July 1998 - Volume Five, Number Seven

EXPEDITION NEWS is a monthly review of significant expeditions, research projects and newsworthy adventures. It is distributed online and by mail to media representatives, corporate sponsors, educators, research librarians, explorers, environmentalists and outdoor enthusiasts. This forum on exploration covers projects that stimulate, motivate and educate.

Here are excerpts from our July 1999 issue. For a free sample issue, contact the address below.


Imagine the pounding headache, thumping heart, and dry mouth of Everest Base Camp. Now climb about 4,000 feet higher. And be sure to bring picks and shovels to wield for weeks on end. Do all this and you'll approximate the conditions under which cultural anthropologist and archaeologist Johan Reinhard, Ph.D., plans the world's highest dig in March 1999 to Llullaillaco (22,000-ft.) on the Argentina/Chile border.


He traveled with Will Steger 3,741 miles across Antarctica at its widest point, and trekked in Greenland south to north, but still has never reached the North Pole from land. Now, in a novel project scheduled to depart in early March 1999, Briton Geoff Somers, 48, is teaming with Sue Stockdale, 32, of Scotland, to ski from Ellesmere Island to the North Pole. The expedition will be resupplied twice because, as Somers puts it, "we do not intend to portray a macho image, and chances of success are far greater with resupplies."


Woodworms were the downfall of the Illa Tiki expedition in 1995. The Illa Tiki, a 20-ton, approximately 46-ft. balsa raft similar to Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 Kon Tiki, was successfully launched in March 1995 and sailed for 38 days on the high seas, following the ancient Manteno trade route.
Reaching Panama, the crew realized that the massive balsa main hull had been infected with woodworms - the scourge of wooden ships throughout history. With Illa Tiki sinking lower in the water each day as the balsa was consumed, the order was given to abandon the voyage after a successful landing in Panama with all hands safe.
Now many of the same people will build another 20-ton, approximately 55-ft. aboriginal sailing raft - the "Manteno" - to investigate the ancient trade route between Ecuador and West Mexico.


Climbing for Dollars - Outdoor industry manufacturers have been inundated with sponsorship proposals throughout the late 20th century. Hundreds of proposals for generally $25,000-$50,000 are received each year, submitted by experienced explorers with strong track records, as well as a few from dreamers and schemers seeking funding for their adventure vacations (said proposals are usually filed under "Nice Try", just before "No Way").

The more sophisticated outdoor companies understand the value of learning about new expedition projects. Today, there are at least five major grant programs that award funding to significant expedition projects. EN this month contacted each for insight on how best to approach them.

National Geographic Sponsors Banff Festival - The National Geographic Society (NGS) has recently signed a multi-year deal to be the official media sponsor of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festivals. Other sponsors of the Banff Mountain Film Festival, scheduled for Nov. 6-8, 1999, are Eagle Creek Travel Gear (presenting sponsor), Salomon Footwear, Sector Sport Watches, and Sierra Designs.


Shackleton's Ship - The wreck of a sailing ship that may have been part of the Shackleton expedition has been found off Antarctica. A British expedition found the timber vessel submerged in sand on Elephant Island, south of Argentina. Famed British Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton was stranded on Elephant Island for six months in 1914.

Benedict Arnold's Gunboat - Last year researchers at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Ferrisburg, Vt., discovered a missing Revolutionary War gunboat sitting intact and upright at the bottom of Lake Champlain. The 54-ft. gunboat, part of a 15-ship squadron led by Benedict Arnold that engaged the British in the Battle of Valcour Island in 1776, had been sought by historians for decades.
According to Art Cohn, 48, director of the museum, "We're now working with the U.S. Navy to develop a management plan which will look at potential alternatives for the boat's long-term preservation."


Join First Descent of Litang River - Class V kayakers and oarspersons needed for first descent of the Litang River, Sichuan, China, September 1999. Expedition is organized by Earth Science Expeditions, a non-profit research organization. This is a roadless stretch of river, put-in at 11,800-ft., flow about 3,500 cfs, gradient 35-ft. / mile with stretches up to 70-ft. / mile. Countryside is inhabited by Tibetans who have not seen foreigners for over 50 years - a mind boggling cultural experience for all involved. Cost $4,950 round trip from Hong Kong. Contact Pete Winn, Earth Science Expeditions, 202 North Avenue #102, Grand Junction, CO 81501. Tel. 970-242-7108, fax 970-243-9226, pswinn@ aol.com.

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The World of Zegrahm Expeditions - Adventure travel to intriguing destinations on earth, undersea and space, ideal for the inquisitive traveler. Small group expeditions guided by leading naturalists and experts are operated year-round with great care for the environment, fragile wildlife areas and cultures. Join ZEGRAHM EXPEDITIONS in its eighth year exploring Antarctica, the South Pacific, Arctic, Indian Ocean and other frontiers. With ZEGRAHM DEEPSEA VOYAGES, board a variety of deep-diving submersibles to search for rare marine life, fascinating geological formations and remote shipwrecks. At the forefront of space tourism is ZEGRAHM SPACE VOYAGES, offering a 7-day space experience travel program featuring a space flight to 100 km above sea level - official "astronaut altitude." For reservations and more information: Zegrahm Expeditions, 1414 Dexter Avenue N. #327, Seattle, WA 98109 U.S.A. Phone: 800-628-8747, 206-285-4000; Fax: 206-285-5037; E-mail/Web site: zoe@zeco.com/www.zeco.com. Space and DeepSea Voyages phone: 888-772-2366, 206-2853743; Fax: 206-285-7390; E-mail/web site: zsv@ spacevoyages.com/www.spacevoyages.com.

EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 28 Center Street, Darien, CT 06820 USA. Tel. 203-656-3300, fax 203-655-7710, e-mail editor@expeditionnews.com. Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Copyright © 1999 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. Subscriptions: US$36/yr.; international postal rate US$46/yr. Highlights from Expedition News are also located at www.mountainzone.com/news/expedition where you can order a subscription to the full edition with your credit card.

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