Tuesday, August 16, 2016
JOE HENDERSON: IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL
Arctic explorer Joe Henderson and wilderness guide Rhonda Schrader announced the launch of a new environmental project called the Henderson Haul Operation Extraction covering the entire state of Alaska. The project will consist of the recovery and disposal of abandoned oil barrels throughout Alaska.
It will be a consecutive winter project depending on funding. The team’s initial trip is in December for purposes of training during the coldest season to test gear while conducting its first clean up.
The two will locate and document existing abandoned oil barrels and extract them using a low impact freight-hauling dog sled team of 22 Alaskan Malamutes. “By extracting these environmental polluters, Henderson Haul will work to ensure these fragile ecosystems are healthy for future generations to enjoy,” the team announced.
The Henderson Haul teams hopes to make a difference in Alaska.
During the 1950s these barrels were deposited throughout the Arctic and other parts of the Alaskan wilderness by oil and mining companies in the race to find minerals and oil. They have been left abandoned to rot and pollute the environment for almost a century.
Project co-founder and teammate Rhonda Schrader, 44, of Hudson, Wisc., explains, “Because these abandoned barrels are in such remote areas, they haven’t gotten the exposure that other environmental clean up projects have. We are here to give these rotting barrels the exposure they have deserved for the last century.”
The first extraction will take place on the stampede trail leading to the famous McCandless Bus 142, the scene of the Jon Krakauer book, Into the Wild (Anchor Books, 1997)
Currently, the Henderson Haul team requests that anyone who spots oil barrel dump sites to contact them via their website and give exact GPS coordinates and details about the abandoned barrels.
Joe Henderson, 54, based in North Pole, Alaska, is an Arctic explorer, author and public speaker. He has been dog mushing and conducting Arctic expeditions for over 30 years. Henderson’s dog team was also used in the Disney movie White Fang and Joe himself was an actor, dog trainer and stunt double in the picture. Rhonda Schrader is a world-class wilderness guide with over 25 years of experience in the outdoors, including guiding an Arctic expedition.
Main sponsors are: Veterinary Home Health Care/Carolyn Schlick DVM, Nordykn, and Heat Factory.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.hendersonhaul.com
Solar Impulse Beats Icarus in First Round-The-World Solar Flight
Solar Impulse and its ground team celebrate arrival at New York JFK on June 11, 2016
Where Icarus failed, two aviators succeeded in spectacular fashion, pointing to a bright future for clean technologies. Taking turns at the controls of Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) – their zero-emission electric and solar airplane, capable of flying day and night without fuel – Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg succeeded in their dream of achieving the first ever Round-The-World Solar Flight (see EN, June 2016).
The landing brings full circle the historic circumnavigation that began on March 9, 2015, when Si2 set off from Abu Dhabi with André Borschberg at the controls.
The aircraft landed back in Abu Dhabi after a total of 23 days of flight and 26,744-mi./43,041 km traveled in a 17-leg journey. Beyond this historic milestone, the two Swiss pioneers will continue to urge the global implementation of energy efficient solutions through the creation of the International Committee for Clean Technologies and leverage the expertise and technology gained over the years in Solar Impulse by launching new innovative projects, such as the development of solar powered drones.
“This is not only a first in the history of aviation; it’s before all a first in the history of energy. I’m sure that within 10 years we’ll see electric airplanes transporting 50 passengers on short to medium haul flights,” said Piccard addressing the crowd while exiting the cockpit of Si2.
Learn more about the feat here: www.solarimpulse.com
Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia Tours the World
Earlier this month, new brands were discovered and existing brands launched new products at the giant Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, a four-day trade show that attracted 29,000 industry professionals drawn to Salt Lake by 1,626 outdoor brands.
One display that caught our eye was a virtual time capsule of 1991 climbing gear literally dug out of the ice on the 13,020-ft./3,970-m Eiger in the Swiss Bernese Alps (See EN, April 2011).
Jeff Lowe’s pack was stuck in ice for two decades.
Climber Jeff Lowe abandoned his pack in 1991; it was recovered in 2011 and subsequently displayed at the OR Show. Lowe was relieved – discarding the pack was contrary to his alpine-style aesthetic, of doing more with less and leaving nothing behind. When the pack was opened – it took eight days to thaw – the contents were covered in a gritty, sand like material determined to be oxidized aluminum.
Today, Lowe is confined to a wheelchair struggling with a debilitating disease; his documentary film, Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia, has won 17 film awards from around the world and is going on tour to film festivals, retail stores, and climbing gyms worldwide.
See the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/78219607
For details about booking the film, contact email@example.com, 208 630 4477, www.jeffloweclimber.com. Organizers will provide an event checklist for successful promotion of screenings.
New Record Set in 50 Peaks Challenge
Six-time Everest summiteer Melissa Arnot, alongside protégé Maddie Miller, became the first female team to complete the 50 Peaks Challenge, summiting all 50 high points in the U.S. within 50 days. Their official time was 41 days, 16 hours and 10 minutes, breaking the previous world record of 43 days, 2 hours, and 8 minutes. Arnot and Miller began the attempt on June 27, with Miller’s successful summit of Denali, and celebrated the completion of the challenge atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii on Aug. 7. (See EN, July 2016).
Over the course of their 41-day adventure, the two hiked 268 miles and ascended over 84,275 feet while summiting the highest point in every state. The team, accompanied by a van driver and cook, traveled over 19,594 miles across the country. The team was delayed by several mechanicals as well as a painstaking reroute at the last minute due to forest fires in Wyoming.
Eddie Bauer was a major sponsor. Other supporters included Zamst, makers of a lightweight EK-3 knee support used to stabilize Arnot and Miller’s knees and reduce pain to get them through the remaining peaks.
For more information: http://www.eddiebauer.com/campaign/50peaks/
Arrr you ready for a new pirate museum?
Pirate Plunder Displayed in New Cape Cod Museum
In May 2014, Barry Clifford, now 71, one of the world’s most noted underwater explorers, reported he found the wreck of the Santa Maria, flagship of Christopher Columbus, off the coast of Haiti. The greatest proof of its authenticity was a 15th-century cannon on the wreck site, which is directly out from the beach upon which archaeologists had discovered the site of Columbus' fort, precisely as Columbus wrote in his diary.
Clifford’s discovery is peer-supported. However, the following October, UNESCO's expert team published their final report, concluding that the wreck could not be Columbus's vessel, claiming fastenings used in the hull, and possible copper sheathing dated it to the 17th or even 18th century. The report was heavily challenged by Clifford. “It was highly political,” he said. “They conducted a prejudiced and nonscientific investigation of the site.” (See EN, October 2014).
The newest adventure for Clifford is a 12,000 sq. ft. museum in West Yarmouth on Cape Cod that will house a full-scale replica of the Whydah Gally, a pirate ship that sank in 1717 not far from Wellfleet, Mass.
Clifford discovered the wreck and its accompanying treasure in 1984; to this day, it remains the only fully authenticated pirate ship ever found. At the heart of Clifford’s project is an interactive lab where visitors can watch archaeologists work their way through recovered pirate artifacts piece by piece.
Learn more at: http://www.discoverpirates.com
Read about the museum in Boston Magazine:
During our visit to the giant Outdoor Retailer trade show earlier this month, we couldn’t help drooling over three products that would look great hanging in our gear locker. Sure there were thousands of other new products in Salt Lake, but we found ourselves jonesing the most for:
Hydropower in your pocket
• Fresh Juice – This is a mini Hoover Dam: Blue Freedom’s small and light hydropower plant. Using the power of flowing water, it generates portable energy to charge electronic devices on the go. It produces juice in any stream, day and night, in any weather and weighs just one pound. ($299, www.blue-freedom.net)
Bad guys would have to first break your car windows to defeat this lock.
• Lockless Monster – Great product to keep honest people, well, honest. It’s a nine- or 16-ft. rubber-coated steel cable with balls on each end. Loop it through and around your expedition supplies, then shut the two balls inside your vehicle. We can remember some sketchy areas of Kathmandu where none of us wanted to leave the Land Rover unattended. ($14 - $18, www.lockless-monster.com)
These boots are made for walking.
• Let Your Feet Be Your Guide – The Hi-Tec Navigator takes the effort out of navigation on land. Program your route into a special app on your smartphone, then head out on your journey. It relies on haptic or vibratory feedback allowing you to navigate intuitively and hands-free. One short vibration in your sole tells you which turn to take. Two short vibrations left and right means you’ve taken a wrong turn; increasing vibration in both soles at the same time means you’ve arrived. Made with Michelin Technical Soles. Coming soon; price not available.
See the product demo here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t8xjAUugGM
Hurley Platinum Prints for Sale
The Royal Geographic Society (with IBG) is home to a remarkable collection of original photograph glass and celluloid negatives captured by Frank Hurley, the official photographer on the Endurance expedition (1914-17), and which made the perilous journey to safety with Shackleton, Hurley and the Weddell Sea Party following the destruction of the ship in 1915.
Frank Hurley desperately rescued his negatives when the Endurance sank.
Hurley’s diary of Nov. 2, 1915, explains, “During the day I hacked through the thick walls of the refrigerator to retrieve the negatives stored therein. They were located beneath four feet of mushy ice and, by stripping to the waist and diving under, I hauled them out.”
A century later, this iconic collection has been digitally mastered by leading experts, direct from negative for the first time, to create the first-ever limited edition series of platinum prints. Each print takes almost eight hours to complete. Unlike silver prints, where the image is floating in a gelatin layer on top of the paper, a platinum image is part of the fine paper on which it is printed.
Prices per print range from £650 to £2,750 (about $840 to $3,555). For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about the platinum printing process here: https://vimeo.com/20321908
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"A dog’s iron will and a person’s spirit combined is a formidable force. They become one team, one being, one cohesive unit working together to overcome what was believed to be impossible."
– Arctic explorer Joe Henderson (see related story)
Tales From the Vault
Nineteenth-century scientist Robert Kennicott spent most of his life collecting specimens for the Smithsonian. Years after his untimely death, he became part of the collections, according to a story in the Washington Post by Sarah Kaplan (Aug. 3).
The last anyone heard of Robert Kennicott was his cheerful hum as he strolled into the Alaskan wilderness early on the morning of May 13, 1866. “By age 30, Kennicott had become an accomplished explorer and celebrated naturalist for the Smithsonian Institution. He was bold, brilliant and fearless; someone who handled venomous snakes with his bare hands,” writes Kaplan.
A search party found his body shortly thereafter, returning his bones to his family homestead in Illinois eight months after his death.
Today, the bones of Robert Kennicott are housed at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, just one of millions of research specimens the public rarely gets to see. NMNH has the world's largest natural history collection — 145.3 million objects that fill 1.32 million square feet of space. Forensic scientists studied the bones to determine whether Kennicott committed suicide as originally suspected.
Fifteen years after they first opened his coffin, and 150 years after he died, researchers believe they have the answer of what killed the scientist.
Read the story and watch the video here:
Can you hear me now?
Inmarsat Supports Sir Ranulph Fiennes Record Attempt
Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes is embarking on a new record-breaking challenge – attempting to become the first person to have crossed both polar ice caps and climb the highest mountain on every continent. Between now and next May, the 72-year-old aims to climb Mount Carstensz in New Guinea, Mount Vinson in Antarctica, Aconcagua in Argentina and finally Denali, the highest peak in North America.
Sir Ranulph has already reached the North and South Poles by crossing the Antarctic continent and the Arctic Ocean (1982), climbed Mount Everest in Asia (2009), Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa (2004), and Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe, earlier this month.
Throughout the challenge, the veteran adventurer will highlight his fundraising campaign for Global Reach Challenge which will raise money for Marie Curie, the UK charity that supports people with a terminal illness. He will share his experiences thanks to a package of satellite communication equipment and airtime supplied by Inmarsat, a leading provider of global mobile satellite communications.
Two IsatPhone 2 satellite phones will keep Sir Ranulph, his support team and a production company filming his endeavor in touch with each other and the rest of the world. With IsatHub, Inmarsat’s smart device connectivity service, they will be able to keep followers updated on his progress with images, blogs and social media updates.
Inmarsat’s BGAN HDR high speed streaming will power live broadcasts throughout the challenge on the BBC TV’s Breakfast Show.
Major sponsor is TMF Group, one of the world’s leading providers of global business services. For more information: http://tmfglobalreachchallenge.com
Trevor Thomas and Tennille
SPOT Makes a Difference for Blind Hiker and His Dog
The ubiquitous SPOT satellite messenger, which provides location-based messaging and emergency notification technology from remote locations around the globe, is teaming up with a blind hiker and his guide dog to promote September as National Guide Dog Awareness Month.
Trevor Thomas and his energetic black lab, Tennille, have walked over 6,000 miles and are aiming to reach 7,000 this year. Thomas is the first blind person in history to complete an unassisted solo, end-to-end thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, which is 2,190 miles long.
He says of his companion, “There are no other guide dogs that I know of that do what Tennille does. She’s enabled me to do things not only personally but professionally that I otherwise would not have been able to achieve; in a sense, she saved me.”
He says of his SPOT Gen3, which has logged to date over 4,600 rescues, “it is the most important piece of gear that I have to let folks know where I am and summon for assistance if needed. And should I truly be in a life-threatening situation – I can remember a few close calls – the S.O.S. button on my SPOT device will be there for me.”
Not only does he carry a SPOT Gen3 for himself, but Tennille also has her own SPOT device which she carries on her pack. “It’s simple. She is very important to me and while I know she would never voluntarily leave me, if something were to go wrong in the back country and we were separated, then her SPOT will be pinging and we could find her,” he says.
Thomas is passionate about his foundation, Team FarSight Foundation, Inc., which he founded in 2013 to challenge misconceptions and to push the boundaries of what is considered possible for a blind person to achieve. Other foundation partners are Camelbak, Feetures!, Marmot, and LEKI.
During the month of September, Team Farsight Foundation will receive $5 from every SPOT Gen3 purchased at a discounted price of $99.99 using promo code TENNILLE at checkout.
For more information: www.farsightfoundation.org, www.findmespot.com
ON THE HORIZON
AAC Athlete Speaker Tour begins in New York, Aug. 28
The American Alpine Club (AAC) Athlete Speaker Tour featuring legendary speed climber Ueli Steck, presented by Alpina Watches, will kick-off in New York on Aug. 28 and end in Denver on Sept. 14.
Ueli Steck is best known for his solo speed climbs of the infamous Eiger Nordwand, the Matterhorn, and more recently, the south face of Annapurna.
The highly acclaimed “Swiss Machine” will present an interactive slideshow about his experiences climbing the world’s largest mountains, setting speed records without oxygen, his daring 82 Summits Challenge, and recent trip to the Himalaya.
“As climbers we test our abilities and strive to climb harder and higher within the limits of our lives, bodies and minds,” said AAC CEO Phil Powers. “I think we all wonder what we could do with limitless time, extraordinary strength and skill and an unconstrained mind. Ueli Steck offers of glimpse of what that might look like – it’s inspiring.”
Tickets are currently available for all tour stops—the event is expected to sell out.
For more information: https://americanalpineclub.org/athlete-tour
World Explorers Summit, Sept. 3-4, 2016, Cardiff, Wales
The World Explorers Summit is an annual multi-day event and charity fundraiser which is coordinated by the World Explorers Bureau and a team of volunteers, dedicated to the world of exploration and adventure. The dates are September 3 to 4, 2016, in Cardiff, Wales, at the National Museum of Wales, a short distance from Bute Park, the City Centre and Cardiff Castle.
Audun Amundsen, explorer & filmmaker (Photo credit Huw James Media)
The event includes participation by the leading lights, visionaries and heroes in the world of exploration, adventure, mountains, oceans, conservation, polar, science and space – an all-star line-up throughout a weekend packed with talks, on-stage events, workshops and adventure activities. For more information: www.explorerssummit.com
The Explorers Club Names Lowell Thomas Awardees, Oct. 15, 2016
The Lowell Thomas Award Dinner, Oct. 15, 2016, in Santa Barbara, Calif., this year is themed, “Celebrating the Legacy of Open Spaces. Awardees for 2016 are:
• Kristine McDivitt Tompkins – Before committing her life to land conservation, Tompkins spent two decades helping build Patagonia, Inc. into not only a leading provider of high quality outdoor equipment, but also one of the most conscientious businesses today.
• Rick Ridgeway – One of the world’s most accomplished mountaineers, his impressive climbing résumé features many first ascents including being among the first Americans to summit K2, and to complete all “Seven Summits” of the highest peaks on each continent.
• Laly Lichtenfeld – With 20 years of on-the-ground experience in East African wildlife conservation, Lichtenfeld specializes in human-wildlife conflict prevention focusing on lions and other big cats.
• Martin von Hildebrand – The unstoppable von Hildebrand is spearheading establishment of the world’s largest ecological corridor, stretching from Colombia across Venezuela and Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean.
For more information about the Lowell Thomas Award Dinner, view:
Get Sponsored! – Hundreds of explorers and adventurers raise money each month to travel on world class expeditions to Mt. Everest, Nepal, Antarctica and elsewhere. Now the techniques they use to pay for their journeys are available to anyone who has a dream adventure project in mind, according to the book from Skyhorse Publishing called: "Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would Be World Travelers."
Author Jeff Blumenfeld, an adventure marketing specialist who has represented 3M, Coleman, Du Pont, Lands' End and Orvis, among others, shares techniques for securing sponsors for expeditions and adventures.
Buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Get-Sponsored-Explorers-Adventurers-Travelers-ebook/dp/B00H12FLH2
Advertise in Expedition News – For more information: email@example.com.
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