Expedition News


March 2001 - Volume Eight, Number Three

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

Here are Highlights from our March issue. Subscriptions are available for the entire issue (see information below).


In Jules Verne's fertile imagination, they could attack submarines. They have the most massive eyes in the animal kingdom - as big as soccer balls, and their beaks can sever stainless steel cable. They're giant squid, the largest creature in the world yet to be seen or photographed alive. While they don't exactly gobble ships or consume hapless sailors, their strength is formidable. These cryptic creatures can grow to 60 feet in length, weigh in excess of 1,000 pounds, and have up to 3,000 piercing 2-in. suction cups on eight solid-muscle arms.

With his Dr. Koop beard and pink squid tie, 63-year-old Clyde Roper, Ph.D., of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, is a squid and octopus expert right out of central casting. Roper is a research zoologist who apparently never met a cephalopod he didn't like. In spring 2002, Roper's Deep Ocean Expedition plans to search like "owls of the sea," using enhanced vision technology to penetrate near total darkness to depths of 2,000 feet.


Bancroft and Arnesen are First Women to Ski Across Antarctica - In an era when expedition firsts are more difficult to achieve, two explorers - one American, the other Norwegian - have become the first women to cross Antarctica on skis. After a grueling 90 days on the ice, Ann Bancroft, 45, from Scandia, Minn., and Liv Arnesen, 47, of Oslo, Norway, used skis and parasails to cross the Antarctic land mass, covering 1,688 miles by Feb. 11.

Currently, Bancroft and Arnesen are working with Yourexpedition, the Minneapolis company that planned and promoted the trek, to seek out new women explorers and support their expeditions. Yourexpedition has developed an international program that will help women explorers organize, finance and promote their expeditions.


Ousland Attempts Another Polar Record - Norwegian Borge Ousland departed late last month for Siberia in search of yet another polar record, this time as the first to ski alone and unaided from Russia over the North Pole to Canada. The 38-year-old explorer already holds four polar records, including the first unaided solo trek across Antarctica. The 1,100-mi. crossing over the frozen Arctic Ocean was scheduled to start in early March.

Saki Summits - A British team is on a mission to become the first ever to continuously climb 100 of the most famous mountains in Japan. The Hyakumeizan expedition will cover the length of Japan. The mountains they plan to climb average 7,218-ft. (2200 m) in height, with the highest being Fuji at 12,388-ft. (3776 m). Hyakumeizan means "100 famous mountains" in Japanese.

NOVA Team Pioneers New Vinson Massif Route - On January 14, an eight-member expedition team sponsored by NOVA, successfully pioneered a new route to the summit of Vinson Massif - the highest peak in Antarctica, located in the Ellsworth Mountain Range. The new, as yet unnamed route up the east side of Vinson, starts close to the Rutford Ice Stream and passes over both the Hanson and Dater Glacier. Equipped with a high-definition camera, the team set out to film the journey and gather information about ice science for a future NOVA episode currently slated to air on PBS next season.


Cash for Trash - The Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) announced it would encourage sherpa climbers on Mount Everest to collect garbage by paying for the trash they retrieve. A top official of the NMA says sherpas would likely receive the equivalent of $13.50 for each kilo (approximately 2.2 lbs.) they bring down.

True North - Two volcanoes have recently been discovered in one of the last ocean frontiers - the Arctic deep. According to a Feb. 20 New York Times story by William J. Broad, the discovery, first reported in the current issue of the journal Nature, is challenging old ideas about the geology of the earth's northern polar regions and offers a new target for an expedition this summer co-led by former Explorers Club President Alfred S. McLaren, Ph. D. If successful, it will be the first landing of humans at the terrestrial North Pole at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean.


Armstrong Lands at Explorers Club Dinner - Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, lands in New York on Mar. 24 to help the 3,000-member Explorers Club honor the "Great Explorations of the 20th Century." The 97th annual Explorers Club Annual Dinner (ECAD) at the Waldorf-Astoria, will honor NASA Administrator Dan Goldin with the Club's Corporate Award for promoting exploration and scientific research.

Other speakers will include: Arctic explorer, Sir Wally Herbert; Caroline Alexander, author of "The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition" (Knopf, 1998); Dr. William Stone, caver, diver and explorer; and co-recipient of the prestigious Explorers Medal, Don Walsh, Ph. D., who piloted the bathyscaphe "Trieste" in 1960 to a depth of 35,800 feet in the Marianas Trench. The other co-recipient of the Explorers Medal is Col. Joe Kittinger, the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean by balloon (1984), and still holder of the world parachute jump record (102,800 feet set in 1960).

The dinner includes an endearing Explorers Club tradition eagerly awaited by members: the offering of exotic hors d'oeuvres that this year is comprised of non-endangered alligators, grasshoppers, fried tarantulas, sautéed scorpions, and, in keeping with the underwater exploration theme, side orders of kelp. Tickets are $245 per member and $275 for guests. (For more information: Marisa Collazo, ECAD events coordinator, 212 628 8383; events@explorers.org; www.explorers.org).


Africa and Himalaya with Daniel Mazur

Shishapangma, Ama Dablam, plus 7000 meter peaks. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya Rock Climb. Low Prices. All Abilities. E-mail: africa_inc@cybernet1.com, himalaya_inc@cybernet1.com, Web: www.himalayaclimb.com, www.kilitrek.com, www.kenyaclimb.com, www.nojintangla.com, tel: 406 363 7747

Zegrahm Expeditions

South Georgia is our favorite place on earth. The abundance of wildlife (penguins, albatross, whales, and seals), the extraordinary scenery (icebergs, mountains, and glaciers) and the island's fascinating history of exploration combine to create an unforgettable adventure. Join us November of 2001 as we journey to South Georgia, land of Ernest Shackleton, aboard the M/S Explorer: Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands, Oct 30 - Nov 18 and Circumnavigation of South Georgia, Nov 15 - Dec 4.

For reservations/information:

ZEGRAHM EXPEDITIONS, 192 Nickerson St., #200, Seattle, WA 98109. Phone: 800-628-8747 or 206-285-4000; Fax: 206-285-5037; Web site: www.zeco.com; E-mail: zoe@zeco.com.


is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 28 Center Street, Darien, CT 06820 USA. Tel. 203 855 9400, fax 203 855 9433, blumassoc@aol.com. Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. ©2001 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr.; international postal rate US$46/yr. Highlights from EXPEDITION NEWS can be found at www.expeditionnews.com.

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