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Expedition: Into the Altiplano
An international team of scientists, climbers and paddlers searches for water in one of the driest regions on Earth.

The Team
For almost 20 years JON BOWERMASTER has written about his adventures in exotic corners of the world for a variety of national and international publications. This is his fourth expedition funded by the National Geographic Society Expeditions Council. Previous sea kayak adventures have taken him to the heart of Alaska's Aleutian Islands, down the coast of Vietnam and through the Tuamotu Archipelago—a 78-island chain of coral reefs in the South Pacific. A contributing editor for National Geographic Adventure, he lives in Stone Ridge, New York.

RODRIGO JORDAN is founding director of Chile's Vertical S.A., an organization devoted to using the mountains as a classroom for groups ranging from company managers to schoolchildren. He holds a doctorate in organizational administration from the University of Oxford, and teaches innovation management in the MBA program of the Universidad Católica de Chile. Rodrigo has climbed throughout the Andes, summited Mount Everest by the difficult Kanshung Face in 1992, and in 1996 led a Chilean team to a successful ascent of K2. In 2002 he led a four-person team in an unsupported 250-mile (420-kilometer) traverse, much of it unexplored, of the Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica. Time magazine identified him in 1995 as one of the leaders of the "new millennium." He lives in Santiago, Chile.

New Zealand-born WENDY MADGWICK brings all-around athleticism and experience as a physical therapist to the team. A seasoned sea kayaker—as well as national netballer, triathlete and marathoner—she lives in Chicago.

National Geographic photographer PETER MCBRIDE has documented expeditions from Africa to the South Pacific, Petra to Amman. A champion downhill skier, experienced climber and photographer for magazines from National Geographic to Smithsonian, his last NGM assignment was the re-enactment of the first African air passage of 1920, 58 days flying a 1918 Vickers Vimy biplane the length of Africa. He lives in Basalt, Colorado.

British-born ALEX NICKS is one of the world's top whitewater rodeo competitors and a budding adventure filmmaker. Based in San Francisco, he has competed and filmed around the world. Recently Nicks journeyed with Bowermaster and McBride for 12 weeks through the Tuamotu Archipelago in the South Pacific.

PATRICIA VALENCIA has lived in the high Atacama desert for the past decade. Schooled as a geologist, she works as a professional mountain guide and has been up and down many 20,000-foot (6,096-meter) Andean peaks from Peru to the south of Chile. She lives in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.

Next: Enter the Photo Gallery >>



Funding for this expedition was provided by the National Geographic Society Expeditions Council. For more information on the Council, its projects, and grants, e-mail ecouncil@ngs.org.

Top

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  Introduction
  The Team
  Photo Gallery
  Dispatch 1
  Dispatch 2 (Audio - 1:20)
  Dispatch 3 (Audio - 1:31)
  Dispatch 4
  Dispatch 5
  Dispatch 6 (Audio - 1:45)
  Dispatch 7 (Audio - 1:40)
  Dispatch 8
  Conclusion
 

Download RealPlayer to hear audio.
 

Related Web Sites

In the Field: Bowermaster's Trip to Tuamotu
Follow Jon Bowermaster as he paddles and dives some of the Pacific's richest coral reefs and deepest blue lagoons—before they disappear forever.

Photo Gallery: Castaway in Paradise
Witness one of our most popular photo galleries to date as Photographer Peter McBride explains the secrets behind his remarkable shots of the Tuamotu Archipelago.

In the Field: Descending the Dragon
Hear Bowermaster's dispatches from his kayak odyssey down the Vietnam coast.

In the Field: Birthplace of the Winds
See photos and hear dispatches from the 2001 expedition to Alaska's Aleutian Islands that inspired Bowermaster's new book Birthplace of the Winds.

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December 2003/January 2004



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