Friday, March 13, 2015

Under Armour Sponsors Six Summits Expedition

STEGER GOES SOLO THIS TIME

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: www.Stegerwildernesscenter.org

UNDER ARMOUR HELPS FUND SIX SUMMITS RECORD ATTEMPT

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 www.mission14.org.

To learn more about the 6 Summits Challenge and the climbing team, visit www.6summitschallenge.com

EXPEDITION UPDATE

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 (www.ismission.org/operation-restore-vision/), Sherpa Adventure Gear which is providing Nepal-manufactured outdoor apparel for the team (www.sherpaadventuregear.com), and Eureka High Camp Tents by Johnson Outdoors (www.eurekatent.com).

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 www.dooleyintermed.org.

The expedition will issue daily blogs on Facebook and Twitter that will also be posted to www.dooleyintermed.org, 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, hamilton@dooleyintermed.org.

EXPEDITION NOTES

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emzBy7fuYsQ

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:

http://www.nyyc.org/2012-04-07-05-13-50/model-room-tour-public

Learn more about Pelagic Expeditions at: www.pelagic.co.uk/

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: http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2015/03/honduras-expedition-discovers-untouched.html

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, david@faraheim.com,
www.faraheim.com.

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"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.

MEDIA MATTERS

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: http://bit.ly/1KVWYqD

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: http://www.conwaydailysun.com/newsx/local-news/118921-bradley-012615

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: http://www.playboy.com/articles/there-will-be-beer-on-mars

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: ExploreHappiness@Sonne.org

IN PASSING

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: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/02/150225-eugenie-clark-shark-lady-marine-biologist-obituary-science/

ON THE HORIZON

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: www.explorers.org

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: http://www.zermatt.ch/en/

EXPEDITION CLASSIFIEDS

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: http://www.amazon.com/Get-Sponsored-Explorers-Adventurers-Travelers-ebook/dp/B00H12FLH2

Advertise in Expedition News – For more information: blumassoc@aol.com.

EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 1281 East Main Street – Suite 104, Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Tel. 203 655 1600, editor@expeditionnews.com. 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 www.paypal.com. Read EXPEDITION NEWS at www.expeditionnews.com. Enjoy the EN blog at www.expeditionnews.blogspot.com.


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 PerĂ¹ 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, http://alexbellini.com/come-on-board-and-support-the-adventure/, adrift.alex.bellini@gmail.com, tel: +44 7478226625

EXPEDITION UPDATE

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: http://variety.com/2015/film/news/jennifer-lawrence-dives-into-james-cameron-produced-biopic-1201407586/#

EXPEDITION NOTES

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 iceaxman@gmail.com.

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: banffmountainbooks@banffcentre.ca, http://www.banffcentre.ca/mountainfestival/competitions/book/

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"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.

EXPEDITION FOCUS

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 SportsOneSource.com.

"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," SportsOneSource.com 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: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-we-can-all-learn-from-climbing-dawn-wall-hans-florine

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: http://www.cgprpublicrelations.com/blog/

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:

http://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2015/02/01/evening-reinnhold-messner-aac-annual-dinner/

MEDIA MATTERS

"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 RedBull.com 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: www.brianirwinmedia.com)

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:

http://www.redbull.com/us/en/adventure/stories/1331702397954/will-gadd-ice-climbing-niagara-falls

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:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB21186790908283423711204580263103502721486

WEB WATCH

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:

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/secret-stash-of-moon-artifacts-found-hidden-in-neil-arm-1684449533

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 BonAppetit.com (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:

http://www.bonappetit.com/people/article/eat-really-cold-really-really-cold

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:

http://www.odrmag.com/fansometer-107/brands.html

BUZZ WORDS

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:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/22/camera

EXPEDITION MAILBAG

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: http://vimeo.com/deia


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.

EXPEDITION CLASSIFIEDS

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: http://www.amazon.com/Get-Sponsored-Explorers-Adventurers-Travelers-ebook/dp/B00H12FLH2

Advertise in Expedition News - For more information: blumassoc@aol.com.





EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 1281 East Main Street - Box 10, Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Tel. 203 655 1600, editor@expeditionnews.com. 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 www.paypal.com. Read EXPEDITION NEWS at www.expeditionnews.com. Enjoy the EN blog at www.expeditionnews.blogspot.com.



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Two El Cap Climbers Become World "Rock Stars"



PROJECT 8000 FOR ALZHEIMER'S

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: alan@alanarnette.com

EXPEDITION UPDATE

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: www.OneWorldEndeavors.com

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:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/will-search-for-amelia-earhart-ever-end-180953646/#6VEcf7ep1LCBdLYW.99

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:

www.CompassMag.com

EXPEDITION NOTES

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:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/09/opinion/yosemites-challenge-in-the-facetime-age.html


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:

http://etravelpress.com/news/govt-reduces-everest-climbing-fee/

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: www.k2expedition2014.org, www.sherpaadventuregear.com

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"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

MEDIA MATTERS

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 Deadline.com (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:

https://deadline.com/2015/01/discovery-channel-new-chief-rich-ross-fake-documentaries-tca-1201344279/#

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:

http://www.westportmag.com/w/January-February-2015/Ready-Set-Action/

CLIMBING FOR DOLLARS

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:

http://www.americanalpineclub.org/news/2015-live-your-dream-grant-application-period-is-now-open/

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: www.americanalpineclub.org

EXPEDITION INK

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 LizardBites.com.

WEB WATCH

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: PCTA.org)

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 www.shawnforry.com and www.justinlichter.com.

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

http://www.pcta.org/2015/meet-two-guys-winter-thru-hiking-pct-19-incredible-photos-26687/

EXPEDITION CLASSIFIEDS

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: http://www.amazon.com/Get-Sponsored-Explorers-Adventurers-Travelers-ebook/dp/B00H12FLH2

Advertise in Expedition News - For more information: blumassoc@aol.com.





EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 1281 East Main Street - Box 10, Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Tel. 203 655 1600, editor@expeditionnews.com. 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 www.paypal.com. Read EXPEDITION NEWS at www.expeditionnews.com. Enjoy the EN blog at www.expeditionnews.blogspot.com.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Climber Hopes to Become First American Woman to Summit K2



December 2014 – Volume Twenty-One, Number Twelve
Celebrating our 20th year!


EXPEDITION NEWS, founded in 1994, is the monthly review of significant expeditions, research projects and newsworthy adventures. It is distributed online to media representatives, corporate sponsors, educators, research librarians, explorers, environmentalists, and outdoor enthusiasts. This forum on exploration covers projects that stimulate, motivate and educate.



IS K2 A BIGGER PRIZE THAN EVEREST?

If you really want to impress the climbing community, tell them you’ve summitted K2. Everest, as tallest, of course gets most of the publicity. But K2 is the real prize for those in the know.



Vanessa O'Brien photo by Penny Vizcarra

After the avalanche tragedy this past April that claimed 16 Sherpas on Mt. Everest, there is some buzz that K2, the world's second-highest and technically more challenging peak, will become a bigger mountaineering prize.



K2 photo by Alan Arnette

Statistics between the two mountains differ dramatically. As of this year, Everest has seen 18 times the number of summits as K2 - 6,971 compared to 385 K2 summits, according to the Himalayan Database and 8000ers.com.

This year K2 clocked 49 summits, the second best season in 50 years since the mountain was first summitted in 1954 by Italian climbers Achille Campagnoni and Lino Lacedelli.

In 2015, Vanessa O'Brien, 50, a former banker from Boston is joining Madison Mountaineering's Garrett Madison to attempt K2. If she summits, she will be the first-ever American woman to do so. Only 18 women have climbed K2.

O'Brien holds the record for fastest woman to climb the seven summits (highest peaks on each continent), and the Explorers Grand Slam (seven summits plus skiing the last degree to the North and South poles) in 10 and 11 months, respectively. In addition to Everest, she also has summitted the 8,000-meter peaks Shishapangma, Cho Oyu and Manaslu.

Companies or individuals interested in sponsoring O'Brien or in joining Madison's K2 expedition, should contact O'Brien at obrienv@msn.com. 

PERMIT TAGGING IN BELIZE

Expeditions come in all shapes and sizes, as faithful readers of EN have come to learn. One rather straightforward project that is ongoing in Punta Gorda, Belize, is Project Permit, where researchers tag permit, a shallow-water gamefish, to discover their still-unknown spawning patterns. The study is being conducted by Dr. Aaron Adams of the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, a not-for-profit group that aims to identify and protect critical permit habitats in an attempt to maintain a sustainable population. This species is threatened by changes in their ecosystem, according to Brian Irwin, an outdoor journalist and physician from New Hampshire.   



Irwin will be participating in the permit tagging program;  his findings and experience will be shared with the readers of the The Boston Globe and Fly Fish America magazine to enhance public awareness and allow for proper ecosystem protection. Further exposure will be achieved through publication on Patagonia’s environmental blog (http://fly-fishing-blog.patagonia.com) and eventually it is anticipated the study's findings will be shared in the Bonefish and Tarpon Journal, of which Irwin is a consulting editor. For more information: Brian Irwin, irwin08.bi@gmail.com, www.brianirwinmedia.com.

EXPEDITION NOTES

Vote for NatGeo’s People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year


National Geographic is asking people to vote for their favorite individuals who made milestones this year in adventure with achievements in exploration, adventure sports, conservation, and humanitarianism. The ten honorees are:

Climber Tommy Caldwell
Surfer Liz Clark
Ski Mountaineer Kit DesLauriers
Kayaker Aleksander Doba
Paragliders Will Gadd and Gavin McClurg
Activist Wasfia Nazreen
Swimmer Lewis Pugh
Alpinist Ueli Steck
Filmmakers Matt Stoecker, Ben Knight, and Travis Rummel
Blind Adventurers Erik Weihenmayer and Lonnie Bedwell

Votes can be cast until January 31, 2015 for the person you think most embodies the spirit of adventure. NatGeo will announce the People's Choice Adventurer of the Year in February. Learn more at:

http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/adventurers-of-the-year/2015/vote/

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“I am realizing there is no longevity for climbers that climb icebergs.”

– Slovenian ice climber Klemen Premrl who, with fellow countryman Aljaz Anderle, attempted to summit an iceberg in Greenland’s Disko Bay. They aborted the attempt when they felt something rumble under their feet. The iceberg began calving below them, encouraging both to make a hasty retreat back to their mothership, the La Louise.

See the attempt here:

http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/excursions/post/ice-climbers-conquer-iceberg-greenland/

Later, Premrl and Anderle successfully summitted a different iceberg in the fourth edition of HERO4: The Adventure of Life in 4K series. The episode is called “To Climb an Iceberg” and has over four million views:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kBjb1yfabI

EXPEDITION FOCUS

Astronaut Cmdr. Mark Kelly Enthralls Explorers Club Audience


An SRO audience was on the edge of their seats at the Explorers Club on Dec. 12 as retired astronaut Cmdr. Mark Kelly recounted his extraordinary experiences with NASA and the U.S. Navy. Kelly, the husband of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, flew into space four times to the International Space Station, and prior to that, served as a naval aviator during the Gulf War. At one point he piloted his A-6E Intruder attack aircraft into Iranian airspace to evade surface to air missiles, almost getting shot down by friendly fire in the process. The conversation with Kelly, moderated by Club director Jim Clash, was hosted by Breitling, makers of a $7,000 watch Kelly proudly wears.

Kelly lamented, “We haven’t sent someone out of low earth orbit since I was in second grade and I’m 50 years-old now.” He said the new Orion spacecraft will be tested in a flight around the moon with two astronauts within five years. “I’m hopeful the people who land on Mars someday are alive today.”



Cmdr. Mark Kelly

On the subject of the risks involved in space flight, he reveals NASA estimates every flight has a one in 57 chance of failure, “almost as risky as storming the beach at Normandy on D-Day,” he said to an audience of Breitling guests which included Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen of the beloved San Francisco acid-rock group Jefferson Airplane.

“There’s stuff we can deal with – we can fix a lot that goes wrong, but I can’t worry about the things that are out of our control.” Kelly says he’s written letters to his kids four different times, letters to be opened if he dies in a fatal accident. “That’s a hard thing to write.”

He was tasked with retrieving the bodies of friends and classmates who perished on the Shuttle Columbia in February 2003 in the skies over Hemphill, Tex.

He reveals that the opera star Sarah Brightman has paid at least $51 million to visit the Space Station in 2015 while it’s in command of Kelly’s identical twin brother, Capt. Scott Kelly, who will be in space for one year – if successful, it will be the longest single space mission by an American.

One audience member asked about the possibility of aliens. Kelly said there is likely life out there, but “it’s mostly green and lives in a pond somewhere.” He continues, “If there are aliens with the technology for space flight, we don’t want them visiting us because it doesn’t work out well for the less developed societies.”

On the importance of exploration, Kelly, a native of West Orange, N.J., and today a strong advocate for gun control along with his wife who was injured in an assassination attempt in 2011, says, “If we don’t take chances, if we don’t push the envelope and take risks, we don’t advance.
Later, he said, “If it weren’t for explorers, we’d all just be living in Europe.”

He says much needs to be done in the field of propulsion. “The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second; so far we can’t even go that fast in an hour.”
Kelly is director of flight crew operations for World View Enterprises, which will take tourists to the edge of space, 100,000 feet up in a high-altitude balloon, above over 90 percent of the atmosphere, and enough to see that the earth is in fact, round. The ticket price is about $70,000, “about the cost of an expensive car, versus a Virgin Galactic flight which will cost about as much as a house.”

For more information: www.worldviewexperience.com

MEDIA MATTERS

The Swiss Machine Runs Fast


Ueli Steck, 38, is perhaps today’s most acclaimed alpinist. Known as “the Swiss Machine,” Steck’s solo speed-climbing feats in the Alps are the stuff of legend – under three hours bottom-to-top-to-bottom for the North Face of the Eiger, and under two hours for The Matterhorn. Last year, he topped all that by climbing Annapurna’s treacherous South Face roundtrip in just 28 hours, according to Jim Clash, writing on Forbes.com (Dec. 9).



(Ueli Steck photo by Jim Clash)

He believes speed climbing itself is like a game. “If you are able to move that fast, you have so many more options. Whether you climb the Eiger North Face in two and a half or three hours doesn’t make much difference. But there is a difference between three hours and two days. So that is the benefit of speed climbing: You can go to big mountains like Annapurna and, if you are able to move so fast, it’s much simpler,” Steck said.
Read the entire interview here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimclash/2014/12/09/legend-ueli-steck-has-solod-annapurna-matterhorn-in-record-times-whats-next/

New Adventure Journal Pulls the “Ripcord”

A new journal launches later this month that promises to “be the very best of factual adventure storytelling from around the globe, showcasing writing and images which inspire and kindle the spirit of adventure that is found in all of us.”

Redpoint Resolutions which operates Ripcord Travel Protection, in partnership with the World Explorers Bureau, the global adventurers agency, will launch Ripcord Adventure Journal on Dec. 19 at The Explorers Museum in Ireland and at the headquarters of Redpoint in San Mateo, Calif. Up to six issues are scheduled for 2015. 

According to editor and publisher Tim Lavery, "Our goal is to make this a high quality Journal and not a magazine – there will be no content that has a shelf life. The focus will be on offering readers the best original articles, with guest writers, editors, explorers and photographers bringing unique storytelling to their living-rooms, hammocks, wherever they read.

The Digital Edition will be available free across platforms (PC, Mac, Android, iOS, and ereaders). The printed publication will come in two editions, a hardback with dust-cover and a second which is placed inside a handmade leather Journal-style case. The target audience is frequent adventure travelers and adventure enthusiasts, says Lavery. All profits from the sales of the printed editions will be donated to charity (specific ones to be decided on, but those with an adventure connection).

See it here after Dec. 19:

www.ripcordadventurejournal.com

Names in Bottles: A New Tool for Exploration?

The Cassini mission carried to Saturn more than one-half million digitized signatures and even some digitized paw prints from beloved pets. STS-133 and -134 Space Shuttle missions carry digital images uploaded by the public. Like a note in a bottle, some thirty missions have offered this personalization opportunity to the public thus far, according to Dr. Dan Lester, an astronomer at the University of Texas, writing in TheSpaceReview.com (Nov. 17).

Millions of people have participated.

“It would appear that offering people the opportunity to fly their names is an attempt by space agencies to give the public some low cost, low commitment sense of involvement in a space mission, and is a device to articulate support. At some level, a long list of such names can demonstrate public enthusiasm about a mission.”

Lester continues, “The Internet offers a medium by which such digitally encoded names can be collected with great efficiency, and many millions of names can be archived on a chip whose contribution to the spacecraft mass and power budget is negligible. It is, to the space agencies at least, a crowdfunding enterprise, where the unit of value is a name of an interested party.”

Read the entire story here: http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2643/1

EXPEDITION MARKETING

Off the Clif


Clif Bar has withdrawn its sponsorship of five top professional climbers featured in the Sender Films documentary, “Valley Uprising,” focusing on the evolution of rock climbing in Yosemite National Park. Some of those cut loose had a year or more left on their contracts. Clif Bar stated the climbers take risks that make the company too uncomfortable to continue financial support. It has stirred debate in the outdoors community, creating rare introspection about how much risk should be rewarded.

Among those whose contracts were withdrawn were Alex Honnold and Dean Potter, each widely credited with pushing the boundaries of the sport in recent years. They had large roles in the film, mainly showing them climbing precarious routes barehanded and without ropes, a technique called free soloing. Potter also was shown highlining, walking across a rope suspended between towering rock formations, according to a story by John Branchnov in the New York Times (Nov. 14).

Other climbers who lost their Clif Bar contracts were Timmy O’Neill and Steph Davis, who spends much of her time BASE jumping and wing-suit flying. Last year, her husband, Mario Richard, was killed when he crashed in a wing suit.

“We concluded that these forms of the sport are pushing boundaries and taking the element of risk to a place where we as a company are no longer willing to go,” Clif Bar wrote in an open letter to the climbing community.

“We understand that some climbers feel these forms of climbing are pushing the sport to new frontiers. But we no longer feel good about benefiting from the amount of risk certain athletes are taking in areas of the sport where there is no margin for error; where there is no safety net.”
Clif Bar still lists 99 Team Clif Bar sponsored athletes on its website, representing a long list of outdoor pursuits. Honnold was among those wondering why it chose to suddenly shed five specific climbers when he considers sports like big-wave surfing, big-mountain skiing and snowboarding more dangerous than free-solo climbing.

The movie’s primary sponsor is North Face, the outdoor-equipment and apparel company. Its roster of sponsored athletes includes Honnold and Wright, and company officials said that no changes were expected.

Read the story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/16/sports/clif-bar-drops-sponsorship-of-5-climbers-citing-risks-they-take.html?ref=sports&_r=0

EXPEDITION INK

WEB WATCH




What to Pack for Certain Death

Cartoonist Emi Gennis is amused by what explorers once packed for doomed expeditions. She reveals Burke & Wills brought along 30 cabbage trees hats and an enema syringe while crossing Australia; Swedish balloonist S.A. Andree brought along a silk pillow with festive design; and Teddy Roosevelt packed stuffed olives and three dozen smoking pipes. It’s amusing reading that you can see at:

https://medium.com/the-nib/what-to-pack-for-certain-death-11cc8f343f31

Ted Talk: The Hardest 105 Days of Ben Saunders’ Life

This year, explorer Ben Saunders attempted his most ambitious trek yet. He set out to complete Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s failed 1912 polar expedition — a four-month, 1,800-mile round trip journey from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back. In the first talk given after his adventure, just five weeks after his return, Saunders offers a raw, honest look at this hubris-tinged mission that brought him to the most difficult decision of his life.

View it here:

http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=07487d1456302a286cf9c4ccc&id=56540459df&e=5456e66957

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

No need to race to mall this year and endure the pitiless, grinding, soul-sucking experience of battling crazed holiday shoppers. We’ve done the work for you, vetting the most extraordinary gifts for that favorite explorer on your list. You’re welcome.



We’ll Drink to That

Exploration and alcohol go back a long way. Seems every year they’re digging up some treasure trove of whiskey left behind by Sir Ernest Shackleton. There are few better ends to a long day of climbing or slogging along the River of Doubt than some whiskey around the campfire. Leave the bottle at home and serve your favorite libation in a discrete 6 fl. oz. stainless steel flask from the American Alpine Club. It comes with a funnel so you won’t lose a single drop of your celebratory swig. ($22.36, www.americanalpineclub.org)



What Do You Make Out of This?

To paraphrase the 1980 movie, Airplane, what do you make out of this? Well, you can make a hat or a brooch out of the Official Explorers Club Expedition Buffs. Manufactured by Buff USA, these expedition Buffs are a perfect way to protect you in the field from a variety of elements. The tubular design keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Made from seamless 100% microfiber, the breathable fabric wicks away moisture and dries quickly. The design features a generic topographical map, accentuated by the famous Club Flag and compass.

Cost is $25 and you have to belong to the Club to order it. Not a member? There are 3,000 members in almost 30 chapters worldwide; find someone you know. (www.explorers.org)



The Multi-Purpose Last North Expedition Calendar

Polar explorers are notorious about saving weight. They will cut the handles off toothbrushes to save weight, and covert paperback books into toilet tissue. Your gift recipient can do the same at the end of each month if he or she brings along the Last North Expedition Calendar. Polar adventurer, expedition guide, and educator, Eric Larsen has spent the past 20 years traveling in some of the most remote and extreme environments on the planet. In May 2014, Larsen and teammate Ryan Waters finished what may realistically be the last expedition of its kind due to a changing climate. A photo calendar of the journey depicts their most difficult days. ($16.99, www.lulu.com)



Serious Joe

Good coffee isn’t just for beautiful people with beautiful kitchens and cushy 9-5 jobs like in the commercials. The CoffeeBoxx is the world’s toughest coffee maker, perfect for wherever your explorer friend or loved one might travel. This is some serious Joe: the coffeemaker is crush-proof, dust-proof, spill-proof, rust-proof, water resistant, and impact resistant, using the latest single-serve technology. Outside magazine said of the product, “If coffee is the nectar of the gods then this is Thor’s coffeemaker.” ($225 for delivery in spring 2015 – you’ll have to wait until it completes crowdfunding on Kickstarter, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1217364508/the-coffeeboxxtm-the-worlds-toughest-coffee-maker)

The MiniMuseum Offers a Huge Collection of Oddities

You may have to wait for this one, but soon you’ll be able to gift a collection of rare specimens from earth and beyond.

Hans Fex of Fairfax, Va., has spent years cataloging his collection, doing research, and experimenting with dozens of production and manufacturing techniques to make the MiniMuseum a reality.



His limited edition MiniMuseum contains 33 rare specimens in acrylic, accompanied by a detailed electronic guide and a microfiber pouch for storage. Available in limited editions, it contains dime- and raisin-sized samples of the oddest collection of artifacts ever found under a Christmas tree (or Hanukkah bush). It includes pieces of human brain, Dracula soil from Transylvania, a dinosaur egg shell, meteorite from the moon, T-rex tooth, Berlin Wall fragment, and Apollo 11 Command Module Foil. (Estimated price: $299, www.minimuseum.com).

Return to Sender

Of course, if for any reason your holiday gifts fail to resonate and the recipient of your largesse wants to send it back, they can consider MoonMail, a new program for the public to send mementos to the Moon on Astrobotic's first commercial lunar mission. With a starting price of $460, they can make history by participating in the first commercial Moon landing.



Those interested in purchasing MoonMail can log onto the designated MoonMail website. Each MoonMail participant will receive a MoonMail kit including prepaid postage to mail their item to Astrobotic, along with a map of the Moon Landing Site, a photo of the Moon Pod on the Moon, and a certificate of authenticity recognizing them as a space pioneer on the first commercial landing to the Moon. The collected mementos will be placed inside the Moon Pod that will be attached to Astrobotic's lunar lander, which will remain on the Moon for future generations.

Astrobotic, founded in 2008 and based in Pittsburgh, is a space logistics company that delivers payloads to the Moon for companies, governments, universities, non-profits and individuals. With its partner, Carnegie Mellon University, Astrobotic is pursuing the Google Lunar XPRIZE and is scheduled to launch the first mission within the next two years.

Presumably, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor cosmic radiation stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

For more information: www.astrobotic.com/moon-mail

DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

I Don’t Care What You Say About Me, Just Spell My Name Right


We’re likely to get coal in our holiday stockings unless we apologize for two misspellings in our November issue. WINGS WorldQuest co-founder is Milbry Polk, not Post; and America’s first astronaut in space is Alan B. Shepard, not Shepherd. We also misidentified the URL for Pat and Rosemarie Keough's Antarctica book. It should be www.keough-art.com.

ON THE HORIZON



The New York WILD Film Festival Returns to The Explorers Club, January 30-31, 2015 
The New York WILD Film Festival presents powerful, exhilarating documentary films from around the world on important topics and astonishing feats in exploration, adventure, wildlife, conservation and the environment. WILD presents a unique opportunity to exchange ideas, affect vital change and celebrate the wild. Last year it was sold out.

Expect 15 screenings over two days, Q&A's with celebrated filmmakers, talent and thought leaders. In addition to all-day screenings, the Club will host a luncheon with fellow adventurers and offer once-in-a-lifetime special social and networking events. Check www.nywildfilmfestival.com for updates and sign up for the WILD newsletter.  

EXPEDITION CLASSIFIEDS

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: http://www.amazon.com/Get-Sponsored-Explorers-Adventurers-Travelers-ebook/dp/B00H12FLH2

Advertise in Expedition News – For more information: blumassoc@aol.com


EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 1281 East Main Street – Box 10, Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Tel. 203 655 1600, editor@expeditionnews.com. Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Assistant editor: Jamie Gribbon. Research editor: Lee Kovel. ©2014 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr. available by e-mail only. Credit card payments accepted through www.paypal.com. Read EXPEDITION NEWS at www.expeditionnews.com. Enjoy the EN blog at www.expeditionnews.blogspot.com.