Thursday, April 9, 2015

"The Academy Awards of Exploration"


Race to the North Pole

The Mamont Foundation has announced the Mamont Cup 2015, a race to the North Pole
on April 15 to 21, 2015.

This inaugural event will see five teams, led by famed polar explorers, race the last degree to the North Pole (approximately 69 miles). Team captains include David Hempleman-Adams who leads an all-British team consisting of wounded servicemen,French explorers François Bernard, Christian de Marliave and Jean Gabriel, and an all-
woman team lead by Denmark’s Bettina Aller. They are joined by competitors from Sweden, Italy, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and the U.S. in an international celebration of polar exploration.

Christine Dennison, 45, from New York City will represent the U.S. She is co-founder of the adventure exploration company Mad Dog Expeditions, Inc., and is part of the team that discovered a sunken Navy submarine, the R-12, in which 42 sailors drowned off Key West, Fla., more than 60 years ago (

Dennison will blog about the race here:

The Mamont Foundation was established in 2007 to fund the exploration of the
Earth’s Polar Regions in order to better understand the planet. The expedition seeks to raise awareness for the foundation and a vodka by the same name. In fact, all expedition members will share a toast of Mamont Vodka, an expedition supporter, upon reaching the North Pole.

For more information:

Golfer Goes “Fore” a Seven Summits Record

After 21 years reporting about expeditions – both serious, historic, and well, some not so historic – no project surprises us anymore. In Get Sponsored (Skyhorse, 2014) we write about an adventurer and avid golfer named Andre Tolme who in the summers of 2003 and 2004 hit golf balls across Mongolia. To reach the first “tee,” Tolme took a train north from Beijing to Ulan Bator, then bused to the eastern city of Choybalsan. From there, he spent five months, hitting 510 golf balls 2.322 million yards (1,319 miles) – a par 11,880 – until he reached the western city of Khovd. Not an expedition by any means, but certainly a fun adventure.

Daryl Franck on Kilimanjaro. What? No funny green pants?

Now comes word that a PGA professional wants to up the ante by hitting golf balls off the Seven Summits. Oh brother.

But lay down your pitchforks when you read about Daryl Franck. A resident of Austria and Lake Wales, Fla., the 47-year-old pro golfer is passionate about this and has already driven balls off Kilimanjaro, Mt. Elbrus and Carstensz Pyramid. He was weathered off of Denali and Aconcagua and needs to return to both.

(Editor’s note: Although Dick Bass climbed Australia’s Kosciuszko as the last of his Seven Summit quest, Reinhold Messner postulated another list – the Messner or Carstensz list – replacing Mount Kosciuszko with Indonesia's Puncak Jaya, or Carstensz Pyramid).

Franck is ready to roll will all the gear and doesn’t anticipate he’ll need to beg for equipment. In anticipation of criticism that he’ll be littering the continental high points with Titleist golf balls, he’ll be using NatureSX, 100 percent biodegradable balls from Biogolf in The Netherlands which are supposed to play like regular balls (who knew?). The tees will be biodegradable as well.

Before starting the "Golf Seven Summits Project,” Franck summitted Mont Blanc twice and hit balls off its summit. He also ascended the Matterhorn and Eiger (Mittellegi Ridge) and has climbed in Bolivia, Nepal and Alaska. His next goal is to travel with a golf club to Antarctica for a guided ascent of Mount Vinson in late 2015 and then attempt Aconcagua again in early 2016. He’s seeking funding of $125,000 plus airfare and plans to tee off Everest last after the other summits have been “played” and he’s logged more mountaineering experience.

For more information:, See Franck on the top of Kilimanjaro here:

What’s next? Bowling the Seven Summits? One never knows. After all, there’s already an adventure sport called “Extreme Ironing” (go ahead, Google it).


At an attendance of 1,000 including guests, the Explorers Club Annual Dinner (ECAD) on Mar. 21 was reportedly the largest gathering of explorers in the world. When these mostly alpha males get together at a sold-out dinner, strange things are bound to happen. This was not your standard rubber chicken fund-raiser. This was, as director and explorer James Cameron famously said when he attended the dinner in 2013, “The Academy Awards of exploration.”

A whale of a time. (Photo: Craig Chesek ©The Explorers Club)

EN has attended ECAD since the late 1980s and applauds the decision this year to shake things up by relocating the 111th annual gala, themed “The Spirit of Exploration,” from the Waldorf-Astoria grand ballroom where the dinner was held for 67 years, to beneath the 94-ft., the 21,000-pound fiberglass model of a female blue whale in the Hall of Ocean Life at the American Museum of Natural History.

Surrounded by stuffed gorillas and African elephants in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals, there was no more appropriate venue than this for sharing field exploits while snacking on cockroach canapés, grasshopper kabobs, mole crickets, waxworm quesadillas, and centipede bites.

An explosive hairstyle

Baron Ambrosia, a long-distance swimmer who calls himself the culinary ambassador to the Bronx, was there wearing curlers made of shotgun shells. (Makes us wonder why this isn’t more of a fashion statement. Answer: because they’re shotgun shells).

Bully man

Theodore Roosevelt joined the club in 1915; at this year’s dinner, there was a look-alike named John Foote in safari gear who we believe really did think he was TR himself.

A panel discussion about the Shackleton Expedition was held within the UN Economic & Social Council Chamber. Each seat carried the name of an explorer – over 400 in all. We found our mind wandering at times, thinking about a similar scene in the same room during a classic Twilight Zone episode called “To Serve Man.”

“To Serve Man” with Richard Kiel as an alien Kanamit.

Scene from the UN Economic & Social Council Chamber. Notice even the slat wall is the same, although there were no aliens in this photo (that we know of).

Harsh Words for the Brits

During the Polar Panel on Mar. 20, polar explorer Eric Larsen said, “Picking a favorite expedition that I’m proudest about is like picking a favorite child. The journey is really the destination for me. Just getting to the starting line is a huge accomplishment… I have a fire in me that drives me to places I want to go.”

He took a jab at the U.K.’s love affair with exploration: “If you’re British, just put on a red snowsuit and someone will give you ten grand.”

Another jab: “The British take easy things and make them look hard. The Norwegians take hard things and make them look easy.”

Later Larsen continued, “We need to stop focusing about whether climate change exists or not. You either believe in science or you don’t. The conversation needs to switch to mitigation.”

British explorer and balloon pilot David Hempleman-Adams, honored with the Finn Ronne Memorial Award, said wistfully, “The world has gotten very small. Years ago explorers said goodbye to their wives for two years; some never returned. Now I can fly anywhere in a day or so. Recently the only delay I experienced on an expedition was flying back to Heathrow.”

Hempleman-Adams went on to say, “The bucket list for explorers is never ending. You do one and add another two at the bottom.”

Respect for The Boss

Environmental scientist, adventurer and author Tim Jarvis joined the Hon. Alexandra Shackleton, the granddaughter of Sir Ernest, to recount his re-creation of the famed expedition leader’s 800-mile rescue mission from Elephant Island to a remote whaling station on South Georgia Island. Jarvis said his five team members – all “pragmatic optimists” – were cramped inside a replica of the James Caird, which weighed three tons due mostly to ballast and batteries. The Jarvis team used the same materials, clothing, food and a Thomas Mercer chronometer as in the original voyage. The tiny cabin was also the same dimension, about the size of a kitchen table and only four feet high.

Jarvis explained there was only 15 inches of freeboard – the distance between the waterline and the top of the deck. “We came out with an even great sense of respect for Sir Ernest than we did coming in.”

It Takes Confidence

Col. Joseph Kittinger, who for over 50 years held the record for a skydive from space (102,800 feet set in August 1960), commented on what it takes to set records like his. “It takes complete confidence in your team. Confidence in your equipment, and confidence in yourself.”

Alan Eustace and America’s most advanced pressure suit

Kittinger was part of the panel discussion featuring Google executive Alan Eustace who now holds the space skydive record of 135,889 feet set on Oct. 24, 2014, when he was 57 years-old.

“We’ve opened up the stratosphere for future exploration,” Eustace said.

His project was self-funded: “We didn’t have to make it a media thing in order to fund it.” When asked about the budget for the Paragon StratEx Space Dive, which involved a support team of over 50, he admitted, “It cost more than we thought it would, but cost a lot cheaper than if NASA did it.”

Eustace explained they eliminated many of the dangers people had seen before. “The suit was the highest pressure suit America has ever built …. I felt 100 percent safe but it was hard to convince my wife of that.”

He continued, “My wife has banned me from anything extremely dangerous in the future. Now we’re negotiating what’s ‘extremely dangerous.’”

Tastes Like Chicken – When Bug Chef David George Gordon serves you the perennial kid’s favorite, “ants on a log,” be forewarned. The same goes for the teriyaki grasshopper kabobs. Dial back on your gag reflex because instead of raisins, they’re real ants and real grasshoppers. When keynote speaker Neil deGrasse Tyson (above) munched on a deep-fried tarantula, the scene was Tweeted, Facebooked, and Instagrammed so much it’s a wonder his snack didn’t break the Internet.

Carole Zimmer blogged about his reaction on NPR:

Seeking a Place in a GPS World

In a major feature story about the Club, New York Times reporter Daniel Engber ponders in the Mar. 30 edition, “These days, many of our most thrilling expeditions are made remotely, using robot arms and sensors, and in place of legendary ship captains and mountaineers – think of Ernest Shackleton and Sir Edmund Hillary – we have expansive teams of scientists and engineers.

“It’s hard to say if these men and women are explorers in the classic sense,” he writes.

Read the story at:

Long for Exploration

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, in accepting the Explorers Club Medal, said, “They don’t teach you to explore. You teach a person to long for exploration.”

National Geographic Channel is turning Tyson's radio program, Startalk, into a late night talk show. Filmed in front of a live studio audience, Tyson will continue the conversation about extraterrestrial life and space travel. It premieres Apr. 20.

Purest Form of Exploration

Cave explorer Bill Steele, who received the Club’s Citation of Merit, said, “Caves are by their very nature out of sight and out of mind. But they are the purest form of exploration. You don’t know unless you go.”

He continued, “Let’s spark the youth of today to be the next generation of explorers.”

Ted Janulis Becomes 43rd Explorers Club President

As part of ECAD Weekend, the Club board selected Theodore P. Janulis, 56, also known as Ted, to succeed Alan Nichols as Club president. Janulis has been chief executive officer of CRT Greenwich LLC since 2014. Prior to that, Janulis served as chief executive officer of Aurora Bank FSB. Before Aurora, he spent 23 years at Lehman Brothers in various senior management roles.

He serves on the Boards of the Lehman Brothers Foundation, Ronald McDonald House and the International Center for Photography. Janulis holds an MBA from Columbia University and holds an AB from Harvard College.

New App Helps Explorers Create Mini-Movies

Magisto is a new app being used by explorers to document their expeditions with a smartphone. Once videos and photos are uploaded, Magisto turns them into edited movies, complete with music and effects, in minutes.
The new technology was used to record ECAD and can be seen here:


"I have come to surmise, in the culinary universe, that anytime someone feels compelled to wrap something in bacon, it probably doesn't taste very good.”

– Neil deGrasse Tyson with a Cambodian cricket rumaki canape, wrapped in bacon, at ECAD 2015. Tyson is the director of the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium and host of the TV program, Cosmos: A Space Odyssey.


Robin Wright Joins Everest Movie Cast

Sam Worthington and Netflix House of Cards star Robin Wright have joined the high-wattage cast of Everest, the true-life adventure movie being made by Universal, Working Title and Cross Creek.

According to The Hollywood Reporter (Mar. 24), Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes and Jake Gyllenhaal are already on board the project, which follows two different expeditions trying to reach the summit who both get walloped by storms.

Wright will play the wife of Brolin's character, a doctor who braves the elements over an arduous night. Worthington will play Guy Cotter, a scaling expert from New Zealand.

Universal is releasing the movie Sept. 18, 2015. Baltasar Kormákur (2 Guns, Contraband) is directing.
The film is currently shooting on location in Nepal and will also shoot in the Italian Dolomites and at Cinecitta Studios in Rome and Pinewood Studios in the U.K.

Alex Knows What Alex Can Do

Alex Honnold, 29, is one of the two or three best rock climbers on earth, according to Daniel Duane of the New York Times (Mar. 12). Honnold has free-soloed (no ropes or aids) the longest, most challenging climbs ever, including the 2,500-foot northwest face of Half Dome in Yosemite Valley, where some of the handholds are so small that no average climber could cling for an instant, roped or otherwise.

Duane writes, “One generation aid-climbs a route, the next climbs it in record time, the next free-climbs it, then it’s time for someone to climb it without ropes. But free-soloing is so much more dangerous and frightening, even to highly experienced climbers, that a vast majority want no part of it.”

Honnold’s mother was asked how she tolerated her son’s climbing life. She tells Duane that at some point she realized that she couldn’t live with worrying all the time. “Alex is the only one on the planet who knows what Alex can do, and I’ve had to learn to just trust that.”

Not everyone is impressed. One reader doubts the accomplishments donate to any greater good. Steve L. of New Paltz, N.Y. posts on the Times website, “I don’t know why anyone struggling to raise children, keep a job, service a car, find love, stay alive in the real world would care about such patently arbitrary goals.”

Read the complete story here:

In Praise of Microadventures

British author, blogger and motivational speaker Alastair Humphreys, 38, earned the title of a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2012. Since then, Humphreys, author of Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes (HarperCollins Publishers, 2014), has been preaching the gospel of short, perspective-shifting bursts of travel closer to home, inspiring followers to pitch a tent in nearby woods, explore their city by moonlight, or hold a family slumber party in the backyard.

“My original idea,” he tells Diane Daniel of the New York Times (Mar. 17), “Was to try to do the most epic things I possibly could without going far, but I found that ‘epic’ limited people from participating in the idea. The key is getting beyond the excuses. If you can’t climb a mountain, climb a hill.”

Humphreys continues, “A lot of people use working from 9 to 5 as an obstacle. But instead, look at the opportunity. After 5 p.m., you have 16 hours that are all yours. So you can ride your bike or take the train out of town, sleep outside somewhere and come back to work maybe a bit rumpled but feeling great.”

Read the story here:

Is Anybody Home?

Speaking of the Twilight Zone, and fictional accounts of space aliens who come to earth “to serve man,” Seth Shostak, director of the Center for SETI Research at the SETI Institute, responds in the New York Times (Mar. 29) to critics of active SETI – proactively sending messages out into space.

“Why has the sending of dispatches to worlds many trillions of miles distant suddenly become a hot-button issue? The simple answer is that there’s now a perception that advertising our existence could be a mortal threat to the planet,” he writes.

“… to believe that only Earth has spawned intelligence is to insist that our world is the site of a miracle. That point of view rarely appeals to scientists.”

He continues, “But we know nothing of the aliens’ possible motives or behavior. Therefore, it’s conceivable that betraying our existence might prompt aggressive action from space.”

Shostak adds, “Broadcasting is likened to ‘shouting in the jungle’ – not a good idea when you don’t know what’s out there. The British physicist Stephen Hawking alluded to this danger by noting that on Earth, when less advanced societies drew the attention of those more advanced, the consequences for the former were seldom agreeable.”

Nonetheless, he concludes, “the universe beckons, and we can do better than to declare that future generations should endlessly tremble at the sight of the stars.”

Read the story here:

‘Stached Away

Captain Mark Kelly, a former astronaut and the husband of retired Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, has joined NBC News and MSNBC as a Space and Aviation Contributor. In his new role, he will cover space and aviation issues and events across on-air and digital platforms. Kelly’s first news story for the networks covered the start of his twin brother Scott Kelly’s historic year-long mission to the International Space Station.

Scott Kelly's twin fooled NASA personnel just prior to April Fool’s Day when he showed up to his brother's launch sans his signature facial hair.

Mark Kelly shaved off his mustache — for many, a distinguishing feature between the two twins – to trick NASA honchos into thinking he was Scott, according to the Associated Press.

Scott Kelly, at the time, was in Kazakhstan prepping to blast off with Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka on a one-year International Space Station mission.

"He fooled all of us," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden told the AP when he first saw Mark Kelly, thinking he was Scott, who should have been on the launch pad. "(The mustache was) the only way I can tell you two apart."

Scott and Mark Kelly are part of NASA's historic Twins Study, which will examine the effects of space on Scott Kelly vs. Mark Kelly on Earth for a one-year period. The study is widely seen as a precursor for a manned mission to Mars.

Follow Mark Kelly on Facebook here:

Shack’s American Team Member’s Daughter Praises Exploration

A recent presentation at the Peter White Public Library in Marquette, Mich., commemorated the 100-year anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s incredible tale of survival (see related story). Elizabeth Bakewell Rajala, daughter of the only American on board, shared a copy of the IMAX film, Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure, and commented, “It's good for people to look back and see what was done in history because we didn't just get where we are today without the development of various instruments and various people exploring different parts of our world.”

She wrote a book based on the journal her father, William L. Bakewell (1888-1969), kept during his adventure.

See the local TV interview here:


The Blue Zones Solution

Live Like the World’s Healthiest People

National Geographic fellow and author Dan Buettner (The Blue Zones, 2008) is back with a well-organized game plan for a long and well-lived life in The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World's Healthiest People (National Geographic, 2015).

Taking what he’s learned from over a decade of studying the so-called Blue Zones – five hot spots across the globe where people enjoy optimal health and vitality well into their 90s, and as centenarians – Buettner and his colleagues tested whether Blue Zones could be willfully created, targeting communities in California, Iowa, and Minnesota.

Buettner neatly distills the enriching lifestyles, environments, and diets found in each area into small changes anyone can adopt. He also offers intriguing glimpses into other projects in progress and shares more than 80 pages of life-extending recipes designed to be cooked in the average American kitchen.

Buettner’s National Geographic cover story on longevity, “The Secrets of Living Longer” was one of their top-selling issues in history and made him a finalist for a National Magazine Award. He holds three Guinness World Records for cycling six continents.

For more information:


The Polar Sea 360

This new VR (virtual reality) app offers a complete tour of the Arctic area between Canada and Greenland, starting from a satellite view of the earth then continuing to a helicopter and boat ride over the planet’s coldest water and icebergs. Interviews with scientists, hunters and sailors round out the experience. The immersive experience is considered by its creators the future of movie making. For more information:



Captains who have attained the necessary experience navigating polar waters. An icemaster is not only familiar with the unique wind, weather and current dynamics in polar waters, he or she is also intimately familiar with all the forms of ice and the unique challenges each form presents. (Source: Lindblad Expeditions)


Young for His Age

Nick Cienski, a veteran mountaineer and outerwear designer for Under Armour, who we explained in our March issue will be embarking on an expedition to summit six of the world’s highest peaks in one year, is 48, not 28 as originally reported. We thought he looked young for his age.


Adventure Photographer Seeks Speaking Opportunities - International documentary photographer Daryl Hawk has spent the past 25 years adventuring alone in some of the most remote places on earth. Using his own compelling photographs as examples and his powerful storytelling, he offers dynamic presentations that inspire his audiences to see the world with new eyes. Contact Daryl at,, 203 834 9595

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 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:

Advertise in Expedition News – For more information:

EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 1281 East Main Street – Suite 104, Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Tel. 203 655 1600, Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Assistant editor: Jamie Gribbon. Research editor: Lee Kovel. ©2015 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr. available by e-mail only. Credit card payments accepted through Read EXPEDITION NEWS at Enjoy the EN blog at

Friday, March 13, 2015

Under Armour Sponsors Six Summits Expedition


He’s led some of the largest expeditions in modern history – to the North Pole, Greenland south to north, and across Antarctica the longest way possible. This time however, polar explorer Will Steger, 70, of Ely and St. Paul, Minn., is going it alone. This month the wiry adventurer will begin a 200-mile canoe-sled solo expedition over the northern rivers and lakes along the Minnesota/Canadian border. Through daily satellite dispatches, he will share the adventure along the way, attempting to answer, as he puts it, “just what goes on inside an explorer’s head, the ‘why’ behind my fifty-years of expedition experience.”

Will Steger’s custom-made canoe-sled, similar to this one he used in a March 2014 journey, can travel over snow, ice or open water. (Photo courtesy of Will Steger taken at his homestead in Ely, Minn.)

The route travels through Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park and the border lakes of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Minnesota. The expedition will begin on Lake Saganaga at the terminus of the Gunflint trail eventually ending at his cabin north of Ely. It’s a rough wilderness of waterfalls, rapids, and steep narrows, ranging from small gem-like lakes to large complex bodies of frozen water. As the ice breaks up, he’ll have less hauling and expects to log 20 to 30 mile days. Steger will travel with four weeks of food and fuel that he can ration down to last five weeks or more, if necessary. Maybe longer if he decides to eat his boots (just kidding).

His 40 lb. Phoenix canoe sled from Northstar Canoe is an amphibious craft that can be hauled through snow or over ice, or paddled in open water or down rivers. It’s the same craft that enabled him to travel when the spring ice broke up in the polar and arctic regions as well as in northern snow country.
“Traveling in the wilderness is a continual learning experience for me, even after 50 years. Constantly adding to my knowledge base, in turn, helps build my intuition,” he tells EN.

“Most of my decision-making is intuitive or spontaneous. Because I often need to act immediately, I seldom use a conscious thinking process, which is too slow and clumsy and can be dangerous. I have traveled on thin ice for most of my life. However, there is always more to learn and rivers at spring break-up are good teachers.”

Regarding safety, he says, “I know when to back down,” he says. “I have turned back on four major expeditions in my career; each took years to plan, to train and to fundraise for. It was hard to turn back, but evaluating the risk and acting responsibly is why I am still around.”

He continues, “I travel with humility and respect, which I consider the core values of the northern cultures and the basis for their survival. In the wilderness, the risk takers and the over confident are playing the odds. The odds are that nature always wins and you will either get yourself injured or, worse yet, killed. On a solo expedition there is little if any margin for error.

“I have had plenty of experience in the past on traveling rivers in the winter and early spring. I have great respect for the current that flows under the ice; in fact, I have a healthy fear of it,” Steger emails.

For more information:


This year Nick Cienski, 48, a veteran mountaineer and outerwear designer for Under Armour, will embark on an expedition to summit six of the world’s highest peaks in one year. Reportedly, it’s never been done in that span of time before. The 6 Summits Challenge begins when Cienski, based in Baltimore, leaves later this month for Everest and wraps up this fall with 26,781-ft. Manaslu.

Cienski is the founder of Mission 14, a non-profit organization that will use this model of extreme adventure philanthropy to boost awareness for human trafficking and raise funds for other non-profit organizations that help fight trafficking and rehabilitate victims.

Nick Cienski is funded by Under Armour and hopes to climb six of the world’s highest peaks in one year (Photo courtesy 6 Summits Expedition)

The expedition is funded and backed entirely by corporate sponsors like Under Armour, so all money raised goes to the groups fighting human trafficking.

"Climbing mountains is what I know and raising awareness for human trafficking is what I am called to do, so I created a new and engaging way to accomplish this mission," Cienski continues.

His website asks, “Aren’t all expeditions that shroud themselves in charity ‘fake?’”

Cienski answers, “Absolutely not. We are not the first, nor will we be the last charity to climb mountains to make a difference in the world. Just as golfers host charity golf tournaments, and runners often run for a cause, we believe that mountaineers can do the same.

"Breaking this world record will attract significant media attention. While I have that spotlight, Mission 14 can increase awareness of the extent and horrors of human trafficking. Make no mistake, slavery exists today and it’s right in our own backyard.”

The 6 Summits Challenge will begin in Nepal in early April 2015 by climbing Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest peak and summiting in early May, followed by Mt. Everest in mid-May, and then Makalu, the world’s fifth highest mountain at the end of May. This fall, the team will summit Cho Oyo, Manaslu, and Shishapangma, the world's 6th, 8th, and 14th highest peaks, respectively.

Organizational Leader Russell Brice, world-renowned mountaineer, trek guide, and founder of the Himalayan Experience, will head the massive logistics and organizational requirements for the 6 Summits Challenge. The head Sherpa for the expedition is Phurba Tashi, who has not only summited Mount Everest 21 times, but also holds the record for the most total ascents of the world's 8,000 meter mountains, summiting 35 times, more than anyone in the world. Sandi Cienski, Nick’s wife and director of operations for Mission 14, will provide ground support at all base camps by assisting with social media and photography.

To learn more about Mission 14 visit

To learn more about the 6 Summits Challenge and the climbing team, visit


Dooley-Sponsored U.S. Medical Team Returns to Nepal

Blindness is a severe public health problem in Nepal, especially in the remote mountain villages. This spring the Dooley Intermed International 2015 Restore Vision Expedition will provide free eye examinations, eyeglasses and sight-restoring surgeries to villagers in the Upper Gorkha region of Nepal from May 1 to 10, 2015. Due to the extremely remote location and lack of roads, the team will travel on foot across mountain trails while transporting equipment using a mule caravan, according to Dooley Intermed president Scott Hamilton, expedition leader. They were last in the Lower Mustang region of the country in May 2013 (see EN, June 2013).

Nepali woman and child clutch a pair of reading glasses in 2013 issued by Dooley Intermed in Kagbeni, Lower Mustang, Nepal.

The eye and vision team will examine and treat 1,500 to 1,800 villagers in need of eye care, including comprehensive eye screening, refraction, prescription eyeglasses, cataract and other ophthalmic surgeries.

A multi-day eye screening camp will be established in the central village of Machhakhola, including a field surgery clinic with skilled surgeons providing cataract operations and related ophthalmic treatment. Screening will also be conducted at a primary school in the village of Lapu Besi, Hamilton explains.

In addition to Dooley Intermed International, the expedition is sponsored by ISMS-Operation Restore Vision (, Sherpa Adventure Gear which is providing Nepal-manufactured outdoor apparel for the team (, and Eureka High Camp Tents by Johnson Outdoors (

Supporters are: DeLorme inReach Explorer Two-Way Satellite Communicator with built-in Navigation, and Power Practical Portable Chargers.

The team’s 2013 sight-restoring expedition to the Lower Mustang region of Nepal can be seen in a nine-minute “Gift of Sight” documentary posted to

The expedition will issue daily blogs on Facebook and Twitter that will also be posted to, courtesy of Expedition News whose editor, Jeff Blumenfeld, will again accompany the group.

Additional sponsorship support is being sought. For more information, contact Scott Hamilton, 646 753 0020,


Antarctic Skipper Tells Would-be Visitors: “Get a Map”

Skip Novak, a world ocean racing champion, a veteran round the world racer and the foremost expert on polar sailing, spoke on Mar. 4 in the Model Room of the New York Yacht Club in New York.

Novak first came to fame as an offshore racer, competing four times in the Whitbread Round the World Race. Seeking to combine his love of the outdoors and mountaineering with his passion for sailing, Novak built the expedition yacht Pelagic in Southampton, England, in 1987 and has spent every season since in Antarctic waters, many of which were leading combined climbing and filming projects based from his two vessels.

Novak says he’s very selective when accepting clients to book travel on the Pelagic. “We get a lot of crackpots,” he says. “They ask to sail to the South Pole. We tell them to check their maps first.”

He says tourism is at the saturation point in Antarctica, “no doubt about it.” Novak says signatories of the Antarctic Treaty are worried about the impact of tourism. “It’s discussed endlessly.”

He echoed the sentiment that “there’s no better way to see Antarctica than sitting in a kayak with just a millimeter of plastic between you and the environment.” Novak regrets there’s now a service that will drive visitors to the South Pole in trucks, and fleets of personal super yachts are sailing to the continent “with all the toys – Jetskis, helicopters, and so on.”

Novak tells NYYC members, “The age of adventure at the South Pole is long past.”

The presentation included a video from Jon Bowermaster of an iceberg arch collapsing, footage that took five hours of continuous taping to capture. You can see a clip of it here:

The "Model Room" which contains a notable collection of full and half hull models including a scale model history of all New York Yacht Club America's Cup challenges, is one of the most iconic meeting spaces in Manhattan.

Take a tour here:

Learn more about Pelagic Expeditions at:

Honduras Expedition Discovers Untouched Ruins

An expedition team of researchers has discovered the uncharted ruins of an unidentified culture's lost city in the heart of a Honduras rainforest. A “were-jaguar” effigy, likely representing a combination of a human and spirit animal, is part of a still-buried ceremonial seat, or metate, one of many artifacts discovered in a cache in ruins deep in the Honduran jungle.

The team ventured into the isolated, uninhabited area led by "long-standing rumors" it was the site of a fabled "White City" in the legend known as the "City of the Monkey God," National Geographic reported.

Archaeologists surveyed and mapped the land that thrived a thousand years ago then vanished, and they discovered a large amount of stone sculptures that were untouched since the city was abandoned, the magazine added. The team, including Christopher Fisher, a Mesoamerican archaeologist from Colorado State University, documented the artifacts at the site, but did not excavate them, National Geographic reported, adding that the location is not being revealed to protect the site from looters.

Read more at:

Join the Search for the Lost Warships of the 1697 Battle of Hudson Bay

Space is available to join an expedition seeking warships lost in September 1697 near the south shores of Hudson Bay in Canada. The battle occurred during King William’s War when the French-Canadian Pierre Le Moyne D’Iberville engaged an English naval squadron at York Fort. D’Iberville’s warship, Le Pelican, had been separated during the trip through the Hudson Strait and arrived before his other ships. Le Pelican had sailed out to guide what D’Iberville thought was three friendly ships through the treacherous shoals. He then engaged the ships (a Royal Navy frigate and two armed Hudson’s Bay Company merchantmen) after he realized they were English.

The 2013 Fara Heim Expedition at Marsh Point at York Factory, Manitoba, on Explorers Club Flag Expedition 109 to Hudson Bay. (Photo courtesy David Collette)

The initial engagement between the four ships lasted almost three hours. Then D’Iberville and Captain John Fletcher of the Hampshire viciously and repeatedly broadsided each other until the Hampshire sunk with all hands lost. Le Pelican was beached to save its crew.

In search of the warships, The Fara Heim Expedition, based in Cincinnati and Winnipeg, has journeyed twice to York Factory, a settlement and factory (trading post) located on the southwestern shore of Hudson Bay in northeastern Manitoba, at the mouth of the Hayes River, approximately 120 mi. south-southeast of Churchill.

The ships have never been found due to a combination of the remoteness of the site and the lack of technology that a private expedition could access.

The area has been searched using satellite imagery, interviews were conducted with local sources to collect oral history, they analyzed the cartography of the past 300 years against current conditions, evaluated isostatic rebound, used a drone for airborne imagery, completed multiple land and sea searches with magnetometers, and traveled the Nelson River by boat. All to no avail.

In August, the expedition will continue the search with a complete suite of electronic sensors and the ability to dive.

Fara Heim will be taking “Adventurers with Purpose” on the expedition for one-week periods in August for approximately $4,500.

For more information: David Collette, 262 960 2959,,


"The goal is to make living itself, the act of being alive, one’s vocation, knowing full well that nothing ultimately can be planned or anticipated, no blueprint found to predict the outcome of something as complex as a human life.”

– Wade Davis, Canadian anthropologist, ethnobotanist, author and photographer, speaking at the 2014 Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Awards Dinner, Santa Ana, Calif.


91-Year-Old Mountain Trooper is Still Getting it Done

Seventy years ago last month the legendary ski and mountaineering troops of World War II faced their first real combat on Italy’s Riva Ridge. The division was the only unit of its size in the U.S. Army to specialize in fighting in mountainous and arctic conditions, thus earning the division the “Mountain” tab. Richard Calvert, 91, Wolfeboro, N.H., a veteran of the 10th is still going strong, racing Mar. 6-7 at Cranmore Mountain Resort, North Conway, N.H.

The Associated Press was there to cover his winning run – as expected he won his age group:

Grid Hiker’s Quest is in the Bag

We’ve long admired the determination of peak baggers, whether they attempt to climb the tallest point of every state, or the tallest point in 3,143 U.S. county or parishes. New Hampshire State Senator Jeb Bradley is known as a White Mountain Grid hiker, determined to climb all forty-eight 4,000-footer-plus New Hampshire mountains in each month of the year. Wait. What? Each mountain, 12 times. 48 peaks. 576 summits. Countless miles of hiking, through snow, rain, wind, bugs, just about every obstacle imaginable.

Fewer than 50 people have completed the Grid, according to a Jan. 30 story by Erik Eisele in the Conway (N.H.) Daily Sun. On Jan. 14 State Senator Jeb Bradley made his way over ice, rock and snow to the summits of Adams and Madison, ticking off the last ascents he needed to become White Mountain Grid Hiker Number 49.

Read the story here:

There Will Be Beer on Mars

It’s the great writing that attracts us to Playboy each month, especially when we read under the covers with a flashlight. One recent example …
In February a team of scientists and space enthusiasts locked themselves into the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), a simulated red planet base in Hanksville, Utah. The base is one of four in the world run by the Mars Society, a nonprofit that wants humans to settle on Mars. Thirteen crews of volunteers will rotate through the bases through May 2015, helping advance the science still needed for colonization, according to Playboy’s resident “hangover specialist” Alyson Sheppard.

Kellie Gerardi struts like a Martian at the simulated red planet base in Utah (Photo courtesy Kellie Gerardi)

At the remote base in Utah, the seven surrogate astronauts were testing vital space research, such as emergency response procedures, extraplanetary terraforming and ballistic-launched aerial imaging. And, of course, how to brew beer on other planets.

“While there are many hurdles to overcome in the effort to colonize Mars, we think the ability to enjoy a cold beer might just make the trip a little more appealing,” says crewmember Kellie Gerardi, who works for a rocket company.

But growing and brewing beer on Mars isn’t just practical. It’s a bargaining chip., writes Sheppard. “If we truly want to democratize access to space, and incentivize people to take an interest in space activities, then we need to do everything in our power to make it more appealing,” Gerardi says. “I see a future where space settlement isn’t a sacrifice – it’s an opportunity.”

This being Playboy, the story includes a glam shot of three volunteers. Read the entire story here:

In Search of Happiness

Author Lisa Sonne of Agoura Hills, Calif., is gathering inspiring quotes, tips, research and short anecdotes about happiness for a book. If EN readers have something to share about happiness and exploration, learning, discovery, and travel, get in touch. She’s also seeking writings by explorers that addresses happiness. Contact her at:


Shark Lady Eugenie Clark Dies at 92

Eugenie Clark, an American marine biologist who fell in love with sharks as a child with her nose pressed against an aquarium tank – and whose research on the much maligned species earned her the nickname "Shark Lady" – died Feb. 25 in Sarasota, Fla. She was 92.

The death was confirmed by National Geographic photographer David Doubilet, her colleague and friend.

A pioneer in the use of scuba gear to conduct underwater scientific research and a veteran of more than 70 deep dives in submersibles, Clark continued diving into her nineties, even after being diagnosed with non-smoking-related lung cancer.

Chris Fischer, founding chairman and expedition leader of OCEARCH, commented to EN, “Genie Clark inspired people by simply doing what she loved most, teaching us all about the science of the ocean while making it an experience. Her leadership at Mote Marine Laboratory, one of the finest institutions of its kind in the world, set the bar for others in the field of marine science … we (named) a white shark after Genie, something that will hopefully encourage more girls and women to enter the field of marine science. She was a true pioneer who believed in leading by example,” Fischer said.

In tribute, underwater photojournalist and explorer Anne Doubilet posts this Eugenie Clark quote from an NPR interview: "People come to me (Clark) and say ‘what'll I do if I go in the water and see a shark?’ You don't have to do anything. The chances of that shark attacking you in any way is so remote. The sea should be enjoyed, the animals in it. When you see a shark underwater, you should say how lucky I am to see this beautiful animal in his environment."

Read Clark’s obituary here:


The 7th Explorers Club Film Festival, May 15-16, 2015

The 7th Explorers Club Film Festival opens May 15 with a restored showing of The Epic of Everest, the 1924 film of George Mallory's fatal Everest expedition, introduced by Tim McHenry, director of public programs and performance for the Rubin Museum in New York.

The festival will close May 16 with George Butler and Caroline Alexander's eagerly anticipated documentary Tiger, Tiger, filmed in the ancient, threatened kingdom of the Royal Bengal Tiger of the Sundarbans at the southernmost edge of the Bengal Delta.
For more information:

Zermatt Celebrates the First Ascent of the Matterhorn

On July 14, 1865, the British climber Edward Whymper reached the 14,692-ft. (4478 m) peak of the fabled Matterhorn together with his rope team. Four climbers who accompanied him died because of a frayed rope, which is now on display in the Zermatlantis museum in the Swiss town of Zermatt.
One-hundred-fifty years later, the Matterhorn still stamps its imprint on the village at its base. In 2015, Zermatt will celebrate the mountain and the alpine tradition with events, experiences, festivities and special offers.

For more information and to view a four-minute commemorative video:


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 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:

Advertise in Expedition News – For more information:

EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 1281 East Main Street – Suite 104, Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Tel. 203 655 1600, Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Assistant editor: Jamie Gribbon. Research editor: Lee Kovel. ©2015 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr. available by e-mail only. Credit card payments accepted through Read EXPEDITION NEWS at Enjoy the EN blog at

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Adventurer Turns Iceberg Into Floating Campsite

Alex Bellini, an Italian adventurer, endurance athlete, writer and professional speaker, plans to survive on the tip of an iceberg off northwest Greenland in December 2015 to witness the last phase of its long life. He's prepared to stay in place for as long as 12 months, unless of course it tips over earlier.

Alex Bellini's Survival Capsule

"The Adrift 2015 project will study global warming, along with fear, pain and sleep-related issues. It will be the journey of a man on an iceberg and the journey of human kind on this planet, adrift," he tells EN.

He plans to embed himself on the iceberg in a spherical 8-ft. diameter aluminum Survival Capsule designed by aerospace engineers based in Seattle.

No stranger to hardship, in 2000 to 2001, he participated in extreme marathons, including the Marathon des Sables. In 2002 to 2003 he twice ran across Alaska, self-supported, for a total of 1,200 miles. On May 2, 2006, he reached Brazil after rowing from in 226 days and over 6,835 miles. In this journey he endured five days of starvation before reaching the remote San Pedro and San Paolo archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. In 2008, he also rowed across the Pacific Ocean, from Perù to Australia, in 300 days. More recently, in 2011, Bellini ran across U.S. in 70 days.

A resident of Thame, Oxfordshire, U.K., the 36-year-old is a qualified Sport and Business performance coach. He is the author of two books published by Longanesi: Mi Chiamavano Montanaro (2007) and Il Pacifico a Remi (2010). The latter has also been published in English as Alone Across the Pacific Ocean (2013, Kindle edition)

Individuals are sought to contribute to building the capsule.

For more information: Alex Bellini,,, tel: +44 7478226625


James Cameron's The Dive to Star Jennifer Lawrence as Audrey Mestre

Francis Lawrence and Jennifer Lawrence will star in James Cameron's The Dive. After years of development, plenty of writers and at least two other directors (including Martin Campbell and Cameron himself), the Mockingjay duo is jumping on the story of the 2003 record-breaking "no limits" free dive of Pipin Ferreras, which was a special event commemorating the death of Ferreras's wife, Audrey Mestre, during a record attempt a year earlier.

Mestre, who will be portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence, died at the age of 28 in a freediving accident on Oct. 12, 2002, approximately 2-1/2 miles off the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic. She was attempting to officially break the world freediving record with a dive of 557.7 feet (170 m), a depth she achieved unofficially during a practice dive three days before. (See EN, November 2002).

In the book The Last Attempt, written by Carlos Serra, a former partner of Ferreras, Serra hints that the couple was on the verge of divorce and it probably wasn't an accident - though not murder, either. Serra believes this was a failed plot aimed at making Ferreras look like a hero when he saved his wife following a mere mishap.

A release date was not announced.

Read more at:


The Ice Ax Man

Rob Rowley is ready for you to "ax" him about his collection

When we spotted a bear of a man with a Santa Claus beard at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market last month, carrying an ice axe sharp enough to pick the spinach out of your teeth, well, this was someone we had to meet. Rob Rowley from North Salt Lake calls himself the Ice Ax Man and has perhaps the largest ice ax (he spells it without the "e") collection in the U.S.
Blind climber Erik Weihenmayer started him off on his quest in 2004, and since then he has 40 signed axes, many penned multiple times.

A retired Subaru car mechanic, he and his wife Kathryn travel the world on humanitarian missions, often hand-carrying medical supplies to India. There are axes at home in his man cave signed by Sir Edmund Hillary and Maurice Herzog, and all sorts of adventurers, mountaineers and authors.

His preferred pen is the Sharpie and his current goal is to find a home for his unique collection when he's no longer around to add to the collection. Got any ideas? Reach him at

Roskelley Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Spokane climber and author John Roskelley received a Lifetime Achievement Award during the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market Inspiration Awards in Salt Lake on Jan. 22. He's known for his first ascents and notable climbs of 7,000- and 8,000-meter peaks in Nepal, India and Pakistan. The fifth annual Outdoor Inspiration Awards, sponsored by adidas Outdoor, recognizes individuals, groups and companies whose efforts go above and beyond in inspiring others to enjoy, participate in and support outdoor activities. Other sponsors include Boys Scouts of America and PrimaLoft.

Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival Announces Mountaineering Article Award

The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival announced a new Banff Mountain Book Competition award in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Festival. The Mountaineering Article Award will be awarded to authors of articles or short form essays of up to 7,000 words on the theme of mountaineering, climbing or mountain adventure.

Articles may be fiction, historical or non-fiction narratives and must have been printed within the last two years to qualify for submission. Articles must be submitted by publishers and editors of print publications, not by individual authors.

The $2,000 Mountaineering Article Award is sponsored by the University of Alberta - Faculty of Physical Education, The Canadian Mountain Studies Initiative and The Alpine Club of Canada.

For more information:,


"At times, during the long hours of steady tramping across the trackless snow-fields, one's thoughts flow in a clear and limpid stream, the mind is unruffled and composed and the passion of a great venture springing suddenly before the imagination is sobered by the calmness of pure reason."

- Sir Douglas Mawson (1882-1958), Australian geologist, Antarctic explorer and academic.


World Entralled by Dawn Wall Feat

From The Today Show to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, People magazine, a Vanity Fair photo shoot, and hundreds of online outlets, newspapers and radio stations in between, the world was fascinated by Tommy Caldwell, 36, and 30-year-old Kevin Jorgeson's climb of El Capitan's Dawn Wall. The 5.14+ route is generally considered the hardest climb in the world.

Although Caldwell and Jorgeson are both sponsored by outdoor brands, none of their sponsors officially supported the climb. While both are sponsored by Black Diamond, Caldwell is an athlete with Patagonia; Jorgeson is sponsored by adidas Outdoor. All three of the brands have authentic roots in mountaineering and compete head to head in the technical apparel market for the allegiance of serious rock climbers, according to

"The event presented an unusual marketing opportunity, because unlike Mt. Everest or polar ice caps, Yosemite offers excellent mobile phone reception. That enabled Caldwell and Jorgeson and several film crews documenting their climb to crank out a steady stream of tweets and images that engaged their followers on social media," posts on Jan. 17.

Speed climber Hans Florine speculates about the popularity of the Dawn Wall project when so many climbers have made history in and out of Yosemite Valley.

Florine asked in his pre-climb post, "But why has this climb captured the attention of the mainstream media and the nation? Moreover, what can we all take away from the extraordinary feat Tommy and Kevin are tackling right now? Three things come to mind: they committed to something huge; they decided it was important to them; they are living, enjoying and being rewarded by the process... not the end result," Florine writes.

He continues, "Climbing is silly. Climbing a 3,000-foot wall is silly and dangerous. Climbing it in the 'free climbing' style they have chosen is at best an extreme niche of 'craziness.' But is it crazy? These guys have chosen to push the very limits of their ability. They've chosen to hone their skills in their chosen field every day, every week, every month, every year. They haven't settled on dabbling or entertaining themselves on smaller projects. They chose an enormous goal that requires all the various climbing skills and fitness they've worked so hard on for many years.

"Most rewarding things in life require the greatest input and effort. Money or community support couldn't force or even encourage most people to take on this big a challenge. Yes, there is outside support now. That is because people are drawn to supporting mind-blowing accomplishment like this."

He later writes, "What we can all take away from this adventure is the inspiration to take on bigger challenges, set your mind to task and enjoy every step of the process. And that is pretty cool."

Read the entire story here:

PR Pros Handle Media Frenzy

Patagonia and adidas Outdoor sent public relations representatives to Yosemite to handle the demand from media to put the climbers on the air live as soon after the climb as possible. Chris Goddard, president of CGPR Public Relations, representing adidas Outdoor, blogs, "This story exploded beyond anything we could have imagined. From the U.K.'s The Times to Brazilian TV, to Australian morning shows, to the barrage of morning show and broadcast appearances, this journey struck a chord with everyday people looking to achieve a dream.

Kevin Jorgeson meets the press. (Photo credit: Chris Goddard, PR Counsel for adidas Outdoor)

"When Jess (Clayton, representing Patagonia) and I saw that they had achieved their dream - our phones blew up with texts and calls from media all over the world wanting to speak to Kevin and Tommy. The calls did not stop, even through the night (and I do mean through the entire night) from media that wanted to connect with the climbers first - they all had to be first. Then the word came that POTUS was trying to reach them, and then came the famous Presidential tweet," writes Goddard.

"Thursday began at 3:30 a.m. with every single morning show and The Weather Channel, followed by interviews literally almost every 15 minutes, a packed press conference with over 20 cameras, emotions running high, over 20 one-on-one interviews, and finally an opportunity to have a quiet dinner with friends.

"Kevin and Tommy exhibited an immense amount of grace and class throughout the entire madness, despite the fact that they were exhausted and Tommy lost his voice. They completed every interview with a smile and incredible poise. Every single interviewer from Anderson Cooper to Chris Cuomo to Matt Lauer were genuinely interested, intrigued and in awe of what these two climbers accomplished," Goddard blogs.

Read Goddard's complete blog here:

AAC Honors

Both Dawn Wall climbers shared the stage with famed climbers Reinhold Messner and Fred Beckey at the American Alpine Club annual dinner in New York on Jan. 31. They received lifetime honorary memberships to the AAC amidst a standing ovation from the estimated 500 people in attendance.

The dinner and earlier presentations by climbing notables Melissa Arnot, Sir Chris Bonington, Dave Hahn, Ueli Steck, was covered by climber Alan Arnette in his blog which can be viewed at:


"Slowly I Turned, Step By Step, Inch By Inch"

Plenty of people have gone down Niagara Falls over the years but Will Gadd - recently named a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year - became the first person to ever go up the frozen falls using his skills as one of the world's best ice climbers, according to writer Josh Sampiero.

Gadd tells him, "I checked out the spot we were thinking of climbing in the summer. You'd be swept away by the torrential downpour then." But this year's cold winter slowed water flow, allowing climbable ice to form. "On a warm winter, there's no climb here."

Gaddzooks! (Photo credit:

After working with NYS Parks Department and NYS Parks Police, Gadd and his team were able to create a comprehensive plan to ensure the climb could be done safely and the necessary precautions were taken to protect the natural environment.

There were two priorities for the climb - ethics and safety. "We're doing it on natural protection," Gadd said. "No bolts. There won't be one thing left in the ice that wasn't there to begin with, and that's the best possible way to do it." The line - which sits on the American side of the Horseshoe section of Niagara, near what's known as Terrapin Point - extends approximately 147 feet from bottom to top.

"That climb beat me up. I may have reached the top, but Niagara won the war. At the end of the day I was hypothermic. That waterfall did a lot more damage to me than I did to it!"

Read the entire story here:

Climber Has a Candy Crush

When Edgar Parra travels for business, he usually eats about three Snickers bars a day. He's got an excuse: A regular workday can involve carrying an 80-pound pack across a glacier or shuttling gear to a high-altitude base camp. "You need sugar when you're up there," the 35-year-old mountain guide tells Hilary Potkewitz in the Nov. 12 Wall Street Journal.
Parra squirrels away 40 or so candy bars for a two-week expedition up Mount Aconcagua. His kit bag now consists of just 104 items for each expedition. Read the profile and Parra's inventoryhere:


Neil Armstrong's Secret Stash

After Neil Armstrong's death in 2012 at the age of 82, his widow, Carol, discovered a white cloth bag in a closet, containing what were obviously either flight or space related artifacts. She contacted Allan Needell, curator of the Apollo collection at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, and provided photographs of the items.

Needell, who immediately realized that the bag - known to the astronauts as the Purse - and its contents could be hardware from the Apollo 11 mission, asked for support in identifying and documenting the flight history and purpose of these artifacts. After some research it became apparent that the purse and its contents were lunar surface equipment carried in the Lunar Module Eagle during the epic journey of Apollo 11.

The story posted to Gawker Media's Sploid blog offers an intimate look at the wide variety of gadgets and geegaws the astronauts brought to the moon on that first historic landing. Read it here:

Energy Bars Can Cause Serious Damage

Energy bars sound like an obvious go-to ration for extreme cold, but you have to be careful. "Everyone in the Antarctic has chipped a tooth on them," polar explorer Will Steger tells Michael Y. Park of (Jan. 16).

The 1989-90 Trans-Antarctica Expedition's most iconic photo, simply titled, "Lunch." (Photo credit: Will Steger Foundation)

"A broken tooth is no fun when you're 2,000 miles from the nearest dentist," says Steger in the story, "What to Eat When It's Really Cold Out (Really, Really Cold)."

Steger likes to pack unsalted grass-fed organic butter on his cold-weather treks, and has subsisted on butter diets for so long that he's learned to tell the weather by how his sticks of butter react to the temperatures at breakfast. "At a certain point the butter breaks off in a smooth fracture - you could tell the temperature within ten degrees by the snap."

The story includes iconic scenes of the 1989-90 Trans Antarctica Expedition. Read it here:

Who's the Fairest of Them All?

The trade publication Outdoor magazine consistently tracks the popularity of outdoor brands and retailers online. In January, The North Face stomped Crocs with 4.2 million likes, versus Crocs' 3.08 million. On Twitter, Baffin squeaks by The North Face, 264,625 followers to 262,660. Among retailers, Sierra Trading Post is well ahead on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These numbers aren't exactly breaking the Internet, but it's nice to know someone is keeping score.

You can follow Outdoor's so-called "Fansometer" here:


Kodak Courage / GoPro Guts

When the presence of a camera prods people to take greater risks as they aspire to virality. Today, this might more properly be called "GoPro Guts." Writes Nick Paumgarten in The New Yorker (Sept. 22, 2014), "It may not be fair to say that it's the camera that causes people to attempt to brush the ground while flying past an outcrop in a wingsuit, but perhaps seeing it done on film inspires other people to try."

Read Paumgarten's profile of the GoPro phenomenon here:


Kudos to Lonnie Dupre

"Wow, Lonnie made it! I can't imagine the challenges he has endured to complete his dream - a dream that is more like a nightmare to most of us: whiteouts, crevasses, hypothermia, altitude illness, killer winds, mental deterioration and avalanches in the dark in unbelievable cold.

"What an achievement of spirit over basic instinct. Don't try this at home or anywhere else. Lonnie is a true survivor. Audacious yet honed, this raises the bar on what is possible."

- Vern Tejas
New York, N.Y.

Editor's note: Arctic explorer and climber Lonnie Dupre, 53, of Grand Marais, Minn., became the first to summit Denali aka Mount McKinley in January - alone (see EN, January 2015). Dupre reached the summit at 5:08 p.m. CT on Jan. 11, 2015. He flew to Kahiltna Glacier at the base of Denali on Dec. 18, 2014 carrying 34 days worth of supplies.

Dupre's selfie after summitting Denali last month

At the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market last month, Dupre tells EN, "I'll be careful what I bite off next time. This last one was a big chew." He's the subject of a new documentary by producer/filmmaker Deia Schlosberg called Cold Love. See the trailer here:

Mountain guide Vern Tejas

Vern Tejas is a well-respected Seven Summits mountain guide for Alpine Ascents International. Notable accomplishments include The Seven Summits 10 times (a record), fastest Seven Summit time (134 days), Seven Summits Twice in 365 days, and The First Winter Solo Ascent of Denali.


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 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:

Advertise in Expedition News - For more information:

EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 1281 East Main Street - Box 10, Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Tel. 203 655 1600, Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Assistant editor: Jamie Gribbon. Research editor: Lee Kovel. ©2015 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr. available by e-mail only. Credit card payments accepted through Read EXPEDITION NEWS at Enjoy the EN blog at

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Two El Cap Climbers Become World "Rock Stars"


Alan Arnette of Ft. Collins, Colo., is embarking on a bold project to summit all 14 of the 8000 m mountains in five years. It is unique in two ways: he is 58 years old, and his motivation is to raise $1 million to find a cure for Alzheimer's, the disease that took his mother and two aunts.

He took early retirement from Hewlett-Packard to oversee the care for his mom in 2007; the more he learned about Alzheimer's Disease (AD), the more helpless he felt. Ida died in 2009. Now six years later, 2015, there is still no reliable means of diagnoses, no way of stopping it once a person has it and is 100% fatal, a situation totally unacceptable to Arnette and the millions impacted by AD.

With summits of Everest, K2 and Manaslu and good efforts on Shishapangma, Broad Peak and Cho Oyu, Arnette feels well prepared to attempt the 11 mountains he has not summited. There are 14 mountains above 8000 meters or 26,247 feet. Thirty-four people have summited all 14, including only one American, Ed Viesturs.

Alan Arnette selfie at Camp 1 on K2

To minimize costs, he will try to organize the climbs leveraging logistics from local organizations. Each climb will be conducted in small, safe teams utilizing proven Sherpa support, hopefully including Kami Sherpa who accompanied him on successful summits of both Everest and K2 with in 2011 and 2014.

As the 18th and oldest American to summit K2, he attracted worldwide attention, reached five million people and raised $70,000 in just six weeks. This combined with his Seven Summits campaign in 2011 that reached 30 million people, validated his model of using climbing to raise awareness and critically needed funds.

He is seeking sponsors for Project 8000. The expenses are modest when spread over five years, but the public relations need is large.

Ideally, Arnette would prefer to have one company support the entire project but individual climbs are still available to reduce the size of the investment. With the proper PR backing, he believes 100 million people can be reached during the campaign. His website and social media has over 2.5 million annual interactions.

For more information:


Solo Climber Nails Denali in Winter

Lost in the media hoopla surrounding the free climb of El Capitan (see related story), was news that Arctic explorer and climber Lonnie Dupre, 53, of Grand Marais, Minn., became the first to summit Denali aka Mount McKinley in January - alone (see EN, December 2010). Dupre reached the summit at 5:08 p.m. CT on Jan. 11, 2015. He flew to Kahiltna Glacier at the base of Denali on Dec. 18, 2014 carrying 34 days worth of supplies.

He summited via the classic West Buttress route. With winter winds regularly exceeding 100 miles per hour, temperatures dropping below minus 60 degrees F., and just six hours of sunlight each day, January is a formidable time on Denali, whose elevation of 20,237 feet makes it North America's highest mountain.

Only nine expeditions, totaling 16 people, have ever reached the Denali summit in winter, and six deaths occurred during those climbs. Of these previous winter expeditions, four were solo, but none was in January, the darkest and coldest time of the year on the mountain. Only one team of three Russian climbers has ever successfully summited Denali in January.

"The low visibility and extreme winds made ending up in a crevasse or being blown from your feet and off the mountain a real possibility. I constantly paid close attention to my footing," said Dupre.

This was Dupre's fourth attempt. He has spent a total of 60 days during the last three winters on Denali, during which time he made two fast ascents to 17,200 feet, only to be thwarted by bad weather just hours from the summit. He pulled a five-foot sled with 165 pounds of supplies on the mountain's lower elevations, then switched to backpacking supplies up the steeper sections. He carried 175 bamboo wands to mark the route, dangerous crevasses and his camps, increasing his chances for a safe return, which is when most climbing deaths occur.

Major sponsors of Dupre's Denali expedition are: PrimaLoft, Performance Insulation used in Dupre's sleeping system and parka; Hear in America, founded to help people get the hearing care they need; and Granite Gear, serious backpacks and accessories Dupre has used on his expeditions for over 25 years.

For more information:

Will the Search for Amelia Ever End?

Ever since Ric Gillespie found a piece of metal in 1991, on the tiny, remote island where he believes Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, crash-landed and died as castaways in 1937, he has been the public face of America's never-ending fascination with Earhart's fate (see EN, April 2007). Yet it was only in the last few months, according to a Smithsonian magazine story by Jerry Adler (January 2015), that Gillespie obtained what he considers conclusive evidence that it came from their plane. Rangy and graying, a former pilot and aircraft-accident investigator, he runs, with his wife, an organization called The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery.

Since 1989, TIGHAR has mounted 10 expeditions to the South Pacific, and he is seeking money for an 11th. Adler writes, "His fund-raising prowess and mediagenic announcements have made Gillespie an object of envy and occasional vitriol among his fellow Earhart researchers - a group that includes serious historians as well as wild-eyed obsessives, who pile up scraps of evidence into conspiracies reaching right up to the White House."

The Smithsonian story reveals the little-known fact that Earhart became famous in 1928 as the first woman to fly across the Atlantic - as a passenger, an experience she nevertheless turned into a best-selling book.

Depending on which version you accept, either she was never seen alive again after disappearing in 1937 at the age of 39, or died a few years later in captivity, or lived into her late 70s under an assumed identity as a New Jersey housewife named Irene Bolam. Or maybe a few fanatics think she's alive somewhere on life support at the age of 117.

The best you can conclude from the story is that the search for Amelia Earhart will never end until someone, somewhere turns up a body.

Read more:

The Adventurous Christine Maxfield Lands Dream Job

On January 1, 2011, journalist Christine Maxfield quit her job at a national travel magazine to help indigenous people living in developing countries. This led her to volunteer once a month at 12 different at-need hosts, including Sierra Leone where she helped handicapped victims of war; Kenya where she taught English to children with HIV/AIDS; Cambodia where she taught music to orphans recovering from child labor and sex trafficking; and Romania where she worked on the construction of a new home for a Roma (gypsy) family (see EN, February 2012). Maxfield speaks at events about women's solo travel and volunteering.

A dream job for Christine Maxfield

She's in Washington, D.C. now and has landed her dream job: a position at National Geographic Channel to help develop TV series, documentaries and specials. "It was a dream of mine to work at Nat Geo ever since I was a kid, and the inspiration for me to become a journalist, so I definitely feel honored," she tells us.

Read about her journey here:


Yosemite's Dawn Wall Successfully Free Climbed
On the Shoulders of Warren Harding and Dean Caldwell

A little before noon on Nov. 18, 1970, a blood-flecked hand pawed the top of the southeast face of El Capitan, the massive, 3,000-foot vertical granite wall in Yosemite National Park known to climbers as the Dawn Wall. A bearded, wild-eyed man eventually pulled himself up and stumbled back into the realm of horizontal existence after 26 nights lashed to the cliff. Approximately 70 reporters and well-wishers rushed forward to greet him. A dozen TV cameras whirred, according to an op-ed piece by professional climber and guide Freddie Wilkinson in the New York Times (Jan. 8).

"In California's beatnik climbing circles, the late Warren Harding, who completed the first ascent of Yosemite's grandest wall that day with his partner, Dean Caldwell, stood out for his penchant for fast sports cars and beautiful women and for his voracious consumption of red wine," writes Wilkinson. "When asked why he climbed, he responded, succinctly: 'Because we are insane.'"

On Jan. 14 at 3:30 p.m. PT, Tommy Caldwell (no relation to Dean Caldwell), 36, of Estes Park, Colo., along with partner, Kevin Jorgeson, 30, of Santa Rosa, Calif., made history by becoming the first to free climb the same face Harding and Caldwell aid climbed 44 years ago. It's considered the most difficult free climb ever achieved.

Tommy Caldwell is sponsored by Patagonia; Jorgeson by adidas Outdoor. The two became instant "rock stars" capturing the world's attention with live interviews on Today and Good Morning America, and coverage in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, among dozens of other media outlets. The climb began Dec. 27 and involved 32 pitches on the 5.14+ route.

In free climbing, climbers use only their hands, feet, arms and legs to make upward progress - and not the bolts, pitons and other contrivances Harding and his partner used, and for which they were criticized. In free climbing, ropes and other equipment are used only to stop a fall. The enormous Dawn Wall, so named because its southeast orientation catches the first light of morning, has a relentlessly barely dimpled face with few cracks to penetrate or nubs to clench. One short section requires a sideways leap, feet and hands off the wall, to holds the size of matchsticks, according to a Jan. 4 New York Times story by John Branch.

Wilkinson, also writing for the Times, reports, "Although some 13 other full-length routes on El Cap have been free climbed, none of those come close to the sustained level of difficulty the Dawn Wall presents. It took Tommy Caldwell, who has free climbed 11 of those other routes, more than anyone else, seven years to piece together a way up the wall."

Read Wilkinson's story here:

Josh Lowell filming on the Dawn Wall during a previous attempt in 2010. (Photo credit: Brett Lowell)

EN reader Josh Lowell of Big Up Productions, organizers of the REEL ROCK Film Tour and at press time in Yosemite videotaping the feat, tells us, "It has been wild to be in the middle of all this media attention. We've been filming Tommy trying the Dawn Wall over the course of the last six years, and there's been a little press along the way, but this year it just exploded. As soon as the first NYT story came out we all started getting bombarded by media outlets. The guys on the wall had to turn off their cell phones because they were ringing all night (Tommy later dropped his off the cliff)."

Brett Lowell dangles 30 feet out from the wall, 1,500 feet up while filming Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson on the Dawn Wall last week. (Photo credit: Corey Rich)

Lowell continues, "They started referring all the inquiries to me and I fielded dozens of calls and emails for a couple days, but got overwhelmed. Every network in the world wanted exclusive interviews with the guys from the wall and the first TV appearances after the climb. We turned over all the media communication to the PR department at Patagonia, to focus on making our movie and not get swept into all this mania.

"Even though it's stressful, it's also exciting to see the world starting to understand how amazing rock climbing really is," Lowell tells us.

Everest on Sale

The Nepalese government has reduced the Mt. Everest climbing permit fee for foreign climbers by more than 50 percent - to $11,000 now for Mt. Everest, down from $25,000. It has also reduced the permit fee for all peaks opened for mountaineering. Officials say the new move is aimed at increasing the number of mountaineers in the country. The government had reduced permit fee for Nepali climbers about a year ago. The new climbing fee for foreign climbers came into effect from January 1. Officials of the Department of Tourism hope reduction in climbing permit fee will relay positive message about Nepal in international arena.

Read the entire story here:

Ladies of K2

Sherpa Adventure Gear will host a reception next week at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake to congratulate Dawa Yangzum Sherpa and Pasang Lhamu Sherpa on their successful summit of K2 in 2014. The two so-called "Ladies of K2,'" along with Maya Sherpa, became the first Nepalese and Sherpa women to the reach the summit of the notoriously difficult 28,251-foot (8611 meter) peak, which is the second highest mountain in the world.

The women of the First Nepalese Women's K2 Expedition 2014 overcame physical, cultural and social obstacles on and off the mountain - from the pessimism of other climbers, dismissive Nepalese authorities, interference by the Taliban, and, after the climb, challenges to the claim that it was a "all-women's expedition." Next year, the women plan to climb Kangchenjunga, the world's third highest peak.

Dawa Yangzum Sherpa

Climber and trekking guide Dawa Yangzum Sherpa is also an ultra marathoner and high altitude runner who has completed the 350-kilometer long Everest Sky Race and the equally long Annapurna Mandala Trail. She is an athlete representing Sherpa Adventure Gear and is currently working to become an UIAGM/IFMGA guide.

Pasang Lhamu Sherpa

Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, also a Sherpa Adventure Gear brand ambassador, is a professional trekking and mountain guide who guides and teaches in Nepal and the U.S. She was born in Lukla, Nepal - the starting point of most expeditions - and started climbing in 2001, after attending college in Kathmandu. She trained to become a mountain guide in Nepal and France, and became Nepal's first woman mountaineering instructor.

The First Nepalese Women's K2 Expedition 2014 achieved its goal by reaching the summit of K2 on July 26, 2014. The expedition also called attention to the impact of climate change on the Himalayas, promoted mountain tourism and encouraged women to take on challenges.

For more information:,


"At birth, we emerge from dream soup.
At death, we sink back into dream soup.
In between soups, there is a crossing of dry land.
Life is a portage."

- Jitterbug Perfume, Tom Robbins' fourth novel published in 1984


Discovery Channel Gets Serious

TV critics fell deeply, madly in love with new Discovery Channel chief Rich Ross in early January at Winter TV Press Tour 2015 when he said he would not continue the network's trend of telecasting fake stuff.

Gone will be the fake mermaid documentaries, two suggesting the Megalodon still roams the ocean, and likely no more Finding Bigfoot, or the critically reviled Eaten Alive, according to the story by Lisa de Moraes in (Jan. 8).
"Do you have plans to repair relationships with scientists and educators who felt those shows betrayed a mission and gave false information?" one critic asked eagerly.

Ross' idea of an ideal Discovery show is one that "makes people care and do something about it."

Ross continues, "I don't believe you'll see a person being eaten by a snake in my time - I can't over-promise that, but that's how I feel today," Ross said, as TV critics, according to writer Lisa de Moraes, resisted the urge to give him a standing ovation.

Read the story here:

Born to Explore Host Profiled

Former Explorers Club president Richard Wiese (rhymes with "peace"), and current host of TV's Born to Explore, is profiled in the January/February issue of Westport magazine. Writer Diane Sembrot says of Wiese, "He admits the testosterone-fueled, grand adventures are, indeed, great, but these days travel is about connection. 'I'm spear fishing with a local tribesman on the Indian Ocean, then cooking the catch on the beach, or fishing with the only fisherwoman in Chile. These are the people who you don't notice, ignore or miss if you're just following some guidebook. We're getting an intimate look at countries and cultures,'" he says.

Read the story here:


Dream Big

Glad to see there's a grant program for us average human beings who aren't quite ready to spend days upon end in a portaledge on some wall in Yosemite.

The American Alpine Club's Live Your Dream grant powered by The North Face, is designed for anyone - no matter their age, ability level, or climbing discipline. This year, more than $50,000 is available for climbers who want to take their skills to the next level. The application deadline is Mar. 1, 2015. Last year 362 applications were received, from which only 50 individual were rewarded a total of $30,000.

The grant is designed to get the every-day adventurer, inspired and pushing their climbing to the next level.

Northwest Live Your Dream grant committee member Emily Stifler says, "I like young people who want to eat the proverbial oatmeal and spaghetti in exchange for a few hundred dollars to go to the Bugaboos."

For more information:

Grant Money Awaits

As readers of EN's adventure marketing book, Get Sponsored, know by now: there's sponsorship dollars out there for climbers and adventurers willing to market themselves. One funding source for those age 25 or younger is the American Alpine Club's Mountaineering Fellowship Grants.

Started in 1966, Mountaineering Fellowship Grants have long encouraged American climbers 25 and younger to go into remote areas and seek out climbs more difficult than they might ordinarily be able to do. Unexplored mountain ranges, unclimbed peaks, and difficult new routes are looked upon with favor.

The grants, usually between $300 and $800, are made available in part through the Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI Challenge Fund), and from annual contributions from the public. Application deadlines are Apr. 1 and Nov. 1 every year.

The fall 2014-15 recipients illustrate the wide diversity of projects receiving support:

Brady Deal (19), $800 for exploratory new ascents, Pika Glacier, Alaska.

Riley Hawkins (24), $200 for the first adaptive ski traverse of Wapta Icefield, Alberta.

David Lee (21), Kurt Ross (23), and Keenan Waeschle (22), $250 each for a new route on West Face of Peak 11300, West Fork of the Ruth Glacier, Alaska.

Matthew Morriss (24), $250, and Philip Staub (24), $700, for a three week expedition to Mt. Huntington area with a new route on Reality Peak, Alaska.

Ethan Newman (24), $800 for a new route on Hall Peak, Purcell Wilderness, British Columbia.

Kat Vollinger (25), $200 for new routes on Lawrenny and Terror peaks from Poseidon Creek, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand.

Jimmy Voorhis (24), $200 for a new route on Tabor Wall, Hamlin Peak, Mt. Katahdin, Maine.

Ryan Wichelns (20), $700 for Brooks-Silverthorne traverse, Alaska.

For more information:


When Things Go Horribly Wrong, Better Consult Your Lizard Bites

Did you know that a cheap rubber doorstop is a great deterrent to someone breaking into your hotel room? That cell phones may work better than satellite phones in remote areas and that texting may get through when phones are down? That fires are the greatest cause of damage and casualties after an earthquake? When and how to use a tourniquet?

If not, order a copy of Lizard Bites & Street Riots: Travel Emergencies and Your Health, Safety, and Security (WindRush Publishers 2014). This concise, compact 316-page resource is full of practical information for remote travel preparation and management of problems on the road. The three distinguished authors of Lizard Bites & Street Riots know their business.
The book combines the expertise of three world experts in travel, health and safety: Explorers Club Fellows Michael J. Manyak, MD, FACS and Rear Admiral Joyce M. Johnson, DO, MA, USPHS (Ret.) along with Warren J. Young, MBA, have covered the globe and managed travel emergencies of every kind, for organizations like the National Geographic Society, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the International Monetary Fund.

Better get this book 'cuz a stiff drink won't do much when the poo-poo hits the fan

Other advice includes: remove all jewelry from an arm that has been significantly burned or injured. Get out of a car when it starts to float in a flood and not ride it out.

What we liked best: The book stays up-to-the-current-minute by utilizing topic-specific QR codes at the end of every chapter that link directly to the latest references and resources at


Thru-Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in Winter

Shawn Forry and Justin Lichter are nearing Lake Tahoe, making their way towards Mexico. They've walked so far that the metal on their snowshoes is wearing thin. Soon, they'll switch to skis. It's believed to be the first transit of the 2,663-mi. Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in winter, besides an unsuccessful attempt by a husband and wife to hike from Canada to Mexico in the 1980s.

Jack "Found" Haskel of the Pacific Crest Trail Association writes, "I visited with them at an all-you-can eat buffet recently. From frostbite and drenching rain to friendships and stunning and quiet landscapes, their journey is remarkable. And surely, only something that can be reasonably attempted by people as skilled, knowledgeable and experienced as these two.

Shawn "Pepper" Forry is on the left. Justin "Trauma" Lichter is on the right. (Photo credit:

Forry reports, "There have been very few miles without pain or ailment ranging from blisters, trench foot, athlete's foot and even frostbite. The constant cold and wet had pushed our previous experience in similar conditions to new limits. Once we transition to skiing, I fear a whole new set of foot pain will surely develop."

He continues, "The margin of error is incredibly small in winter conditions above and beyond the effort it takes to successfully complete a summertime hike of the PCT."

Lichter ticks off the five primary skills required for such an attempt:

1. snow safety and avalanche knowledge

2. winter camping skills

3. winter travel experience

4. general thru-hiking or long distance hiking background

5. short term memory failure

Follow along on their websites and

View their snow- and ice-clogged PCT images here:


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 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:

Advertise in Expedition News - For more information:

EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 1281 East Main Street - Box 10, Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Tel. 203 655 1600, Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Assistant editor: Jamie Gribbon. Research editor: Lee Kovel. ©2015 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr. available by e-mail only. Credit card payments accepted through Read EXPEDITION NEWS at Enjoy the EN blog at