May 2022 – Volume Twenty-Eight, Number Five
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.

It may look like an audition for a Tide detergent commercial, but six cavers on the PESH 2022 Expedition are seen preparing to go deep last month. (L to R) Scott Trescott (Costa Rica), Greg Roemer-Baer (USA), Rolland Moore (USA/Mexico), Bob Alderson (USA), Andrew Wilkinson (Canada/Australia), and Rostam Namaghi (England).
Photo credit: Greg Roemer-Baer

Here's the Dirt: PESH Expedition Continues Exploring Mexican Cave

When we last covered explorer Bill Steele in December 2015, his Proyecto Espeleológico Sistema Huautla (PESH) project was an international group of deep cave explorers, primarily from the U.S. and Mexico, devoted to the exploration and scientific documentation of Sistema Huautla, the deepest cave in the Western Hemisphere, located in the Sierra Mazateca in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

We’re happy to say he and his team are still at it. The latest expedition was to Nits Nashi in the Huautla de Jimenez, Oaxaca, Mexico, area in early April. Nita Nashi is indigenous Mazatec for "headwall cave.” It was explored 641 meters deep 40 years ago and re-explored in 2019 and this year. 

During the PESH 2022 expedition, Nita Nashi was connected to Sistema Huautla, adding the 30th entrance to the now 100.6 km (62.5 miles) vast cave system, the deepest cave in the Americas. The expedition was led by Explorers Club Fellow Emeritus member Bill Steele of Texas. Expert cave members participating were from seven countries: U.S., Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, England, Ireland and Wales. The flag of The Explorers Club has been carried there 12 times since the first time in 1980.

Learn more at

Josh Gates is ready to tell some tales.
Tales From The Explorers Club
In March 2020 we covered the Explorers Club’s new deal with Discovery. If that month sounds familiar, it’s because that’s when the world literally shut down due to Covid. Nonetheless, the deal went through and one of the recent benefits to come from it is a new TV show announced last month.  
Tales From the Explorers Club, which will be hosted by Expedition Unknown’s Josh Gates, will take viewers inside the headquarters of the Explorers Club to “relive the epic adventures of members who have pushed the bounds of human possibility venturing to Earth’s highest peaks, deepest ocean trenches, the North and South poles, and even into outer space.” It will detail the accomplishments of such figures as Ernest Shackleton, Gertrude Bell, Sir Edmund Hillary, Jim Lovell and Jeff Bezos.
“Our fearless adventurer Josh Gates is the perfect explorer to highlight the amazing work of the club members who have pushed boundaries in science and exploration,” said Nancy Daniels, chief brand officer, Discovery and Factual.
“With Tales From the Explorers Club, we have an opportunity to introduce people to the journeys of the men and women who paved the way for scientific discovery.”
Read the entire announcement here:

Everest historian Alan Arnette
Everest Historian Alan Arnette: 10,656 Summits by Approximately 5,350 Individuals
The multi-hyphenate Coloradan Alan Arnette, climber-coach-public speaker-blogger-author, provided an update on the state of climbing in the Everest region to the April 29, 2022, Rocky Mt. chapter of the Explorers Club, held appropriately enough, at a Boulder Nepali restaurant.
Arnette, who runs the blog that covers the annual Everest season each spring, climbed the Seven Summits in one year to raise funds for Alzheimer's research; became the oldest American to summit K2 on his 58th birthday (2014); attempted Denali three times; and summited all of Colorado’s 58 fourteeners, yet never previously climbed until he was 38 years old.
Alan, a native of Memphis currently residing in Ft. Collins, Colorado, uses his mountaineering passion as part of his life's purpose as an Alzheimer's Advocate. As Alan saw his mom, Ida, go through the Alzheimer's journey, he said it took her life and changed him forever. So after a 30-year career in management roles with Hewlett-Packard, he took early retirement in 2007 to oversee the care of Ida, and his life purpose became serving as an Alzheimer's Advocate.
By his estimation, since 1953, Everest has been summited 10,656 times by about 5,350 individuals, versus just 400 summits of K2, a significantly tougher mountain to ascend.

During his talk, he reported that as of April 2022, Nepal had issued 632 climbing permits, which infuses an estimated $3.8 million in cash into the Nepali community.
The biggest issue, as he sees it is “inexperienced climbers hiring unqualified guides.” Rules have been instated by the Nepali government to regulate climbing, but are rarely enforced. On the plus side, there are more female climbers, “which is terrific for the sport.”
He told chapter members and guests, “You don’t pay for the right to climb Everest, instead you train to earn that right.”
Learn more about his work at
Meet George Jetson. His boy Elroy.
Just in Time for Father’s Day

?Now you don't have to be a billionaire to fly into space. Heritage Auctions is listing an original Rocket Jets vehicle from Disneyland, circa 1967. For almost 30 years, the Rocket Jets stood as a focal point of Tomorrowland. These sleek white and black rockets replaced the Astro-Jets in 1967 as part of the New Tomorrowland refurbishment and took thousands of little astronauts on their aerial adventures over Tomorrowland. Few of these vehicles have ever been offered for public sale.
Heritage reports some assembly will be required, and some additional hardware may be necessary. At press time the current bid was an astronomical $11,000, but it’s a better conversation piece than getting dad soap on a rope. (
Singing in the rain.
Shine On 
Speaking of Father’s Day: Canadian company Aurea has developed a portable wind turbine that fits in your backpack. Called Shine, it weighs just three pounds, is about the size of a water bottle, and can charge any USB device, or up to four phones (though not at the same time), according to Best of all, it will crank out the juice on cloudy days that bedevil solar power; it’ll sing in the rain with renewable lightweight energy so long as there’s wind.
The turbine is shaped a bit like a mini Zeppelin. It features three gently curved blades that fold out like flower petals and a collapsible tripod that is stored inside. Charge three smartphones in under an hour. The product launched on Kickstarter last year and on Indigogo recently. It has raised almost $300,000 so far and will be shipping in a matter of months for an initial insider’s price of $321.
Learn more about this game-changing gizmo at:
“The test of an adventure is that when you're in the middle of it, you say to yourself, ‘Oh now I've got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home.’ And the sign that something's wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure.”
– Thornton Wilder (1897-1975), American playwright and novelist.

Peter Greenberg says don't leave home without an OAG.
Don’t Leave Home Without Reading This:
Peter Greenberg Has Some Travel Advice for You 
With no apparent notes, and a doting audience of mainstream travelers, Emmy-winning investigative reporter and producer, Peter Greenberg, 72, held forth at the Denver Travel & Adventure Show on May 1. He unleashed a barrage of travel advice as relevant for explorers and adventurers as it is for your grandmother’s trip to Boca.
Greenberg is travel editor for CBS News, appearing on CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News and CBS Sunday Morning. And his national CBS Eye on Travel radio show is broadcast from a different location around the world each week.
For more than 20 years, Greenberg has produced and hosted The Royal Tour – historic, precedent-setting shows, where sitting heads of state become Greenberg’s tour guide for very personal journeys to and through their countries, for one hour global prime time specials. 
“We’re living in a world of disruption,” he told an audience of about 150. “It was like that before the pandemic and is really the case now.” He considers tourists “victims waiting to happen.”
Greenberg jokes Americans are the most geographically ignorant on the planet.
“We went to Aruba.”
“Where’s that?”
We don’t know, we flew.”
His tips include:
• Always give yourself 90-minutes connection time. “When you see an airport lobby with rocking chairs, they expect to hold you a while.”
• Use the internet for research, but when it comes time to book a trip, try to get a live person on the line. You want to be treated like a traveler, not a transaction, he says. “And if they don’t know the difference between Dallas and Dulles, hang up.”
• True road warriors travel with the Official Airline Guide ( so they can rebook themselves without waiting on hold for hours. There are “secret flights” not listed online.
• Those dreaded resort fees are often negotiable.
• Redeem those air mile rewards. Airlines make more money on them than selling seats, he claims. “They are becoming harder to earn and harder to redeem.”
Instead of U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories, for more accuracy he suggests instead consulting Gov.UK Foreign Travel Advisories ( In case you were wondering, it advises against all travel to the whole of Russia due to the lack of available flight options to return to the UK, and the increased volatility in the Russian economy.
Finally, he says now is the best time to travel to a NATO country. “Putin will never invade – NATO is Russia’s third rail.”
Learn more about him at

Little Known Facts About The Explorers Club
Despite a 30+ year association with the Club, we’re learning more and more about the organization every day. Some little-known facts we have yet to reveal within these pages include some we only learned as a result of visiting HQ during ECAD weekend for the first time since Covid reared its ugly spiked head. The following was news to us, perhaps news to our readers as well.
You know who you are.
Wall of Shame – While all Explorers Club members are actively engaged in some form of exploration, only a small percentage are granted the privilege of carrying one of the Club’s historic flags into the field. The Club’s 222 flags have been to the top of Everest, the bottom of the sea, and even into space on Apollo 11 – a 4-in. x 6-in. flag donated to the Club by the Armstrong Family Collection is so valuable it’s encased in plastic and certified by Collectibles Authentication Guarantee (CAG).
The Club’s Flag & Honors Committee meets regularly to decide whether an application is indeed “flag worthy.” At annual dinners, the flags are ceremoniously returned.

Thus you can imagine the dismay when a flag is never returned, perhaps lost or just stored away and forgotten. In an effort to retrieve its cherished standards, there’s a little-known plaque at HQ meant to remind recalcitrant explorers to cough it up. At last count, there were a regrettable 29 Lost & Missing Explorers Club flags.
One member, Peter Lenahan, posts on the Explorers Open Forum, “I carried a flag once, and I have to say, I felt it was a real responsibility carrying the flag …I did not put it in checked luggage; it was always in my backpack everywhere I went.” Another commenter, Jason Behl, jokes, “How about an expedition to find the lost flags?”
No need to report the names. You know who you are.
Richard Garriott during 2022 ECAD weekend.
One for the Team – Explorers, adventurers, and climate scientists face freezing temperatures, trek through untouched terrains and sometimes undergo a painful dental procedure – they may have to remove their wisdom teeth.
Stephanie Fox writing for Medill Reports (Feb. 6, 2019), quotes Penn State geologist Richard Alley whose wisdom teeth were removed in 1984, “They [the National Science Foundation (NSF)] are worried that you might have an infection from an impacted wisdom tooth while you’re in Antarctica” where treatment options are limited.
“They are very, very gung-ho about getting wisdom teeth out.”
That’s nothing.
Now comes word that Club president Richard Garriott went to even further extremes when he took one for the team prior to his October 2008 flight to the International Space Station as a self-funded private astronaut paying a reported $30 million.
Prior to launch, an extensive physical examination probed “the structure of every artery and vein in my body …. And that’s when doctors discovered I had what is called a hemangioma on my liver, “ he writes in his book Explore/Create (William Morrow, 2017).
Since rapid depressurization in space could have caused fatal internal bleeding, Garriott would have faced the loss of many millions of nonrefundable dollars invested in the flight. Surgery at Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Clinic was a success, his gall bladder was also removed due to poor function, and he scored the trip of a lifetime, covertly smuggling a portion of the ashes of Star Trek actor James Doohan on a laminated card.
As they say, you can’t make this stuff up.
Not to digress, but with an increase in commercial access to space travel for private individuals, compared to the few professional astronauts, cosmonauts, and taikonauts (Chinese astronauts) who have flown in space through government programs in the past six decades, the number of these new spaceflight participants (SFPs) will rapidly expand, according to a 2018 paper presented by the FAA and University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
“These SFP’s will have a much greater age range than traditional astronauts and may also have a much greater prevalence of medical problems,” it reports.

HQ sign needed a slight edit. Look closely.

Sign of the Times – Ask any member what irks them most when they see the Club in print, it’s the apostrophe that is sometimes erroneously inserted into the word "Explorers." After all, It’s not a club for individual explorers (singular possessive), or so goes the thinking. Back in 2002, the outside wall of the building at 46 East 70th Street had a measly street sign, certainly not befitting the world center for exploration. There was an older sign in storage, but it had the aforementioned apostrophe. According to former president Richard Wiese, it was sent to a metal shop and they smoothed out the dangling mark. Look closely and you can still see where it was.
Explorers Club member Kimball J. Scribner. Note the Explorers Club flag below the cockpit. 
Air TEC – Back in the mid-60s, the Club was in the aviation business, according to Dr. Brain E. Heckman, a retired pilot, meteorologist and weather researcher from Granby, Colorado.  
Sometime around 1965, a group of Explorers Club members thought that the organization should be more involved with the science-based research community. Chief Pilot Pan American Airlines and Club member Kimball J. Scribner and others formed a new branch of TEC, Explorers Research Corporation. Club members used an engineless research sailplane designed by the Schweizer Aircraft specifically to collect data on aviations’ top atmospheric enemy to aviators – clear air turbulence (CAT).

?Called The Explorer, the glider had a wingspan of 57 feet and seated a pilot and atmospheric scientist who collected data to solve “aviation’s ‘invisible enemy,” according to news reports at the time.  
The aircraft, identified as 29 Juliet, crashed causing an estimated $50,000 in damage. It currently sits in an undisclosed location and efforts are underway to raise the necessary restoration costs.  

Scott Kelly stayed focused.
Astronauts Require Focus
“Becoming an astronaut takes focus. In space, there are some things you do that are so critical that if you were to do them incorrectly, you could kill yourself, your crew members; you could destroy the spacecraft. If you’re shutting down an engine during ascent, the implications of doing the procedure improperly are that you blow up,” astronaut Scott Kelly tells WSJ Magazine (Spring 2022 Fashion issue). 
Kelly is a former NASA astronaut and former space shuttle and space station commander.
“But there are things we can control and things that we can’t, and we need to focus on stuff we can control and ignore everything else or at least not pay nearly as much attention to it.”
Read his additional comments here:

The Sanctity of Space
More than eighty years after Bradford Washburn (1910-2007) first photographed Denali in Alaska, climbing buddies Renan Ozturk and Freddie Wilkinson looked at some of Washburn’s images and had this crazy idea: rather than go up, their dream was to go sideways – across the range’s most forbidding peaks, the Moose’s Tooth massif. It’s a decidedly new school way to explore the same landscape that Washburn first discovered.
As they pioneer the route over the course of two expeditions, enduring freezing bivies, cut ropes, and rockfall along the way, their desire to be the first to complete the audacious line grows into an obsession.

John Anderson, writing in the Wall Street Journal (May 6) praises the film’s visual splendor, “to inspire at least some understanding about what drives people to risk life and limb in pursuit of their ecstatic communion with the physical world.”
Says Ozturk, “When you discover a big climb that’s never been done, it kind of feels like falling in love.”
Watch it in cinemas and on-demand. Watch the trailer here:

Marine biologist Eugenie Clark, affectionately know as the “Shark Lady”
immortalized on a postage stamp.
USPS Honors Eugenie Clark … Forever
No matter what you say about the U.S. Postal Service, the independent agency has a long track record of honoring exploration. There’s Lewis and Clark (3 cents), Amelia Earhart (8 cents), Peary and Henson (22 cents), and the New Horizons mission to Pluto (Forever 2016), to name a few.
Eugenie Clark, a pioneering marine biologist who spent her career working tirelessly to change public perception about sharks – as well as to preserve marine environments around the world – was immortalized early this month on a USPS Forever stamp.
The dedication took place at the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, which Clark helped found as the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory in 1955.
A prolific scientist animated by an unyielding sense of curiosity, Clark (1922-2015) carried out groundbreaking experiments and more than 200 expeditions across the globe. She demonstrated that lemon sharks could be trained to do complex tasks, disproved the notion that some shark species must keep swimming in order to survive, and debunked myths about sharks as vicious, fearsome creatures.
Clark was a pioneer in the era when scuba emerged as a research tool and later took more than 70 trips in high-tech submersibles, sometimes as deep as 12,000 feet – something that has still been done by only a small number of other marine biologists.
In 2018, a newly discovered species of dogfish shark found in the Gulf of Mexico was named Squalus clarkae in her honor.
Read more:

Jon Bowermaster Talks at Google

Jon Bowermaster, an oceans expert, journalist, author, filmmaker, adventurer and six-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council, joins the Talk With Google series to discusses his work on the Hudson River Stories Project, which explores climate change and other environmental challenges for the New York Hudson River Valley, the birthplace of the American environmental movement.

Bowermaster has written 11 books and produced/directed more than thirty documentary films, including Dear President Obama, Antarctica On the Edge, After the Spill and Ghost Fleet.

Watch his Google presentation at:

For more on the Hudson River Stories Project, see: 

For almost five years he’s hosted a weekly radio show/podcast, The Green Radio Hour with Jon Bowermaster ( If you’re an explorer or adventurer looking for publicity, pitch him at:

Photo courtesy

World Oceans Week, June 5-11, 2022, Explorers Club HQ, New York
Since 2017, World Oceans Week at The Explorers Club has hosted more than 300 extraordinary speakers, artists, and musical performers, alongside 5,000+ audience attendees at Headquarters, and over 100,000 online viewers.
The 6th Annual World Oceans Week returns to the Club to focus on what it calls the five C’s of the world’s oceans: Creativity, Conservation, Collaboration, Community, and Celebration. The programs will feature educational outreach in the mornings, and networking lunches with a variety of topics from early career opportunities to the blue economy. See for more details; events will stream live there and on the Club’s YouTube and Facebook Live channels.
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: @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:

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