Expedition News

August 2001 - Volume Eight, Number Eight

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here are highlights of our August issue. If you’d like to receive the complete version of Expedition News each and every month, please see subscription information below. Free samples are available. Just send us a long, self-addressed stamped envelope with 34 cents U.S. postage; international readers can request a free sample issue by e-mail. – Jeff Blumenfeld

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.


They call it the “Mount Everest of Scuba Diving.” Descending to the Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria, 235 feet deep and 85 miles southeast of the island of Nantucket, is generally considered one of the toughest feats in diving, the ultimate goal of the sport’s elite.

For Cecelia Connelly of Allentown, Pa., the wreck never really got out of her system. One of the 100 members of the newly-created Women Divers Hall of Fame, she became the oldest woman to dive the wreck when she descended in 1984 at the age of 54.

The record still stands, but the retired mother of 11 isn’t taking any chances. The YMCA’s oldest woman diving instructor, she hopes to return within one year to further cement her place in the history books by diving the wreck at the age of 71, despite two knee replacements and a bad shoulder.


The American-Canadian Mount Everest Expedition begins its ten-week journey to the summit of the world's highest mountain in early August. What makes this $200,000 expedition unique is expedition organizer Ed Hommer, a double amputee from Duluth, Minn. Hommer, a pilot for American Airlines, would be the first double amputee to summit Everest.


Two More to Go - Seattle climber Ed Viesturs, 42, summited 26,400-ft. Shishapangma in Tibet on May 1, making him just two peaks shy of summitting the world's 14 highest peaks over 8000m, a feat no American has yet achieved.


Washburns Honored - When scientist Bradford Washburn stood atop North America’s tallest peak 50 years ago, he forged a path for thousands of future climbers and helped turn the tiny Alaska hamlet of Talkeenta into a mountaineering mecca. Washburn, who conducted the first detailed mapping of Mount McKinley, led the party that made the first ascent up the mountain's West Buttress route.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the ascent, Washburn, 91, and his wife Barbara -- who became the first woman to scale McKinley during an expedition with her husband in 1947 – were feted last month in Talkeetna, and Denali National Park.

So That’s How They Do It – A recent exhibit at the National Museum of Copenhagen reveals the secret behind National Geographic magazine’s arduous photo selection process. According to an exhibition celebrating the first Danish edition of the world famous monthly, regardless of the assignment, National Geographic photographers return home with 600-800 rolls of film containing 20,000-30,000 transparencies. Photographers then anticipate the competition for space by self-editing their images down to a single tray of 80 slides which is then submitted for final selection.

Many photographers claim that they shoot for this tray. They aim to put together a tray of slides so perfect that the picture editor at the magazine will find it almost impossible to cull the 80 pictures down to the 30 that will normally be selected for publication.


Cool Cats – The Chicago Sun-Times covered the formation of the Chicago chapter of The Explorers Club in its July 22 edition. According to a story by Jim Ritter, a Michigan chapter was founded in 1975 and renamed the Great Lakes chapter in 1983. But the chapter became dormant and was dissolved in 1999. Now, a new generation of explorers is resurrecting the chapter.

“I joined because it is a cool group of cats to be with from time to time,” said Paul Sereno, a University of Chicago paleontologist who hunts dinosaur fossils in the 120-degree heat of the Sahara desert. Sereno said the club “has a big role to play in educating people regarding exploration - the drive to know, to learn, to be challenged by the unexpected - rather than to be happy with the routine of a mass culture as the endpoint on the human trajectory.''


Honoring Sir Edmund – The Explorers Club’s Lowell Thomas Award Dinner this year will honor the field of mountaineering, bestowing the prestigious Lowell Award on Sir Edmund Hillary, Brad Washburn, and Ed Viesturs.

At the age of 82, Sir Edmund’s travel is somewhat curtailed and many Club members see this as a rare opportunity to meet him personally. The black tie dinner is Oct. 29 at the Essex House in New York.

The awards are named in honor of Lowell Thomas (1892 -1981), the famed war correspondent and radio and TV newscaster who was an active member of the Explorers Club for over 50 years. The Club’s headquarters building at 46 East 70th Street in New York is also named in his honor. (For more information: events@explorers.org, www.explorers.org).


Africa and Himalaya with Daniel Mazur

Kanchenjunga, Ama Dablam, plus trekking 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


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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