The Explorers Club, Northern California Chapter

The Northern California Chapter of The Explorers Club presents:

Dr. Robert Schmieder, FN-86

Easter Island and Salas y Gomez

Meet at The University Club, Powell and California, San Francisco, Friday, September 29, 1995

  • 6:00 PM, Business; 6:30 PM, Cocktails ; 7:30 PM, dinner; 8:30 PM, Speaker

  • $30.00 each

    This month Dr. Robert Schmieder, FN-86 will be discussing his very recent expedition to Easter Island and Salas y Gomez, Chile. Dr. Schmieder will have just returned from Chile on Sept. 23, so all the information presented will be fresh and exciting.

    The expedition is a multi-purpose, multidisciplinary project involving natural science, amateur radio, archaeology, and state-of-the-art computer-based communications. A major goal is to implement new techniques for using available high technology to enhance communications from remote sites. The total crew for both teams is 32 (18 radio amateurs plus scientific divers and support), and includes persons from the US, Mexico, Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, Belgium, and Chile. A variety of innovative computer-based communications techniques have been implemented for this expedition, which will be discussed, as well as the fascinating history and culture of Easter Island.

    The expedition will be carried out by two separate teams operating simultaneously. One team will travel to Easter Island and establish a base camp and operations center on the north side of the island. The second team will sail from Chile directly to Salas y Gomez, 225 km to the east of Easter Island. They will be helicoptered to the island, and remain there for approximately 6 days, subsequently returning directly to Chile.

    In 1947, Thor Heyerdahl carried a flag of the Explorers Club with him on the raft Kon Tiki. In 1955, Heyerdahl again carried the same flag on his archaeological expedition to Easter Island. The 1995 Expedition to Easter Island will carry the same flag. Heyerdahl sent a message to Schmieder's expedition before they departed: "It remains only to wish you and you companions all the best of luck in your planned expedition. My best regards to your entire group and not the least our Easter Island friends. -Thor Heyerdahl"

    About the Speaker:

    Dr. Robert W. Schmieder is an atomic physicist at Sandia National Laboratories. He is also head of Cordell Expeditions, an independent nonprofit research group dedicated to exploration and documentation of Pacific islands, seamounts and reefs. He has published several books, his most recent being "3Y0PI" documenting an expedition to Peter I island, and "Ecology of an Underwater Island." He has carried the Explorers Club flag on five different expeditions. Robert took over the Chairmanship of the Explorers Club Northern California Chapter from Ron Reuther FN-74 in 1995, after serving as Vice Chairman for the Chapter.

    About Parking at the University Club:

    Charlie Southall MN-91 says that the Garage on Sacramento is the 'Brockles Bank' garage (not the one directly across the street). We've never been entirely successful on valet parking and I think we should not bother. The Bank garage is close enough and reasonable.

    June Garden Party:

    The Fifteenth annual Carey Baldwin Memorial Garden Party was hosted by Erna Baldwin at her home in Marin County This event once again wrapped up our season and, with great thanks to Erna for her wonderful hospitality, the Chapter had a wonderful time visiting and discussing the plans for the field season. The pictures garden-party in this newsletter were received from Martha Schmieder.





    Some speakers that have volunteered, but not yet pined down on dates are: Jeff Shea MN-92 (Everest climb), Dan Liebowitz MN-66 (Africa- his new book), Jonathan Chester (Antarctica), and Dr. Eric Weiss (Wilderness medicine).

    News of Members:

    June 25, 1995
    Dear Mike,

    I am writing to tell you good news about my Everest attempt: On May 24, at 9:00 AM, I reached the summit of Mount Everest by way of the North Ridge route.

    Our Base Camp was at 5,200 m at the foot of the Rongbuk glacier. Advanced Base Camp was 22 km around Changtse, at 6,400 m. Camp 1 was established at 7,000 m on the North Col; Camp 2 was at 7,600 m; Camp 3 at 8,200 m, situated below the North Ridge. Summit day for me began at midnight. The climb traverses up and to the right of the ridge and meets the ridge before the First Step. Once over the First Step, the ridge walk continues to the Second Step where we changed oxygen bottles. It was 5:00 AM and dawn came. From this point you can see the Third Step and the final summit snow slope. The final snow slope is a short exposed climb at about 8,800 m. Once on top of this, the final plateau is reached fro where it is an easy walk about 20 minutes to the top.

    Our team was organized by OTT Expeditions from Britain. It was comprised of 19 Western climbers, which included three guides; and 16 Sherpas which included 4 cooks. Nine Western climbers of our team made it in five summit attempts. There were about six Sherpa ascents from our team. The weather was unusually fine this Spring. There were two windows of great weather lasting about 10 days each time. If you want, I could show some slides at one of our meetings. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Jeff Shea MN-92


    Jeff Shea MN-92 (USA) and Tsering Dorje Lama (Nepal)
    Summit of Mount Everest, 29,028 feet, 8,848 meters
    May 24, 1995, 9:00 AM
    Photo by Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa (Nepal) using a Leica Mini II Camera
    8000 Meter down suit by Marmot, boots by One Sport

    Hi Mike,

    Hope everything is going great. I have recently seen a www site for the Order of the Arrow under the Boy Scouts of America and it reminded me of the Explorer Post I was in. Has anyone ever expressed interest in sponsoring an Explorer Post in the Bay Area? Seems a perfect way to seed the area for new Explorers Club candidates. Fits the charter, too, I believe. I would think a Post that charters to follow the Explorer's Club goals would be perfect for San Francisco - they could meet at our new building...and have experts in our chapter from many fields to guide them, if necessary. Anyhow, I am happy to correspond about this subject with anyone interested.

    Regards from the field,

    Bryan Jonson FN-88
    Date: Sat, 1 Jul 1995 13:56:45 -0400

    Thanks for the mailings—both the email and the newsletter, that I received on Everest.
    I'm back from my double-header of mountains.

    I did not reach the summit of Everest. You may recall we were climbing the North Ridge-to-North Face route, and I turned back at 7950 meters due to very cold extremities and just plain exhaustion. I was climbing without supplemental oxygen. Given that this was my first trip to the Himalaya and to the "big hills," I'm still kinda pleased at my outcome, even if not the to summit. I have been "tentatively" invited to join another expedition to the south (Nepal) side of Everest in '98, and I am hoping to organize and lead an expedition there in 2000 commemorating the millennium. I've already begun talking with climbers from Italy, Sweden and the US about the "International Everest 2000" expedition and am in the process of completing a permit application.

    I returned Thursday night from Alaska. Three of us on my team, including self (I "led" the unguided expedition) summitted McKinley on June 23rd at 10PM, where the temperature on the summit was -40F with moderate (25mph) winds. Everyone returned safe and sound, save for some very minor frost-nip on fingers and toes that will fully recover sometime this or next week. It proved to be a tragic year on Denali, as seven persons died (four while we were there) and many more were seriously injured, through falls and cold. I don't know if any of those stories were picked up in the papers down in the flatlands. The weather was unseasonably bad—we were stormed in our tents at 17,000 feet for six days of snow and 80mph winds, forcing us to dig a snow cave for comfort and safety.

    With best regards,
    Greg Miller, Candidate
    John Roush, FN-80 sent information about a grand new book. World War II Reminiscences is a book consisting of 75 chapters. It contains vivid experiences and well-illustrated tales of Reserve Officers Association Members in combat in all theaters of war. It contains 326 pages and is a project of the California Dept. ROA, World War II Commemoration Committee. Seven members of the Northern California Chapter of The Explorers Club have stories published in this book. You can obtain your copy by sending a check payable to ROA Dept. of California, c/o Capt. Miles H. Bresee, USNR-Ret., Dept. Treasurer, P.O. Box 4950, San Rafael, CA 94913. The cost is $17.50 (in California, send $18.77 to include sales tax). This is a Limited Edition you will not want to miss!

    From the Chairman:

    Business meetings:

    I invite you to come to the "business" meetings, which will be the half-hour ahead of the regular dinner meeting. We will give priority to whatever business you may wish to bring or bring up. From time-to-time, the officers may ask for a consensus of those present for a proposed action. This is a chance to directly influence decisions and actions within our Chapter. Please feel welcome to be at these short sessions.

    Published a book?

    A couple years ago we began to compile a list of books published by Chapter members. We are maintaining that list, and will publish it in appropriate places at appropriate times. If you did not add your publications to this list, or have some thing to add, please convey the information to the Chairman. The easiest way would be by e-mail or fax: (510) 934-3735

    The Dan Reid Memorial Exploration Grant

    We continue to have authorization for a grant for a young explorer, for an amount up to $1,000. This will be done on an irregular basis, when a good candidate is presented. With the tentative plan for the Gate-Away in October, 1996, this would be a good time to start thinking about a candidate, so he or she could make a presentation to he assembled luminaries at the ECGG. A good candidate might be an undergraduate working in field science, to support carrying out an original project, or to support participation in a major expedition. If you know an energetic young explorer, think about the possibility that the Chapter could help with the Dan Reid Memorial Exploration Grant.

    Date created: 9/11/1995
    Last modified: 11/2/2004
    Created by: Mike Diggles, Secretary, Northern California Chapter of the Explorers Club

    c/o U.S. Geological Survey, MS-951, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025. (650) 329-5404 email to

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