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 2017 - Volume Twenty-Four, Number Nine
Celebrating Our 23rd Year!
PAX ARCTICA EXPLORES LITTLE-KNOWN NEW SIBERIAN ISLANDS
A one-month expedition will explore a virtually unknown region of the Russian Arctic to create awareness of the challenges affecting this part of the world.
The Pax Arctica - Russian Arctic Expedition 2017 is led by explorer Luc Hardy, 58, of Cos Cob, Conn., founder of Pax Arctica, an organization that raises awareness of the impact of climate change on arctic, polar and glacier regions.
Luc Hardy is ready to roll.
At a time when no place on the planet seems inaccessible, one of the most extreme regions has yet to reveal its secrets. Above the Arctic Circle, the islands of New Siberia and De Long are still terra incognita ... even if ancient and modern maps mention them; even if a few rare explorers trampled the ground of these virtual "white zones."
At press time, the Franco-Russian-American expedition was expected to launch from the port of Tiksi, in Yakutia. This (re)discovery of the islands of New Siberia is supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
Says HSH Prince Albert II, "The entire world needs the Arctic, a living Arctic, rich with the people who inhabit it and preserved from the dangers that threaten it.This is why it is our duty to invent in the Arctic, a new mode of development, an economy respectful of men and nature."
Victor Boyarsky will guide the expedition.
Well-known explorer Victor Boyarsky will be the guide for this expedition. He is Deputy PR Director of the Russian State Museum of Arctic and Antarctic in Saint-Petersburg.
In 1988, Boyarsky crossed Greenland from south to north by ski and dog with an international team; in 1989-1990 he participated in the International Trans-Antarctica Expedition, the longest in history, led by Will Steger. Since then he has participated in more than 30 expeditions to the North Pole on ski and with nuclear icebreaker.
It's hoped that the expedition will provide valuable information on the effects of climate change on these regions and the consequences they can have on ecosystems.Geolocalized measurements will be carried out in order to better understand local signs of climate change.
Inspired by the great adventurers of the nineteenth century, expedition leader Luc Hardy will embark on board the 437-ft. Russian Arctic research vessel - Mikhail Somov - in the company of renowned multidisciplinary researchers including the paleozoologist Alexei Tikhonov and the anthropobiologist Eric Crubezy.
A documentary film about the Pax Arctica Expedition will be directed by Bertrand Delapierre, whose numerous films include The Pursuit of Endurance - on the Shoulders of Shackleton.
See the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YttkGizltA
Partners include: Green Cross International, La Francaise, Sigg, and Tag Heuer.
Follow the expedition in real time:
Follow via Garmin inReach: https://share.garmin.com/LHRussia
GOBI WINTER EXPEDITION TO USE DRONES
UK polar explorer Newall Hunter, 53, is 900 km (560 miles) into a bike-based reconnaissance trip in preparation for a solo crossing of the Gobi Desert on foot this November.
At press time he was half-way across, posting about checking inside his boots in the morning before putting them on due to scorpions.
Newall Hunter will tackle the Gobi in winter.
The coming winter trek will take Newall, a resident of Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire, England, between 70 and 90 days depending on weather conditions, which will feature temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees F. (- 40°C) and winds of up to 100 mph.
His official 1,600 km (994-mile) solo attempt on foot will stretch from this November into January 2018, according to a story in the Gloucestershire Reporter by Eddie Bisknell (Aug. 18)
However, for the first part of his research for the trek, Newall is going to spend most of September on the bike reconnaissance to identify the best route for him to take and to locate sources of water.
To help him in his search for water he will be flying a drone to obtain on-the-spot aerial images, which may prove crucial to the mission's success since he will only be able to carry two days supplies at a time.
Hunter is an aerial drone operator specializing in technical filming solutions for extreme sports, expeditions, and in mountainous and remote locations where others won't go.
See examples of his work at: http://www.sevensummits.aero
"Water, or rather the lack of it, is going to be the most critical factor, if it can be located then it will probably be frozen," said Newall, who just over two and a half years ago gained the title of the first Scot to ski solo to the South Pole and the first Briton to undertake that particular route.
"If it can't be done on a bike, then I certainly won't be able to walk it pulling a cart with my supplies on it, but I don't think it will come to that," he said.
The word "Gobi" means "waterless place" and the desert which bears its name is a vast and arid region in southern Mongolia and northern China; it is the world's fifth largest desert.
His progress on both the reconnaissance and the full attempt can be followed on www.newallhunter.com
Read the story in the Gloucestershire Reporter here:
Follow him on Facebook:
PULLING FOR THE PLANET: GREENLAND 2019
Apparently, when you're born with an exploration gene, you're always planning your next project, even before your current one is completed. Such is the case with Lonnie Dupre from Grand Marais, Minn. We first met the indefatigable explorer in 1989 during the Bering Bridge Expedition. Since then, the 56-year-old's projects have been covered often in these pages.
His next adventure is a 100-day, 1,000-mi. dog sled expedition in Greeland beginning in January 2019. Based out of Qaanaaq, the northernmost community in the world, the team will share the Inuit culture, the exploration, history and scientific discoveries of a rarely visited place on earth.
Lonnie Dupre keeps going and going and going.
The team will travel to Warming Land, a series of unexplored icy fjords located on the northwestern tip of Greenland. The team then pushes on to the northernmost islands of Greenland, with a mission to discover the cairn built in the early 1900's by Robert Peary - generally recognized as the first explorer to reach the North Pole.
The team will also document three centuries-old Inuit tent rings at the mouth of Bessels fjord - reportedly discovered by Dupre in 2000, during his circumnavigation of Greenland, but never excavated nor measured.
To conduct product testing, the expedition will capitalize on one of most remote and harshest climates in the world. The team will also collect samples of ice, snow, plant life, and the inhabitants themselves for various pollutants.
"Pulling for the Planet pays homage to the Inuit people, unsung heroes of countless Arctic expeditions and pioneers of ingenuity to create rich lives. The Inuit exemplify a low carbon footprint existence-they lead their lives on simple living principles such as valuing strong communities, family, and unified work," Dupre says.
In addition to an educational program that expects to reach thousands of schoolchildren via free educational curricula, Pulling for the Planet, in conjunction with Pale Blue Dot Media, will produce a 1-hour film that shares the journey, discoveries and fascinating Inuit culture.
To accomplish the mission, Dupre has pulled together an exploration dream team including:
Joseph Cook - As a 2016 Rolex Young Laureate in the Exploration category, this glacial microbiologist has made his research a journey of discovery that reveals how ice micro-organisms on the Greenland ice sheet shape our world.
Cristian Donoso - A hardy explorer, Cristian has kayaked countless miles in rough waters in some of the most inhospitable places on earth. In 2006, he was named a Rolex associate laureate in exploration and culture. He plans to study and share the significance of the kayak in Inuit lives.
John Hoelscher - Spent six years in Antarctica before joining Lonnie on their first ever non-motorized circumnavigation of Greenland.
Ulyana Horodyskyj - scientist, adventurer and entrepreneur based in Boulder.
Pascale Marceau- An adventure racing, backcountry skiing and mountaineering athlete, her background is as a chemical engineer in the production and renewable energy fields.
Stevie Plummer - Has led the marketing and PR support for Lonnie's latest expeditions. An avid adventurer herself, she will be joining the team in Greenland and managing all communications and marketing aspects of the project.
The project is seeking $300,000 in sponsorship funding.
Learn more at:
Alan Arnette on K2
Alan Arnette Continues Sponsor Search for Project 8000 for Alzheimer's
Alan Arnette, 61, of Ft. Collins, Colo., is recovering well from a hiking accident earlier this year, well enough that he's resumed a sponsor search for his Project 8000 for Alzheimer's (see EN, January 2015) - an effort to raise $5 million for Alzheimer's and reach 100 million people.
With summits of Everest, K2 and Manaslu under his belt, and good efforts on Shishapangma, Broad Peak, Cho Oyu, and Lhotse, Arnette is planning to attempt the 11 mountains above 8000 meters (26,247 feet), he has not yet summitted.
If successful, he would only be the second American and 35th person to climb all 14 of the 8000 meter mountains.
As the 18th and oldest American to summit K2 at age 58 in 2014, the Alzheimer's advocate and passionate climber has reached over 50 million people and raised close to $300,000 for AD research, working with The Cure Alzheimer's Fund, Banner's Alzheimer's Prevention Registry, UsAgainstAlzheimer's and occasionally, the Alzheimer Association.
"Like so many, I find the state of investment, awareness and knowledge of Alzheimer's unacceptable," he says.
With the proper PR backing, he believes 100 million people can be reached during the campaign. His website and social media has over three million annual interactions, and over 30,000 social media followers. Arnette is seeking approximately $35,000 each for exclusive sponsorship of the remaining 11 mountains. The money is to be used for hiring guides, support staff, communications, gear, food, insurance, travel, and permits.
On Feb. 10, 2017, he was swept off his feet by high winds on Twin Sisters (11,428-ft.) in Rocky Mountain National Park. Arnette was on a tune-up climb for an attempt on Dhaulagiri in April. With him was fellow climber Jim Davidson (See EN, March 2017).
"I am making good progress and anticipate being able to climb another 8000'er in spring 2018," he tells EN.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"The first time I went to Everest as the lead guide, I reached 28,000 feet, but was forced to stay overnight and slept on the ground after stomping a platform in the snow. If I continued on, I felt I would be risking the loss of fingers and toes to frostbite, or being blown off the mountain because the winds were so high.
"The second time, the trip was cut short because of a lethal rock-fall on the mountain. There is never a guarantee, even if you have the best guide in the world, that you can make it to the summit. So much can happen, and so much can go wrong."
- Vern Tejas, mountain climbing guide from Talkeetna, Alaska. His book, Seventy Summits (Blue River Press/Cardinal, 2017), written with Lew Freedman, is a compilation of his experiences over the last four decades of high altitude mountain guiding.
For more information: https://sevensummitspecialist.com/vern-e-book
Surviving the Drake Shake
Knowing full-well our propensity for seasickness - mal de mer, tossing your cookies, praying to the porcelain god, saying hello to yesterday's lunch - call it what you like. Under certain conditions, truth be told, we could be incapacitated, or at the very least, the front of our shirts severely stained.
As the saying goes, once afflicted you become afraid you're going to die; then as seasickness gets worse, you worry that you won't.
We wear seasickness as a badge of honor. After all, no less an explorer than Charles Darwin was famously prone to the condition, resting in a hammock and eating only raisins during rough passages, and spending as much time ashore as possible.
Thus we read intently recent advice posted by Quark Expeditions about crossing the dreaded Drake Passage, which you'll recall is the body of water between South America's Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. It connects the southwestern part of the Atlantic Ocean with the southeastern part of the Pacific Ocean and extends into the Southern Ocean.
The passage is 800 kilometers (500 miles) across, making the crossing from Ushuaia the shortest distance and most direct route to the Antarctic Peninsula.
When rough, it's called the Drake Shake; in calm weather, seasoned travelers call it the Drake Lake. Regardless of the weather, it's best to consider your options.
"Take ginger, don't drink, eat saltines, wear wrist bands, try acupuncture, stare at the horizon, close your eyes... the dizzying array of suggestions to fend off seasickness may have you feeling queasy. But which one really works?" asks the Quark post by Miranda Miller (June 13, 2017).
"It may surprise you to learn that up to 50% of the people in any given passage across the Drake will feel some degree of seasickness.
"In seasickness, your eyes and inner ear disagree about your body's position in space. The resulting conflict can cause drowsiness, cold sweats, dizziness and vomiting," she warns.
"The passengers I spoke with on our expedition had varying degrees of success with their seasick skin patches and tablets. Unless you've been seasick before, you can't tell which solution will work for you."
Dr. Dan Zak, one of Quark's onboard physicians, said, "Once vomiting kicks in, dehydration becomes a risk - and if we determine you are becoming dehydrated, a shot of anti-motion sickness medicine in the buttocks may be in order.
"There's no shame in getting seasick - many veteran sailors admit to an occasional bout. It's almost impossible to tell whether you'll be seasick, but if you are prone to motion sickness, and ounce of prevention could be better than a pound of cure," Miller posts.
Your seasick-prone EN editor found the perfect solution: we moved this publication to Boulder.
Read Quark's advice here:
If not "world's hardest climb," it's certainly hard enough.
Hardest Climb in the World?
It took four years of preparation and seven visits to Norway, but Czech rock climber Adam Ondra has finally completed what is thought to be the hardest climb in the world.
The 24-year-old achieved the 45 meter ascent at Hanshelleren cave in Flatanger in just 20 minutes on Monday. Ondra believes the climb to be the first that can be classified as a "9c" - which would make it the world's hardest single rope-length climb.
"Months and months of my life summed up in 20 minutes. So much time and effort in something so short but intense as hell," he said.
His last triumph was becoming only the third man ever to climb El Capitan's Dawn Wall, the fabled rock in Yosemite National Park. The world champion, who was born in Brno in 1993, climbed his first 9a at the age 13 and went on to became the first climber in history to win both the Lead and Bouldering World Cup titles.
But Everest blogger and climber Alan Arnette of Ft. Collins, Colo., begs to differ.
(Ondra's feat is), "Impressive to be sure, but the grading system is not uniform across the world and this was a single rope, 45 m pitch rated on the French scale at 9b. When compared to the Yosemite Decimal Systems (YDS) it would be 5.15b and there are several climbers according to Mountain Project that meet that level of difficulty.
"Many people still view Alex Honnold's June 2017 free solo climb of of the 915 meter, 3,000-foot, wall of El Capitan-without a rope-to be the most impressive climb of all time. It took Honnold 3 hours and 56 minutes compared to Ondra's 20 minutes but both climbs will go down in history as amazing feats," Arnette tells EN. (See related story).
Ondra's next victory may well be an Olympic medal. Climbing was approved as a sport for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo by the International Olympic Committee last year.
See the story here:
Hillary and Tenzing Team Up on Pluto.
Pluto's Mountains Named after Hillary and Tenzing
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has officially approved 14 names for surface features on Pluto, according to Mike Wall of Space.com (Sept. 8).
The names were submitted for IAU approval by the New Horizons team. The scientists came up with some of those names themselves, while others were proposed by members of the public via the Our Pluto campaign, a collaboration among the mission team, the IAU and the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, Calif.
Tenzing Montes and Hillary Montes were names given to towering water-ice mountain ranges on Pluto in honor of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary.
"The approved designations honor many people and space missions who paved the way for the historic exploration of Pluto and the Kuiper Belt, the most distant worlds ever explored," said New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder.
Alan Stern at the Rocky Mountain chapter of The Explorers Club last May.
Stern and the IAU don't see eye to eye on everything, however. In 2006, the IAU reclassified Pluto as a "dwarf planet," reducing the number of officially recognized "true" planets in our solar system to eight. The decision still does not sit well with Stern and a number of other scientists.
Read the story here:
Lowell Thomas Awardee to be Honored Posthumously
Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Awardee Donn Keith Haglund, Ph.D., passed away peacefully on Aug. 9 at the age of 90. His son Erik is attending the Oct. 28 Toronto dinner and will present on his father's work (See EN, August 2017).
Dr. Donn Haglund was known for his expertise in maritime transport to support Arctic economic development. He was Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, where he established an Arctic Winter field course which he taught for more than 40 years. The course "Arctic Winter," inspired countless students with his passion of the far North and his dedication to preserving the Arctic Circle.
Read his obituary here:
Join Science in the Wild
Join Science in the Wild, an adventure citizen science company run by Dr. Ulyana Horodyskyj, in the field this year and next. You'll not only learn about the beautiful landscapes you're trekking in and climbing, but also get to participate in important scientific projects.
From November 11-19, 2017: If you're a climber, take part in our snow and ice sampling expedition on Mexico's volcanoes, Iztaccihuatl and Pico de Orizaba. We'll be exploring the impacts of city pollution as well as volcanic ash on melting of snow and ice:
From January 15 - 20, 2018: If you love survival stories, horseback riding, and hiking, travel with us to the Andes and explore the site made famous in the book, Alive! in the company of one of the survivors. We'll learn about the science of survival and document how the glacial landscape has changed in the 40+ years since the airplane crash:
From February 4 - 12, 2018: If you love Aztec history, culinary delights, and working with robotics, join us in Mexico to explore Teotihuacan (site of Pyramids of the Sun and Moon), Nevado de Toluca's volcanic crater lakes, and Iztaccihuatl's summit glacier. This trip is not as rigorous as our November Mexican volcanoes itinerary and is focused on a scientific, culinary, and cultural experience:
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 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:
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