January 2022 – Volume Twenty-Eight, Number One
Celebrating our 27th year.
 
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.
Joe Henderson and friends.
PRESERVING THE ALASKAN MALAMUTE
 
At press time, Alaskan Joe Henderson, an explorer and diesel engine mechanic, was planning to leave Feb. 10, weather permitting, for a solo expedition to the Arctic with his 22-malamute dog team. Destination of the Alaskan Malamute Expedition is a frozen No-man’s Land – Alaska's North Slope (north of the Brooks Range) from Sagavanirktok River to Etivluk River and back.

He doesn’t expect to see another human being for over six weeks – there aren't any villages or residences in this region during winter. With just a satellite phone for emergencies, he is not planning any resupply.
 
Henderson, 60, a resident of Salcha, Alaska, has been conducting Arctic expeditions by dog team for 38 years, including last year’s 42-day solo, unsupported, unresupplied Arctic expedition. He and his malamutes have supported mountaineers and scientists in Arctic climate research for many years.  
 
During this upcoming trip, Henderson will study the specific traits necessary for dogs to travel in Arctic Alaska, and will study the Arctic climate and how it has changed. 
 
“The mission of all my expeditions have been to preserve the ancient Inuit culture in Alaska by means of reintroducing and preserving the Alaskan malamute dog breed,” he tells EN.   
 
To that end, he’s working closely with the Alaskan Malamute Club of America (AMCA) to educate breeders about the necessary traits that Alaskan malamutes must possess for Arctic compatibility. 
 
“The Alaskan malamute is one of the world's most ancient dog breeds, and is literally becoming extinct in regards to being compatible with the Arctic environment,” Henderson says. 
 
“It is clear, for thousands of years, Alaskan Malamutes and ancient civilizations of Arctic Alaska were intertwined like fabric. One couldn’t survive without the other. The people relied on their dogs and the dogs depended on the people. They were one cohesive unit that worked toward the same goal to survive in one of the most brutal Arctic environments on earth.”
 
“If we preserve the Alaskan malamute, we preserve the ancient culture they represent. Dogs, in general, are part of human history. And to lose a dog breed is like losing a part of our history and our heritage.”
 
During the expedition he will record snow and weather conditions, and how these conditions correlate directly to the necessary traits for malamutes to live and work in the Arctic. This data will help better understand the Alaskan malamute breed standard and prevent the breed from deteriorating like many other dog breeds have. 
 
“Essentially, it will help preserve the breed and the culture it represents for future generations.”
 
He supplements his income by writing books and magazine articles and public speaking for organizations in the U.S. and overseas. He will be attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) starting in June, focusing on archaeology.

For more information:
 

You can reach Henderson at themalamuteman@gmail.com.

See his GoFundMe site here: https://gofund.me/239ed35f

EXPEDITION UPDATE
Sharbat Gula, left, on the cover of National Geographic in 1985, and then nearly two decades later, after she was reunited with the photographer.
?(Photo courtesy Steve McCurry/National Geographic Society)

“Afghan Girl” From 1985 National Geographic Cover Takes Refuge in Italy
 
Sharbat Gula, who became an international symbol of war-torn Afghanistan after her portrait at a refugee camp was published on the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1985, was evacuated to Rome after her country fell to the Taliban, the Italian government said in late November.
 
Ever since the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan in August, nonprofit organizations had appealed for help in evacuating Ms. Gula, the Italian government said in a statement.
 
“The prime minister’s office has brought about and organized her transfer to Italy,” the statement said. It did not say when she arrived, and the foreign ministry later said it did not know whether she would remain in Italy or go elsewhere, writes the New York Times (Nov. 26).
 
Ms. Gula, now in her late 40s and the mother of several children, was believed to be 12 when Steve McCurry photographed her, with a piercing, green-eyed stare, in 1984 in a refugee camp in Pakistan. He did not learn her name until 2002, when he found her in the mountains of Afghanistan and was able to verify her identity, according to the story by Jenny Gross.
 
Read the Times coverage here:
 
 
EXPEDITION NOTES
Elyn Zimmerman’s “Marabar,” erected in 1984, at the headquarters of the
?National Geographic Society.
NatGeo’s “Marabar” Saved
 
The once-threatened million-pound art installation many of us have admired when visiting the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., will be relocated. Elyn Zimmerman’s massive granite installation, Marabar, will be moved to the campus of American University.
 
Zimmerman, 76, named her work, a grouping of granite stones around a churning pool of water, after the fictional caves in E.M. Forster’s novel, A Passage to India.
 
American University, the new home announced last month, is just four miles away. The location is currently a grassy oval rimmed by crepe myrtles and park benches, across the street from the university’s Katzen Art Center. The granite stones of “Marabar” will be visible from Massachusetts Avenue, just north of Ward Circle, one of the most-traveled roundabouts in the District.
 
Read more:

Upwardly mobile in New York City.
Ultimate Skyscraping Adventure at a Nosebleed Price

Want to experience climbing, but don’t have time to acclimatize, learn knots, or travel to strange lands? Considering the building boom in Manhattan, it was only a matter of time before some developer created a new climbing-based, Vegas-like attraction – reportedly the highest open-air building climb in the world.

City Climb, is located above New York City’s Edge, the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere. Led by trained guides, small groups of City Climbers traverse a series of open-air platforms and stairs along the perimeter crown of 30 Hudson Yards, a nearly 1,300 foot tall skyscraper.

Following a comprehensive safety briefing, climbers are fitted with specially designed protective gear and equipment, then securely harnessed into the course by City Climb guides via two cables attached to a trolley that seamlessly moves with the climber throughout the entire journey.

“With no obstructions along City Climb’s exterior perimeter, at various points throughout the experience willing guests can look out across New York City and lean out over the building’s open edges with nothing but air and breathtaking views surrounding them,” writes the breathless promotion material.

There are 370 steps throughout the entire experience including ascent and descent. The climb lasts approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours from check-in to completing the course. The cost is $185 which is somewhat in the nosebleed category when it comes to New York tourist attractions.

For more information:


QUOTE OF THE MONTH

 
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), American political figure, diplomat, activist, and longest-serving First Lady in the U.S.
 
EXPEDITION FOCUS 
Pete Casey is walking the Amazon from sea to source.
Walking the Amazon From Sea to Source
 
By Piotr Chmielinski
Special Report to Expedition News
 
It’s been six years since Pete Casey, a builder in his late 40s from West Sussex in the UK, sold his house, replaced the trowel with a machete, the bricklayer’s shoes for comfortable walking shoes and left the concrete jungle to walk into the natural one.
 
He has set himself the goal of completing a considerably long and arduous route – traveling from the mouth to the source of the Amazon River – traversing South America from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific coast. The non-mechanized trek is estimated at about 5,000 miles through both Brazil and Peru. The very direction of his crusade – from the east to the west, not going with the Amazon current, but against it - makes this trip even more unusual.
 
Casey doesn’t use any means of transportation, apart from his own body and two feet. When it is necessary to get to the other bank of the Amazon River or cross one of the numerous tributaries of the world’s largest river, he swims across.
 
Due to countless obstacles caused by weather, floods, political issues, areas prohibited for “gringos,” arrest, thousands of mosquito bites, wading across the raging current, and robberies, the trip, originally planned for two years, has already lasted three times as long and will go on for a while longer.
 
Casey has already trekked across the Amazon jungle and now faces probably the most difficult part of the journey: the Andes - a demanding mountain stage and an extremely difficult undertaking for even the most experienced explorers. His next big landmark is Cusco.

He has about 300 miles to go.

He is not making predictions anymore, but by April he hopes to reach what is widely accepted as the source of the Amazon: a small glacial stream that emerges from Mismi, a 5,597-metre (18,363ft) mountain in the Andes.

When Casey’s demanding and grueling mission is finally completed, he will reportedly be the first person to walk up the complete length of the great Amazon River.
 
Learn more on his website: 
 
 
MEDIA MATTERS
Jimmy Chin’s mother is at a loss for words.
Jimmy Chin Explains Climbing Challenges to CBS Sunday Morning
 
Athlete, photographer and filmmaker Jimmy Chin was profiled on CBS Sunday Morning (Nov. 14). The National Geographic photographer and Oscar-winning co-director of Free Solo and The Rescue, talks with correspondent Lilia Luciano about living life on the edge, and the greatest risk he's ever taken.
 
“Climbing as a metaphor is really interesting. It is literally exercise and failure,” he tells Luciano.  
 
Later in the segment he says, “Often the best photos are the hardest ones to get.”
 
Chin, 48, says his mother once complained, “The Chinese language is 5,000 years old and we don’t even have a word for what you do.”
 
Watch it here:
 
Some people root for the bear. Some for the cooler.
Smarter Than the Average Bears
 
A grizzly attack on your food cache can ruin any expedition. But how to know if that new ice chest is bear-proof or merely bear-resistant? That’s where the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) “bear resistant” stamp of approval comes in. There’s just one place in the country where commercial products can be tested against live grizzly bears – to save other bears’ lives, writes Will Brendza in the Boulder Weekly (Nov. 18).
 
“If a bear gets trained to go into places where people are, then usually it’s not good for the bear in the long term,” says Kyle Fulmer, director of operations at cooler-maker RovR. “[IGBC certification] is not a free service. But we feel like it’s valuable to do . . . It keeps bears safe.”
 
Testing is conducted at the West Yellowstone Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. 

“Over the last number of years we’ve seen a lot of coolers coming through for testing,” But, he says, their grizzly bears test products of all kinds and sizes – from trash cans to food storage sheds and food canisters. 
 
It works like this: Manufacturers pay a fee and submit their product to the testing facility, at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center – a non-profit accredited zoo that rescues wild grizzly bears. The product (whatever it might be) is filled with bait (like raw fish or dog food) and placed inside the enclosure.
 
Enter: The grizzly. 
 
“They all take their turns at the products, so it’s different bears and different products and different dates,” says Scott Jackson with the U.S. Forest Service’s National Carnivore Program, who works closely with the IGBC and Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. He says usually 50 to 66% of tested products fail to beat off the bears.
 
Read more:
 
Godspeed, Los Polacos! 

Godspeed, Los Polacos! tells the story of five kayakers on the edge of adulthood who skillfully pull the strings of the Soviet system, and find themselves on an expedition in the Americas with a six-wheeled military truck, homemade equipment, and little to no whitewater skills. The story follows their epic two-year journey that culminates in the record-breaking first descent of the world’s deepest canyon, and finds the kayakers in Soviet cross-hairs after they leverage their newfound fame to fight for democracy in the Eastern Bloc.
 
Watch the trailer here:
 
 
For the screening schedule, see:
 
Proposed New Everest Summit Route Avoids Dangerous Khumbu Icefall
 
The passage through the Khumbu Icefall, the route that leads to the world’s tallest peak, is so notoriously dangerous that even experienced Sherpas hesitate to move when the sun shines. The Himalayan Database has recorded 44 deaths on the Icefall from 1953 to 2016.
But there is good news.
 
Now nearly seven decades after Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa became the first people to summit Everest, using their own pioneering standard Southeast Ridge route, a Nepali-French team claimed they have explored an alternative route to avoid the treacherous Khumbu Icefall which stretches from 5,500 to 5,800 meters and lies just above Everest base camp, according to the story in The Katmandu Post (Dec. 3) by Sangam Prasain.
 
“The alternative route that we have tested in November to bypass the infamous Khumbu Icefall will be tested in the (2022) spring climbing season to assess whether it is commercially feasible,” famed French mountaineer Marc Batard told the Post.
 
“We believe it is a life-saving detour.
 
“My mission this time is to save the lives of climbers,” said Marc, who has three children and nine grandchildren. “I am confident the route will be commercially workable,” Batard says.
 
In September 1988, he soloed Everest without oxygen in 22 hours and 29 minutes from the base camp on the South Face.
 
This spring he plans to repeat his previous Everest success by summiting the proposed, and hopefully safer, route. If Batard succeeds at age 71, he would reportedly become the oldest climber to reach the world’s tallest peak without using supplementary oxygen, according to the Post’s Sangam Prasain.
“The new route follows a rocky spur below the flank of Mt. Nuptse,” Batard says. “The rocky spur, a vertical cliff, is a bit difficult. But after it is climbed, the route from there becomes easy to navigate.”
 
The mountaineer said that it will require anywhere between 300,000 and 500,000 Euros ($339,000 to $565,000) to permanently install metal hooks or rock pitons by drilling the rocky spur.
 
Read the story here:
 

WEB WATCH
Shatner in Space
 
Say what you will about space tourism, but the role space tourist William Shatner played in Star Trek has inspired thousands, perhaps millions of people to become interested in space exploration. None the least of which is Jeff Bezos, a Star Trek nerd who credits Shatner’s portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk, as one of his favorite TV heroes.
 
“There are two equally valid reactions to Shatner in Space, an Amazon Prime special about William Shatner's recent flight aboard Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin: A cynical one, with Amazon essentially using the Star Trek actor as a living product placement; and a more generous read seeing the 90-year-old Shatner giddily reaching the final frontier, this time for real,” writes CNN.
 
Wisely, the special only runs about 47 minutes, enough time to throw in highlights from Shatner's career, introduce his companions and let Bezos explain his vision for space travel and its potential environmental benefits, in part while he and Shatner ride horses and chat.
 
Moved to tears, Shatner, who became the oldest person to travel to space, keeps repeating "Oh wow" while floating weightless, and later thanks Bezos for what he calls "the most profound experience I could imagine."
 
Shatner finnaly had his chance to go where, for now, so few have gone before.
 
Shatner in Space is available on Amazon Prime.
Milly is making old-timers jealous.
Milly’s Great Find
 
One of our favorite shows on Netflix is The Detectorists, about two quirky friends who share a passion for metal detecting and a dream of unearthing Saxon treasure that they're certain is buried in a local farm field. It stars Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones, supported by an ensemble cast of locals who clearly follow the beat of a different drummer.
 
Recently, a 13-year-old metal detectorist is scaring off veteran diggers after she found a "once in a lifetime" Bronze Age axe hoard on just her third dig. Milly Hardwick, of Mildenhall, Suffolk, has left the competition envious of her "beginners luck" as she strikes gold almost every week.
 
She's now become a poster girl for metal detecting despite being some four decades younger than the typical detectorist. Her mother Claire, 48, said: "On a couple of digs people have gone 'oh God, she's here now so we might as well go home!'" Milly made an astounding discovery of an axe hoard dating back to 1300 BC on just her third time out in a field near Royston, Hertfordshire. Archaeologists then came to excavate the find - made up of 65 pieces.
 
Watch the video which appeared on the SWNS news service. Milly’s accent is quite endearing.
 

Bill Spindler at South Pole Station in January 2005, while wintering at the pole as the construction inspector, part of a Navy contract to
monitor the continuing new station construction.
Website Chronicles NGO Antarctic Adventures Since 2000

In an extraordinary bit of research and a whole lot of dedication, Bill Spindler, who has spent years at the South Pole and elsewhere in Antarctica dating back to 1972, has been identifying and tracking all NGO Antarctic/South Pole ventures on his website since 2000, whether by ski, dog sled, foot, motorcycle, truck, or kite sled.
 
He believes it’s the only database that can make that claim. “Many websites have been covering these (expeditions) with live updates, interviews, live tracking, videos, etc. But there is only one website that has at least been mentioning, tracking, and linking to them every year since 2000,” Spindler writes.
 
Spindler, 72, a resident of Boulder, Colorado, has been responsible for management, planning, design, procurement, coordination, and field engineering activities for U. S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Antarctic research stations. Dating back as early at 1976, he served in conditions that included six months of darkness, extreme cold, high altitude, and nine months of total isolation, managing a staff of 20 employees and science personnel during the Antarctic winter period.
 
You can view Spindler’s site at:

 
Find any errors? Let him know at: wjspindler@gmail.com
EXPEDITION CLASSIFIEDS
Travel With Purpose, A Field Guide to Voluntourism (Rowman & Littlefield) by Jeff Blumenfeld ­– Covid-19 has practically put the brakes on travel, but once we get through the pandemic, travel will come roaring back and so will voluntourism. Be ready to lend a hand wherever you go. How to travel and make a difference while you see the world? Read excerpts and “Look Inside” at: tinyurl.com/voluntourismbook @purpose_book
Get Sponsored! – Need money for your next project? Read about proven techniques that will help you find both cash and in-kind sponsors. If the trip is bigger than you, and is designed to help others, well, that’s half the game right there. Read Jeff Blumenfeld’s "Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would Be World Travelers." (Skyhorse Publishing).
 
Buy it here:

Advertise in Expedition News – For more information: blumassoc@aol.com
 
EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, LLC, 290 Laramie Blvd., Boulder, CO 80304 USA. Tel. 203 326 1200, editor@expeditionnews.com. Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Research editor: Lee Kovel. ©2022 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
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