Expedition News


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March 2002 - Volume Nine, Number Three

EXPEDITION NEWS is the 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.


Humpback Whale Team Records the Hits

Like record producers in search of the next big hit, a team from the Explorers Club is currently in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary off the Kohala Coast to participate in a scientific study of the songs humpback whales sing in the wild.

The Explorers Club team, organized by Scott Hamilton, 48, of New York, will conduct a detailed scientific survey of whale distribution and abundance including pod composition, behavioral states, direction and speed of travel, and environmental conditions.

Adam Frankel, Ph.D., 39, leading whale and bioacoustics expert from the Hawaii Marine Mammal Consortium, is directing bioacoustics research, including simultaneous underwater sound recordings.


Climbers Flock to Snowbird - The American Alpine Club commemorated its 100th anniversary at Snowbird Resort in Utah earlier last month. The organization’s annual meeting attracted a near sellout of 399 dedicated climbers and featured a veritable "Who’s Who" of climbing, with appearances by Tomaz Humar, Nazir Sabir, Jim Wickwire, Mark Wilford, and others.

• George Band, 73, a retired Shell executive from the U.K., told the story of Joe Brown, a team member on the 1955 Kangchenjunga expedition. For breakfast one morning, Brown consumed a half-pound of cheddar cheese and tomato paste. He then finished the meal with two Mars bars for dessert. "He must have been very fit," Band says. "Joe managed to hold it down for half an hour."

Band later told the story behind mountaineering’s most famous photo – the shot of the first climber atop Everest in 1953. Most people think it’s Hillary. It’s not. It’s a photo of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. According to Band, Sir Edmund later said, "Tenzing didn’t know how to work a camera and that was no place to teach him." Band is the only surviving member of the first ascents of both Mount Everest and Kangchenjunga.

• Barry Blanchard, one of Canada’s top alpine climbers with numerous first ascents, told the group "a mountain is an arrow pointing up." Blanchard says he looks for "challenges where we can combine rock, ice and snow – often within the same minute." The audience responded with applause when he said, "It’s so easy to get dead falling that you should do anything in your power not to fall."

Blanchard continued, "There’s something so magnificent seeing the atmosphere unleash on the high peaks. You’re humbled; you realize how so very small you are. … Alpinism is a way to step out on another planet. You’re totally dependent on yourself. It’s like living out on a limb."

The AAC meeting also served as the 20th reunion of the 1981 American Medical Research Expedition to Everest. This September, the Club plans to replicate its first dinner held in 1902, right down to the turtle soup.

Lindy Flies Again - The grandson of Charles Lindbergh is taking to the air to promote civilian space travel. Erik Lindbergh will recreate the "Lone Eagle’s" 1927 non-stop New York to Paris, flying solo across the Atlantic this spring.


Gear for the Hills - Outdoor apparel manufacturer The North Face opens its first Los Angeles County store in the heart of Beverly Hills this month. The 7,500 sq. ft. store is the prototype of a new retail concept designed to personify The North Face brand and celebrate its heritage of outdoor exploration.


Strong Medicine - Preparation for an expedition or travel adventure often raises concerns about health and safety, yet those aspects often receive surprisingly modest attention.

A conference titled, "Expedition Medicine – Minimizing Risk in the Field," scheduled for Mar. 21 at The Explorers Club in New York (46 E. 70th Street), will heighten awareness and provide practical information about travel and expedition medicine for those explorers and adventurers venturing into the wilds.

Explorers Club Dinner Examines Future of Exploration - For the past 98 years, hundreds of members of The Explorers Club have gathered in New York to review the year in exploration, and honor the world’s top explorers with a variety of awards. They break bread together – and sometimes a lot stranger foods – to promote the scientific exploration of land, sea, air and space.

This year, The Explorers Club Annual Dinner (ECAD), Mar. 23, at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York (Park Avenue at 50th Street), will examine the future of exploration.

ECAD tickets are open to Explorers Club members and their guests and are available from $245 per person. (For more information: Marisa Collazo, ECAD events coordinator, 212 628 8383, events@explorers.org).


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Absolute Adventure Himalaya Climbing Expeditions with Daniel Mazur – Announcing new lowered prices due to recent events. These are full service expeditions, including Sherpa and all costs inside Nepal: Amadablam 2002-05, $3,950; Kangchenjunga 2002, $6,950; Manaslu 2003, $6,950; Dhaulagiri 2004, $6,950; Pumori 2002-05, $3,950. We now offer our new low-budget expeditions: Mustagh-Ata 2002-05, $1,450; Cho-Oyu 2002-05, $4,650; Everest 2002-05, $6,000. Everything for the novice, intermediate and expert since 1987. 206 329 4107, summitclimb@earthlink.net www.summitclimb.com

Join the AAC - Founded in 1902, The American Alpine Club is dedicated to promoting climbing knowledge, conserving mountain environments, and serving the American climbing community. Your membership benefits include: rescue insurance, timely publications, expedition endorsements, library privileges, discounts, advocacy, and much more. Call 303 384 0110 or log onto www.americanalpineclub.org.

EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 137 Rowayton Avenue, Suite 210, Rowayton, CT 06853 USA. Tel. 203 855 9400, fax 203 855 9433, blumassoc@aol.com. Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Assistant editor: Jessica Brown. ©2002 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr.; international postal rate US$46/yr. Credit card payments accepted through www.paypal.com. Highlights from EXPEDITION NEWS can be found at www.expeditionnews.com and www.webexpeditions.net. Layout and design by Nextwave Design, Seattle.

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