Expedition News
April 2004 – Volume Eleven, Number Four –

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.

The following are highlights of our April issue, but this is only part of the story. For a yearís subscription, send $36 to the below address or e-mail us for a free sample copy. Ė The Editors, editor@ExpeditionNews.com


The Everest Peace Project is a multi-faith, multi-cultural, multinational climb for peace on Mt. Everest in spring 2005 that will, in addition to promoting peace, benefit the Sherpas that make much of the climbing in the Himalayas possible.

The team's mission is to show that men and women from different faiths and cultural backgrounds and beliefs can unite in a peaceful way and set an example to the world that "we can work together, live together, and depend on each other while doing something extraordinary," according to organizer Lance Trumbull, 35.


Two Vancouver men, adventurer Colin Angus and his partner Tim Harvey, will head into the Earth's most inhospitable regions on a year-long trek from Vancouver to Moscow by human power, in an effort to inspire students, promote healthy lifestyles and draw attention to climate change in fragile northern ecosystems.

"We'll be entirely self-propelled on bicycle, skis and the 18-foot Laguna Windrose boat we picked up on eBay," says Angus, 32. "We depart Vancouver this spring and head through Alaska, across the Bering Sea and into the Siberian winter, which is even colder than Antarctica," he adds.


British Cave Explorers Dive Into Hot Water – British Royal Navy divers led to safety all six explorers trapped in a warren of caves near Cuetzalan, in eastern Mexico, about 180 miles northeast of Mexico City.

But Mexican officials, angry that they were not informed of the British explorers' expedition, detained the rescued men while questions over their visas were sorted out. Among the cavers were four members of the British navy. The group had been trapped in the flooded cave for a week. Each emerged in apparent good health and spirits, officials said.

Female North Pole Explorer Presumed Dead – Search teams looking for Finnish-French North Pole adventurer Dominick Arduin, who went missing in mid-March and is presumed dead, failed to locate her by press time. Arduin, 44, had hoped to be the first woman to reach the North Pole alone and unaided.

Her expedition began in March 5 from Cape Arctchesky, located on an island in the Arctic Ocean some 2,200 miles northeast of Moscow. She planned to kayak across a 35-mile stretch of mostly open water in the Arctic Ocean before reaching the ice pack, where she would start skiing.


It Happened One Night

Explorers Club Annual Dinner Marks 100th Anniversary

Over 1,500 Explorers Club members and their guests recently experienced an evening few will ever forget. Within a single six-hour period at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel on Mar. 20, numerous serving trays of roasted tarantulas were consumed; a heckler with a beef against Buzz Aldrin and endangered species bit the president of the Explorers Club on the hand as security guards ushered him out; dinner chairman Jack Reilly was thrown and slightly injured by a horse climbing the stairs at stage right; and a Teddy Roosevelt look-alike got the hook when he spoke too long.

Tickets for the sold-out packed-to-the-gunnels Explorers Club Annual Dinner (ECAD) were in such demand, some people had to watch the proceedings on a video monitor in the West Foyer, a side room out of sight of the stage. The record crowd resulted in a record haul of over $300,000 for EC programs, grants, and services.

Some highlights:

  • World Class Gathering – Club president Richard C. Wiese proudly proclaimed the group of explorers on the dais the greatest collection of modern-day explorers gathered together at any one time. It was hard to argue the point with a collection of exploration notables that included: astronaut Buzz Aldrin, ethnobotanist Wade Davis, marine biologist Sylvia A. Earle, naturalist Jim Fowler, polar explorer and balloonist David Hempleman-Adams, mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary, submariner Alfred McLaren, balloonist Bertrand Piccard, Mars lander Opportunity scientific director Stephen Squyres, dog musher Col. Norman D. Vaughan, oceanographer Don Walsh, and mountaineer Brad Washburn. We're betting a signed program with those autographs would command a pretty penny on eBay.

  • Standing Ovation for the Kiwi BeekeeperSir Edmund Hillary received a sustained standing ovation, both before and after his 30-min. talk. The 84-year-old legendary climber and humanitarian credits the mountains for "inspiring me and keeping me full of strength and energy." Sir Edmund continued, "I have been fortunate to be involved in many adventures. The most worthwhile things were not standing on mountains. My most important projects were building and maintaining schools and medical clinics for my good friends in the Himalayas."

  • Fear Was Not a Factor – The Exotics hors d'oeuvres are traditionally the signature event of ECAD, and this 100th anniversary year was no exception. Menu items included Succulent North American Beaver, Roasted Tempura Tarantula, Roasted Termite, West Virginia Cave Crickets, Pickled Duck Tongue, Braised Earthworm, Rilette of Raccoon and Nutri, and Poached Bovine Brain.

    Tagging along with Exotics vice chair Gene Rurka was freelance writer Thomas Vinciguerra who quoted Rurka in the Mar. 10 New York Times, "We're simply trying to show what explorers had to eat when they lived off the land. We don't want to do the 'Fear Factor' concept. This is not to gross people out." Rurka also told the Times, "If I had a beached whale, people would probably enjoy it."

    Lest you think there were any leftovers going home in doggy bags, the spread was virtually picked clean.

  • Save the Seas – "We start this new century of exploration with only a fraction of the oceans being protected the way we've protected the land," warns Sylvia Earle. "There are 50,000 sea mounts in the ocean that we're just beginning to map, much less name. Yet, there are 50 dead zones in the oceans of the world. The chemistry of the seas have adversely changed just within the lifetime of the people in this room."

  • Fear of Exploration? - Bertrand Piccard said we live in a world afraid of exploration, afraid of the unknown. "People try to have a little bit of safety around them. They want to be in control. But when exploring, you cannot control, you cannot plan," he said in a thick Swiss accent. "There are children waiting for their turn to explore. They have a new challenge. To change from conquests to protecting nature. We should not only explore the world. We need to explore life."

  • Exotic DestinationsSteven Squyres of NASA admitted to being humbled by the collection of explorers on the stage, saying all he had to show was a bunch of frequent flyer miles from Ithaca (N.Y.) to Pasadena (Calif.). "We build fiendishly complex robots. Our techniques lack the glamour and glory, but if you really like exotic destinations, we've got you covered."

  • From the Earth to the Moon – Again - "America is a nation bold enough to take pride in doing the impossible. For every $1 spent on Apollo, $7-$10 in new wealth was created," said Buzz Aldrin. "A new return to the moon will create new industry such as tele-robotics and advances in recycling."

  • A Web of LifeWade Davis said a visit to the 3-1/2 billion-year-old moon rock embedded in the Space Window at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., helped him understand the importance of returning to the moon: "to acquire new vision of life itself." He continued, "From space, we see ourselves as a fragile planet that can survive our abuse for only so long." (For more information and a selection of ECAD photos coming soon, see www.explorers.org).


    What? No Krabby Patties? – The Long John Silver's restaurant chain placed itself on the hook early this year when it offered one free giant (i.e. 6-in. 79 cent) shrimp to everyone in America if NASA's Mars Exploration Rover project found conclusive evidence of an ocean by Feb 29. But in a close call, NASA made its water-evidence announcement two days later, on Mar. 2. So the company didn't have to make good on the promotion, for which it had taken out an insurance policy just in case.

    Sensing a sea of free publicity, on Mar. 24, the chain decided to stick to the promotion after all, and despite the expiration of its insurance coverage, is offering every American one free giant shrimp for three hours on May 10 at participating restaurants. "There's no better way to recognize their giant accomplishment than with free Giant Shrimp for America," said Long John Silver's in a statement. Earlier, the company wrote NASA to officially register its interest in becoming the first seafood restaurant on the red planet.

    NASA's announcement that a shallow pool of briny water existed on the surface long ago could be the strongest evidence yet that the now-dry planet was once hospitable to life. The mouth-watering finding gives NASA impetus to expand its Mars exploration program to learn whether microbes ever existed there and, ultimately, whether people can live there, says Ed Weiler, NASA's associate administrator for space science.


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