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April 1999—Volume Six, Number Four
A legal, marketing and technology team of six full-time employees, a public relations agency and venture capitalists are hard at work supporting the plans of two experienced polar explorers planning the first all-women crossing of Antarctica. From November 2000 through February 2001, Norwegian Liv Arnesen of Oslo, and Ann Bancroft of Minneapolis, MN, will ski 2,400 mi. (3,850 km) pulling and sailing 250 lbs. supply sleds - from Queen Maud Land to the Ross Ice Shelf in the Ross Sea.

Bancroft and Arnesen expect to travel at an average speed of one mph, covering approximately 15 mi. per day and enduring temperatures averaging minus 30 degrees F. and winds gusting up to 100 mph. The two will be resupplied by air upon reaching the South Pole, and will bring several different sizes of sails to propel across the stark Antarctic landscape.

Bancroft's method of raising sponsorship funding of at least $1.5 million is as impressive as the physical challenges that lie ahead. She has created a marketing venture called Base Camp Promotions that will pitch the Bancroft Arnesen Expedition to almost any potential sponsor - anywhere - that could benefit from a tie-in.

Base Camp, a for-profit company backed by venture capital, estimates it will reach at least four million children worldwide and generate some 240 million impressions through its education program, the Internet, news coverage of the expedition and other media outlets such as a documentary and network television programming.

"Base Camp is also committed to redefining how major expeditions are marketed, moving them away from being non-profit events to being brand-building opportunities for corporate and media sponsors," says Charlie Hartwell, Base Camp president, and former brand manager for six years for Pillsbury and HJ Heinz. Base Camp's marketing director, Anne Atwood, brings over nine years experience in marketing, sponsorship and managing athletes with Rollerblade.

Base Camp will promote the Bancroft Arnesen Expedition until the year 2001, at which point it will determine whether it will market other expeditions.

In 1994, Arnesen, 45, became the first woman to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole, a 50-day expedition of more than 745 mi. (1,200 km). (See EN, January 1995). She also led the first unsupported women's crossing of the Greenland Ice Cap (1992), and is author of the 1995 book "Good Girls do not Ski to the South Pole."

Bancroft, 43, is the first known woman to travel over the ice to both the North and South Poles. She dogsledded 1,000 mi. (1,600 km) for 56 days from the Canadian Northwest Territories to the North Pole with the 1986 Steger North Pole Expedition. In 1993, Bancroft led the American Women's Expedition to the South Pole, a 67-day ski expedition of 660 mi. (1,060 km) that originally intended to cross the continent, but ended instead at the South Pole when funding ran low.

A resident of Scandia, Minn., she currently leads the AWE Foundation, a non- profit focused on existing and potential achievements of women and girls. In 1987 she was named one of 12 "Women of the Year" by Ms. magazine.

Bancroft created Base Camp to avoid the "disconnect" that existed when her non-profit AWE Foundation failed to qualify under a sponsor's marketing budget. "I didn't want to return to Antarctica poorly funded," she told EN. "I knew it was important to approach a potential sponsor as a marketing opportunity. We're selling a sponsorship this time, not asking for a charitable donation. With the Base Camp team in place, I think we're changing the model of how expeditions are funded." (For more information: Liz Morris Otto, Haberman & Associates, 612 338 3900 x 14,

Kilimanjaro one step at a time
Disabled climber Tom Whittaker plans an ascent of Africa's Mt. Kilimanjaro in September 1999 with eight disabled climbers from the U.S., Britain, Japan, Canada and Nepal. All will trek to the 19,340-ft. summit via the Great Western Breach, a steep mountain route. Upon descending, Whittaker will traverse into the base of the Heim Glacier, and then climb this steep technical route to the summit alpine style with one other able-bodied companion.

Quote of the Month
"You're an explorer. You can't expect to change your clothes every three weeks." - Col. Norman D. Vaughan, 93, last survivor of Admiral Richard E. Byrd's 128-member expedition of 1928. Vaughan regaled The Explorers Club annual dinner on Mar. 27 with his story of first meeting the legendary Byrd, and coping with the hardship of wearing the same underwear for weeks on end.

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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