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A Briton and a Norwegian renew their countries' old rivalry in the Antarctic this month, each trying to become the first person to walk alone and unaided across the frozen continent (See EN, October 1995).
In what may well be a race for the finish, Mear, 45, hopes to beat his rival, Norwegian Borge Ousland, 33, who sets out a few days later. Mear, a mountain guide, will travel for approximately 100 days south from the Weddell Sea to Ross Island, via the South Pole.
AMERICAN MARK PFETZER, 15, SUMMITS AMA DABLAM
When we last checked in on 15-year-old Rhode Island climber Mark Pfetzer, he was attempting to become the youngest person to summit Mount Everest (29,028 ft.). That expedition was halted at 26,000 feet due to bad weather (see EN, June 1995), but Pfetzer's young career was elevated Oct. 19 when he reached the 22,350-foot summit of Nepal's Ama Dablam.
International Arctic Project team members, who returned from their Arctic Ocean crossing in July (See EN August), are up to a sledge-full of new projects.
Expedition leader Will Steger has been lecturing throughout the country, working on a new educational program on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in northeastern Alaska, and spending time at home in Ely, Minn.
Washington State explorers Helen and Bill Thayer are continuing their on-going commitment to expedition education with a planned two-year study of the world's greatest deserts. They plan to depart in December for a three-month, 1,000-mile crossing of Africa's Sahara Desert on foot.
A pair of South Korean climbers have become the first from their country to summit Mount Everest via the steep South Face.
Japanese Expeditions Top Dhaulagiri I; One Missing
Six Japanese climbers from two separate expeditions reached the 26,795-foot summit of Nepal's Dhaulagiri I Oct. 6, while the leader of a third team was reported missing.
Kanchenjunga Claims Lives
Two French climbers are presumed dead after disappearing Oct. 6 while descending Mount Kanchenjunga (28,208 ft.) in Nepal.
AAC Annual Meeting Will Review Expeditions
The American Alpine Club Annual Meeting will take place Dec. 1-3 in Oakland, Calif. The open-to-the-public meeting will review recent expeditions and climbs, present the results of research projects, discuss issues of interest to the mountaineering community, and present awards.
Veteran British climber and alpinist Paul Nunn, 52, died recently while descending Pakistan's Haramosh Peak (24,270 ft.).
A story on the International Arctic Project, written by expedition leader Will Steger, will appear in the January issue of National Geographic.
Discovery of SLiME Shows Extremes Where Life Can Exist
An Oct. 22 Knight-Ridder Newspapers story details a discovery by scientists along the Columbia River in Washington of a community of bacteria that live only on rock and water.