Expedition News
December 2004 – Volume Eleven, Number Twelve

EXPEDITION NEWS, now in its 10th year, is the monthly review of significant expeditions, research projects and newsworthy adventures. It is distributed online and via snail 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 December issue, but this is only part of the story. Click here to subscribe to the full edition. or e-mail us for a free sample copy at editor@ExpeditionNews.com


As if exploring wasn’t dangerous enough, one British expedition in Nigeria needs a police escort.

A group of Britons began re-enacting the discovery of the course of the river Niger, hoping to avoid the same fate as 19th century explorer Richard Lander (1804-1834). Lander's discovery, which followed several fatal attempts to confirm the river's course by other British explorers, was of great importance because it opened up what is now Nigeria to international marine trade.

The expedition will not complete Lander's whole route to the Atlantic because of the risk of attack in the delta, a lawless area of wetlands which pumps almost all the OPEC nation's oil.


Journey to the Coldest Spot on Earth – A Chinese expedition departed from Fremantle in Western Australia last month on a project to record weather conditions at what is believed to be the coldest place on earth.

The Australian Antarctic Division has trained the explorers to install an automatic weather station at a place called "Dome A" by the end of January.

The station will give scientists detailed information for the next five years about a climate where the temperature plummets to about minus 90 degrees Celsius (minus 130 degrees F.).

Group Wants Everest on Endangered List – Melting glaciers caused by climate change are posing an urgent threat to Mount Everest's unique environment, activists said last month, launching a campaign to save the Himalayan mountain range and the world's highest peak.

Lakes have swollen from the runoff, and unless urgent action is taken, many could burst, threatening the lives of thousands of people and destroying the environment, said the group of mountaineers, Nepalese climbers and lobbyists from Friends of the Earth.

The organization presented a petition in Paris asking UNESCO, the United Nation's cultural agency, to place Nepal's Everest National Park on its World Heritage in Danger List.


Money from MazamasThe Mazamas, an Oregon mountaineering club founded in 1894, is currently accepting expedition grant applications for the upcoming 2005 season. Expedition grants (up to $1,000 per expedition) are awarded to individuals or teams attempting significant expedition style ascents. In return, they ask recipients to write an article for the Club’s Annual, and provide a slide show and training for the members.

The primary purposes of the club are to explore mountains, disseminate authoritative and scientific information concerning them, and encourage the preservation of forests and other features of the mountains and their natural beauty. The application deadline is January 1. (For more information: www.Mazamas.org/resources/exped_grantinfo.php).


"People say I don’t stop to smell the roses. I say I like smelling more different roses than pondering just one." – Speed climber Hans Florine, 40, of Lafayette, Calif. (www.HansFlorine.com).

Florine set the speed record on the Nose of El Capitan twice, and the speed record on the California fourteeners. In his new book with Bill Wright titled, Speed Climbing – How to Climb Faster and Better (Falcon, 2002), he defines speed climbing as a philosophy about moving quickly and efficiently up difficult terrain. "Climbing fast enables you to climb more pitches, complete more routes, and go more places."

Florine himself agrees that some people are put off by the overtly competitive atmosphere of Yosemite Valley speed climbers. He admits, "Some people like to slow down and smell the copperheads; others, as Maverick says in the movie Top Gun, just "feel the need – the need for speed." EN caught up with him at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show where he was pulling booth duty for his sponsor, KINeSYS performance sunscreen.


Sir Edmund Lashes Out at U.S., Britain over Antarctic – New Zealand explorer and mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary, making probably his last visit to the Antarctic at the age of 85, lashed out in late November at the U.S. and Britain, two of the biggest powers working and researching on the ice continent. Hillary, who drove to the South Pole on a tractor nearly half a century ago, said he was appalled the U.S. was building a road across Antarctica.

He also accused Britain of neglecting the historic huts of Robert Falcon Scott who died on his way back from the South Pole in 1912, and fellow polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. After visiting both huts, built in the early 1900s, Hillary told New Zealand's TV3 both men "really were of the heroic mold." Of the huts he said: "They are now being neglected and I believe that the people of the U.K. should be putting more effort into preserving the areas."

Social Climbers – Time to buy stock in bivy bags. Life magazine (Nov. 26) reports tree climbing is being rediscovered. Clubs for adults have sprouted up in Colorado, Oregon, Michigan, and Georgia. Using regular climbing ropes, helmets and harnesses, climbers typically make their way up 75- to 150-ft. trees ... and then hang out in bivies.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory? Fuhgetaboutit – When one of NASA’s rovers drills a hole in a rock on Mars, the commands come from a second-floor walk-up in Lower Manhattan. Above a clothing shop, engineers at Honeybee Robotics built the drilling tools aboard the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, which landed some 200 million miles away on Mars last January. Stephen Gorevan, Honeybee’s founder and chairman, tells the New York Times (Nov. 7), "You walk down the street and there are shoe stores, bakeries and here we’re controlling some robotic mechanism on Mars." Target locations on some rocks have been named TriBeCa, Little Italy, SoHo, Chelsea, Chinatown and West Village.


Where you out at 6 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving on an expedition seeking bargain gifts at the local Wally Mart? Not us. We were all set with sure-fire expedition-worthy gifts for the tree (or Chrismukkah bush). For a free copy of our gift-giving guide for the Holiday season, e-mail us at editor@ExpeditionNews.com


Himalaya Climbs and Treks – Join SummitClimb.com and Daniel Mazur. Basecamp Treks from $950. Climbs: Everest from $6950, Cho-Oyu from $5950, Amadablam from $1450; Pumori from $1750; Mustagata from $1690, and Lhotse from $2950.
Novices, experts. Treks, video/slide shows!

Tel: (+1) 360-570-0715

Expedition Public Relations – Alex Foley & Associates specializes in international public relations for explorers, expeditions and adventure challenges creating maximum value for title sponsors.

Alexandra Foley is a dual British-American citizen, Honorary Secretary of the British Chapter of the Explorers Club and a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society. Her firm has executed PR programmes for numerous expeditions including the Titanic 1996 Expedition, The Ice Challenger Bering Strait Expedition, Will Cross’s Novolog Ultimate Trek to Cure Diabetes, David Hempleman Adams’s Chase de Vere, Bank of Ireland and Uniq Atlantic Balloon Challenges, and his solo and unsupported trek to the Geomagnetic North Pole, and Rosie Stancer’s Snickers South Pole Solo Challenge.

Alex Foley & Associates Ltd.
London, UK
Tel: (+44) 207-352-3144
Mobile: (+44) 797-671-3478.

EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 28 Center Street, Darien, CT 06820. Tel. (+1) 203-655-1600, fax (+1) 203-655-1622, blumassoc@aol.com. Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Assistant editor: Jamie Gribbon ©2004 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr.; international postal rate US$46/yr. Click here to subscribe to the full edition.. 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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