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June 2000 — Volume Seven, Number Six
Highlights From June 2000

Those wacky Highpointers were at it again last month. Addicted to climbing the tallest peaks in all 50 states, many of the club's over 2,100 members remain stymied by the summit of Rhode Island, considered America's most inaccessible highpoint. Seems Jerimoth Hill - all 812 feet of it - has been declared off-limits because access is through the private property of Henry Richardson who has little patience for such highpoint nonsense. After dozens of Highpointers Club members each month were sneaking onto the property — some in the dead of night — an accommodation was finally reached for three, open access dates a year when the group is allowed on the property. By late Sunday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend, over 100 members and non-members alike arrived to pose by the small one-foot-high granite rock that makes up the state's highest point.

What to do after bagging the 50 tallest summits in the U.S.? County highpoints, naturally. With the help of reference guides that list all 3,141 county HP's in the country, the masters of county highpointing are club members Fred Lobdell and Bob Packard who began 2000 having each reached the summit of 442 U.S. counties. The County Highpointers Association Web site promises, "conquering counties is the ideal form of recreation - it exercises the body and mind, boosts your navigation skills, and minimizes your exposure to cathode ray tubes."

"I went to Antarctica the first time for the science and the adventure. But I didn't realize that adventure in Antarctica doesn't happen unless somebody makes a mistake."
— John Behrendt, author of "Innocents on the Ice," based upon a personal journal painstakingly kept of his 17-month expedition to Antarctica in 1957-58. Behrendt, a geophysicist with the University of Colorado's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research in Boulder, tells the Denver Post's Ann Schrader that his handwritten journal was typed up in 1960 but then languished for three decades. Behrendt played a key role in developing the International Antarctic Treaty.

Pagels Leaves for Norwegian Peak - This month, 51-year-old Jeff Pagels will attempt to become the first wheelchair paraplegic to summit 8,100-ft. (2469 m) Mt. Galdhopiggen in Norway (See EN, November 1999). Pagels is a five-time Olympic medalist in Nordic ski racing, and was a member of the first paraplegic team to cross the Sierra Nevada mountain range in 1993. Pagels will climb the mountain using a sit ski developed in partnership with equipment designer Dave Stubenvoll, who will be part of the ascent team. The sit ski is rigged with fixed ropes and ascending devices that will allow Pagels to literally pull his way to the top.

Blochbuster - One highlight of the American Alpine Club/New York Section's AlpinFilm 2000 last month was a 10-minute film titled, "I Made it - Again!" It features 81-year-old Gerry Bloch's epic 11-day big wall climb of Yosemite's El Capitan, which as NBC's Tom Brokaw put it, "Is not exactly an assisted living center." Bloch, a retired New Jersey chemical engineer, tells the New York audience, "It was my greatest adventure .... so far." Later Bloch informed EN that his climbing days are over. "My insurance policy forbids it."

Charity Searches for Explorers - I-SAFE America, the non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that a child's experience on the Internet is safe, educational, and fun, is searching for explorers to help them raise awareness and needed funds. "As people learn about their amazing travels, they will also learn about our proactive education programs. By working together the Internet will become a source of unparalleled opportunities for our youth," said Bruce Moody, national fund-raising director. The organization has implemented the first nationwide Internet Safety Education Program for school districts.

"A group or person heading out on an expedition with an endorsement of our organization would attract the public and media attention we need to spread the word," Moody tells EN. (For more information: Bruce Moody, 703 428 1158;

Porzak's Passion - Boulder (Colo.) climber Glenn Porzak, 51, tells the May 28 Rocky Mountain News of plans next year to climb the 23,000-foot Himalayan peak called Sinochuli. It will be Porzak's first trip back to the Himalayas since he summitted Everest in 1990. Years ago, Porzak, a Seven Summiteer, became the first person to climb the 100 highest peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park and has bagged all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-ft. peaks. Maybe it's time he started climbing county highpoints.

EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 137 Rowayton Avenue, Suite 210, Rowayton, CT 06853 USA. Tel. 203 855 9400, fax 203 855 9433, Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. 2000 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr.; international postal rate US$46/yr.

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