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.
October 2018 - Volume Twenty-Four, Number Ten
Celebrating Our 24th Year!
EXPEDITION PHOTOGRAPHER'S MULTI-YEAR PROJECT SEEKS
$50 MILLION TO HELP SAVE THE OCEAN GIANTS
Amos Nachoum is a wildlife photographer and explorer who is laser-focused on achieving a singular dream: to photograph and videotape the earth's 35 "ocean giants" to inspire people globally to care, and to take action, about protecting the ocean's most magnificent creatures.
Nachoum, 68, an expedition leader for Big Animals Global Expeditions based in Pacific Grove, Calif., has been leading wildlife photography and diving expeditions from the High Arctic to Antarctica for the last 40 years. His work has appeared in hundreds of publications around the globe, including National Geographic, Time, Life, The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, Le Figaro, Terra Sauvage, Airone, Mondo Somerso, Der Spiegel, Unterwasser, and many more.
"Considering the meteoric advancement in imaging technology, such as virtual reality,
360 degree video, IMAX, 3D and 8K filming quality, and at the same time, the
rapid loss of wildlife and the endangerment of some species, the time is right to fully document the inhabitants of the oceans," he tells EN.
For his Ocean Giants Legacy Project, Nachoum has assembled two multi-national teams of eight of the world's leading photographers and filmmakers who will undertake seven expeditions a year for five years to document wildlife such as whales, sharks, polar bears, leopard seals, anaconda and crocodiles, and package these images for a global audience.
"Each expedition will also include a well-known personality - an artist, actor,
politician, poet, and sportsperson - each from a different nation, who will bring back his personal stories, in his own language, to his followers."
Nachoum continues, "This collection of images and footage will be available for free to all education and research facilities' use worldwide; and we will partner with media outlets to distribute six to seven television episodes globally each year."
He also plans to sell a coffee table book, but one that requires a really large piece of furniture. He envisions a book spanning three feet by three feet, containing 365 pages for each day of the year, and available in a limited run of $50,000 per copy, with all proceeds earmarked for an educational endowment.
Nachoum estimates a multi-year project cost of $50 million and is seeking an executive director, fundraising consultants, a marketing director and webmaster to help him achieve positive results for the planet. That's a big ask, a heavy lift, but as famed explorer Norman D. Vaughan (1905-2005) liked to say, "Dream big and dare to fail."
Or as Nachoum says now, "My belief is that it is not too late to save the wilderness and wildlife that has graced our oceans since before humankind."
For more information:
See his TEDx Conejo appearance here:
Hold Onto That Kit
"Explorabilia" isn't a word that exists in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, but it should. The tents, sleeping bags, boots, maps, cookstoves, compasses, GPS, radios, signal flares, first aid kits, and various other flotsam and jetsam of an expedition could very well be worth money in the bank. Just as space memorabilia is worth eminently more once it has "flown" (i.e. used in space and not just for training), so too with expedition gear.
Such is the case with expedition apparel, made evident to us following an inquiry from a Finnish reader looking to purchase a parka from the 1989-90 Trans-Antarctica Expedition. Even we were surprised that a used parka from the expedition was selling on eBay for $959.
Even used, this 25-year-old turquoise shell is selling on eBay for $959.
More astounding is this orange TAE fleece offered on eBay for $1,999.99.
These are just asking prices, mind you, but still...... it pays not to throw anything away when it comes to used gear and apparel.
See both listings here:
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"All of us are transients here. What endures is our planet and her oceans. From my mid-Pacific vantage point, human artiface and artifacts appeared small and temporary. This is why dreamers will always build boats to voyage into that eternal ocean realm: to gain the perspective that is hidden from those who stay close to the shore."
- Ed Gillet, quoted in The Pacific Alone: The Untold Story of Kayaking's Boldest Voyage (Falcon Guides, 2018), by Dave Shively. In the summer of 1987 Ed Gillet achieved what no person has accomplished before or since, a solo crossing from California to Hawaii by kayak.
Gillet, at the age of 36 an accomplished sailor and paddler, navigated by sextant and always knew his position within a few miles. Along the way he endured a broken rudder, among other calamities, but at last reached Maui on his 64th day at sea, four days after his food had run out. Until the book was issued this month, Gillet barely spoke of his crossing for 30 years.
Front man, composer, and lyricist Jacob Brandt is a huge fan of Buzz Aldrin.
The Second Man Closes at Manhattan's Fourth Street Theater
After he became the second man to walk on the moon, reporters asked Buzz Aldrin if he wished he had been the first. Reportedly, Aldrin replied, "I really didn't want that because of the added heartache." Last month a folk-rock fable for the runner-up in all of us closed at New York's Fourth Street Theatre. The New York Theatre Workshop performance, 1969: The Second Man, explored competition and collective achievement through the story of one small man who became one giant myth. In its review of the show, The New Yorker (Sept. 10) reports that Aldrin was the second man to exit the lunar module, but the first to pee up there.
TMI? Yeah, we think so.
For more information: www.1969thesecondman.com
See 20 minutes of the performance here:
Palin Dreams of Scuba Diving the Erebus
Launched in 1826, the Royal Navy ship HMS Erebus was made famous by two major polar expeditions. From 1839-43 it undertook an Antarctic voyage captained by James Clark Ross. In 1845, with HMS Terror, the ship embarked on the Franklin Expedition to find the Northwest Passage. What exactly transpired on the Arctic voyage remains a mystery, but both ships were abandoned and all 129 crewmembers died. In 2014, the sunken wreck of Erebus was finally rediscovered; two years later, the Terror was found.
Michael Palin is serious about someday diving the Erebus
Former Monty Python funnyman Michael Palin, 75, has written a book on the Franklin Expedition called Erebus: The Story of a Ship (Hutchinson). He tells Ellie Cawthorne of BBC History Magazine (Oct. 4), "During my own Arctic and Antarctic journeys, I was struck by just how vast polar landscapes are and how colossal the scenery is. These enormous empty landscapes must have been quite terrifying for the crew at times.
"On Ross's Antarctic voyage, Erebus came up against a 200-ft.-high ice wall (later termed the Ross Ice Shelf). I've seen icebergs on that scale, but it's always been from the comparative comfort of a ship that has an engine and can move out of the way. Erebus only had a very small auxiliary engine, so the crew had to rely solely on their sailing skills. If they got stuck in ice, it was incredibly difficult to get out."
Later in the interview, he grapples with what happened to the expedition.
"A whole range of theories have been proposed as to what happened to Franklin's men. People claimed that the local Inuit must have killed them, or that the crew had been stricken by scurvy. Lead poisoning (from food tins contaminated by lead solder) was once thought to be the key reason why everything went wrong, but that theory has now been widely dismissed.
"It's not a very glamorous theory, but ultimately, I believe that Franklin's men were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Palin continues, "I think that the single most important fact is that they chose to make their voyage to the Northwest Passage during one of the coldest periods in modern history. From around 1845 to 1848, the ice in that region didn't melt even over summer, meaning that they were unable to free the ships. That was the primary problem, and it couldn't have been foreseen.
"My ultimate dream is to scuba-dive in Erebus's wreck. But if I did get down there I think I'd be a bit overwhelmed. I'd probably just be in tears the whole time, if it's possible to cry underwater."
Read the interview here:
Lhakpa Sherpa is recognized by Guinness Book of World Records for reaching the summit of Everest for the ninth time on May 16, 2018, more times than any other female climber. You'd think that would help generate sponsorship revenue. Not much.
Woman Sherpa, a Whole Foods Dishwasher,
Seeks Sponsorship for 10th Everest Summit
It has been said that it's easier to climb Everest than raise the money for an Everest expedition. Despite her women's world record with the most summits (nine), Lhakpa Sherpa, 45, works washing dishes at a West Hartford, Conn., Whole Foods for $11.50 per hour, hoping she can return a tenth time in 2019. Friends have banded together to help search for sponsors. The job pays the bills and helps Sherpa support her two daughters, writes Hilary Brueck, in Business Insider (July 28).
"I feel I'm addicted, in my body," Sherpa told Business Insider, explaining that when she doesn't climb, she feels sick. "I like to go again and again."
The word Sherpa means "easterner" and refers to the place Sherpas originally came from - eastern Tibet - though it often functions as a last name, as well as the term for Everest guides.
At least 94 Sherpas have died climbing Everest, according to NPR, accounting for roughly a third of all deaths on the mountain.
Sherpa doesn't do much extra training in Connecticut, aside from hauling the trash at work. But she believes strong women like her make better climbers than men, since they tend to be more careful and deliberate.
"Men only wanna go up, you know?" she said.
For her past climbs, Sherpa has worked for her brother Mingma's company, which usually picks a Tibetan route up Everest. But she recently started her own venture, Cloudscape Climbing, and plans to head to Kathmandu with the inaugural crew in April. Sherpa aims to take her group to the summit from the Nepal side of the mountain, according to Business Insider.
For her ninth summit Black Diamond was provided gear and monetary support. Sherpa is looking for additional sponsors, management help and public relations support for her 10th summit in 2019.
Krista L. Pich is one of Sherpa's Connecticut friends providing assistance. She tells EN, "Lhakpa would be a terrific corporate ambassador. Her (ongoing) world-record-breaking achievements alone qualify her, and she shines in her ability to connect with and inspire people of all ages and abilities. As an adventurous, hardworking single mom, she's especially relatable to active women, a huge purchasing demographic.
"Her ability to persevere through multiple hardships and traumas shows her iron will and limitless personal strength."
Read the Business Insider story here:
If we owned an Infiniti, sorry but you wouldn't find us on this kind of terrain scratching the finish.
That's One Small Step for an Infiniti
For years, in fact since we started EN 24 years ago this month, we've written about companies that sponsor expeditions to demonstrate their products' performance in extreme conditions. The tradition continued last summer for one luxury car company that readers seeking sponsorship might want to pitch.
Braving the forbidding desert and bandits of Mongolia's Gobi region, Roy Chapman Andrews, said to be the inspiration for Raiders of the Lost Ark, made history by being the first to find fossilized dinosaur eggs. Nearly 100 years later, Infiniti, Nissan's luxury division, facilitated a new dinosaur fossil hunt in the Gobi using 2018 QX50, QX60 and QX80 SUVs, plus the latest in high-tech, ground mapping technology.
John McCormick, writes in The Detroit News (Aug. 15), "In the Gobi, there are no paved roads, just deeply rutted tracks that the locals carve seemingly at random across the plains. Rugged, powerful vehicles are a must, and the Infiniti SUVs managed well. The newest of the range, the QX50 with its advanced variable-compression engine, provided ample pulling power when needed, but it was the big QX80 with its superior ground clearance and softer suspension that delivered the most comfortable ride."
He continues, "With its unique geological formations, the Gobi is one of the world's best regions for paleontological research. Andrews found some of his most remarkable fossil specimens in the Flaming Cliffs area, so named for its stunning red sandstone hills."
On a visit to the same spot just prior to McCormicks' arrival, Infiniti had teamed up with the Mongolian Institute of Paleontology and Geology and The Explorers Club's Hong Kong chapter. The expedition relied on a fleet of QX50s to explore the area and made the first use of drone-powered multispectral and thermal cameras.
"There is also a pleasure derived from the fact that as an auto writer, I am testing a vehicle in such an unusual and challenging environment, far removed from the trappings of a typical press event luxury resort in the U.S. So, hats off to Infiniti for pushing the envelope and demonstrating the capabilities of its SUVs in such a dramatically different and illuminating fashion."
The 2019 Infiniti QX80 sells for $65,000-plus. Be careful not to scratch it out there.
Read the story, see photos of the Infiniti's in action here:
Caroline Gleich Gives Thanks
The ink-stained wretches at Expedition News who attended the Adventure Film Festival in Boulder, Colo., this month were gratified to see how speakers channeled their inner Emily Post to thank their sponsors profusely. Corporate sponsors A-Lodge, Black Diamond, Fjallraven, Google Earth, Hydro Flask, La Sportiva, Meridian Line, RXBAR, Zeal, and others were recognized for their support of adventure.
Caroline Gleich, 32, a professional ski mountaineer and adventurer, was particularly adept at giving thanks, crediting Keen, LEKI, Patagonia, and others at the top of her presentation, praising them as brands that are "serious about being socially responsible companies."
Gleich, based in Salt Lake City, uses her voice as an athlete to advocate for social and environmental justice, working on issues such as climate change, clean air and cyber harassment with non-profits such as Protect Our Winters, HEAL Utah, Winter Wildlands Alliance, Wilderness Society, Tree Utah and Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation.
"I climb up mountains and then ski down them," she tells the Adventure Film Festival audience on Oct. 7.
Later she would argue that male climbers talk about mountains the way some of them, regrettably, talk about women, using words like "conquering" summits.
She also rails against history's habit of changing the original indigenous names of mountains to honor white people. "We need to show more respect to indigenous cultures who have stewarded these landscapes for centuries, who view these peaks as sacred."
One photograph of Gleich proposing marriage to her boyfriend on the summit of Cho-Oyu (sixth highest mountain in the world on the China-Nepal border) drew an appreciative sigh from audience members.
Gleich posts online, "I knew you were a keeper when you emptied my pee bottle and carried down the wag bag we shared. Sharing a month long expedition with your significant other is one of the most intimate experiences. There are highs and lows, and you get to see a person's true colors."
She tells the women in the Boulder crowd, "It's 2018. Do we still have to wait?"
Boyfriend Rob Lea accepted.
Learn more about Gleich at https://carolinegleich.com
I think that I shall never see. A poem lovely as a tree.
Making the rounds of the book circuit is British-born American biologist, author, and professor of biology David George Haskell whose work integrates scientific, literary, and contemplative studies of nature. His first book, The Forest Unseen, was finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction and received numerous honors including the National Academies' Best Book Award. In Haskell's latest book, The Songs of Trees (Penguin USA, 2018), he examines biological networks through the lives of a dozen trees around the world.
He unabashedly tells his book talk audience, "I sit around watching the forest do stuff."
Haskell takes readers on an expedition to trees in cities (from Manhattan to Jerusalem), forests (Amazonian, North American, and boreal) and areas on the front lines of environmental change (eroding coastlines, burned mountainsides, and war zones). In each place he shows how human history, ecology, and well-being are intimately intertwined with the lives of trees.
Of particular note is a Bradford (Callery) pear tree he studied in New York at 82nd and Broadway, watching how it intersects with the lives of passersby in Manhattan. He had high praise for the way trees grab pollutants from the air that would otherwise enter human lungs, and estimates trees save New York City $10 million per year in reduced air conditioning costs. Haskell believes, "Trees are fundamental to the rise and fall of human civilization."
Learn more about Haskell at: https://dghaskell.com
Keeping it to Themselves
The world's cartographers reportedly are living their secret lives of luxury on the idyllic, never-disclosed eighth continent they call home. Or so says The Onion. We have our friend GOTUS to thank for this amusing link: that would be the Geographer of the U.S. Director Lee R. Schwartz, Office of the Geographer and Global Issues at the U.S. State Department.
Good to see the folks at Foggy Bottom are maintaining their sense of humor.
Get in on the joke here:
Climb the Southernmost Mountain in the World - Explorers Club member Ken Zerbst and storied mountaineer Vernon Tejas are seeking up to three expedition members to climb Antarctica's 9,600-ft. Mount Howe, the southernmost mountain in the world. Assuming Antarctic weather cooperates, this looks to be a straightforward climb suitable for most intermediate climbers. Afterwards the team will explore the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station. Early December 2019. Ken Zerbst FN'98, 303 506 5272, email@example.com
How "KUHL" Was Your Last Expedition or Adventure? Tell Us in 50 Words or Less
In honor of our 24th anniversary this month, Expedition News is partnering with KUHL, the well-known mountain culture apparel company, on a "KUHLest Moment in the Wild" contest. In 50 words or less, tells us what your "KUHLest" moment was on an expedition or adventure.
Entries will be judged by our panel, and three winners will receive their choice of the following:
* Women's long sleeve LYRIK Sweater https://www.kuhl.com/kuhl/womens/long-sleeve/lyrik-sweater/ $79 sug. ret.
* Men's long sleeve INVOKE shirt https://www.kuhl.com/kuhl/mens/long-sleeve/invoke-ls/ $85 sug. ret.
* Men's long sleeve JOYRYDR shirt https://www.kuhl.com/kuhl/mens/long-sleeve/joyrydr/ $120 sug. ret.
Winning entries will also be published in an upcoming issue of EN. Deadline for entries is November 1, 2018, submitted to Editor@expeditionnews.com. Decision of judges are final.
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 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:
Coming in Spring 2019: Travel With Purpose, A Field Guide to Voluntourism (Rowman & Littlefield) by Jeff Blumenfeld
Advertise in Expedition News - For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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