Expedition News logo

EXPEDITION NEWS, founded in 1994, is the monthly review of significant expeditions, research projects and newsworthy adventures. It is distributed online to media representatives, corporate sponsors, educators, research librarians, explorers, environmentalists, and outdoor enthusiasts. This forum on exploration covers projects that stimulate, motivate and educate.


September 2015 - Volume Twenty-Two, Number Nine 

Celebrating Our 21st Year!                                           


Bancroft's Next Project Focuses on Water Education

In 1986, explorer Ann Bancroft was the only female member of the Steger North Pole Expedition. It was just Ann, seven men and 49 male dogs. As a result, she earned the distinction of being the first known woman in history to cross the ice to the North Pole.

In an appearance on NPR's Wait, Wait .... Don't Tell Me in 2010, host Peter Segal joked, "Did they bring you so in case they got lost someone would ask for directions?"

In February 2001, Bancroft and Norwegian polar explorer Liv Arnesen, became the first women in history to sail and ski across Antarctica's landmass - completing a 94-day, 1,717-mile (2,747 km) trek. Ann, who turns 60 this month, and Liv, 62, are now preparing for a multicontinent series of adventure and education treks focused on global water resources.  

First up is Asia where in fall 2015 they will travel India's Ganges River on a two-month expedition with six other women from six continents. Along the way, through web links, curriculum and partnerships, they hope to engage millions of school kids regarding the plights of the world's water supply. 

It was seven men, 49 male dogs, and Ann

"Water encompasses everything," said Ann, who lives on an 80-acre farmstead home in Scandia, Minn.

"It's an element that links us all as human beings. Everyone needs water, and we all have challenges about it no matter where we live." A similar trek is planned for Africa in 2017, with trips to the other five continents in the next five odd-numbered years - all to highlight water's central role in life.

Bancroft is a spokesperson for the Learning Disabilities Association, Wilderness Inquiry and Girl Scouts of the USA. She also founded and currently leads the Ann Bancroft Foundation, a non-profit organization that celebrates the existing and potential achievements of women and girls.

Learn more about her many projects here: http://www.yourexpedition.com

Read about Liv Arneson here: http://livarnesen.com

Mount McKinley Becomes Denali

President Obama announced in late August that Mount McKinley was being renamed Denali, using his executive power to restore an Alaska Native name meaning "the high one" or "the great one" with deep cultural significance to the tallest mountain in North America.

It is the latest bid by the president to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise to improve relations between the federal government and the nation's Native American tribes, an important political constituency that has a long history of grievances against the government.

Denali's name has long been seen as one such slight, regarded as an example of cultural imperialism in which a Native American name with historical roots was replaced by an American one having little to do with the place.

Minnesotan explorer Lonnie Dupre has some skin in this game - he's been to Denali five times and summited twice, once in summer and once in winter when he spent approximately 100 days in a solo summit.  He tells EN, "The name change is long overdue. A guy from the location of Ohio (President William McKinley 1843-1901) who never even stepped foot in Alaska, over the indigenous name 'Denali' that's probably been its namesake for centuries? Come on!  To leave it McKinley would be an insult to the indigenous folks living there," Dupre believes. 

Mega Expedition Returns From Great Garbage Patch

"We were surrounded by an endless layer of garbage," said Serena Cunsolo, 28, an Italian marine biologist who works for The Ocean Cleanup. "It was devastating to see."

He was a member of the crew of the Ocean Starr, a 171-ft. ship carrying a team of 15 researchers, scientists and volunteers gathering data on plastic garbage.

The so-called Mega Expedition is a part of the organization's effort to eventually clean up what's known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch located in the central North Pacific Ocean. 

Most of the trash they found, including a 1-ton fishing net, is medium to large-sized pieces, as opposed to confetti-like plastic shards that can easily enter the food chain after being eaten by small fish and birds and are extremely difficult to clean up, said Boyan Slat, who founded The Ocean Cleanup and has developed a technology that he says can start removing the garbage by 2020.

Slat said the group will publish a report of its findings by mid-2016 and after that they hope to test out a 1-mile barrier to collect garbage near Japan. The ultimate goal is the construction of a 60-mile barrier in the middle of the Pacific.
He launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised 2 million euros (about $ 2.27 million) that helped to launch his organization thanks to the success of a 2012 Ted Talk he gave about his idea that was viewed more than two million times.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch was discovered by Charles J. Moore in 1997 as he returned home from the Transpacific Yacht Race, which starts in Los Angeles and ends in Honolulu.

See the video here: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mega-expedition-returns-from-great-pacific-garbage-patch/

Learn more about what's being called the "largest clean-up in history": http://www.theoceancleanup.com/?gclid=COPGvJqd58cCFUUUHwodyqMJ0g

Baxter State Park Has Conniption as Jurek's AT Record Breaks Rules

It's EN's first-ever use of the word "conniption," but it seems an apt way to describe Baxter State Park's dismay over ultramarathon runner Scott Jurek's speed hike of the Appalachian Trail. Starting last June he walked and ran the entire 2,190-mi. distance in 46 days, eight hours and seven minutes, breaking a record. But when he sprayed champagne at the summit, he crossed the line.

Baxter State Park officials in Maine are now threatening to reroute the end of the trail off Katahdin and out of the park.
Such talk is disturbing to AT traditionalists, according to an Aug. 29 New York Times story by Katharine Q. Seelyeaug.
The matter is coming to a head in part because Jurek, 41, broke a handful of strict park rules, receiving three citations, for having a group larger than 12 (the citation said 16), drinking alcohol in public and littering - the result of all that champagne spilling on the rocks, which a ranger said attracted bees and made the summit "smell like a redemption center."

But more urgently, the Appalachian Trail is bracing for a surge in hikers after the release this month of A Walk in the Woods, a movie about the trail starring Robert Redford, which is expected to prod more couch potatoes onto the Appalachian Trail, writes Seelyeaug.

Read the entire story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/30/us/as-hikers-celebrate-on-appalachian-trail-some-ask-where-will-it-end.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share&_r=0

In a related story ... while most Appalachian Trail thru-hikers find themselves a few pounds lighter at the end of their journey, last March, a team of hikers sponsored by Granite Gear set out to hike and clean up the AT. Five months and 2,190 miles later they had successfully packed out 1,090 pounds of trail trash.

Stemming from the Leave No Trace principle "pack it in, pack it out," the Packing It Out team carried extra heavy duty trash bags and extra rope to accommodate heavier loads, such as mattresses. They often had to carry trash for up to four days before finding a receptacle; the team relied on the kindness of others to help them dispose of the garbage at trail heads.
To learn more about Packing It Out and how they accomplished their impressive goal, visit www.packingitout.blogspot.com.

Anchors Away

The Access Fund and the American Alpine Club announced a joint grant program available to local climbing organizations and anchor replacement groups seeking funding for fixed anchor replacement at climbing areas across the U.S. By partnering on this program, the nation's two national non-profit climbing organizations are filling a need unmet by their existing climbing conservation grants - replacing fixed anchors at local crags. This grant program is made possible by corporate support from ClimbTech, Petzl, and Trango.
"Across the United States, bolts installed in the 80's and 90's are aging, and there are growing concerns of anchor failure, incidents, and access issues," says Access Fund Executive Director Brady Robinson. "While bolting standards continue to evolve, there is an immediate need to address aging and inadequate fixed anchors and increase support for local and national partners leading these efforts."
Read more about it here:


Direct questions to: anchorrfund@accessfund.org

Stormtroopers Crash Wedding
It was only fitting. When Kellie Gerardi, 26, an aerospace/defense professional and a major space enthusiast, was married recently in Woodstock, Vt., the wedding party included astronauts and some Star Wars Imperial Stormtroopers. 

Wedding crashers 

Kellie, who resides in Brooklyn, is the business development specialist for Masten Space Systems and serve as the Media Specialist for the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, the U.S. spaceflight industry trade association. As a member of The Explorers Club, she carried the flag on an expedition to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), a prototype lab in Utah used to simulate long-duration spaceflight and study in situ resource utilization for space settlement (see EN, March 2015).
The woman has some pull: the ceremony was officiated by NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and included readings from citizen astronaut Richard Garriott de Cayeux, as well as a pre-recorded toast from NASA astronaut Scotty Kelly, currently aboard the International Space Station on a year-long flight. 
Gerardi is also one of 30 finalists for the Kruger Cowne "Rising Star" program, which will send a winner to space onboard XCOR Aerospace's Lynx spacecraft, and she's one of 100 final candidates for Mars One, who would volunteer for a one-way trip to Mars should the trip become feasible. We're not sure if her newly minted husband, Steve Baumruk, 38, has signed off on that one.
"There are two kinds of exploration: the one the world knows best that discovers rivers and poles and mountains and things. And the one which discovers people as they are, really - the one that would rather establish a source of common thought communication than have a mountain peak named after him."
- Caspar Whitney (1864-1929), a writer for Harper's magazine and a war correspondent in a letter to Henry Collins Walsh, founding member of the Arctic Club of America. Whitney wrote to decline membership in what would become The Explorers Club. Source: http://narrative.ly/off-the-grid/secrets-of-the-worlds-super-explorers/
Mission Into the Unknown
The enduring mystery of the location of Genghis Kahn's tomb is one of the topics planned when explorer Josh Gates returns to The Travel Channel with Expedition Unknown on October 7. Gates is on a mission to find the truth behind iconic legends, digging through years of historical evidence, facts and myths. 
His adventures take him around the globe as he immerses himself in the core locales linked to each tale. Episodes include excavating ruins in search of the real Robin Hood, to sailing the high seas investigating Christopher Columbus, and searching for Genghis Khan's tomb in Mongolia.  Follow the show on Twitter: @TravelChannel #ExpeditionUnknown
Men Only?
"Can only men be adventurers?" That's the question posted by naturalist and ecoadventurer Catherine Capon writing in The Huffington Post, Sept. 10.
Her mission is to inspire one million people to go on an ecoadventure and do something positive with their time off work.
She believes, "responsible ecotourism is the best tool we have to protect endangered species as it makes those animals and areas worth more alive than dead."
Capon continues, "What I didn't expect from running this campaign is an obstacle that I've come up against over and over again. I'm not a man! In order to reach my target of one million people, I've needed to engage sponsors, partners and media. Many meetings have seen me spend at least 50% of the time trying to be taken seriously by showing footage and images of me swimming with sharks, searching for anacondas, rock climbing with marmosets and setting camera traps for tigers," Capon writes. 
"'But you don't look like an adventurer' was the response I received from a potential sponsor when I explained my campaign for 2015. 'I've had to fire women from expeditions before; they are too distracting.' 
"Yes, a woman can do these things, and yes, other women might like to try these adventures too. I never even thought of myself as a women who was an ecoadventurer but perhaps this is one sector where what sex you are still matters to be considered a role-model. ...  I'll keep on campaigning to disprove that 'Only men can be adventurers.'"
Read the complete post here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/catherine-capon/only-men-can-be-adventurers_b_8098900.html
Japanese Firm Says Moon Ad is in the Can 

The Japan-based Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. aims to land a special "time capsule" can of its Pocari Sweat sports drink on the moon next year. The capsule will be delivered to the lunar surface by Astrobotic Technology's Griffin lander, which will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in late 2016, if all goes according to plan.

That's one small step for can.

The "Lunar Dream" capsule will contain titanium plates engraved with messages submitted by people around the world, as well as a serving of powdered Pocari Sweat, according to Space.com. The vision calls for future lunar explorers to pop open the can and enjoy a drink, after mixing the powder with water sourced from the moon.  

Read the story here:


Anyone can submit a message for the time capsule; just type it into your smartphone and point it towards the moon when you send. No, we're not making this up - Expedition News doesn't kid about such things, now do we? To learn how to participate, go to http://lunar-dream.com/en/join/messenger/

Big Byrd

Stormin' Norman 
Another triple H day along the Connecticut shore: hazy, hot and humid. What to watch on NetFlix tonight? Here's one way to cool off: order With Byrd at the South Pole (1930). It's the account of Adm. Richard E. Byrd's 1929-30 expedition to Antarctica. What makes it even more poignant around here is that we knew one of the stars of the black and white documentary: the late polar explorer Norman D. Vaughan who was in charge of the sled dogs. In fact, he spent a year training dogs, building cages and sleds, and assembling gear for a year on the ice, according to the book he co-wrote with Cecil B. Murphey, With Byrd at the Bottom of the World (Stackpole Books, 1990)   
There's Col. Vaughan leading a dog team over a crevasse, with black wavy hair and a full black beard. There he is again with a group of fellow explorers standing together with hands over their hearts, according to our source, Norman's widow, Carolyn Muegge-Vaughan of Anchorage who provide the images accompanying this story.

Norman (far left) and teammates during Byrd Antarctic Expedition 

Byrd knew the value of corporate expedition sponsorship. 
The official Academy Award-winning documentary, produced by Paramount Newsreel, shows the establishment of the Little America base, about nine miles inland. In it Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, USN, says, "Man will not be satisfied until he knows the globe upon which he lives." You'll see dogs harass penguins, hear comical music whenever penguins appear, and see cameos of Byrd's dog Igloo.  Most amazing scene: unloading an airplane from the ship and manhauling it out onto the ice for a flight over the South Pole.   
Vintage NASA: Rare Clear Armstrong Photo Found


The only clear photo of Neil Armstrong on the moon, taken by Buzz Aldrin (Photo courtesy of Bloomsbury/BNPS)

There's a story behind this photo which we find fascinating. For almost 20 years after Apollo 11 the only photographs known of Neil Armstrong on the moon were a few grainy images from the TV camera and the 16-mm motion picture camera. NASA believed that no Hasselblad photograph existed. However, in 1987 two British researchers studying the mission's voice transcripts realized that one of the photographs in a panorama taken by Buzz Aldrin included Armstrong working at the Lunar Module.  

The error probably arose within days of splashdown when Brian Duff, besieged by the world's media as head of Public Affairs at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, asked Neil Armstrong if he ever gave the camera to Buzz Aldrin. Armstrong answered a simple "no" because according to the flight plan he was required to place the camera in a pre-arranged position from where Aldrin would pick it up when he was ready.

This photograph, unseen by the general public at the time, was not included in the selection made for distribution by the Public Affairs Office who explained Armstrong's conspicuous absence by stating that Aldrin never had the camera. As a result, vintage prints of the image are extremely rare; this example was probably printed at the request of a NASA staff member, according to Bloomsbury Auctions in London.

See this photo and other vintage NASA images here:


Philanthropic Expeditions

Former Mark Burnett reality show producer Maria Baltazzi combines adventure travel with fundraising, calling the end result, "philanthropic expeditions." One trip, Oct. 19 to 29, will climb and summit Kilimanjaro during the full moon, benefitting Grassroot Soccer through a partnership with Crowdrise. This is an organization that teaches AIDS/HIV awareness through community youth soccer programs. It was founded by Ethan Zohn, winner of Survivor Africa and former pro soccer player. He used part of his Survivor Africa winnings to begin this organization. 

Trip details: http://sojournexplorers.com/explorers-link/full-moon-kilimanjaro-expedition-lemosho-route-with-lesordo/
The other trip is Nov. 21 to 29 - a lodge-to-lodge trek to Machu Picchu with CauseCentric's Celine Cousteau, granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau. Funds will benefit Cousteau's documentary, Tribes On The Edge, about a vanishing group in the Amazon, the Vale do Javari. 

Trip details: http://sojournexplorers.com/explorers-link/salkantay-with-celine-cousteau/
For more information: baltazzi@sojourn-intl.com,  www.sojournexplorers.com 
Coyote Ugly 

The rather horrifying coyote head we saw in The Explorers Club recently - the one that was turned into a smoking pipe - did not actually belong to the Club (see EN, August 2015). It was brought to the Club for several hours for an interview that a member was conducting. The executive director, Will Roseman, asked that it be removed immediately.
"Certainly, we have taxidermy in the Club, items that represent a different era, but in my opinion, there's no excuse for that type of taxidermy. There's nothing educational or scientific about it," he tells EN.

Never Stop Exploring Fall Tour

The North Face announced the fall tour schedule for the 2015 The North Face Never Stop Exploring Speaker Series, presented by Gore-Tex. The Speaker Series, which kicked off August 13, features world class athletes and their personal stories, experiences, hardships and adventurous feats. Each multi-media event is followed by a live discussion and Q&A session with the athletes including Jimmy Chin, Conrad Anker, Emily Harrington, Hilaree O'Neill and more.

See the schedule and trailer here: https://www.thenorthface.com/get-outdoors/never-stop-exploring-speaker-series.html

Lowell Thomas Awardees to be Honored Nov. 6 to 8, 2015
Hosted at the Crowne Plaza Oceanfront in Melbourne, Fla., The Explorers Club 2015 Lowell Thomas awards will feature a weekend of events from Friday, Nov. 6 to Sunday, Nov. 8. The annual award program celebrates explorers who exhibit excellence and innovation in conservation, with emphasis on emerging techniques and technologies that meaningfully contribute to knowledge of the world and how to protect it. Awardees are:
*Mark Edward Hay, Ph.D., FN'15 - An experimental field ecologist who is revolutionizing coral reef conservation and management.  
*Robert Glenn Ketchum, FN'88 - His imagery, exhibitions, numerous publications, and personal activism have helped to define photography's successful use in conservation advocacy.  
*Federico M. Lauro, Ph.D., FI'15 - As director of Indigo V Expeditions, he works to discover the ways in which microorganisms adapt and function to drive the ecological processes that are critical for sustaining the health of global marine environments.  
*George Van Nostrand Powell, Ph.D. - Dedicating his career and life to conserving biodiversity around the globe, he is a pioneer in the application of new approaches and technologies in pursuit of conservation.  
*Anne Savage, Ph.D. - Conservation Director for Disney's Animals, Science and Environment at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Her infrastructure initiatives educate and involve the indigenous populations of conservation efforts, thereby ensuring the ongoing protection of surrounding natural habitats.
*Gary A. Strobel, Ph.D., FN'05 - The principal authority on all aspects of the study of endophytes, he is a distinguished microbiologist and naturalist. (An endophyte is often a bacterium or fungus that lives within a plant for at least part of its life cycle without causing apparent disease).
For more information: www.explorers.org
Expedition News Treks West  

The famed Boulder Flatirons
After 21 years based in the northeast, Expedition News is about to embark on a new adventure. Effective September 15, we will relocate our offices to Boulder, Colorado. The city at the base of the Front Range ranks alongside Salt Lake/Ogden and Seattle, as a center of the outdoor recreation business in the U.S. Besides, the lure of the mountains simply became too great to continue our flatland existence much longer. Our new location is 1877 Broadway, Suite 100, Boulder, CO 80302. Tel. 203 326 1200, editor@expeditionnews.com
Expect the same great coverage of explorations and adventures, except of course, on powder mornings.
Get Sponsored! - Hundreds of explorers and adventurers raise money each month to travel on world class expeditions to Mt. Everest, Nepal, Antarctica and elsewhere. Now the techniques they use to pay for their journeys are available to anyone who has a dream adventure project in mind, according to the new book from Skyhorse Publishing called: "Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would Be World Travelers."

Author Jeff Blumenfeld, an adventure marketing specialist who has represented 3M, Coleman, Du Pont, Lands' End and Orvis, among others, shares techniques for securing sponsors for expeditions and adventures.

Buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Get-Sponsored-Explorers-Adventurers-Travelers-ebook/dp/B00H12FLH2
Advertise in Expedition News - For more information: blumassoc@aol.com
EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 1877 Broadway, Suite 100, Boulder, CO 80302 USA. Tel. 203 326 1200, editor@expeditionnews.com. Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Research editor: Lee Kovel. 2015 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr. available by e-mail only. Credit card payments accepted through www.paypal.com.  Read EXPEDITION NEWS at www.expeditionnews.com. Enjoy the EN blog at www.expeditionnews.blogspot.com





Website hosted by SplinterNIC.com