The Explorers Club, Northern California Chapter

June Potluck in Berkeley and Picnic on Angel Island

--scroll down for this info. We combined the May and June newsletters.

New event: Joan Linn Bekins Photography Exhibition

Belly Botany

This photography exhibition features macro images of flowers by Joan Bekins. It is being shown at the Belvedere-Tiburon Library Founders' Room until June 23, 2000. Phone (415) 435-0977 for more information.

Peninsula Spring Garden Party and Lecture

First Ascent, Antarctica's Mount Minto

with Jonathan Chester

Time and place

Date: Friday, May 19th, 2000
Place: The Liebowitz's garden in Woodside and lecture at the Pacific Athletic Club in Redwood Shores (See Map by clicking here or at the bottom)
6:00 PM, Reception in garden and model train station of Dan and Rusty Liebowitz
  • 175 Fox Hollow
  • Woodside

    7:15 PM, Arrive at the Pacific Athletic Club

  • 200 Redwood Shores Parkway
  • Redwood City
  • 650-593-5800

    Dinner: 7:30 PM
    Meeting: 8:30 PM
    Cost: $50 ($55 postmarked after May 12) Call Lesley at 510-527-7899 if you mail your check after May 12. Note: Limited to 60 persons - Reserve early

    Mount Minto is the highest peak in northern Victoria Land, Antarctica. The mountain ranges are part of one of the largest rift shoulders on Earth, the West Antarctic Rift System.

    This area was the topic of a special issue of Global and Planetary Change in 1999.

    As one of the world's leading polar photographers, Jonathan Chester has spent 12 austral summers in the Antarctic. He was one of the key team members on the first ascent of Mount Minto, the highest peak in Antarctica's North Victoria Land at 13,668 feet.

    Eleven modern day adventurers made up the Australian Bicentennial Antarctic Expedition. They sailed from Australia in January 1988, bound for the Antarctic in a 21-meter steel-hulled schooner. On the journey south they braved storms, a fire in the engine room, and were caught in the pack ice for 36 hours. After finally making landfall at Cape Hallett on the frozen shores of Antarctica's vast Admiralty Mountains, the six mountaineers began a 100 mile trek inland to reach the base of the highest mountain in North Victoria Land, Mount Minto. Shortly after leaving the coast, two of the party were caught in a sudden breakout while they were returning to the coast to collect more fuel. Narrowly avoiding an icy end, the pair was rescued by the ship's crew. The following day revealed that the party's skidoo had also been lost in the breakout. They had to manhaul their equipment and supplies all the way to the mountain.

    The climbers finally achieved their goal with only days to spare, battling wind chill conditions of minus 60 degrees C, frostbite, and exhaustion. Once the mountain was conquered, they still faced sledging back to the coast in blizzard conditions and weeks of force 11 gales sailing north to civilization in their now crippled ship.

    This expedition was a resounding success against seemingly impossible odds. This dramatic story was the subject of the book, "The Loneliest Mountain," and a National Geographic Explorer TV program.

    Jonathan's photographs are marketed by his company, Extreme Images Inc., which specializes in stock and assignment photography in nature, adventure, and polar regions, and his work has been exhibited internationally. He has made the leap from still photography to film making on a number of occasions, including working as a consultant for "Antarctica," the first IMAX film to be made in the far south, and as producer and writer for the television documentary, "The Last Husky," for National Geographic Explorer.

    Chester is a member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He serves as senior expedition leader, naturalist, and historian on polar tourist cruises for the adventure travel company, Mountain Travel Sobek. Jonathan has been lecturing on the Antarctic, the Himalaya, and photography for over 17 years. He lives in Berkeley with his wife, Kirsty Melville, and young twins Cormac and Katherine, who have managed to slow him down just a little in the past year.

    June 6 Potluck, Berkeley Yacht Club

    Tuesday, June 6: Potluck at the Berkeley Yacht Club; bring family and friends, wine, entree, salad, dessert. Cost: $5 per person for the space. Info below. June 24 Picnic on Angel Island June 24: Picnic on Angel Island, expedition support by Bob and Martha Schmieder aboard the Cordell Explorer. Cost: $20 per person (not including transportation), or $25 if reservation is received after June 20 or if you simply show up at the picnic grounds. Info below.

    Directions for May Meeting

    On May 19th, the Reception at the Liebowitz's home features amazing outdoor model trains, wine and cheese, and good company. At 7 P.M., we will move on to the Pacific Athletic Club in Redwood City for dinner and Jonathan Chester's Tale of Mt. Minto. Directions to the home of Dan and Rusty Liebowitz, 175 Fox Hollow Road, Woodside, CA 94062, (650) 851-2171

    From North:
    Take I-280 south to CA-84, go west on CA-84 about 3/4 mile to the village, and straight on for another half mile to Fox Hollw Road, which is on the left. The Liebowitz's house is near the end on the left.

    From Berkeley:
    West on I-80 across the Bay Bridge, US-101 South, I-380 west toward San Bruno, I-280 South toward San Jose, CA-84/Woodside Road exit towards Woodside, keep right at the fork in the ramp, merge onto Woodside Rd/CA-84 West, left on Fox Hollow Road. From Southeast side of the Bay: West on CA-84 across the Dumbarton Bridge, stay on the Bayfront Expressway until it becomes Marsh Road and meets US-101. Take US-101 north one exit to CA-84 west/Woodside Road. Follow CA-84 about 4 miles through Redwood City, under I-280, and proceed as above.

    From South:
    Take I-280 north, exit CA-84 west to Woodside, proceed as above, or take US-101 north to CA-84 and proceed as if you were coming from the East.

    Directions from the home of Dan and Rusty Liebowitzto the Pacific Athletic Club

    200 Redwood Shores, Redwood City, CA 94065, (650) 593-5800

    Take Fox hollow Road to Woodside Road/CA-84, turn right. At 5.4 miles, stay straight on Woodside Road. At 0.2 mile, take US-101 North towards San Francisco approximately 3 miles to Holly Street exit (San Carlos). Keep right at the fork in the ramp, and merge onto Redwood Shores Pkwy.

    No Guts, No Glory: Stanford Alpine Club, May 13

    The Stanford Alpine Club was formed in 1947 by students at Stanford University. Its members practiced rockclimbing skills in Peninsula venues, then trained on the cliffs of Yosemite, making first ascents of many well-known climbs. The SAC climbers then went on to the Canadian Rockies, Alaska Range, the Alps, the Cordilleras in South America, and the Himalayas. A newly published book by John Rawlings, "The Stanford Alpine Club", tells the history of the club.

    Two of the Stanford Alpine Club members belong to The Explorers Club, Northern California Chapter: Nick Clinch and Betsy Crowder. "No Guts, No Glory, an Exhibit of the History of the Stanford Alpine Club" opens May 13th at 1:00 PM in the Green Library at Stanford. Four prominent mountaineers, SAC members, will present lectures and films from 3:00 to 10:00 PM in Cubberley Auditorium at Stanford. Presenters are Dave Harrah, Nick Clinch, Irene Beardsley, and Tom Frost. For more information, contact John Rawlings (650) 723-3101 or Betsy Crowder (650) 851-0410.

    June 6th Tuesday Potluck Meeting

    We'll have an informal potluck dinner and program at the Berkeley Yacht Club on Tuesday, June 6, at 7 P.M. Bring friends and family, prospective members, anyone who is interested in exploration, adventure, and especially anyone who might like to join The Explorers Club.

    Joe Rychetnik will tell us why he and Charlie Elkus started the chapter back in 1973. Bill Isherwood will talk about his work on alternative sources of energy for the Arctic (or another topic if he wants). Lesley Ewing has agreed to give us a glimpse of her work on coastal hazards and sea level rise.

    The cost will be $5 per person for the room. Take this opportunity to bring lots of guests to find out more about The Explorers Club. Bring drinks and pots of food to share. Domino's Pizza can count as a pot-luck. We'd like to have some idea of how many people are coming, so there is a coupon for this meeting at the bottom of this Web page, but feel free to call or email Lesley, or just show up.

    Potluck Suggestions:

  • A to E: Salad
  • F to L: Entree
  • M to Z: Dessert
  • All bring your favoite drink.

    Directions to the Berkeley Yacht Club

    1 Seawall Drive, Berkeley, CA 94710, (510) 540-9167

    From I-80/I-580
    North of the Bay Bridge, south of El Cerrito and Albany, take the University Avenue exit west towards the Bay. Continue straight on University until the Berkeley pier stretches out towards the sunset before you. Turn right; the Berkeley Yacht Club is at the end of the road, adjacent to the harbor's entrance.

    Click for Calendar of future events

    Angel Island Picnic, Saturday, June 24

    10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
    Cost: $20 ($25 after June 20) covers food and drink but not the ferry.

    The Angel Island picnic is an opportunity to stretch your legs, get some sun (and/or fog), appreciate the Bay, and visit with friends and fellow Explorers. Enjoy the barbecue, and learn some Bay Area history. Take a ferry from San Francisco, Vallejo, or Tiburon, arrive by kayak with Bill Isherwood, or join Bob and Martha Schmeider on the Cordell Explorer out of Berkeley.

    In the middle of San Francisco Bay sits Angel Island State Park, offering spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline, the Marin Headlands and Mount Tamalpais. The island is alive with history. Three thousand years ago the island was a fishing and hunting site for Coastal Miwok Indians. It was later a haven for Spanish explorer Juan de Ayala, a cattle ranch, and a U.S. Army post. From 1910 to 1940, the island processed thousands of immigrants. During World War II, Japanese and German POWs were held on the island, which was also used as a jumping-off point for American soldiers returning from the Pacific. In the '50s and '60s, the island was home to a Nike missile base. Today, there are two active Coast Guard stations - at Point Blunt and Point Stuart - on the island. Angel Island became a State Park in 1958.

    The island is circled by foot trails and fire roads. Visitors can climb to the 781-foot high summit of Mount Caroline Livermore. Bicycles are welcome; dogs, roller skates, roller blades, and skateboards are not.

    Most visitors to Angel Island find the Immigration Station an especially interesting place to visit. A museum is located in the old barracks building, including a re-creation of one of the dormitories featuring some of the poems that were carved into walls. The museum is open on weekends only during the summer.

    Angel Island has all kinds of flora and fauna. Animal and bird life is diverse, with seals, sea lions, deer, raccoons, robins, scrub jays, sparrows, hummingbirds, hawks, owls, sea gulls, ducks, egrets, kingfishers, blue herons, pelicans - and more.

    Access to the Island is by Public Ferry or private boat.

    Bob and Martha Schmieder, Cordell Explorer, 925-934-3735. Leave Berkeley Marina L Dock at 8:30 AM, arrive Angel Island before 10AM to claim a picnic spot. Leave Angel Island 6PM, arrive Berkeley 7PM. No charge; limited bike space.

    Tiburon to Angel Island Ferry, 415-435-2131 Hourly trips, $7 adult, $5 kids, $1 bike, San Francisco from Pier 41

    Blue & Gold Fleet 415-773-1188, $12 adults, $6.50 age 5 to 11, Vallejo BayLink Ferry, 707-643-3779, 9:00 AM, $15 adults, $10 for kids, 65+

    Tides: High at the Gate at 4:38 AM, low at 11:21, high at 6:38 Max Ebb (3 knots) is at 10 AM, slack around 2, max flood (2.7 knots) at 5PM. Kayakers might consider paddling from Paradise Park or even Pt. Richmond rather than Sausalito. Experienced kayakers only. Call Bill Isherwood at 925-254-0739.

    Erna Baldwin, 1919-2000

    Erna Baldwin passed away on the afternoon of April 19 after a heart attack. Erna was the widow of Carey Baldwin, former Director of the San Francisco Zoo, the Hearst Zoo at San Simeon, and the Portland, Oregon Zoo. Carey was a member of The Explorers Club, and Erna sponsored a Spring Garden Party for Explorers at her home for at least 13 years in Carey's memory. Erna Baldwin grew up in Germany and lived through WWII, then emigrated to this country and San Francisco in 1955 and married Carey in 1976. They were very happy together in his second marriage and her first. She was a close, generous, and warm friend and she will be missed.

    --Ron Reuther

    Dana Isherwood on Polar Expedition

    Dana Isherwood is among a team of 12 adventurers from the US and Great Britain that departs April 21 for a 3-week dogsled and ski traverse across the new Canadian territory of Nunavut to reach the magnetic North Pole. Led by arctic adventurer Paul Schurke of Ely, Minnesota, the team consists of 4 women, 8 men, and their 18 Inuit sled dogs. They will trek nearly 300 miles northwards from Resolute Bay, Canada's northernmost supply depot, to reach the tip of Ellef Ringnes Island, where the magnetic North Pole currently resides. Their route crosses Bathurst Island, site of Polar Bear Pass Arctic Wildlife Refuge and a proposed new national park, and continues on across 70 miles of frozen ocean in MacLean Strait before reaching the Sverdrup Island chain that marks Canada's northwesternmost corner. The team will be collecting ice samples and data for a study on the stratification of sea ice by the U.S. Army's Cold Region Laboratories.

    Dana has extensive Arctic and Antarctic experience as a geologist and mountaineer, and she trained for this trip by climbing in the Antarctic and ski touring in the Sierra. Isherwood states, "I am new to the art of dogsledding, but I have a fascination for Polar Regions and I couldn't pass up an opportunity for a new challenge."

    Pledges that team members have secured make this trek a fundraiser for several charities, including the Indianapolis Children's Museum, Riley's Children's Hospital (Indianapolis), and the Mountbatten Community Trust (Great Britain).

    The first phase of the trek - traversing Bathurst Island and documenting wildlife sightings across this proposed national park site - will be completed by May 2. The second phase will bring the team into the region of the magnetic North Pole, where a compass points down directly into the ground, by May 12. When traveling on the frozen ocean out of sight of land, team member Jeff Ward will employ traditional means - celestial navigation with a sextant - to help plot the team's route.

    While the geographic North Pole is the point where the world turns, the magnetic North Pole relates to a force field in the earth's crust emanating from the earth's core. When first discovered 170 years ago, the magnetic North Pole lay near Hudson Bay. It has since drifted northwards about 6 miles per year and is now just 700 miles from the geographic Pole. It lies within the new Canadian territory of Nunavut, which was established just one year ago in conjunction with a landmark native land claims settlement that turned over a portion of the Canadian north nearly the size of Alaska to the local people (mostly Inuit) for their own territorial administration.

    GOLD OF THE NOMADS exhibit schedule:

    Alexander Leskov's presentation about Scythian gold at our April meeting aroused a lot of interest among the audience. This is the schedule for the exhibit schedule; make plans to see the remarkable and decorative millennia-old metalwork in the city of your choice.

  • Walter Gallery of Art, Baltimore, March 5 to May 28, 2000
  • Los Angles County Museum of Art, July 2 to Sept. 24, 2000
  • Brooklyn Museum of Art, Oct. 29, 2000 to Jan. 21, 2001
  • Royal Ontario Museum of Art, Toronto, Feb. 18 to Apr. 29, 2001
  • Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, May 27 to Aug. 11, 2001
  • Grand Palis, Paris, Sept. 25 to Dec. 31, 2001

    Ramblings and Explorations

    Congratulations to Eve Iversen, CO-86, who has been granted a Fulbright Fellowship to do research in Egypt next fall.

    Hank Grandin, MN-81, has been to Cuba. He displayed photos of his dog and Wyliecat 30 sailboat and lamented that he had not won enough races lately.

    Merle Robertson, FN-90, was back from Palenque, where she has been excavating Temple 19. A monograph will be published soon.

    Tom Hall, FN-97, and Liz McLoughlin will be on their way up the Inside passage by the end of May.

    Dana Isherwood is skiing her way through polar bear territory on her way to the magnetic North Pole with a team of explorers supported by dog teams. Her website ( has links to the Children's Museum in Indianapolis and the Wintergreen Dog Sledding Company, both of which will carry news of the expedition.

    Judy Colwell, guest of Mike Diggles, FN-92, told of her cycling adventure: riding the length of the Continental Divide. She and her friends have done the northern most stretch already, and will do a central segment this summer.

    David Howell, FN-86, a geologist at USGS, participated in Open Studios in Palo Alto on the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May. To see examples of his paintings, visit the websites

  • http://www.gallerymorganhill. org/gmh_dh.htm

    Jerry Hughes has been working on the restoration of the old icebreaker, Glacier.

    Thank you, Cagan

    Sekercioglu, for your program in March. It was an evening of remarkable views of birds and other denizens of our forested worlds. We wish you well in your research, and look forward to hearing what you learn.

    Vickers-Vimy Flies Again

    Peter McMillan, FN-95, reports on further adventures with his custom built replica of a World War I-era Vickers-Vimy biplane on a grueling flight plan patterned after an historic flight originally made in 1920. Their route started from England, hopped across Europe to Corfu, jumped to Alexandria in Egypt, dodged East into Saudi Arabia, then returned to East Africa and continued all the way to Cape Town. Mark Rebholz flew as chief pilot, John LaNoue as co-pilot. For an illustrated story, see the National Geographic's May issue.

    Buzzin' About Egypt

    To: (Mike Diggles)
    From: (Eve Iversen)

    I have been awarded a Fulbright grant to study at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Cairo University from Oct 2000-June 2001. Aside form the fabulous opportunities to see the modern and ancient sites I will be doing a research project. I will be doing filed trials on the use of maggots to clean chronic wounds in draft and pack animals. The technique I am using is based on a system first used in regularly in veterinary medicine in the US Army during the 1930's. I have changed some of the details to make it suitable for use anywhere. Whole my testing is in veterinary medicine this technique is also used in human medicine. I will be working with the surgery department and its students in the field to see if a system of using fly larva can be established. Local flies will be encouraged to lay eggs on a piece of meat left out for that purpose. The meat will be placed in a cage and the flies will be allowed to mature. Only species which eat dead tissue will be allowed to lay the next set of eggs. At least two generations will be bred to insure that only the correct species are used. The larva of the third generation are then cleaned and tested for bacteria. From this point on the colony is self replicating and maggots are removed as needed. The maggots are applied to open wounds and help to clean them by eating only the dead flesh. The maggots leave the wound after three to five days to continue their life cycle. New maggots are applied if more work is needed. The clean wound is bandaged and heals rapidly. I will be setting up web pages about my field trials of chronic wound care and also of my time in Egypt. I recommend that other students and faculty members check out the Fulbright for some wonderful opportunities. For information on the Fulbright programs the web site is: and for information on maggot therapy look up

    I would appreciate assistance from other Explorers Club members and friends in getting some equipment for use in Egypt. I will be sure to list you on my web page in the acknowledgements section. I will be using it for field work during the year. This will also include some investigations at archaeological sites.

  • Underwater photography outfit (camera, lights etc)
  • GPS system
  • Night vision scope that can be used with a camera

    If anyone can assist me in getting shipping to and from Egypt donated I be sure to list the company as a sponsor and provide a web "hot link" back to their site.


    Where in the World is Mason Beckley?

    Mr. Beckley bid for and purchased a Mountain Travel trip in the auction at the 1998 Golden GateAway. He has not claimed his trip, and we have been unable to locate him. If anyone knows how to contact Mason Beckley, please tell any officer of the Chapter.

    NOTE: We have no regular meetings scheduled during the summer.

    The next meeting after the Angel Island Picnic will likely be in September. We hope to see you then.

    Reservations forms

    Please reserve ______ spaces for the Angel Island Picnic on June 24.

    Name: _______________________________________________________

    Address: _____________________________________________________

    Guests: _______________________________________________________

    Mail this form with your check to Lesley Ewing

    1679 Tacoma Ave. Berkeley, CA 94707

    $20 per person or $25 if you call her or send email after June 20 (or show up on the island unannounced; that's OK).

    If reserving late, call Lesley at 510-527-7899 to confirm your reservation.

    Please make your check out to The Explorers Club, Northern California Chapter.

    Please reserve ______ spaces for the Meeting Potluck on June 6 at the Berkeley Yacht Club.

    Name: _______________________________________________________

    Address: _____________________________________________________

    Guests: _______________________________________________________

    Mail this form with your check to Lesley Ewing 1679 Tacoma Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707

    $5per person.

    If reserving after May 31, call Lesley at 510-527-7899 to confirm your reservation.

    Please make your check out to The Explorers Club, Northern California Chapter.

    If you forget to reserve, come anyway. Bring food, drink, family, and friends to share.

    Please reserve ______ spaces for the Meeting on May 19 on the Peninsula.

    Name: _______________________________________________________

    Address: _____________________________________________________

    Guests: _______________________________________________________

    Mail this form with your check to Lesley Ewing

    1679 Tacoma Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707

    $50 per person or $55 if postmarked after May 12.

    If reserving late, call Lesley at 510-527-7899 to confirm your reservation.

    Please make your check out to The Explorers Club, Northern California Chapter.

    Map to Dan and Rusty Liebowitz's

    Date created: 04/29/1999
    Last modified: 01/20/2002

    Content from Sue Estey and Lesley Ewing, Northern California Chapter of The Explorers Club; email to Sue
    Web page by: Mike Diggles, Webmaster. email to Mike

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

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