Life Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Fellow of the Explorers Club of New York
Is there any exploration left to be done on a planet mapped and probed, Googled-Earthed and orbited? I say yes; for all the looking we have seen little. The entire stratosphere, for instance; we pop up there and then crash back down as soon as we can, with little time for contemplating what we see and feel. The oceans; down and back up, gasping about new discoveries. There are pleny of other places; with the correct attitude you can make a thrilling expedition into the wilds of a suburban hedge. Personally, one thing I mean to do before long is to begin a long-term observation of a single square meter of sea floor one hundred feet beneath the surface of Puget Sound.
To date, my expeditions have taken me to South America, Africa, Canada, Alaska (Arctic and subarctic), and plenty of wilds worldwide. Ten years of mountaineering gave way when I sold every last piton and carabiner to sail on a 60-foot log raft off South America; after that I was engulfed by a four-year obsession to cross Iceland's mosntrous Vatnajokull ice cap; that gave way to the flats and frozen sea surface of Arctic Alaska; and three years now I have also been flying a paraglider and diving beneath in the sea.
All of these experiences inform my worldview, and they go into every word I write. There are important things to say--for example, there are still beautiful things in the world, and they are often found in the wilds, and there is no such thing as a wasteland--and I keep exploring to help me say what I need to say.
As I wrap up my explorations of Alaska's North Slope in the next two winters, I'm currenttly putting in the background and research for a series of expedtions to explore, by balloon, the lower stratosphere. You can read more about that here.