Expedition News


Here are Highlights from the September 1999 issue of Expedition News. For a complete version of this and every issue for the next year, send $36 to the address below.

September 1999 - Volume Six, Number Nine


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.


The sea kayak is the vehicle of choice for two adventurers, Americans Luke Shullenberger and Jean-Philippe Soule, currently on a 2-1/2 year, 6,000-mi. kayak expedition through Central America's coasts and rainforest river basins. The Central American Sea Kayak Expedition (CASKE) has already completed 900 miles in Baja and last month was on the northwest coast of Honduras after an extensive paddle through Belize.


Report From the Islands of Four Mountains -

After two grueling weeks traveling from the Lower 48, the four members on the Island of Four Mountains Expedition reached the Aleutian chain, the tiny group of five volcanic islands that sit where the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet, 1,000 miles southwest of Anchorage (See EN, May 1999).

Reflecting upon the start of the 100-mi. kayak expedition last June, expedition organizer Jon Bowermaster writes, "We spent many hours hiking and climbing the five islands. What surprised us most was the incredible beauty and mysteriousness of the islands. We'd come prepared for cold, fog, rain and wind and we had plenty of that. But on many days we also had blue skies and billowing white clouds. The mysteriousness came from our vision of what it must have been like for the Aleuts to live and work here hundreds and thousands of years before, plying these waters in their handmade baidarkas, or kayaks. Certainly, we were the first since then to paddle these islands in kayaks, though ours - made from fiberglass and Kevlar - were obviously more sturdy."


Like a Rock

- How strong are those portable climbing walls that tool around on trailers? Consider this: when a deadly F2 tornado decimated two temporary exhibition pavilions at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake, 20 percent of the show's 860 manufacturers were left without exhibit space. Gear and apparel were strewn over an entire city block, buried under shredded roofing material and support beams twisted by winds estimated at 113 to 157 mph. Yet still standing after the devastation was a 24-ft. Entre Prises Road Rock Extreme climbing wall. The $23,250 structure was lifted at least an inch by the tornado -- enough for bits of building material to be trapped beneath its wheels.

Women Climbers Span Generations

- Expedition leaders Arlene Blum and Supy Bullard compared their experiences leading expeditions above 8000 meters during an Outdoor Retailer trade show presentation last month. Blum, who in 1978 led the first American all-women ascent of Annapurna I (26,545-ft. / 8091 m), commented, "I think it's important for young women to grow up knowing that there are no boundaries." Bullard, 31, who returned two months ago from a successful climb of Cho-Oyu with five other women (See EN, May 1998), admitted that reading about Blum's expedition several years ago gave her "permission" to pursue her dream of climbing a Himalayan peak.


Swiss Army Equipped Awards

- From the rain forests of Brazil to the mountains of the Himalaya, Swiss Army and Victorinox have been equipping expeditions for more than 100 years. But for those who meet challenges closer to home -- in schools, in local communities, and the workplace -- the company has launched a year-long national award program to recognize what it considers "the country's most equipped people."

JanSport Signs Ed Viesturs

- Veteran mountaineer Ed Viesturs, 40, just two peaks shy of his goal of being the first American to climb the world's fourteen 8000 meter peaks, has added JanSport to his team of corporate sponsors.


Travel Channel Documents American Woman's Ascent -

On August 19, Christine Boskoff became the first North American woman to successfully climb four of the world's highest peaks when she summited Gasherbrum II (26,361-ft.
/ 8035m) in the Karakoram mountain range of Pakistan. She had already scaled three of the world's highest peaks: Broad Peak (26,401-ft. / 8047m), Cho Oyu (26,906-ft. / 8201m) and Lhotse (27,940-ft. / 8516m). The achievement by Boskoff, 31, president and owner of the Seattle-based guiding company Mountain Madness, Inc., was documented by a television crew for a film scheduled to air on the Travel Channel next year in more than 32.3 million homes.

The Riddle of Everest

- Vanity Fair examines the Mallory mystery in an extensive 16-page September feature. "The Riddle of Everest," by Bryan Burrough, reveals Newsweek paid only $5,000 (not $40,000 as previously reported) for the controversial photo of Mallory lying face-down in the snow.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

- When calamities occur on the high seas or Everest, readers can't wait for the grisly details. And publishers are happy to oblige, reads the Aug. 9 Newsweek story by Malcolm Jones titled, "Disaster Chronicles." Jones writes, "From the slopes of Everest to the troughs of 60-foot waves, journalists and adventurers have been busily grinding out accounts of frostbite and shipwreck, and readers can't get enough. Most of what's coming out now leans heavily on the disaster part of the adventure-disaster equation."

Anker and Roberts Collaborate -

The trend in non-fiction adventure books continues this fall with publication of "The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mount Everest" (Simon & Schuster). Professional mountaineer Conrad Anker of Telluride, Colo., and noted author David Roberts of Cambridge, Mass., join forces to explain why they think Mallory and Irvine failed to make the summit.


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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