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An explorer from New Zealand and two from Japan will soon begin training on Baffin Island, NWT, for a self-sufficient, human-powered expedition to the North Pole in late February 1997. The Polar Free - 1997 North Pole Expedition consists of David Scott, 29, Auckland, NZ; and Japan's Nobu Narita, 29, Hokkaido, and Atchan Miyagawa, 30, Tokyo.
THREE SOLO ANTARCTIC TREKS BEGIN
They began together with a 6-1/2 hr. Hercules flight on Nov. 12 from Punta Arenas, Chile, crossing the Drake Passage to a base at Antarctica's Patriot Hills. But the companionship soon ended as three separate explorers, arguably the world's best at what they do, set out alone on three roughly similar routes, to achieve the first solo unsupported crossing of Antarctica.
Kaminski Knocked Out Cold, Starts Over
On Nov. 18, the third day of his solitary 1,674-mi. trek from the northwest region of Berkner Island to the Ross Sea, Polish explorer Marek Kaminski was in trouble. As his supporters learned later, while in the process of packing a parachute-like sail that helps pull heavy equipment across the ice, a sudden gust of wind caught the partially-inflated chute, dragging Kaminski along the ice until he struck his head and lost consciousness.
Kaminski, 32, regained consciousness shortly afterwards and called for rescue. An Adventure Network International Twin Otter plane arrived Nov. 19, but take-off was delayed 24 hours due to bad weather.
Hours passed and when Kaminski's condition began to improve, the decision was made to begin again from where he started five days previously.
Fiennes Moves Faster This Time
Sir Ranulph Fiennes also started on Nov. 15 from the edge of the Ice Shelf and by late November had progressed halfway down the western side of glaciated Berkner Island.
Ousland Trek Makes Tracks
By Nov. 25, when EN went to press, Norwegian Borge Ousland, 34, had progressed 444.9 km (276 mi.) at an average rate of 40.4 km/day (25 miday).
WINDOW OPENS FOR GLOBAL BALLOONISTS
At least two noted explorers are passionately pursuing their dream to be first to circumnavigate the globe non-stop in a balloon. The window of opportunity for such projects will remain open through mid-February.
Fossett Plans Ballooning Home Run
Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett, 52, recently announced another transglobal balloon attempt and selected Busch Stadium, the home of baseball's St. Louis Cardinals, as his launch site within the next few months.
Branson Readies Virgin Global Challenger
British entrepreneur and Virgin Airways owner Richard Branson will again compete against Fossett for the circumnavigation record. The Virgin Global Challenger balloon flight team has begun conducting critical test flights with an AM7 77,000 cu. ft. De Rozier type balloon.
Becauses It Is There -
Cause-related expeditions raise money and awareness
When the tallest mountains have been climbed by man, by woman, and by men and women young and old, with and without supplemental oxygen - when records have been set long ago - how do you generate interest in yet another expedition?
Many project leaders turn to a worthy cause to generate funding and increased awareness. The history of cause-related expeditions reflects almost every major affliction known to mankind.
Banff Festival Awards Mongolian Film
The 21st annual Banff Festival of Mountain Films awarded its Grand Prize to "The Tsaatan - The Reindeer Riders," produced by the Paris-based production company, Boreales.
Corporations usually sponsor expeditions to demonstrate product performance under dire conditions - blistering heat, bone-chilling cold, hurricane-strength wind, and extreme humidity, to name a few. That may be difficult for Dyson Appliances Ltd., an applicance manufacturer based in the U.K. Their sponsorship of Ran Fiennes' solo trek across the White Continent promotes its limited edition "Antarctica Solo" vacuum cleaner.
Documentary Ideas Sought
RDF Television, based in London, is seeking expedition projects for development into high quality documentaries for media including the BBC, Channel 4 (UK), Discovery, National Geographic TV and the Learning Channel.
EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 28 Center Street, Darien, CT 06820 USA. Tel. 203-656-3300, fax 203-655-7710. Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. c1996 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. Subscription rate: US $36/year. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or CompuServe 76226,773. Highlights from EXPEDITION NEWS can be found on the World Wide Web at ExpeditionNews.com.