Expedition News


The following are Highlights from our August 1999 issue. For the complete version of this issue, send $4 to the address below; or subscribe for a full year (12 issues) at the rate of $36 ($46 international postage rate).

August 1999 - Volume Six, Number Eight


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.


But are pre-trip appendectomies really necessary?

Australian researchers are extracting their teeth and undergoing elective appendectomies before serving on Antarctica for extended periods. How far does one have to go when preparing to travel far from modern medicine? Explorers and scientific researchers regularly face extended periods when they could be days, perhaps weeks away from emergency medical assistance.

It's risky business to provide rescue for medical emergencies that occur in remote locations. This month we examine what explorers and researchers do to reduce the odds that something will go wrong at precisely the wrong time.

Explorers Club member Lawrence Millman, of Cambridge, Mass., an author and veteran of 25 Arctic expeditions, believes, "... the best preparation for any arctic trip is mental preparation. You expunge from your mind such things as appendicitis, tooth decay, pancreatic cancer, stroke, lump in the breast/chest, etc. By not focusing on them," Millman says, "you reduce the possibility of having them put in a surprise appearance once the expedition is underway.

"By obsessing about them, or taking obsessive precautions against them before an expedition, you somehow invite them to come along. And I dare say an attack of appendicitis cannot carry a 55-pound backpack ..."


While millions nurse hangovers on January 1, a group of climbers - as yet unnamed and essentially unsponsored - hope to celebrate the first day of the new millennium on the summit of Mt. Everest. It's a long shot, but the group has an impressive Web site (www.mteverest2000.com), seed funding, and is endorsed by the American Alpine Club in Golden, Colo.


Bikers Take a Crack at America's Spine

- If you have a catchy theme, and an affinity group willing to provide support, almost any expedition project is sponsorable. Witness the Chiropractic Awareness Expedition, a three month, 2,700-mi. self-supported mountain bike expedition along America's "spine" - the Continental Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico.

He's Got the Mettle to Pedal -

British adventurer Jason Lewis, 31, has completed a solo 2,200-mi. voyage across the Pacific Ocean in a 26-ft. wooden pedal boat (See EN, May 1995). The explorer, a native of Bridport, Dorset, U.K., landed his craft "Moksha" on Tarawa atoll in the Gilbert Islands 73 days after leaving Hawaii, according to a spokesman for his Pedal for the Planet expedition in San Francisco. Jason is now halfway through his 29,000-mi. muscle-powered land-sea circumnavigation which began at the Greenwich Meridian in July, 1994.

Mars Calling

- Four explorers are being sought to participate in a White House-initiated national arts, sciences, technology, and education project. The Mars Millennium Project (MMP) is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, NASA, NEA, the J. Paul Getty Trust, and the White House Millennium Council. An individual Web page will be built for each participating explorer that over a million students and teachers can access during the next year.

Old Climbers Never Die ... They Become Antenna Installers

- For those who love climbing, and fear not heights, but the prospect of a career stuck behind a desk, a communications equipment company in Lee's Summit, Mo. offers the ideal job. To meet the country's insatiable demand for cellular phones and beepers, Communication Equipment Specialists, Inc. has been aggressively recruiting climbers to install wireless equipment on cellular, PCS, and microwave towers that reach as high as 1,800 feet (which, if they were mountains, would qualify as the high points of 10 states).


Explorers Turn to Fashion 

- A group of Explorers Club members were selected to model the latest high-end Seventh Avenue winter fashions for the New York Times "Men's Fashions of the Times" supplement. On Sept. 26, expect to see Buzz Aldrin, Club president Alfred S. McLaren, Marcelo Mendez, James Prosek, Norman D. Vaughan, and Richard Wiese.  

Keep the Masses Indoors

- Outdoors specialty retailer Gary Neptune of Neptune Mountaineering, Boulder, Colo., writes in an industry trade magazine, "We need to be more aware of companies which use not-so-subtle marketing techniques, such as supporting 'expeditions' which are of no true exploratory value, have minimal scientific value, are not cutting edge, and of interest only to the participants and to the masses who do not know any better."

His by-lined story in the June 1999 issue of Outdoor Retailer magazine continues, "We see articles in magazines such as National Geographic where far too many photos are loaded with larger logos than anyone can find on normal retail products. Marketing behavior such as this verges on crossing the line between art and pornography. As I have said before, our outdoors should not be sold to the masses like the Spice Girls," Neptune sniffs.


Zegrahm Expeditions

- Join TOP EXPLORERS as ZEGRAHM EXPEDITIONS travels to Earth's remote and compelling places.

September finds us among MELANESIAN ISLANDS of Vanuatu & Fiji with oceanographer JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU.

In December, adventurer WILL STEGER is aboard in ANTARCTICA exploring the Peninsula, South Georgia & the Falklands.

Oceanographer SYLVIA EARLE leads first-ever submarine expeditions observing SIXGILL SHARKS in July, 2000.

Best-selling author CAROLINE ALEXANDER tells the story of Shackleton during a CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF SOUTH GEORGIA, November, 2000.

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