September 2022 – Volume Twenty-Eight, Number Nine
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.

Hari Budha Magar

Double Above the Knee Amputee Seeks Everest Support
A double above-the-knee amputee from Canterbury, Kent, England, is one step closer to summiting Everest in May 2023 but needs the outdoor community’s help.
Former British soldier and mountaineer, Hari Budha Magar, 43, is calling on the climbing community to help him prove that disability is not a barrier as he attempts to become the world’s first double above-the-knee amputee to climb Everest.
Having served in the British Army’s Ghurka regiment for 15 years, Hari turned to mountaineering in 2016 as part of his recovery having lost both legs in Afghanistan in 2010 after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded while on patrol.
In preparation for his Everest attempt, Hari has already reportedly been the first double above knee amputee to climb Mera Peak (6476m); Ben Nevis; trek to Everest Base Camp; Mt. Toubkal (4167m); and Chulu Far East (6058m).
To attempt the Everest summit, Hari needs to raise over £300,000 (about $347,000). So far, he raised about £40,000 through crowdsourcing.
With reduced mobility, Hari uses three times more energy than the average climber, with Everest expecting to take him three times longer than an able-bodied mountaineer.
“The human body is just not designed to operate at that altitude. But add to that my challenges with mobility and speed, and there is a whole new layer of difficulty,” he says.
“It’ll take me longer than able-bodied climbers, so I’m resigned to the fact that I’ll be starting earlier and finishing later. We’ve also planned two extra camps if they are needed.”
Hari is being trained by, and climbing with, Krishna Thapa, former Chief Mountain Instructor at the SAS and world-renowned climber. The summit will be attempted across the South Col route from Nepal.
Hari added: “From specially designed crampons to the heated sockets around my stumps and the short prosthetic legs I’ll be using for the climb – we are developing new technologies that will allow me to climb Everest.
Learn more:
Juniper Kiss has the perfect first name for a plant biologist.
Student Organizes Sweet Potato Hunt in PNG
Not every expedition involves a dangerous journey down an Amazonian river or trip down to the Titanic (see related stories). Sometimes, it could involve something as simple as a sweet potato.
Hungarian Juniper Boroka Kiss, an enterprising young university student residing in the UK, won the Scientific Exploration Society’s (SES) 2021 Judith Heath Explorer Award for Botany & Research for her Sweet Potato Hunt in Papua New Guinea expedition. Juniper is a first-year Ph.D. student at the University of Southampton, England, working on food security and soil health issues in Papua New Guinea. She is a marine biology-turned plant biologist (with a perfect first name) and loves traveling around the world to learn and work with small farm holders. 
As she writes in her report, “The aim of my expedition was to explore the different sweet potato varieties grown along an altitudinal transect at Mt. Wilhelm (4509m), the highest mountain in PNG and Oceania. The objectives were to i) document the locally grown different sweet potato names and characteristics, ii) collect tissue samples for genetic and nutritional analyses, and iii) carry out semi-structured interviews with farmers about how they select planting materials and manage their fields.”
Budget for her trip was an economical £2,246 (approx. US $2,605).
Read her expedition report here:
View her three-minute post expedition video wherein Kiss reveals she contracted malaria during the trip, despite the local community attempting to get the “forest spirit” out of her stomach.
The SES “Oscars of Exploration” awards event is scheduled for Oct. 12, 2022, at the Royal College of Surgeons in London.
See the award winners and buy tickets here:
Photograph these predators in Nepal. Photo courtesy of Pangje Foundation.
Help Protect Nepal’s Snow Leopards 
Pangje Foundation, a U.S.-based non-profit dedicated to snow leopard conservation and related community support in the Himalaya, is launching a series of Adventure Philanthropy trips. Beginning in 2023, Pangje will be organizing trips allowing people to join in the adventure and contribute to endangered species conservation activities including setting up camera traps for snow leopards in the remote Dolpa region of Western Nepal.
Also offered: a photography expedition in Central Nepal that includes tracking snow leopards with big cat experts while camped among the highest mountains in the world along the Tibet border; and a journey to the jungles of Southern Nepal in search of the last tigers of the Himalaya. All trips offer authentic involvement in conservation work and interaction with remote communities. 
Truly, an opportunity to travel with purpose.
To learn more:
Laurie Anderson sings about famed aviator.
Laurie Anderson Performs Songs for Amelia Earhart
American artist and Grammy winner Laurie Anderson has been touring with a musical composition she created called Songs for Amelia Earhart. The work is not conceived as a documentary, but as a subjective narrative of the fate of a famous female aviator.
Anderson has said of the composition, “The words used in Amelia are taken from her pilot diaries, the telegrams she wrote to her husband, and my idea of what a woman flying around the world can think of.”
First premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2000, the piece has undergone some iterations since then and contains several new parts. Listen to an earlier version of the performance by Anderson with the Northern Netherlands Symphonic Orchestra in Gronigen, Netherlands, October 2008:

Learn more about this talented performer here:

Swimming the Nares Strait. Photo Credit: Great Arctic Swim
Nonstop Swim From Canada to Greenland Rerouted by Deadly Ice  
The Great Arctic Swim from Canada to Greenland, estimated at 27 miles across, was re-routed this summer by a deadly ice maze. Explorers Wesley Archer and Justin Fornal left in early August to complete the first-ever nonstop swim from Canada to Greenland across the Nares Strait. 
The self-funded team set off from Qaanaaq in two boats in the direction of Pim Island, Canada, with the goal of Fornal swimming the width of the Nares Strait with Archer manning a support kayak.
The Nares Strait hosts some of the most extreme weather in the Arctic, according to expedition organizers. The winds can reach gale force as a result of the Nares Strait compression zone and unpredictable ice flows. 
While en route to Pim Island, the team encountered an impenetrable wall of ice. The local team would not take their boats any further towards Canada as they could get caught between the moving pieces of thick ice and crushed to splinters. The only option was for the swim to begin from the ice wall. On August 15, Fornal jumped from the Arctic ice sheet and began his swim towards Greenland through icy 40 degrees F. water as Archer rowed in a kayak next to him full of supplies including food, water, and hot drinks.
Two local hunters remained close by in powerboats to help navigate, keep away territorial walruses, and assist with emergency extraction. The entire event was documented by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Emiliano Ruprah, funded in part by Visit Greenland.
The shifting ice sheets made the crossing both hazardous and tiring – instead of swimming in near-freezing waters point-to-point, Fornal and the support team had to swim around moving obstacles, “including icebergs the size of buildings.”  
After swimming 7.5 hours and navigating 11 miles of the deadly ice labyrinth, Fornal reached the rocky shores of Greenland. When Justin emerged from the water he was identified as approaching stage 2 hypothermia, though recovered quickly with proper medical assistance from the team.
While the team was not able to attempt a Canada to Greenland swim on this expedition, they plan to return in 2023 to complete the full swim, according to organizers.
Justin Fornal is an international explorer, long-distance swimmer, and writer. He is also the host of "Unexplained and Unexplored" on the Science Channel.

Learn more here:
Wesley Archer is an explorer, adventurer, and General Aviation pilot with over 1,100 hours in a Cirrus (that’s the aircraft equipped with a whole-plane emergency recovery parachute system).  
For more information, see
“There comes a time when the risk outweighs the benefit, and you’ve got to make a decision. The investment made to be there always comes to mind during those moments and you’re tempted to let that convince you to keep moving forward in spite of the risk.
“It’s ok to walk away. The journey is the most important part and (sic) for me, and that’s always worth the cost. You can always regroup, reset, refresh and try again when conditions allow. The mountains are the boss. They decide. Not us.”
– Ed Viesturs, a professional mountaineer, writing on LinkedIn last month upon his return from Cotopaxi in Ecuador. His team was shut down by high winds just 800 feet from the summit.
J.R. Harris at Bowdoin College (photo by Alex Spear)
Forgotten Explorers Recognized at Bowdoin College
J.R. Harris, chair of the DEI committee of The Explorers Club shed light on the stories of explorers forgotten by history while advocating for inclusion in the outdoors during a lecture at Maine’s Bowdoin College on Sept. 7.
The lecture entitled “Sambo or Superman: The Rocky Road to Recognition,” focused on the dangers of leaving important figures in the history of the outdoors, such as Matthew Henson, an African-American man, and four Inughuit hunters who accompanied Robert Peary on his expedition to the Arctic, to be unrecognized or misrepresented, according to Maile Winterbottom writing in the Bowdoin Orient (Sept. 9).
One of the key points of the lecture was a story Harris told about Henson (see next story) and the Inughuit hunters who had been on Peary’s expedition and not recognized until recently.
“While Peary returned home a hero, Henson’s considerable accomplishments were largely belittled and endured even by Peary himself,” Harris said. “Peary went on to become president of The Explorers Club, but Henson was denied membership until 1937, when he was made an honorary member almost 30 years after his dash to the pole, and 17 years after Peary’s death in 1920.”
Henson was not the only person to go unrecognized on Peary’s mission to the Arctic. The four Inughuit hunters who aided Peary on his expedition had been largely forgotten by history until last spring when they were given charter membership by The Explorers Club.
Bowdoin’s Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum is dedicated entirely to all things Arctic. It is named after Arctic explorers and Bowdoin graduates Robert E. Peary (Class of 1877) and Donald B. MacMillan (Class of 1898).
Read the story here:
Matthew Henson Scholarship Supports Cold Weather Expedition Training
Illinois-based PolarExplorers announced the open application period for the 2023-2024 Matthew Henson Scholarship which honors the legacy of polar explorer Matthew Henson (1866-1955) by inspiring people of color – particularly emerging outdoor guides or people with current positions or future goals of leadership in the outdoor industry – to embrace cold weather adventures, and to build the necessary skill set to thrive (and not just survive) during cold weather expedition travel.
This two-year scholarship, awarded annually, provides two consecutive years of fully subsidized participation in PolarExplorer's Polar Shakedown Training. "The first year focuses on skill development and an overview of cold weather expedition travel," says Annie Aggens, director of PolarExplorers. "The second year dives into leadership development and hands-on experience guiding in the extreme cold."
The scholarship is open to all people of color who are passionate about wilderness travel and outdoor leadership, who aspire to have a career in the outdoor industry, and who are looking to increase their skill set to include cold weather camping and leadership.
Qualified applicants should have previous experience with backcountry camping, the desire to inspire others, a strong commitment to developing positive relationships, an appetite for a steep learning curve, and a level of fitness that can accommodate long days of hard work.
Applications are due by December 1, 2022. The scholarship recipient will be notified by December 15, 2022. The dates for the 2023 training are January 30 to February 4. 
Learn more:
Teddy Roosevelt points out the location of the River of Doubt.
Creatures of the Amazon Want You Dead. Right Now.
One of the most striking passages of The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard (Anchor Books, 2005), a thoroughly engaging book recommended for explorers and armchair adventurers alike, is the section about the Amazonian wildlife that wants any Amazon traveler dead.
Ten-foot-long boa constrictors can all but vanish on the dappled forest floor. Poison-dart frogs can carry enough toxin to kill a hundred people and need only be touched to be deadly. Virtually every growing thing teems with insects; a single tree in the Amazon can serve as home to more than 40 different species of ant, rendering even the most casual contact with it a nightmare of painful bites.

During the Roosevelt–Rondon Scientific Expedition (1913-14), Roosevelt would write for Scribner’s about piranha, “ferocious little monsters …. the (piranha’s) rabid, furious snaps drive the teeth through flesh and bone … the head with its short muzzle, staring malignant eyes, and gaping, cruelly armed jaws, is the embodiment of evil ferocity.” Several members of Roosevelt’s own expedition were viciously attacked.
Rough indeed, but not as fearsome as the tiny, almost transparent catfish known as the candiru. “When it comes to parasitizing people, a very rare occurrence, the candiru’s modus operandi is to enter through an orifice – from a vagina to an anus. It is most famous, however, for wiggling its way into a urethra,” writes Millard.
“The candiru (inside the urethra of an unsuspecting bather) soon dies where it is but its body continues to block the urethra, causing excruciating pain and, if not removed, death.”
Removal is difficult, especially in the remote tropics. One cure in the 1800s was a penectomy which sounds as awful as it is. 
Sounds of Silence: Quindar tones, CAPCOM and Cassini
Space isn’t all that silent after all. Ever since the 1950s, NASA has been collecting sounds from its pioneering missions. The space agency uploaded over 60 audio clips to its SoundCloud page, which you can hear thanks to BBC Science Focus.

Little known fact: the astronaut on the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission has been misquoted all along. It was “Houston we had a problem,” not have a problem as depicted in the 1995 Tom Hanks movie.
Hear the original broadcast along with sounds of Sputnik and interstellar plasma:
The Titanic in 8K Video
Everett, Wash.-based OceanGate Expeditions set a new standard this year for documenting the condition of the 110-year-old wreck of the Titanic, thanks to a high-definition 8K video system that was installed aboard its submersible, according to Alan Boyle, writing for (Aug. 30).

A sampling of the first-ever 8K video footage from the Titanic, captured during this summer’s dives in the North Atlantic, was released last month. OceanGate plans to return to the wreck on an annual basis to track changes in the Titanic’s condition over time, in video resolution that’s roughly 8,000 pixels wide.

Read the GeekWire story here:
See the 8K video, viewed over 3.8 million times, here:
Want to view the fabled ship virtually?
Since 1987, RMS Titanic, Inc. has conducted eight research expeditions to the wreck site, exclusively recovering and conserving more than 5,500 artifacts. Utilizing these recovered objects in concert with scientific and historical research, RMS Titanic, Inc. created the exhibit Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition and Titanic: The Virtual Experience. 

You can view it virtually for $5-$15 here:
Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Awards Dinner, Oct. 1, 2022, Harvard Faculty Club, Cambridge, Mass.
The prestigious Lowell Thomas Awards Dinner (LTAD) returns this fall on Oct. 1, 2022, hosted by The Explorers Club’s New England Chapter. It will celebrate those who exhibit excellence in Conservation Genetics. Honorees are:
George Church – Widely recognized for his innovative contributions to genomic science and his many pioneering contributions to chemistry and biomedicine. In 1984, he developed the first direct genomic sequencing method, which resulted in the first genome sequence (the human pathogen, H. pylori). He helped initiate the Human Genome Project in 1984 and the Personal Genome Project in 2005.
Hopi E. Hoekstra – Dr. Hoekstra's research focuses on understanding how variation is generated and maintained in natural populations.  
Harris Lewin – Pioneered global efforts that will determine and affect almost every living organism on the planet. Dr. Lewin co-founded and directs the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP), a 4.7-billion-dollar international initiative tasked with creating the largest library of genomes ever envisioned in history.
Stephen J. O’Brien – Helped establish the discipline of Conservation Genetics, as well as associated disciplines of Genetic Epidemiology, Comparative Genomics, Emerging Infections and Diseases, Genome Bioinformatics, and the very ingredients to preserve and better understand the risks to endangered and threatened species.
Oliver Ryder – Guides the strategic development of efforts to develop and expand a global network of cryobanking facilities, especially for viable tissue culture cells frequently referred to as the Frozen Zoo.  
Sam Wasser – Acknowledged worldwide for developing noninvasive tools for monitoring human impacts on wildlife. Dr. Wasser applies these tools to forensic analyses of transnational wildlife crime.  
Chao-ting Wu – Through her work at the Smithsonian Institution, Dr. Wu has made contributions to science education of genetics.
General admission tickets are $425.
Learn more:
Travel With Purpose, A Field Guide to Voluntourism (Rowman & Littlefield) by Jeff Blumenfeld ­– Travel has come roaring back and so has 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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