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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.

March 2018 – Volume Twenty-Four, Number Three

Celebrating Our 24th Year!



Berua, one of the local guides you might meet along the Papua New Guinea trek. (Photo taken by Philipp Engelhorn in 2006)

Teammates Wanted for Papua New Guinea Trek

Author and television producer James Campbell is looking for six qualified backpackers to join him on a trek across the Papuan Peninsula of Papua New Guinea in June 2018. This will be Campbell’s second trip on the trail.

In 2006, Campbell organized a small team of outside adventurers to retrace, for the first time, the 150-mile WWII route of a battalion of American soldiers. Military historians call the 42-day trek “one of the cruelest in military history.” Navigating the same swamps, thick jungles, and 9,000-foot mountains, it took Campbell’s team 21 days to cover the distance from a village called Gabagaba on the Peninsula’s south coast to the village of Buna on the north coast.

This June, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Buna, which U.S. Army historians call the first major land victory of the Southwest Pacific, Campbell will repeat the trek. Inspired by Campbell’s 2006 journey, the PNG government is now considering setting aside a portion of the territory along the trail as a national wilderness park to protect the remote Highland villages as well as a mountain ecosystem that includes birds of paradise, tree kangaroos, cassowaries, native possums, and rare butterflies and orchids.

Campbell’s hope is that this repeat trek will provide the PNG government with the nudge it needs to establish the park.

Campbell’s 2006 trek was unsupported. Since then, an Australian company, Getaway Trekking, has set up an operation on the trail. Getaway is committed to preserving and protecting both the ecosystem and the local cultures. Getaway’s operating principle is that much of the money paid by future trekkers will go directly back into the villages for labor, food (from local gardens) and accommodation.

For Campbell’s three-week, June 2018 trek, Getaway will provide all logistical support. Costs include all in-country accommodation, transport, food on the trail, internal flights, and a personal carrier. Participants will be responsible for getting to and from PNG.

For more information: bogmoose, 608 333 1177.

Adventure Canada Partners with the Sedna Epic Expedition

Adventure Canada is partnering with the Sedna Epic Expedition, an international team of women – ocean explorers, scientists, artists, educators and scuba diving professionals -to scout, document, and record disappearing sea ice in the Arctic. The project will combine indigenous and scientific knowledge to document climate change while it empowers Inuit girls and young women in the Arctic.

Team Sedna will mount a snorkel and dive expedition aboard Adventure Canada’s vessel, the Ocean Endeavour, from August 6-17, 2018, during the Arctic Safari expedition to Nunavut and western Greenland. Adventure Canada embraces Inuit culture and traditions, and has successfully operated in the Arctic for more than 30 years.

“Sedna’s sea women, Inuit advisors, and young Inuit team members look forward to collaborating with Adventure Canada’s resource team, and to deliver our signature, hands-on ocean outreach program in Nunavut’s Inuit communities,” said Susan R. Eaton, the Calgary-based founder and leader of the Sedna Epic Expedition.


Route of the Ocean Endeavour in August 2018.

The experiential ocean outreach program for Inuit youth and elders will take place in Qausuittuq (Resolute) and Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet) where Sedna’s sea women will showcase sea critters in mobile aquariums and lead underwater robot-building workshops and snorkel safaris, bringing the ocean to eye level for Inuit communities and Adventure Canada travelers.

During the Arctic Safari expedition, Sedna’s team will engage with passengers aboard the Ocean Endeavour, inviting them to participate in their citizen science ocean programs, including a ship-based marine mammal and seabird survey. The sea women will present lectures on topics ranging from climate change to maritime archaeology and underwater photography and videography.

For information about joining Sedna’s team of women explorers during Adventure Canada’s Arctic Safari, visit or call Susan R. Eaton at 403 605 0159. Learn more about Adventure Canada at

Science Guys

“When you explore, two things happen: you discover things and you have an adventure,” says science educator, mechanical engineer, television host, and New York Times bestselling author, William Sanford “Bill” Nye, who closed the 2018 American Library Association conference in Denver last month. He shared the stage with co-author Gregory Mone, a novelist, science journalist, speaker, and children’s book author.


Bill Nye (left) and Gregory Mone

As creator of the Emmy award-winning, syndicated television show Bill Nye the Science Guy, Nye first became a household name while introducing the millennial generation to science and engineering. He now appears in his much-anticipated return to the screen, in the Netflix series, Bill Nye Saves the World. Nye is on a mission to help foster a scientifically literate society.

Nicknamed the “Shiny Object Man,” Nye seems to be interested in everything. “Three things everyone wants,” he tells the librarians, “is clean water, electricity and the internet. Electricity is astonishing. It can process all this information and it can make toast.”

Mone has covered artificial intelligence, robots, physics, and biology as a magazine writer. In Jack and the Geniuses, inspired by the 100 volumes of Tom Swift books first published in 1910, Nye and Mone take middle-grade readers on a scientific adventure that features real-world science and scientific facts along with action and a mystery that will leave kids guessing until the end, making the books ideal for STEM education.

“We want Jack and the Geniuses to push back on the anti-science movement,” Nye says.

On the subject of alien life, Nye comments, “If we would find evidence of life on Mars or Europa (smallest of the four Galilean moons orbiting Jupiter), it would change the course of human history.”


“Space travel is the best thing we can do to extend the life of humanity. … I will go if I can be assured that SpaceX would go on without me . . . I’ve said I want to die on Mars, just not on impact.”

– Elon Musk, PayPal founder, Tesla CEO, and SpaceX CEO/CTO (Source: Vanity Fair, March 10, 2013


Adventure Scientists Help Adventurers Add Value

Wherever you travel, there are scientists desperate for data from around the world. You can provide an invaluable service – becoming the eyes and ears of researchers worldwide – by simply collecting data and shipping it back to a non-profit organization based in Bozeman, Montana, called Adventure Scientists.


Since its founding in 2011, Adventure Scientists has sent thousands of explorers and adventurers on missions to collect data from remote, difficult-to-access locations for its conservation partners. These partnerships have led to the discovery of more than three dozen new species, provided key information to guide climate change decision-making, and helped protect threatened wildlife habitat around the world.

Consider Expedition 196, an attempt to visit all the countries of the world. Without a purpose besides setting a Guinness World Record, it would have been merely an expensive stunt. But Cassandra De Pecol, 27, wanted to achieve more. She added legitimacy to her travel adventure by filling 33 separate liter-sized water sample bottles along her route and shipping them all back to Adventure Scientists for its study of the insidious proliferation of microplastics in the world’s oceans.

Microplastics – or plastic particles smaller than five millimeters in size – pose a significant environmental risk when they enter waterways, according to the Adventure Scientists website. The sources of these often microscopic particles can be from washing nylon apparel, cosmetics, even toothpaste, and debris such as plastic bottles and bags.

Sadly, Adventure Scientists found evidence of microplastics in an average 74% of samples received worldwide – 89% for saltwater samples, 51% for freshwater. The data is part of one of the largest microplastics studies on earth.

“The numbers are absolutely shocking,” Adventure Scientists founder and executive director Gregg Treinish tells the 2017 National Geographic Explorers Festival on June 16, 2017, in Washington, DC.

Treinish, 36, a wildlife biologist and backcountry guide who has hiked the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail and spent nearly two years hiking 7,800 miles along the Andes, wanted his journeys to make a difference, considering the enormous problems the world faces, from coral bleaching, illegal timber harvests, deforestation, and shark finning, to name a few issues. (See: )

“It’s important that this data is used to influence change,” Treinish says.

Take roadkill for instance, a sad fact-of-life for millions of animals each year. According to Treinish, researchers need annual data about wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC) across the U.S. In 2011-2012, there were 1.23 million deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S., costing more than $4 billion in vehicle damage, according to State Farm.

With the necessary data, Treinish says they can identify which species are most at risk, whether any “hot spots” exist that are extraordinarily perilous to animals, and where to place wildlife underpasses and overpasses that in some locations have reduced roadkill deaths 80%.

Treinish, named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2013, said he founded Adventure Scientists in 2011 to link adventurers in hard-to-reach places to scientists who needed data from those locations.

“I started biological and ecological expeditioning, using my outdoor skill sets to make a difference in the world. I was sure that given the proper tools and a similar skill set, there were others like me.

“I have been proven right thousands of times ever since. Explorers come to us to have an adventure with a purpose. We send them on missions worldwide.”

In addition to the study of roadkill and microplastics, the organization has collected data about animal feces (scat) to study the antibiotic resistance of Enterococcus bacteria which exists within every animal on the planet, including humans; studied pikas in high alpine environments; researched how butterflies can be biodiversity indicators for ecosystem health; and is creating a genetic reference library of endangered trees along the U.S. West Coast.

Becoming an Adventure Scientist volunteer could possibly help explorers raise funds for their next project, and certainly provide much-needed data for researchers. It all starts by visiting their website and telling them where and when you plan to travel. There is no cost to participate. Adventure Scientists will even pay shipping costs for samples.

For more information:

Trip Report: Paddling the African Great Lakes

By Tamsin Venn, publisher, Atlantic Coastal Kayaker Magazine

In January, explorer Ross Exler, 31, set out on a quest to paddle the African Great Lakes. The goal was to paddle across the three largest: Lake Malawi, Lake Tanganyika, and Lake Victoria. Reportedly, the expedition would be the first unsupported, human powered, solo crossing of those lakes.


Ross Exler

The total distance is about 1,000 miles of kayaking and 600 miles of biking from lake to lake through remote regions of Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Good news. On Feb. 20, 2018, he started down Lake Tanganyika, having completed Lake Malawi, dubbed the “Lake of the Stars” by David Livingstone where the hundreds of lanterns fishermen use to attract the lake’s sardines, usipa, resembles stars in the sky.

He expects to complete the expedition sometime this month.

Exler, a resident of Manhasset, N.Y., notes, “Almost all of the people are dependent on the lake and the land around it for subsistence fishing and agriculture. Unfortunately, their practices are not sustainable. About half of the population is under 14, so the population is growing quickly and problems will just be exacerbated.”

Exler is completely self supported with the use of a folding expedition kayak, designed by Mark Eckhart of Long Haul Folding Kayak in Cedaredge, Colo., and a folding bicycle and trailer. The company’s goal is to provide a safe and reliable way to reach the most remote locations in the world.

He will work with The Nature Conservancy’s Tuungane Project, on Lake Tanganyika, that addresses the extreme poverty that underpins the region’s environmental degradation. TNC’s efforts are introducing fisheries education and management, terrestrial conservation, healthcare, women’s health services and education, agricultural training, and other efforts to increase the quality of life.

Exler plans to visit some of the project villages and team up on social media to try to get TNC’s work and general knowledge of the African Great Lakes in front of a larger audience.

For more information:,



Will Steger is on the move again.

There’s No Stopping Will Steger

There’s no stopping peripatetic explorer Will Steger of Ely, Minn. According to a story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Mar. 1), Steger will take an unprecedented solo trek in Canadian Arctic Barren Lands, a place that, reportedly, no one has considered exploring at this time of year.

Starting March 21, the 73-year-old explorer will travel alone on a 1,000-mile, 70-day journey through the Barren Lands, a remote region in the Canadian Arctic with a nasty reputation for high wind. It will be Steger’s longest solo expedition and, he said, it will push him in ways like never before, according to the story by Scott Stowell.

To his knowledge, this trip will be the first time anyone has attempted to cross the Barrens’ rivers systems during breakup, that transitional weather period between winter and spring.

“Steger’s adventure will begin from the Chipewyan Indian village of Black Lake in northwestern Saskatchewan just east of Lake Athabasca. He plans to reach his final destination at the Caribou Inuit community of Baker Lake in Nunavut near Hudson Bay in early June. It’s likely Steger won’t encounter other people in the 1,000 miles between the two villages that bookend the expedition. He’ll be a minimum of three hours away from the nearest human by bush flight,” writes Stowell.

Steger says, “I need these breaks to regenerate. I think every human being should have [them]. Very few people take time out because they’re so busy they can’t afford it.”

Read the story here:


Mae Jemison appears in Boulder. (Photo by Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado)

“Space Isn’t Just for Rocket Scientists and Billionaires”

More than 1,200 guests – including bright-eyed elementary schoolers who aspire to be astronauts, inspired mid-career female scientists and fellow Star Trek fans – filed into an auditorium on the University of Colorado Boulder campus last month for a sold-out address by former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to go into space.

Her takeaway message: The challenges of space exploration mirror the challenges faced in the world today, and we all have a part to play in its success.

“Space isn’t just for rocket scientists and billionaires,” Jemison said. “We have to figure out how to make it accessible.”

Before flying on the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1992, Jemison graduated from Stanford and Cornell universities, worked as a physician and served as a Peace Corps medical officer in West Africa. At 61, she is now principal of the 100 Year Starship, a U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) -funded project working to make human travel beyond the solar system a reality in the next century.

Future space exploration will be fundamentally different than the current model, she said, and will require all of the same elements – energy, food, medical care, even clothing – needed to sustain life on Earth. Achieving audacious goals in space demands the intelligence of a diverse array of contributors, not just a chosen few, she said.

She admitted she’s afraid of heights and had to determine whether she would rather be afraid of heights or be an astronaut.

Read more here:


Travel With Purpose Book Seeks Stories of Voluntourism

EN editor Jeff Blumenfeld is seeking examples of everyday people who devote a portion of their vacation, business or family travel to volunteer services. The most appropriate case studies will be included in his new book titled, Travel With Purpose (Rowman & Littlefield), expected out this fall. If you or a friend or loved one has given back in some way during travel, please contact him at editor.



Denali’s Raven

One of the stand out short documentaries presented during last month’s Boulder International Film Festival is Denali’s Raven, an intimate look at a female Alaskan bush pilot who was a former alpinist. Leighan Falley spent years as a ski guide and climber on the Alaskan range. But after becoming a mother, she quit guiding and took to the skies as a mountain pilot, bringing her daughter, named Skye, along for the ride. She works with Talkeetna Air Taxi.

“The transition from being an alpinist and going on expeditions and being a pilot is a good one because I could still go into the Alaskan range every single day and come home to my family every single night.”

A beautiful film, view it here:


These two Nepalis had their eyesight restored thanks to Dooley Intermed’s 2017 Gift of Sight Expedition.

Gorkha Gift of Sight Documentary

A team of leading ophthalmologists traveled last December to a remote region of Nepal to tend to the eye care needs of over 800 remote villagers in the Upper Gorkha region, near the epicenter of the massive earthquakes and aftershocks in 2015. Centered in the roadless town of Machhakola, the region has a population of over 600,000 and is currently without a dedicated eye care facility. Seventy-one sight-restoring surgeries were conducted. Expedition News was proud to be a part of the project.

The new 11-min. documentary was produced by Daniel Byers of Skyship Films. View it here:


Sailing Stories Return to The Explorers Club HQ, April 14, New York

On Apr. 14, 2018, The Explorers Club will host its annual Sailing Stories, a day focused on sailing-based exploration and conservation at its global headquarters in New York. Speakers include:

Pen Hadow, one of the world’s leading explorers of the Arctic Ocean. He led two, 50-ft. yachts into the North Pole’s international waters, the first non-icebreaking vessels in history to do so, to demonstrate the increasing accessibility and emerging threat to wildlife by the reduced sea-ice cover.

Richard Wilson, twice the oldest competitor in Vendée Globe, a single-handed (solo) non-stop yacht race around the world without assistance. Wilson will share how he uses sailing as an educational tool teaching and conveying positive values to children.


Sara Hastreiter

Sara Hastreiter, Volvo Ocean Race sailor, will discuss how sailing in this relentless 40,000 mile, nine month race around the planet, known as the Mt. Everest of sailing, inspired her monumental goal to sail all seven seas and climb the Seven Summits.

Carson Crain, skipper and team leader for the United States in the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, will discuss the competitive dynamics in this extreme international sailing competition for under 25-year-old sailors.

Lincoln Paine, a maritime historian and author, will discuss his award-winning book The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World (Vintage, 2015).

Tickets are $75 before Apr. 9. Purchase by emailing reservations or calling 212 628 8383.


Get Sponsored!

Hundreds of explorers and adventurers raise money each month to travel on world class expeditions to Mt. Everest, Nepal, Antarctica and elsewhere. Now the techniques they use to pay for their journeys are available to anyone who has a dream adventure project in mind, according to the book from Skyhorse Publishing called: Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would Be World Travelers.

Author Jeff Blumenfeld, an adventure marketing specialist who has represented 3M, Coleman, Du Pont, Lands’ End and Orvis, among others, shares techniques for securing sponsors for expeditions and adventures.

Buy it here:

Advertise in Expedition News – For more information: blumassoc

EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, LLC, 1877 Broadway, Suite 100, Boulder, CO 80302 USA. Tel. 203 326 1200, editor. Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Research editor: Lee Kovel. ©2018 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr. available by e-mail only. Credit card payments accepted through blumassoc). Read EXPEDITION NEWS at Enjoy the

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Do you Subscribe to Expedition News? You Should!

Expedition News logo
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. May 2015 – Volume Twenty-Two, Number Five

Celebrating Our 20th Year!

OUTDOOR COMMUNITY RALLIES TO SUPPORT NEPALHard to believe. Another spring and reports of more misery and suffering in Nepal, only this time on a scale of unimaginable proportions. When a 7.9 magnitude earthquake centered approximately 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu struck on Apr. 25, it destroyed homes, flattened historic UNESCO World Heritage sites, and unleashed an avalanche that slammed into Everest Base Camp killing at least 19 and leaving many more injured.


Photo courtesy of Dr. Fahim Rahim,

Jamie McGoldrick, the United Nations resident coordinator for Nepal, estimates that the earthquake had affected eight million people in the country, including two million in the 11 worst affected districts. The death toll at press time was well over 7,500.

It was the worst tragedy in Everest’s history. The American victims who died on the mountain were: Dan Fredinburg, a Google executive; Marisa Eve Girawong, a physician’s assistant from New Jersey; Tom Taplin, a documentary filmmaker from Santa Monica, Calif., and Vinh B. Truong, according to ABC News.

The Independent in the U.K. captured the horror in a series of images depicting the misery and devastation:

The news from those on the ground in Nepal was dismaying. Tashi Sherpa, founder and CEO of Sherpa Adventure Gear, wrote a few days after the earthquake, “I spent a heartbreaking morning paying my respects to a broken down Manisha (one of our long time employees) and her husband who lost their only son Sunny, in the devastation that hit Bhaktapur, and her old mother who is still missing in the collapsed rubble of an ancient township … Another April and another tale of a sorrowful spring.”

Climber Alan Arnette, a teammate of the late Marisa Eve Girawong, says of the avalanche at Everest Base Camp, “It was a F5 tornado combined with IEDs all in an environment of nylon tents. The only place to hide was behind a larger rock, even then there was no certainty.”

His report of the abbreviated Everest climbing season posted to is chilling:

According to Arnette, on May 3, the Nepal Ministry of Tourism said “Everest is closed” due to the Icefall being impassable, then on the following day they said it was officially open and anyone with a permit may attempt the mountain. “As of this writing no one remained at EBC with the intention to climb. For the first time since 1974, Everest would have no summits by any route, from any camp, by any means,” writes Arnette.

Adventurers, explorers, climbers and trekkers who have visited Nepal and know how the country and its people create memories that last a lifetime, are bonding over their shared despair for this latest disaster to befall the kind, warm and beautiful people of Nepal.

As the U.N. and Nepalese government estimate three million people need food and hundreds of thousands are homeless, here’s a look at how some members of the outdoor community are rallying support:

* The American Alpine Club said in a statement, “This tragedy has impacted our tribe of climbers on the high peaks. And it has devastated communities, families, and towns across Nepal. A number of AAC partner organizations are collecting relief funds to help local mountain communities and to support on-the-ground aid efforts. These include the American Himalayan Foundation, the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation, and the Juniper Fund.” (


Envirofit EFI 100L low polluting stoves are heading to Nepal earthquake victims

* The Himalayan Stove Project has reported raising $20,000 in its first six days of appeals. HSP,in cooperation with Rotary International Clubs and individual Rotarians, and a generous global donor community, isfocusing on providing shelter – tents and tarpaulins at a minimum, and more substantial shelters wherever possible, along with water, food and sanitation.

They hope to supply more Envirofit low polluting institutional stoves. Founder George Basch writes, “The EFI 100L which has a 100 Liter pot, is ideal for cooking lentils (Dal) and rice (Bhat) making Dal Bhat, that staple, highly nutritious Nepali dish, as well as soups. The plan is to distribute them in pairs – one for Dal and one for Bhat – so that mass-feeding programs can be supported.

To donate log onto

* International Mountain Guides (IMG) based in Ashford, Wash., reports

many homes in the Khumbu area have been destroyed, including those belonging to some of the IMG Sherpa families. According to IMG’s web site, “We intend to help support the IMG Sherpas who have done such a great job supporting our IMG teams on the mountain, by providing money and support for specific projects. This is charity work on a small scale, local and accountable.” Donations

to the IMG Sherpa Fund can be made through International Mountain Guides, Attn: IMG Sherpa Fund, P.O. Box 246, Ashford, WA


* The Outdoor Industry Association recognizes the role Nepal plays in the adventure field. Its web site statement reads in part, “For the outdoor industry, Nepal represents the pinnacle of world trekking and climbing. Outdoor gear of all types is utilized in every capacity, both by Westerners who journey there every year and by the people of Nepal who make their living in the tourism, guiding and adventure industries.” The OIA recommends cash donations to three groups with high Charity Navigator ratings: Direct Relief, Global Giving, and the American Himalayan Foundation.Â


Nepal employees of Sherpa Adventure Gear assisting in relief efforts with some of the supplies earmarked for a local monastery. (Photo courtesy of Sherpa Adventure Gear)

* Sherpa Adventure Gear, the Kathmandu-based outdoor apparel manufacturer, has created an earthquake relief fund called “Help Sherpas Help Nepal” to support aid to remote villages affected by the disaster.

The company has committed to initially raising $100,000 through the campaign and 100% of the money raised will be dedicated to direct relief efforts thru Sherpa Adventure Gear’s existing network in villages, where the company underwrites the education of Sherpa children through its charitable Paldorje Education Fund.

The fundraising appeal is on Crowdrise. At press time over $72,000 had been raised. SAG also plans to donate 500 tents and blankets out of existing fabric stock. (

* The Explorers Club in New York has offered its facility to the country of Nepal for fundraising purposes. In a letter to Ambassador Dr. Shankar P. Sharma, Nepalese Ambassador to the United States, newly-appointed Club president Ted Janulis writes, “From the peaks of Mt. Everest, to the streets of Kathmandu, many of our more than 3,000 world explorer-members have entrusted their lives and their expeditions to the loyalty, bravery and expertise of our Nepalese colleagues and we will forever be grateful for their friendship and support.” (

* The U.S. Nepal Climbers Association, Inc. is an organization focused on promoting growth of mountaineering and climbing activities and protecting the Nepalese mountains, natural resources and cultural heritage. Serap Jangbu Sherpa, president, seeks donations through



An expedition can be as close as your own backyard and nothing proves this more vividly than the Carolina Rivers – Education and Preservation through Exploration initiative launched by African explorer, anthropologist and native Carolinian Julian “Monroe” Fisher.


Julian Monroe Fisher (left raft, center) on the French Broad River. (Photo courtesy of Carolina Rivers Expedition)

Over the course of the next two years Fisher, 50, will conduct overland and river expeditions along the rivers in North Carolina and South Carolina. He plans to kayak, canoe and standup paddleboard down 32 Carolina Rivers, then hike long sections of North Carolina’s proposed Mountain to Sea Trail and South Carolina’s Palmetto Trail. While exploring the Carolinas, Fisher will gather video to be produced and distributed by Blue Car Productions (

The first Carolina Rivers Expedition will be on North Carolina’s French Broad River, believed to be the third oldest river on earth. At press time he had traveled the river over 100 miles.

“In reality, well you don’t have to travel to Africa, Asia or Antarctica to be an explorer,” Fisher says. “All you have to do is walk out your door and look at your world with curious eyes.”

The effort is presented by Costa Del Mar and supported by over 30 products and services. For more information:,



Dooley Intermed International Postpones Eye Mission

The Nepal earthquake occurred 48 hours before the Dooley Intermed International/Operation Restore Vision team of ophthalmologists were to depart to Kathmandu (see EN, March 2015). The epicenter of the quake was in the Gorka region, roughly midway between Pokhara and Kathmandu, the planned location for the eye camp set to open in late April. Dooley president Scott Hamilton wrote, “While we all want to jump in and help, we have been advised by our local contacts in Nepal to postpone our planned project until conditions are under control and we can deliver care effectively. Typically after a disaster like this orthopedic surgeons are in the highest demand due to crushing injuries and need for amputation.”

In the meantime Dooley Intermed transferred funds to its Kathmandu based agent, Mission Himalaya, so that it could provide vital assistance. Donations are being accepted at

Six Summits Cancels

Expedition leader Nick Cienski has decided not to continue his attempt to summit Mount Everest out of respect for those who lost their lives in the Apr. 25 earthquake and subsequent avalanches on Everest (see EN, March 2015).

“We feel it would be wrong for us to continue climbing these mountains,” Cienski told People magazine in a statement. “We have made the decision to rededicate our efforts in Kathmandu and provide help alongside our existing partner organizations such as Tiny Hands International, Shared Hope, and Catholic Relief Services.”

Cienski, 48, who is an executive for Under Armor and the CEO for the nonprofit organization Mission 14, had initially wanted to continue the expedition despite the tragedy in order to complete the 6 Summits Challenge – a project to bring awareness to human trafficking by reaching the top of six of the earth’s highest mountains in a year.


The sea doesn’t scare Erden Eruc. It’s drivers who text he can’t stand.

Row For Peace Begins by Tagging New Jersey

Before he sets out with a teammate to row across the Atlantic this spring, Erden Eruc, the first person to complete an entirely solo and entirely human-powered circumnavigation of the Earth, has to tag New Jersey (see EN, June 2014). As he explained during an Explorers Club presentation on May 6, his rowing journey is from one mainland to another. Since his departing point on May 19 is from North Cove Marina on the island of Manhattan, he must first head west to the New Jersey shore, land there, then turn east towards his destination in Tangier, Morocco.

The project, Row for Peace, will extend to the Gallipoli peninsula on the Dardanelles strait to commemorate the 101th anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign, a notable failed offensive by the Allies in World War I. They hope to arrive at the battle grounds in time for the multi-flag 101st anniversary commemorations and the dawn service at the ANZAC Cove on April 25, 2016.

When asked if he ever faced death at sea during his 5-year 11-day circumnavigation, he told the Explorers Club audience, “The boat was an oasis for me at sea. I had radar, a transponder, navigation lights, and reflectors to be seen by other ships. What scared me most was biking on land and facing drivers who were texting – they were like missiles headed towards me.”

For more information:


“You’re Going to Get Spanked”

Free solo phenomenon Alex Honnhold was one of the featured panelists during a Men’s Journal reception on Apr. 30 in honor of its naming “50 Most Adventurous Men” in partnership with TUDOR Watch U.S.A. Senior editor Ryan Krogh asked Honnhold point blank, “What goes through your head?” Honnhold replied, “Because I have no rope, I only climb on terrain I’m totally prepared for. You have no back-up.”


Alex is no dope on a rope

Later, in what must be the understatement of the year, he said, “The entire time you have no protection, you have to be very, very careful. I use ropes 99 percent of the time, I only free solo (i.e. no ropes) on special occasions.”

Adventure skier and BASE-jumper Matthias Giraud commented in general, not necessarily addressed to his fellow panelists, “If you want to do something dumb, be smart about it. … there is no quick reward, if you want to do dangerous stuff, you have to pay your dues. … there needs to be a balance between excitement and fear. If there’s too much excitement and not enough fear you’re going to get spanked.”


An adventure dream team (l-r) Matthias Giraud, Greg Treinish, Alex Honnhold, and Mike Libecki with

Men’s Journal senior editor Ryan Krogh.

Also on the panel was climber/explorer Mike Libecki who defined “organic enthusiasm” as “passion you have and don’t know why.” On the matter of corporate support, he said he doesn’t consider it a sponsorship in the true sense of the word. “It’s a reciprocal relationship – we’re all having fun together making products as members of the adventure community. We’re sharing the fun together before the deathbed comes.”

We Won’t Drink to That

G.H. Mumm’s representatives sent around a suggestion that media covering the Nepal earthquake should interview British explorer and adventurer Neil Laughton, their sponsored climber.


Photo of Neil Laughton taken

by Jon Maguire of Third Revolution Media and distributed by G.H. Mumm after the earthquake.

Laughton is shown in the email smiling with a giant bottle of G.H.Mumm, which he was taking up Mount Everest to host the World’s Highest Dinner Party to benefit Community Action Nepal. Laughton was leading his team up the North Ridge of Everest to Advanced Base Camp when the earthquake struck. The team survived. But the attempt at publicity was in poor taste.

It was a classic case of “newsjacking” – using a major news story, in this case a disaster, to promote a product or service.

Adventure 101

Would more people get outside and pursue more worthwhile projects if they could take a course that taught the thousand and one skills need by an adventurer? Matt Prior, an Ex-RAF pilot, hopes to find out.


Matt Prior wants to teach you how to be an adventurer

The British military overseas expedition leader has launched the Matt Prior Adventure Academy so that people can learn while actually on an adventure, in a developing nation, with no Internet, no English and physical challenges along the way. The courses are a no frills practical approach to adventure, travel and overland expeditions in just under a week.

“If you need a hot shower and WiFi each day this is not the course for you,” he warns.

The adventure consultancy business has been endorsed by Sir Ranulph Fiennes who said it’s, “A must for anyone with an adventurous spark but not sure where to start.”

He promises students will gain insight into how to get the ball rolling on their own adventure and answer any questions they may have on adventure travel.

Topics include “showstoppers” that can kill the project before you leave; finances and managing sponsorships; and method of transport. There will be four courses per year each of seven days’ duration, with Prior and only three students per session across several islands in Indonesia.Cost is $4,495 USD.

Learn more at: mattprior,,


“The principal difference between an adventurer and a suicide is that the adventurer leaves himself

a margin of escape (the narrower the margin the greater the adventure)…”

– Thomas Eugene “Tom” Robbins, an American author, from Another Roadside Attraction.



Polar Explorer Ben Saunders Launches New Magazine

Ben Saunders is editor and co-publisher of a new London-based glossy called Avaunt which will cover fashion, outdoor gear and luxury lifestyle products.

He calls the project, “a selfish distillation of everything I’ve enjoyed and been inspired by.”

In an interview with Lena Dystant on he explains, “Digital is a big part of what we’re doing, but that long shelf of decades’ worth of National Geographic magazines was a seminal memory for me. If I close my eyes now I can still recall the smell of some of the older copies as I opened them up, and you don’t get that on an iPad. So print – and making a beautiful thing that people will hopefully treasure – will always be at the heart of what we’re doing.”

Saunders continues, “I’d argue that style has always gone hand-in-hand with adventure. After all, the Earl of Carnarvon cracked open Tutankhamun’s tomb wearing a Norton & Sons’ suit; George Mallory died on Everest in a tailored tweed Norfolk jacket; Amelia Earheart launched her own clothing line in the 1930s (‘For the woman who lives actively’) and Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler climbed Everest without oxygen for the first time in natty Fila down suits. A lot of brands have their roots in the great outdoors, from Barbour to Nigel Cabourn, Moncler to Burberry (who sponsored Captain Scott).”

Learn more at:


Divers Wanted

The 100 miles of the Big Sur coast of California is one of the most remote, unique and pristine stretches of marine resources along the west coast of North America. But the same remoteness that results in less fishing pressure and puts it out of reach of polluting industries and human population centers, also makes it difficult for scientists to study and manage this area.

To help document changes taking place, Reef Check is planning an expedition in June that’s open to both Reef Check divers and other non-Reef Check recreational divers. In addition to conducting Reef Check surveys at each reef they stop at, they will document the work and the ecosystems they find using Google Ocean’s latest specialized underwater camera to take panorama or “underwater street view” photos. They will then upload these images to Google Maps to help raise awareness of the conservation issues in this unexplored ecosystem.

The expedition is being funded in part with a Kickstarter campaign, and contributors are being solicited to help make it happen. At press time they were only $700 away from their $4,000 goal. For more information: Anna Neumann, aneumann.

See the Kickstarter campaign here:

ATC Partners with Moon Shine

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), founded in 1925, has signed a new licensing agreement with Moon Shine, a maker of belts, bags, key chains, pet products and more, that will offer consumers quality products that support the organization in its mission to protect the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Funds received from the sales of these products will benefit trail management and support, conservation work, community and youth engagement and educational initiatives.


With this belt, a trail name and some trail angels, and you’re all set to tackle the A.T.

A.T. themed products that will be available this year include dog collars, leashes, and harnesses; leather belts and key chains; lanyards and sunglasses holders; and canvas totes, koozies and more, according to Javier Folgar, the ATC’s director of Marketing and Communications. “These new co-branded products will give Appalachian Trail enthusiasts a chance to show their love for the Trail everywhere they go.”

A unit of the National Park Service, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,185 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world.

For more information about Moon Shine’s products visit



The Oregon Trail

By Rinker Buck

(Simon & Schuster, June 2015)

Reviewed by Robert F. Wells

This summer, you could pack the family up in a station wagon bound for The Cape, or Vineyard … Or, you could call your wacky brother, fly to Kansas City, buy a covered wagon – and three unsuspecting mules, not to mention an ungodly amount of canned chili and other supplies – and head West along the 2,100 mile Oregon Trail. An unforgettable adventure? Yes. And as a result, a book by one Rinker Buck.

This wasn’t entirely out of the blue. Back when the author and his brother, Nick, were kids their father packed the family up in an Amish wagon with a sign on the back reading “See America Slowly” and meandered around Eastern Pennsylvania. (Just proves again: apples don’t fall that far from a tree.)

This delightful little narrative details what the Bucks did to hit The Trail. It sprinkles doses of historical perspective about the mass migration of wagons heading West in the mid 1800’s. And then, invites you to enjoy their “reenactment” ride – as they traced old wagon ruts still plainly visible along the way. Who knew The Peter Schuttler Wagon Works was Chicago’s largest factory in 1850? Or that peak migration years – like 1852 – saw over 60,000 pioneers leave the Midwest for California and Oregon. The story of Ezra Meeker. Or a Pony Express rider named Jim Moore who survived one of the greatest endurance rides in history.

Face it, suspension systems on wagons were and still are butt awful. Today, The Trail is bisected with interstates and Walmart parking lots. Rinker’s mules needed water every day. Painted over dry rot on wheels broke through out of nowhere. Yet the trail kept on. Rocky Ridge. California Hill. Cattle guards galore. Barbed wire fences. Surging streams. Irate land owners. Hair-raising drops off mountain sides, littered with boulders and brush.

Readers can’t avoid getting dirt in their shoes. Kinks in their shoulders from sleeping vicariously on bumpy and soggy ground. But for those who have lingered along a trail in nowhere Wyoming… smelling the sage, watching the sun dip over some badlands as everything turns brilliant red… a bit of Albert Bierstadt, an American painter of the American West, tickles your imagination as you flip pages and wander your the way towards the setting sun.

The last documented crossing of The Oregon Trail was in 1909. What Rinker and Nick Buck did to do it again, was epic. Get ready for some gosh darn salty cursing between the two. And hold on, or you’ll get bounced right out of the wagon. Just be glad you’re probably able to read this on The Cape or Vineyard.

Robert Wells, a member of The Explorers Club since 1991, is a resident of South Londonderry, Vt., and a retired executive of the Young & Rubicam ad agency. Wells is the director of a steel band (see and in 1989, at the age of 45, traveled south by road bike from Canada to Long Island Sound in a single 350-mile, 19-hr., 28-min. push.


Adventure Photographer Seeks Speaking Opportunities – International documentary photographer Daryl Hawk has spent the past 25 years adventuring alone in some of the most remote places on earth. Using his own compelling photographs as examples and his powerful storytelling, he offers dynamic presentations that inspire his audiences to see the world with new eyes. Contact Hawk at hawkphoto,, 203 834 9595

Get Sponsored! – Hundreds of explorers and adventurers raise money each month to travel on world class expeditions to Mt. Everest, Nepal, Antarctica and elsewhere. Now the techniques they use to pay for their journeys are available to anyone who has a dream adventure project in mind, according to the new book from Skyhorse Publishing called: Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would Be World Travelers.

Author Jeff Blumenfeld, an adventure marketing specialist who has represented 3M, Coleman, Du Pont, Lands’ End and Orvis, among others, shares techniques for securing sponsors for expeditions and adventures.

Buy it here:

Advertise in Expedition News – For more information: blumassoc.


EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 1281 East Main Street – Box 10, Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Tel. 203 655 1600, editor. Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Assistant editor: Jamie Gribbon. Research editor: Lee Kovel. ©2015 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr. available by e-mail only. Credit card payments accepted through Read EXPEDITION NEWS at Enjoy the EN blog at