Expedition News
July 2005 – Volume Twelve, Number Seven

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 July 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

Round Ireland Swim Expedition

Next summer, a team of six Irish swimmers will attempt to swim 827 miles around the country of Ireland. If successful, they expect to grab bragging rights as the first team in history to circumnavigate a country by swimming (editor’s note: we have our doubts and believe many smaller countries – think Bermuda or Anguilla – may have been circled by swimmers). Record or not, promoters are calling it "one of the most inspiring, unique and challenging marine expeditions ever undertaken or attempted in Irish Coastal Waters."

The project is expected to take eight weeks involving a relay team of six experienced open ocean swimmers from the four provinces of Ireland.


Tough Sledding: Bad News for Two Arctic Ocean Expeditions

Airlift Ordered for One World Expedition – Explorers Lonnie Dupre and Eric Larsen were forced early last month to cut short the first attempt to cross the Arctic Ocean in summer, but have vowed to continue campaigning for action on human-caused global climate change, including work with expedition partner Greenpeace. Unexpected weather conditions, including unusually deep snow and a steady southerly ice drift, forced the explorers to call for a helicopter airlift. (See EN, May 2005)

Logistics Companies’ Squabble Dooms Bancroft-Arnesen Project – In a related story, polar explorers Ann Bancroft, 49, Scandia, Minn., and Liv Arnesen, 51, Oslo, Norway, were unexpectedly evacuated Mar. 31 from the Arctic Ocean due to a business dispute between two competitive logistics companies that transport scientists, tourists and expedition teams to the Arctic region from Russia. A similar dispute delayed the explorers’ departure from Russia in early March. The evacuation ended Bancroft and Arnesen’s attempt to become the first women to cross the Arctic Ocean. (See EN, March 2005).


American Ascends Kilimanjaro in Record Time – A new world record for the fastest ascent of one of the world’s most recognized mountains, Mt. Kilimanjaro, in Africa, has been made by Washington, D.C.-area fitness expert Sean Burch. Burch, 34, ran the 22-mi./34 km route in 5 hours, 28 minutes, and 48 seconds, endured a vertical gain of almost 15,000-ft., and faced hypothermia, pulmonary edema, a blinding wind storm, pouring rain, sleet, and snow as he ran through five different ecosystems to reach the 19,340-ft. summit.

Legally Blind Sailors Continue Circumnavigation – Last Oct. 11, Scott Duncan, 38, and Pamela Habek, 42, put the Golden Gate Bridge astern in a bid to come the first legally blind people to sail across an ocean or circumnavigate the globe. Their Valiant 32-ft. cutter, Tournesol, is outfitted with special equipment to help them trim sails and steer a course, including a talking GPS receiver and collision avoidance radar detection (which Duncan reads with a magnifying glass). They began the next leg of their voyage May 4, leaving Marina Paradise Village in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, bound for Nuku Hiva Island in the Marquesas, where they arrived 2,870 miles later on June 4.



Modern-day Pole-Seekers Fail to Vindicate Peary’s Claim

By Sir Wally Herbert, Richard Weber, and Mikhail Malakhov

In the last 35 years more than 200 men and women have succeeded in reaching the North Pole, and not one of them has been able to vindicate the claim of Commander Robert E. Peary that he and his five companions reached the North Pole on Apr. 6, 1909. Most of these adventurers have flown out from their goal - that being the quickest and easiest way of ending their adventure on drifting ice and getting safely back to land. However, by so doing, they have made it impossible to draw a reasonable comparison between their own achievement and that of Peary’s 1909 attempt to reach that same desolate spot because Peary claims also to have made the return journey in 16 marches - a round trip total of 53 days.

These other expeditions have, in other words, made only half of Peary’s total journey.

For a free sample of the issue containing the complete story, send an e-mail to editor@ExpeditionNews.com


"Glacier to Gobi" Gorges May Have Been Previously Run – In our June issue we reported on a Shipton-Tilman grant awarded to the "Glacier to Gobi" project, an attempt to descend 80 miles on the Inylchek and Sarydzhaz Rivers in the Kyrgyz Republic and the Ku-mu-a-li-k’o River in China. In speaking to team member Middy Tilghman and Outside magazine’s Grayson Shaffer, we have learned that the claim that the gorges have never been run before cannot be substantiated. It is known that some of the gorges have been run by various Russian expeditions, but it is unclear if all have been descended.

"We know some of the gorges have been run, and the Russian guys who ran it deserve the credit. They are bad-ass, to put it mildly, for doing it with the equipment and support they had," said Tilghman.


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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 ©2005 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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