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March 1999 — Volume Six, Number Three
Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition Departs — In 1924, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine stepped out of their lives and into history when they disappeared high on the North Ridge of Everest. Whether they were the first to reach the summit, nearly 30 years before Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, still remains an open chapter in the history of climbing on the world's highest mountain (See EN, January 1999). This month a team of high- altitude climbers, led by expedition organizer Eric Simonson of Expedition 8000 LLC, Ashford, Wash., departs for Everest with plans to spend some 60 days at altitudes over 17,000 feet searching for clues. Recently-announced sponsors of the expedition include Lowe Alpine, Mountain Hardwear, Vasque, Eureka!, Outdoor Research, Slumberjack, and The Mountain Zone will be cybercasting daily updates during the expedition at, starting March 15.

There's a Reason Few Climb McKinley in Winter
Alaskan climber Trigger Twigg, 48, and his Russian partner Artur Testov, 32, both attempting the first winter ascent of the north side of Mt. McKinley via the 14,000ft. Wickersham Wall, were turned back about 20 miles from the base of the mountain by record cold plunging to minus 62 degrees F. (See EN, October 1998).

Kayaking The Arctic Riviera
National parks come in all shapes and sizes, but the world's largest and least visited is in Greenland. The North East Greenland National Park covers 375,000 sq. mi., an area larger than Texas and Colorado combined. Former World Cup paddling champion Andy Bridge, manager of kayak manufacturer Dagger Composites in Harriman, Tenn., plans a 500 mile exploration this spring of some of the unnamed and unclimbed mountains that lie along Greenland's northeast coast.

In July, the three-man team will launch sea kayaks loaded with five weeks of supplies and mountaineering equipment from Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresby Sound), East Greenland. From there, the Arctic Riviera Odyssey 99 Expedition will paddle north along the 3,000-ft. cliffs of Jameson Land, home to thousands of nesting birds. For the next 500 miles, the group will attempt to summit unnamed and unclimbed peaks ranging from 6,000 to 7,500 feet. The expedition concludes at the Danish Military outpost of Daneborg.

Joining Bridge, 35, will be top-ranked competitive paddler Bob Powell, 36, former director of the Nantahala Outdoor Center Adventure Travel program in North Carolina; and 33-year-old Wade Fairley, an Australian adventure cinematographer and experienced expedition kayaker.

This heavily fjorded, mountainous coastline is nicknamed the Arctic Riviera because during its short and intense warm summers, life literally explodes. Numerous birds nest there and the sea is rich with walruses, seals, and narwhals. Herds of musk oxen frequent the grassy meadows. But the warmth is transitory — periods of calm weather are interrupted by Piteraq, a much-feared cold katabatic wind. Travel along the coast north of Scoresby Sound is difficult at best due to the cold Greenland Current sweeping the polar ice pack along with massive icebergs down the coast.

Bridge says, "We believe that the traditional means of travel - the sea kayak — offers the best chance of navigating the ice leads and obtaining a close look at the mountaineering potential in this area." He plans to document all aspects of the expedition and share the experience with the outdoor community through print, photography, and film. Bridge further hopes to return with valuable information to aid future climbers in North East Greenland. The expedition budget is $17,000, of which $5,000 has been received from the Malden Mills 1999 Polartec Performance Challenge Grant. Other sponsors to date are Dagger Kayaks, Patagonia, and Werner Paddles. (For more information: Andy Bridge, Harriman, Tenn., 423 882 0404;

Climber with Multiple Sclerosis Attempts Aconcagua — Eric Simons, a Boulder, Colo. man who has multiple sclerosis (MS), returned Feb. 16 from a climb to within 1,000 feet of 22,841-ft. Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. Simons attempted the peak to inspire other people with MS and encourage them to do what they can to fight their disease.

"Everybody with MS has a mountain to climb, whether it's summoning enough energy to get through the morning, maneuver a wheelchair, or climb Aconcagua," said the 43-year-old father of three who was turned back because of extreme weather.

Norman's Stormin' New York — Over 1,400 members of the worldwide exploration community will assemble at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel on Mar. 27 for the 95th annual Explorers Club dinner. This long-awaited event, which this year features an address by senator-astronaut John H. Glenn, 77, will review the past year's achievements in exploration. The Club will also honor Glenn's wife, Anna, for her four decades of support of space exploration.

Sharing the speaker's podium will be Col. Norman D. Vaughan, 93, a member of Admiral Byrd's first expedition to the Antarctic in 1928. Col. Vaughan will receive The Explorers Medal, the highest honor that can be bestowed by the Club.

"Rhinos are endangered. People are not." — A guide's cautionary advice to explorer Rick Ridgeway during his 300-mi. trek from the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro to the Indian Ocean. The 1996 Summit to Sea Expedition traveled through areas teeming with dangerous animals, terrain where Ridgeway told outdoor manufacturers in Salt Lake last January, "We were several links down the food chain."

EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 137 Rowayton Avenue, Suite 210, Rowayton, CT 06853 USA. USA. Tel. 203 855 9400, fax 203 855 9433, Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. c1999 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. Subscriptions: US$36 /yr.; international postal rate US$46/yr.

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