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.
July 2017 - Volume Twenty-Four, Number Seven
Celebrating Our 23rd Year!
Young Explorer Studies Island Conservation Efforts
This fall, Joshua Powell, 23, from Sussex, UK, is leading the Island Conservation For An Island Nation Expedition across the South Atlantic islands. It's the second leg of a recent South Pacific research trip documenting innovation in island conservation practice across the South Pacific and South Atlantic.
During a stop in Tasmania, he'll study an ambitious strategy by the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program to identify diseased "Devils," geographically isolate a given population on the island of Tasmania and its offshore islands, eradicate some of the diseased carnivorous marsupials, and then translocate healthy individuals to re-establish disease-free populations.
Powell says, "I plan to research the effectiveness of their bold plan that combines several highly challenging conservation techniques in the attempt to save this endangered Tasmanian icon."
The Tasmanian Devil: a face only a mother could love. Or a Warner Bros. cartoon artist. (Photo courtesy Josh Powell)
Powell, a 2017 Churchill Fellow notes, "Island systems might be a world apart, but the challenges they face and the environments they operate in are often directly comparable. For instance, New Zealand's Sub-Antarctic Islands face many of the same challenges as the UK's Falkland Islands, or South Georgia and the South Shetland Islands. That's why it is so important to share best practices."
In addition to the Tasmania group, Powell will work alongside a range of key conservation organizations in each of the given locations, including New Zealand's Department of Conservation (DOC), and WWF South Pacific.
"The project has actually been far more social than I expected, but of course that makes perfect sense because although many islands are uninhabited, a tremendous amount of the most biologically important ones also have human populations - and that means working with local communities is absolutely essential."
Support has been received by The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, with Poseidon Expeditions supporting the second leg to the South Atlantic sub-Antarctic islands, which will depart in October.
For more information: Follow Island Conservation For An Island Nation on Facebook using the hashtag #IslandConservationForAnIslandNation.
Reach Powell at http://www.wcmt.org.uk/users/joshuapowell2017
Outdoor Retailer Lowers the Curtain on Salt Lake City
The so-called Zion Curtain was a law in Utah that required partitions in restaurants to separate bartenders preparing alcoholic drinks from the customers who order them. It was revoked by the Utah legislature in spring 2017, shortly before Emerald Expositions lowered its own curtain on the city, announcing it would relocate its three 20,000-plus person Outdoor Retailer trade shows to Denver effective January 2018.
At a Denver press conference on a blistering hot July 6, over 100 trade show executives, Colorado government officials, and outdoor companies located in the state gathered with the still-snow capped Rockies in the background to announce the Colorado capital would become the site of Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, Outdoor Retailer Summer Market and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (podium) praised his state's 40 wilderness areas and four national parks, calling Colorado, "the number one destination for outdoor recreation visitors in the U.S." Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (front row, center), added, "This should have happened a long time ago. You're simply where you should have been long ago."
Colorado was selected in part because of the high value the state places on outdoor recreation. Utah raised the ire of the outdoor community because of its lack of interest in protecting public lands.
"The State of Colorado and Outdoor Retailer share the common belief that protecting public lands is not only good for the economy, but also, for the soul," said Luis Benitez, director of Colorado's Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, who has summited the Seven Summits, and is a six-time Everest summiteer.
Why this matters to readers of EN: for 35 years since its founding, OR has been the place to solicit expedition funding, the place to network with fellow explorers and adventurers, and consider the latest gear and apparel to meet the challenges of extreme environments.
In fact, OR is the place where the entire industry comes together to conduct business, share best practices and to exchange ideas - it's the largest outdoor trade show in North America and as such, presents plenty of opportunities to the exploration and adventure community.
The upcoming show dates are:
Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, Jan. 25-28, 2018
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, July 23-26, 2018
Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, Nov. 8-11, 2018
The final Summer Market in Salt Lake is July 26-29, 2017
Learn more at: www.outdoorretailer.com
Watching the Eclipse? Don't Forget to Write
The Postal Service has released a first-of-its-kind stamp that changes when you touch it. The Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever stamp, which commemorates the August 21 eclipse, transforms into an image of the Moon from the heat of a finger (see related story).
The stamp image is a photograph taken by astrophysicist Fred Espenak, aka Mr. Eclipse, of Portal, Ariz., that shows a total solar eclipse seen from Jalu, Libya, on March 29, 2006.
In the first U.S. stamp application of thermochromic ink, the Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever stamps will reveal a second image. Using the body heat of your thumb or fingers and rubbing the eclipse image will reveal an underlying image of the Moon (Espenak also took the photograph of the Full Moon). The image reverts back to the eclipse once it cools, which when you think about it, is pretty cool itself.
The Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever stamps may be ordered at usps.com/shop
After Climbing: Start Volunteering
Famed climber and noted conservationist John Roskelley, from Spokane, Wash., shared the limelight with his son, Jess, at the American Alpine Club Excellence in Climbing Awards on June 3 in Denver.
During his presentation, the elder Roskelley praised Jeff Lowe who was in the audience. "He was the greatest climber partner to have. He gives confidence to you and your other climbing partners when you're out with him." His comments elicited a standing ovation from the audience.
John, 68, continued, "You can't climb forever. So use that passion to volunteer back home."
Added Jess, "Some of the activities you volunteer for can be spur of the moment. It doesn't have to be planned. The environment needs your help."
Father and son successfully reached the summit of Everest on May 21, 2003, at which time Jess, at the age of 20, became the youngest American to have reached the top.
Sopranos Actor Kicks off Nepal Fire Truck Expedition
Sopranos star Michael Imperioli kicked off an expedition this month that will see a motley crew of celebrities drive 10 fire trucks on Nepal's hair-raising roads for charity. But wait. It's not as crazy a stunt as one might think.
Imperioli and around two dozen other celebrities - including actor Malcolm McDowell and British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes - will drive 480 kilometers (298 miles) from the India-Nepal border in November to the capital where the trucks will be donated to Kathmandu's fire brigade.
"I got involved in the project first of all because I just think it's a great idea. I think it's going to save lives and save properties and bring benefit to a lot of people," Imperioli told AFP.
The fire department in earthquake-prone Kathmandu - a city of 2.5 million - is poorly equipped with just three functioning fire engines.
Six fire engines, one ladder truck, two front-loader tractors and a fire command vehicle, mostly donated by fire departments in the U.S., will be commandeered by the celebrities for the charity drive.
The project is the brainchild of German watchmaker and two-time Everest summiteer Michael Kobold, who initially planned to drive one fire engine over the Himalayas with the late Sopranos actor James Gandolfini.
Kobold hopes the initiative will spur further donations to bolster Nepal's fire departments.
Read the story here:
Watch the video:
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"... It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: You will outlive the bastards."
- Edward Abbey (1927-1989), American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues, criticism of public land policies, and anarchist political views.
How High is High?
Did Mount Everest shrink after Nepal's massive 2015 earthquake? Has it lost a few meters of snowcover due to global warming? Is it getting taller due to shifting continental plates?
To clear up these frequently raised questions once and for all, the Nepalese government has kicked off the long and arduous mission of re-measuring the height of the world's tallest peak, according to CNN (June 21).
In 1856, Everest's height was first calculated to be 8,840 meters (29,002 feet) above sea level by a team led by British surveyor Sir George Everest, the man whom the mountain was named after. Later, in 1955, the figure was adjusted by eight meters to 8,848 (29,028 feet), which has remained the official height to date.
"Since multiple scientific studies show that there might have been some changes in the height of Everest, it became the Nepali government's responsibility to check and clarify the matter," Ganesh Prasad Bhatta, director general of Nepal's Survey Department, told CNN.
The height will be calculated using a combination of geodetic data received from three mechanisms: leveling instrument, gravity meter and GPS.
"You'll have an answer within two years," Bhatta said.
Read the story here:
First All-Women North Pole Expedition Remembered
In recent years, melting sea ice has made human-powered trips to the North Pole extremely treacherous. Every year, the ice has grown thinner and less stable. It's hoped that the story of the 20th anniversary of the first all-women relay expedition to the North Pole will inspire readers of Smithsonian.com to fight to protect this delicate environment.
The expedition planning began with a classified ad in The Telegraph:
"Applications are invited from women of any age, background and occupation, but they will have to prove fitness and commitment. They will have to put up with real pain and discomfort. They will wonder every ten steps what they are doing but they have the opportunity in an epic endeavor."
That ad attracted 200 applications of which 60 showed up in the remote moorlands of Dartmoor National Park in southwest England for two rounds of grueling tryouts. The group was then whittled down to 20 amateur adventurers, according to writer Jason Daley.
The team was divided into five groups of four adventurers, each of which would tackle one leg of the 416-mile slog over the ice from Arctic Canada to the Pole, pulling their gear behind them on sledges. Facing temperatures of almost minus 50 degrees F., blasting winds and ever-changing ice, which could (and occasionally did) crumble into open water at any minute, the women carried on, writes Daley.
Read more and listen to the podcast here:
Were It So Easy
Men's Journal posted a story this month that explains how to get into The Explorers Club. "No easy feat," says writer Sam Donnenberg.
In his 1915 application, Teddy Roosevelt famously filled out the "Experience" section of the written application by penning in "President of the United States." (Though it's more likely he officially earned his spot by trekking into the Amazon rainforest to uncover the headwaters of the Rio da Duvida - "River of Doubt" - and now called the Roosevelt River).
"It's a fine line often between adventurism and exploration," said Marc Bryan-Brown, the club's Vice President for Membership.
"All explorers are adventurers, but not all adventurers are explorers. You can climb Everest, or scuba dive with sharks, or hang out in New Guinea with a bunch of tribespeople and it's a lot of fun, but in and of itself that is not exploration," says Bryan-Brown.
Donnenberg warns, "Remember this isn't about how many passport stamps you have. The website clearly states, 'Travel without scientific purpose or objective, big game hunting, personal photography or similar pursuits do not represent sufficient qualifications.'"
Donnenberg adds, "Don't turn in a round up of your all-time favorite vacations. You want to show how you've given back to the scientific community as a result of your exploration of the world (or worlds beyond this one). But don't be discouraged if your explorations haven't exactly gone down in history. The membership committee wants to see that you scratched an exploratory itch, not that you necessarily uncovered a groundbreaking new revelation about the world."
Read the full story here:
Osprey Supports Campaign to Ship Fuel-Efficient Cookstoves to Nepal
Osprey Packs, the pack manufacturer based in Cortez, Colo., has become the latest outdoor gear manufacturer to support the Himalayan Stove Project (HSP), a seven-year effort to deliver clean-burning, fuel-efficient cookstoves to the people of Nepal.
"This support makes great sense for us - we have a strong connection to Nepal," Sam Mix, Osprey Conduit of Corporate Outreach.
"Not only do we sell Osprey packs in Kathmandu through retailer Sherpa Adventure Gear, but many of our end-users either have toured the country, or have it at the top of their bucket lists to eventually visit."
During the spring 2015 earthquakes in Nepal that killed 9,000, Osprey assisted with reconstruction, working with the dZi Foundation, based in Ridgway, Colo.
Mix continues, "Osprey and the HSP are a perfect match. As both a humanitarian and environmental cause, the HSP is consistent with our Philanthropic Five Areas of Focus: Environmental Conservation/Stewardship, Public Lands Protection, Trail Stewardship, Reducing Environmental Hazards, and Climate Change."
Osprey Packs can be found online at www.ospreypacks.com. Learn more about the Himalayan Stove Project at www.himalayanstoveproject.org.
The Edge of the World
The Edge of the World is a new collection of the best photography ever published by Outside magazine. Covering Outside's most compelling stories from throughout the years, it offers readers an inside and dramatic look through the lens of the world's top adventure photographers. It contains a foreword by world-renowned photographer Jimmy Chin and an introduction by Outside magazine's editor Christopher Keyes.
Chin writes, "All adventures begin on the ground. From there we go, well, anywhere we can. We climb. We rappel down. We run. We leap and land - and leap again."
The story behind the cover image (above) is explained, "To get this shot of British BASE jumper Chris Bevins nose-diving off 460-foot Thaiwand Wall, near Railay, Thailand, Patrick Orton had to climb four pitches up a 5.11 route called Circus Oz.
"I wanted to be directly below Chris when he jumped," says the Bozeman, Montana, photographer. Orton, who was dangling from a bolt by his climbing harness, snapped seventeen frames in the thirty seconds it took Bevins to reach the beach. Rappelling took Orton half an hour. "Chris was sipping a margarita at the bar when I got down," he says.
In blurbing the book, Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of In the Kingdom of Ice, pretty much sums up why we all like to explore:
"Here, from the ends of the earth, comes several lifetimes' worth of astonishing images that confirm how deeply adventure is rooted in our DNA. We humans need to soar through the firmament, to walk on wires across the open spaces.
"We need to swim with whales, bike with wildebeests, paddle among sharks. In these stunning photographs, our truant species seems full of hubris but also profoundly humble in the immense face of nature - for, as every adventurer knows, nothing makes us feel grander than to feel small."
Blogger/Climber Has Great Respect for Everest Climbers
Climber, blogger and Alzheimer's Disease advocate Alan Arnette, 60, presented a fascinating talk about Everest during the Himalayan Travel Mart 2017 in Kathmandu in early June. He has been covering Everest for the past 15 years on an almost real-time basis.
Arnette, a resident of Ft. Collins, Colo., has been on Everest four times, summiting once in 2011. In 2014, he became at the age of 58, the oldest American to summit K2.
During his talk, he explains that people follow AlanArnette.com because, "I didn't try to spin it, don't ask for subscriptions, I simply tell the truth.
"I seek the truth and try to share it in a very clear, authoritative way."
He continues, "Today rumors are spread very quickly. When someone dies you have to double check and triple check before you report it."
Later in the 17-min. talk he says, "I have full respect for anybody who even attempts Everest, much less summits it."
See the entire presentation at:
https://www.facebook.com/alan.arnette (scroll down to July 2)
Literally a "shadow lover," one who is addicted to total solar eclipses. Source: David Baron, author of American Eclipse (Liveright Publishing Corp., 2017).
Surely an appropriate Buzz Word for July as Americans in a wide swath of the nation will become umbraphiles for a day during the Great American Eclipse. Baron, a former science correspondent for NPR, decided 19 years ago to write a book about the history of eclipses when he first heard about the Aug. 21 event. He has seen five totals so far.
During a recent book talk in his hometown of Boulder, he said, "You must be in the Path of Totality. A 99 percent partial eclipse doesn't cut it. The closer you are to the center line, the longer the duration of the eclipse."
This August he'll be in the Tetons to try and witness the approach of the moon's shadow from the distance.
He says of totality, "It's like time stops, then it's all over. Normally articulate people become babbling idiots. It's remarkably unearthy."
"During totality, don't take pictures. Just look and enjoy it."
Traffic is expected to be at a standstill as millions get closer to the natural world.
GreatAmericanEclipse.com warns, "Imagine 20 Woodstock festivals occurring simultaneously across the nation. Large numbers of visitors will overwhelm lodging and other resources in the Path of Totality. There is a real danger during the two minutes of totality that traffic still on the road will pull over at unsafe locations with distracted drivers behind them."
Everest: Odds of Dying Too Steep
"I think it is interesting that the ratio of climbers to deaths on Everest hasn't changed from the 35:1 that it has been over the last 20-years or so that I have been tracking it. I have climbed some easier mountains so I appreciate the interest in and beauty of climbing Everest. But with the odds of dying being one in 35, I decided those odds are too steep for me (e.g. Denali is 200:1)."
- Chuck Patton, 74, a former climber from Orlando, Fla., and a suburb of Chicago, who now works full-time as SVP-Business Development for a technology company in Chicago.
Get Sponsored! - 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 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:
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