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Heavy snowfall and severe avalanches in Nepal were responsible for a reported 61 deaths and hundreds of rescues during the weekend of Nov. 11-12.
BITTER ANTARCTIC COLD SLOWS EXPEDITIONS
It's springtime in Antarctica, but strong winds, deep snows, and dangerously low temperatures have hampered a number of current expeditions.
Roger Mear Faces Early Difficulties
Briton Roger Mear began his solo unsupported crossing of Antarctica on Nov. 3, four days before Norwegian Borge Ousland set off to attempt the same feat. BBC cameraman Nigel Bateson, who was with Mear in Antarctica when he departed, says the start was incredibly difficult. New snow had fallen and Mear sank up to his knees with every step, pulling behind him a 450 lb. sledge.
Antarctica Lures Other South Pole Expeditions
Briton David Hempleman-Adams and Russian skier Fyodor Konyukhov are each attempting to drag a sled from the edge of the continent to the South Pole.
A four-member Chilean military mountaineering team reportedly aims to become the first Latin American expedition to trek to the South Pole.
Tragedy Marks Rediscovery of Historic Flagpole
Martin Davies, an Australian explorer, died in a cliff fall recently while walking in the Vestfold Hills near Davis Station in eastern Antarctica. Days before his death, Davies was part of a successful expedition that rediscovered the flagpole left in 1935 by Norwegian Caroline Mikkelsen, the first woman to visit Antarctica.
WORLD VOYAGE PLANNED IN PREHISTORIC REED BOAT
Spanish explorer Kitin Munoz is building the largest prehistoric vessel ever constructed by modern man. The 131-ft. "Mata-Rangi", constructed entirely of Totora reeds, will allow him to study the navigational capabilities of ancient civilizations, and examine the deteriorating conditions of the world's oceans.
One of the oldest forms of travel, dating back to the late 1700s, ballooning is hardly hospitable to long distance travelers. Though many have attempted, most notably the Earthwinds project based in Reno, Nevada, balloonists have yet to circle the world non-stop -- a feat that could take a mere 15-18 days.
One explorer with a good chance of success is Chicago securities dealer Steve Fossett, 50, who set the world distance record for a manned balloon flight with his first solo crossing of the Pacific Ocean last February.
On Nov. 12, a four-man British-led expedition reached the summit of Argentina's Cerro Torre (10,262 feet) via the southeast ridge.
MayaQuest Rides Again
MayaQuest, last spring's successful bicycle expedition to study the ancient Maya civilization (See EN, June 1995), will return to Central America in March, 1996.
Expedition Discovers Ancient Horse Breed
The New York Times reported on Nov. 12 that an expedition in Tibet discovered an ancient breed of horse previously unknown to scientists.
Do Reindeer Really Fly?
They do if you believe Robert Sullivan, senior editor of LIFE magazine. As a follow-up to a whimsical story written for the magazine last year, Sullivan has interviewed a number of explorers for a book entitled, "Flight of the Reindeer: The True Story of Santa Claus and His Christmas Mission" (Macmillan), set for publication Christmas 1996.
EN'S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
What to give the explorer who has everything? See our 1995 Christmas Wish List in the December issue.