face in one hour 46 minutes. People have climbed the peak without ropes, summited in the dead of winter, and pioneered creative and challenging new routes.
Read the story here:
CLIMBING FOR DOLLARS
Highpointers Set Sights on Feature Film
Those passionate peak baggers, the 2,500 members of The Highpointers Club, are supporting production of a feature film about climbers who target the tallest peak in every state. Florida and Delaware highpoints are easy, Alaska and Wyoming not so much.
Filmmaker and Emmy winner Gary Scurka of EveryStep Productions, Rosslyn, Va., and his daughter, are seeking $32,500 this month on IndieGoGo to complete the film.
The production tells the story of Terri and Fallon Rowe of Meridian, Idaho, as they attempt to become the first mother and daughter team to summit every highpoint in the lower 48 states.
See the trailer here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/american-highpoints--2#/story
Jennifer Jordan and Greg Mortenson at the Cai School in Hyderabad, Pakistan
Three Cups of Tea Documentary Seeks $35K Through Crowdsourcing
Author/filmmaker Jennifer Jordan of Skyline Ventures Productions in Salt Lake City is hoping to raise $35,000 through a crowdsourced campaign to complete post-production of a film about Greg Mortenson, the controversial author of Three Cups of Tea.
While Three Thousand Cups of Tea, as the film is titled, addresses the accusations leveled against him and his Central Asia Institute, the documentary focuses on Mortenson's mission to build schools and educate girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan, a mission which was mortally, but not fatally, wounded by the scandal. Almost overnight funding to the schools dropped almost 80 percent after the media firestorm.
Jordan, the documentary's director, is author of Savage Summit: The True Stories of the First Five Women Who Climbed K2, the World's Most Feared Mountain (William Morrow, 2005).
The campaign ends in mid-August. At press time it was about 30 percent funded. Watch the trailer then decide whether to support this bold effort.
See it here: http://www.seedandspark.com/studio/3000-cups-tea.
For more information: email@example.com
Even the lunar dust on Neil Armstrong's suit will be preserved.
Reboot the Suit
The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum launched a Kickstarter campaign to conserve, digitize, and display Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit. The crowdfunding campaign, which ends in mid-August, sought $500,000 and was already at $630,000 by press time. It's the Smithsonian's first use of this fund-raising platform - the organization usually relies on the Federal government for the majority of its funding.
Air and Space stores the spacesuit, along with many others, in a climate controlled environment, offsite and not accessible to the public. The plan is to take such meticulous care that even lunar dust embedded in the suit does not fall out of place and to build a body of research that will provide a roadmap for future spacesuit restorations.
The Smithsonian posts, "The Apollo 11 Moon landing was one of the single greatest achievements in the history of humankind. Bringing Armstrong's spacesuit back not only helps honor the accomplishments of a generation who brought us from Earth to the Moon in less than nine years, it also inspires the next generation of bold space explorers."
For more information: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/smithsonian/reboot-the-suit-bring-back-neil-armstrongs-spacesu
Kevin is hanging out these days with Duracell
The Marketing of Kevin Jorgeson
It's pitch black and a free climber is bravely scaling a wall with the use of a helmet light. How can celebrated free climber Kevin Jorgeson be so brave? Because he trusts that his Duracell Quantum Battery will last longer than the next leading brand.
Jorgeson, who climbed the fabled Dawn Wall on El Capitan last January with Tommy Caldwell, frequently at night, is now the face of Duracell, thanks in part to his use of the brand on his well-documented climb.
The company features him in TV spots; one viewed 16 million times tells the story of how he was first introduced to climbing by his father: http://youtu.be/ZCcvxW7cOLo
The other, a 15-sec. spot, pitches the battery directly: http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7862/duracell-quantum-powering-kevin-jorgesons-climb
Another Jorgeson sponsor, adidas Outdoor, created a seven-minute video providing a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how the Dawn Wall effort captivated the world for 19 days earlier this year. The company had a team onsite in the Yosemite Valley managing the story, promoting it as the hardest rock climb ever achieved.
At one point, the morning talk shows were arguing among themselves and bidding for access. "Please put your big boy pants on and be adults," implores Chris Goddard of CGPR, the adidas Outdoors publicist.
Dawn Wall made rock climbing history that delivered 34 billion impressions valued at an estimated $2 billion worth of advertising equivalency (what the exposure would have cost if purchased).
Watch it here: https://youtu.be/wtKFd1lgRVU
River Film is Great Way to Pitch Coolers
Rowing a dory in the Grand Canyon is considered by some as the most coveted job in the world. But it's said that it's easier to get a Ph.D. than become a dory guide. It can take 20 years of paying your dues to earn a seat on one of these legendary wooden boats. Amber Shannon has been boating the Grand Canyon nine years, trying to work her way from the baggage boat to a dory, while spending as many days possible in current.
Watch the 5-min. video produced by Grayson Schaffer, directed by Ryan Heffernan and presented by Yeti coolers. The film is so engrossing you never realize you're being pitched coolers.
Watch it here: http://yeticoolers.com/yeti-videos/in-current/?gid=1/
Think South - How We Got Six Men and Forty Dogs Across Antarctica
by Cathy de Moll (Minnesota Historical Society Press, October 2015)
Reviewed by Robert F. Wells
Twenty-five years ago, six men - representing the U.S., Russia, China, France, Japan and Britain - drove their dog sleds across a frozen, make-shift finish line at Mirnyy, Antarctica, to complete a grueling and first "non-mechanical" crossing of the seventh continent. Reporters from around the world snapped pictures. Video cameras filled satellite feeds. And these intrepid explorers imbedded themselves into history - helping to support the renewal of the long-standing international Antarctic Treaty.
This book is about the International Trans-Antarctica Expedition. But it's not about the frostbite. Not about the 75-knot winds that whipped tents relentlessly. Not about endless crevasse crossings. Not about keeping dozens of exhausted sled dogs alive while battling Mother Nature's worst wiles. It's about all the invisible stuff a team of people need to do behind the scenes to ensure the success of an incredibly complicated venture.
Author Cathy de Moll would say, "I run the logistics and business." Right. Sounds neat and tidy. Yet gaining meaningful participation from so many countries with conflicting agendas... contending with disparate cultures and languages... cobbling together $11 million to fund everything from commandeering airplanes and fuel to setting up means of communicating in godforsaken places. And true to form, timing during planning colored everything. The Soviet Union was in the process of crumbling. Chinese troops were shooting at demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. The world was understandably distracted.
Logistics? de Moll and the team were not following in the footsteps of others. Everything needed invention. Remember, GPS was nascent. Reliable maps were scarce. Protocols for airdrops were not. Equipment and communications systems needed development. The cascading sequence of details formed an impenetrable wall. The venture was all consuming. Paris. Beijing. Moscow. Minnesota. Family life for de Moll? I suspect a trail of guilt. Unrelenting stress for years? Constant.
So, this is the book. Interestingly, the author wrote most of it shortly after the venture and celebratory tours in 1990. But the longhand written pages were tucked into a dark file - for over two decades. Why should de Moll write such a book? She was not one on the ice. Stardom escaped her to the world at large. She was simply the "glue" that held the expedition together. And yet, this was precisely why the book needed to see the light of day. The author's unique insights spring the venture back to life in Think South. Each chapter focuses on the key individuals who make everything possible. Valery. Jack. Yasue. Criquet. Mr. Li. And others. The tears. The giggles. The little tales, like textured threads, building a fascinating fabric that captures a compelling picture.
To underscore a pattern of purpose punctuating this expedition, it was more than six men battling the elements at the end of our earth. As put in a Christmas card from the South Pole by the team in 1989: "We speak to the children of the world. We say to you, take care of this, your last great wilderness, as if it was your own garden. For in this place will grow the peace and knowledge we will use in order to survive."
Robert F. Wells, a member of The Explorers Club since 1991, is a resident of South Londonderry, Vt., and a retired executive of the Young & Rubicam ad agency. Wells is the director of a steel band (www.blueflamessteelband.com) and in 1989, at the age of 45, traveled south by road bike from Canada to Long Island Sound in a single 350-mile, 19-hr., 28-min. push.
Words Never Spoken
This month is the 46th anniversary of the moon landing, a good opportunity to pause for a moment and think what would have happened if the mission had failed disastrously. William Safire, President Richard M. Nixon's speechwriter, was ready with a statement that was revealed in 1999 and is posted to the web.
In it, he would have suggested that Nixon say, in part, "In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.
"Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man's search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts."
For fans of space history it's a fascinating read:
Dick Bass was at home on the slopes of Snowbird (Photo courtesy of Snowbird Ski Resort)
Dick Bass, 1929-2015
Conceived the Concept of Climbing the Seven Summits
It's almost inconceivable that adventurer and entrepreneur Richard Daniel (Dick) Bass could die for he was larger than life. Bass passed away peacefully on July 26 in the company of friends and family at the age of 86. The climbing legend liked to say, "Mountain climbing recharged me with a greater sense of self-confidence and self-respect, and enabled me to put my troubles and pressures into better perspective by more fully realizing, 'if it's meant to be, it's up to me!'"
Climber and filmmaker David Breashears posts, "Dick loved the mountains, but especially the people he met and befriended during his many expeditions near and far." Breashears was at his side when Bass was first to climb the traditional Seven Summits, a concept he originated, when he reached the summit of Mount Everest on April 30, 1985 at age 55, beating the oldest to summit record by five years.
For EN, one of our most memorable days on the slopes was when the Dallas oilman took us on a tour of Snowbird Ski Resort which he originated in 1971 and owned until 2014. Dick talked non-stop all the way down, hooting and hollering the full length of Regulator Johnson. A conversation with Bass was never brief but always entertaining with his homespun aphorisms he called "Bassisms." It was easy to see why he was affectionately nicknamed the "Largemouth Bass."
When he liked something, such as Snowbird's legendary deep powder, he would tell us, "It makes my heart sing, my thing zing, and my socks roll up and down."
As one goes through life, there are people you never forget. For us, Dick Bass tops that list.
For an amusing anecdote about Dick's propensity for talking, read Jeff Bowden's story in D Magazine: http://www.dmagazine.com/publications/d-magazine/2000/december/living-legends-largemouth-bass
Hundreds of explorers and adventurers raise money each month to travel on world class expeditions to Mt. Everest, Nepal, Antarctica and elsewhere. Now the techniques they use to pay for their journeys are available to anyone who has a dream adventure project in mind, according to the new book from Skyhorse Publishing called: Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would Be World Travelers.
Author Jeff Blumenfeld, an adventure marketing specialist who has represented 3M, Coleman, Du Pont, Lands' End and Orvis, among others, shares techniques for securing sponsors for expeditions and adventures.
Buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Get-Sponsored-Explorers-Adventurers-Travelers-ebook/dp/B00H12FLH2
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