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August 2012

The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles®

August 2, 2012 -

Yonni Schwartz - Nepal - Three Weeks of Backpacking and Climbing Around the Annapurna Massif to Annapurna Base Camp and Other Areas



  • Currently working for the US Forest Service as the Minerals and Geology Program Manager of the Los Padres National Forest
  • Fourteen years of academic training and teaching experience with a focus on extensive work in coastal geomorphology, field surveying, and mapping combined with twenty six years of world travel and outdoors experiences. 
  • Extensive experience using survival and navigation skills for mountain climbing, backpacking, scuba diving, skiing, and surfing. 
  • Developed and created Peaceful Edge Adventures, an adventure travel company –


  • California State University Dominguez Hills, Cal. State Long Beach, Antioch
    University and Santa Monica College
    Lecture and teach Earth Sciences and Geography courses and give multimedia presentations on world regional geography 2000-2006
  • University of Southern California Lectured and taught Environmental Ethics,concepts, policy & theory and was employed as a research assistant 1998-1999
  • Haifa University, Israel Lectured and organized extensive field studies on coastal geomorphology for undergraduate students 1994-1997
  • Haifa University, Israel Research – for graduate thesis: Extensive research of the geomorphic processes along the cliffs of the Central Mediterranean coastline of Israel. Analysis of rock and soil units, correlation studies of weather patterns to rates of erosion, field survey  and mapping of coastal morphology 1991-1996
  • Haifa University, Israel Conducted geomorphologic mapping, hydrological field measurements, aerial photo analysis, field surveying and sampling, and laboratory sediment analysis as a research assistant1991-1997


  • Minerals & Geology Program Manager, USDA, Forest Service, Los Padres National Forest 2010-Present
    Natural Resource Staff Officer, USDA, Forest Service, Angeles National Forest 2004 -2010
  • Developed and operate ‘Peaceful Edge Adventures’, an adventure travel company 2000-Present
  • Science Teacher and developer of the science program and lab at Bowerman School 2004-2005
  • Aerial map and photo analysis, Ofek Aerial Photography, Natanaya, Israel 1996-1997
  • Security officer, Israeli Electric Corporation, Hadera, Israel 1991-1994
  • Undercover security officer, Italian cruise ship, Mediterranean and World Cruises 1986-1987


  • PhD. (candidate) in Coastal Geomorphology University of Southern California 1998-2001
  • M.A. in Physical Geography - University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel 1993-1997
    Thesis Subject "Geomorphic Processes Along the Coastal Cliffs of the Central Mediterranean Coastline of Israel." Honors: CUM LAUDE
  • B.A. in Physical Geography, Minor in Archeology & Marine Science 1990-1993
    University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel. Honors: SUMMA CUM LAUDE


  • Multimedia and slide show presentations on International traveling presented in universities, schools, public libraries and private homes in New York, California and throughout Israel 1990-present
  • Lectures on coastal geomorphology to Israeli Navy Seals 1994-1996


  • Twenty six years of world travel experience (1986- Present).  Traveling through countries of the Middle East, including Israel, Jordan, Egypt (The Sinai Peninsula); the Far East through countries as Tibet, Nepal, India, South Korea; East Africa (Kenya & Tanzania), North America, The United States including regions as the Adirondack Mountains, the Sierra Nevada and most National Parks in the US, parts of Canada; Central America, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico; South America, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador (the Galapagos Islands), Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina all the way to Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and back to Brazil through Uruguay.
  • Travel activities included backpacking, mountain climbing, horse packing, canoeing, scuba diving, surfing, skiing, hiking
  • During 1986-1987 I traveled all around the Mediterranean, and on a world cruise starting from Europe and continuing through North Africa, West Africa, South America, Islands of the South Pacific, the Far-East, Middle East and back to Europe


  • Alpine Elite Search and Rescue Unit, Reserve Duty 1986 - 1997
    Participated in extensive survival training and took part in actual rescues
  • Elite Infantry Reconnaissance Unit 1983-1986
    • Commanded Special Forces in operational situations
    • Operated under extreme pressure and rigorous conditions
    • Received training in orientation, navigation, survival and parachuting
    • Graduated from the Israeli military combat medics course


  • Fluent: English, Hebrew, conversational Spanish
  • Interests: surfing, scuba diving (certified), certified lifeguard, backpacking, hiking, mountain climbing, natural sciences, meditation, yoga, tai-chi, photography etc.

© 1921 - All Rights Reserved
The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles ®
2433 North Broadway, P.O. Box 31226, Los Angeles, CA USA 90031-0226
(323) 223-3948

The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles®

August 9, 2012 -

Ladies Night
Authors Amanda Padoan and Chhiring Dorhe Sherpa
"BURIED IN THE SKY" The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day

12-time Everest summitter Chhiring Dorje Sherpa talks about surviving K2's deadliest day. He is joined by alpine historian Amanda Padoan who writes about Chhiring's extraordinary heroism on K2 in her new book, Buried in the Sky.

photo of Author Amanda Padoan - photo by Marion Ettlinger XY

Author Amanda Padoan
photo by Marion Ettlinger XY

Chhiring Dorje Sherpa on the summit of K2 August 1 2008, photo credit Pemba Gyalje Sherpa

Chhiring Dorje Sherpa
on the summit of K2
August 1 2008

photo credit:
Pemba Gyalje Sherpa

In August 2008, news of a mountaineering disaster on K2 trickled out of Pakistan’s Himalayas and echoed around the world. In a cascading series of events — avalanches, serac falls, safety ropes torn away — 11 elite climbers from seven countries perished, while others endured epic struggles for survival. At 28,251 feet, K2 is second in height to Mount Everest, but it is far more dangerous: For every four climbers who have reached its summit, one has died trying. The 2008 tragedy was the deadliest event in the mountain’s history, and it unleashed an onslaught of media assessments, from obscure climbing blogs to the front page of the New York Times, but only now has an accurate, and riveting, account been published.

Buried in the Sky, by Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan, is a work of obsessive reporting. The authors (who are cousins) traveled across the world, conducting extensive interviews with nearly every person who was on the mountain in 2008 and using digital forensics to analyze the photographs taken that day. They weave a narrative that is hair-raising and moving, but also precise — crucial given the technical complexities of expeditions and the often-hazy recollections of traumatized survivors.

Burried in the Sky Book Cover

But what makes their book an indispensable addition to the genre is the way the authors explore the “cultural crevasse” underlying the ill-fated expeditions on K2. They provide a long-overdue historical correction to the familiar mountaineering story, with its focus on summit-conquering Westerners. In Buried in the Sky, the events on K2 are revealed through the eyes of the Sherpa and Pakistani guides, who are often portrayed as anonymous extras in the popular narrative, ferrying gear and setting ropes so the paying customers can plant their flags on the summit.

This shortsightedness has many causes: language barriers, socioeconomic status, the demands of sponsors, the biases of media. Far from being mere porters, the Sherpas are among the most skillful highaltitude mountaineers on Earth. Buried in the Sky delves deep into the history, culture, and grim economic reality of the native climbers upon whom many Himalayan expeditions are entirely dependent.

Padoan was moved to write the book by her friendship with Karim Meherban, a Pakistani climber who was killed on the mountain and whose death, at 30, was largely overlooked by the media. Meherban had once carried her gear on an expedition. With his death, says Padoan, “I realized that I had something to carry for him. I was feeling the weight of his story.”

(Men's Journal May 2012)

linkBuried in the Sky

linkBuried in the Sky - Press Release

linkDangerous Work, And No Glory - Wall Street Journal

link2008 K2 disaster

We thank Allan Smith for these speakers and the program reference.

© 1921 - All Rights Reserved
The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles ®
2433 North Broadway, P.O. Box 31226, Los Angeles, CA USA 90031-0226
(323) 223-3948
Magical Clouds Circling Above BC

Magical Clouds Circling Above BC

The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles®

August 16, 2012 -

Ladies Night
Jessica Cox - Armless Pilot and Inspiration to All

Jessica Cox Stands Inside an Aircraft

Jessica Cox

A girl born without arms, stands inside an aircraft. The girl from Tucson, Arizona got the Sport Pilot certificate lately and became the first pilot licensed to fly using only her feet. Though she was born without arms, that has only stopped her from doing one thing: using the word "can't."

Jessica Cox (born 1983 in Arizona) is the world's first licensed armless pilot, as well as the first armless black-belt in the American Taekwondo Association (she now has two black belts in Taekwondo). She was born without arms due to a rare birth defect.

Jessica Cox Servicing an Aircraft

She earned her pilot's license on October 10, 2008, after three years of training, and is qualified to fly a light-sport aircraft to altitudes of 10,000 feet; she received her training through an Able Flight scholarship. Cox has not used prosthetic arms since she turned 14. Using her feet as most people use their hands, she is able, among other things, to drive a car (she has an unrestricted license and drives a car without modifications), to type on a keyboard (25 words per minute), to pump her own gas, and to put in and remove her contact lenses. She is also a certified SCUBA diver. Cox holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Arizona and works as a motivational speaker.

linkJessica Cox Motivational Services
linkWikipedia - Jessica Cox

The Adventurers Club thanks Linda Abrams recommending her friend Jessica as a speaker

© 1921 - All Rights Reserved
The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles ®
2433 North Broadway, P.O. Box 31226, Los Angeles, CA USA 90031-0226
(323) 223-3948

The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles®

August 23, 2012 -

Rosaly Lopes
Volcano Adventures Without Getting Your Feet Burned

Rosaly Lopes

Volcanoes come in many different personality types. Some are very explosive, others erupt gently. Knowing the different types is important when planning a visit to these great geologic wonders. Volcanoes are great locations to visit and photograph, but knowledge of the dangers is vital. Rosaly Lopes will share her experiences on active volcanoes and her rules of the road for not getting burnt.

Program description: Short form - we don't have room for all that she has done:

Dr. Rosaly M. C. Lopes-Gautier is a prominent planetary geologist, volcanologist, the author of numerous scientific papers and several books, as well as a great proponent of education. Her major research interests are in planetary and terrestrial surface processes with an emphasis on volcanology.

Early in life, Lopes lived near the famous Ipanema Beach. She moved to London, England, in 1975 to study astronomy at the University of London, from where she graduated with honors in astronomy in 1978. For her doctoral studies, she specialized in planetary geology and volcanology and completed her Ph.D. in Planetary Science in 1986 with a thesis on comparing volcanic processes on Earth and Mars. During her Ph.D. she traveled extensively to active volcanoes, particularly Mount Etna in Sicily, and became a member of the UK's Volcanic Eruption Surveillance Team. Lopes began her post doctorate career as the Curator of Modern Astronomy and Deputy Head of the Astronomy Section at the Old Royal Observatory in Greenwich, UK. In 1989 she performed hazard mapping at the Vesuvius Observatory in Italy as a Visiting Researcher at Osservatorio Vesuviano, Naples.

Dr. Rosaly M. C. Lopes-Gautier

Dr. Rosaly M. C. Lopes-Gautier

She joined JPL as National Research Council Resident Research Associate in 1989 and, after 2 years, became a member of the Galileo Flight project. Lopes worked on the Near Infra-red Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) team planning and analyzing of observations of Jupiter's volcanic moon Io from 1996 to 2001. During this exciting period of her career, she discovered 71 volcanoes on Io that had never before been detected as active. In 2002, Lopes became Investigation Scientist on the Cassini RADAR Team. She plans science observations of Saturn, its moons, and rings and co-chairs the Cassini Satellites Orbiter Science Team. Her main interest on Cassini is on Saturn's largest moon Titan. The Synthetic Aperture (SAR) data from the RADAR instrument show that Titan has volcanic features, but not like silicate volcanism on the Earth or Io. Titan's flows and other volcanic features are likely the result of ice volcanism (cryovolcanism).

She has participated on several studies of future NASA and ESA missions as a member of the science definition team, including missions to Saturn and Titan. She serves on several committees, including the Annual Program Committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences committee. She is currently the Chair of the Outer Planets group of the International Astronomical Union's Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature. Her past committee experience includes the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council’s Space Studies Board Committee to study the next announcement of opportunity (AO) for NASA’s New Frontiers missions (2007–2008), the JPL Director's Advisory Committee for Women, the Committee for Minorities and Women in Geosciences of the Geological Society of America and the Subcommittee on Diversity at the American Geophysical Union.

Her awards include the Latinas in Science medal from the Commission Feminil Mexicana Nacional in 1991, the 1997 Woman of the Year in Science and Technology Award from the Miami-based GEM television, the 2006 Women at Work Award, the 2007 NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the 2005 Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society. She is a member of the International Astronomical Union, the American Geophysical Society, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Geographical Society, and the Explorers Club.

Lopes has written many research papers, articles, book chapters and encyclopedia entries. She has been active in the media, featured on numerous documentaries for Discovery channel, National Geographic, History Channel, PBS, and on Nightline, and interviewed by a variety of national and international media. She has written four books, The Volcano Adventure Guide (Cambridge University Press, 2005), Volcanic Worlds: Exploring the Solar System Volcanoes (Praxis-Springer, 2004), Io After Galileo: A New View of Jupiter's Volcanic Moon (Praxis-Springer, 2007), and "Alien Volcanoes" (Johns Hopkins Press, 2008).

Other work and interests:

Lopes is a strong supporter of education, diversity, and outreach both nationally and internationally. She has given many public lectures in several countries in Europe, Asia, and the Americas and was the co-organizer of the United Nations/ European Space Agency/The Planetary Society workshops in 1992 and 1993. In 2005, she was awarded the Carl Sagan Medal by the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, in recognition of her significant efforts over the past 20 years in public outreach and education, particularly among Hispanic groups and young women. This work includes innumerable public talks, media interviews, articles in magazines and newspapers, a book on planetary volcanism, and major efforts to nurture and mentor young scientists. Her hobbies include scuba diving, hiking, traveling to volcanoes all over the world, and collecting volcano art.

Selected documentaries and TV shows:

  • History Channel’s "Prehistoric Megastorms" (2008);
  • "Heads Up" Science Series, Knowledge TV, Canada, episode on New Horizons (January 2008);
  • History Channels’ “Search for E.T.”, in “The Universe” series (August 2007);
  • PBS "Wired Science" interview on volcanoes (October 2007);
  • Discovery Channel’s "Titan: Rendezvous with Saturn’s Moon" (updated version, May 2007);
  • National Geographic Television’s "Naked Science: Deadliest Planets" (December 2006);
  • History Channel’s "Ask Mr. Know-It-All", pilot episode (as expert on volcanic dust), 2006;
  • History Channel’s "Inside the Volcano" (December 2006);
  • Discovery Channel’s "Rewind 2006" (science stories of 2006, December 2006);
  • National Geographic Television’s "Hollywood Science: Forces of Nature" (April 2006);
  • Nightline’s "Galileo" (September 2003);
  • Discovery Channel‘s "Planet Storm" (2001); and
  • Discovery Channel’s "95 Worlds and Counting" (2001)

Selected Publications:

  • Lopes-Gautier, Rosaly (2000). "Volcanism on Io". In Haraldur Sigurdsson, Bruce Houghton, Hazel Rymer, John Stix, Steve McNutt. Encyclopedia of Volcanoes. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. pp. 709–726. ISBN 978-0-12-643140-7.
  • Lopes, Rosaly M.C.; Gregg, Tracy K.P. (2004). Volcanic Worlds: Exploring The Solar System's Volcanoes. Springer / Praxis. pp. 236. ISBN 3-540-00431-9.
  • Lopes, Rosaly M.C. (2005). The Volcano Adventure Guide. Cambridge University Press. pp. 362. ISBN 0-521-55453-5.
  • Lopes, Rosaly M.C.; Spencer, John R. (2006). Io After Galileo: A New View of Jupiter's Volcanic Moon. Springer / Praxis. pp. 342. ISBN 3-540-34681-3.
  • Lopes, Rosaly M.C.; Carroll, Michael (2008). Alien Volcanoes. Johns Hopkins Press. pp. 152. ISBN 978-0-8018-8673-7.

© 1921 - All Rights Reserved
The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles ®
2433 North Broadway, P.O. Box 31226, Los Angeles, CA USA 90031-0226
(323) 223-3948

The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles®

August 30, 2012 -

Dave Banks – Cue the Camels: Stories and Clips of Misadventures & Mishaps from Australia, Egypt & the Sahara Desert

The Adventurers Club of Los Angeles Presents Cue the Camels, with Dave Banks
photo of Dave Banks

Dave Banks

Dave Banks — writer/documentary filmmaker/photographer — has over 25 years of international documentary, news and reality program experience.

Dave will talk about his mishaps, misadventures and travel blisters described in his book, "Cue the Camels." A humorous look at the trials and tribulations of shooting documentaries in distant lands.

Dave has been recognized with 13 Emmy Award nominations, has won three Emmys, two International Monitor Awards and one ADDY Award for writing. Dave, specializes in remote and hostile locations in the Middle East and North Africa.

Dave’s client list includes Mark Burnett Productions, Discovery Channel, Cosmo Studios, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX Networks, Warner Bros, History Channel, PBS, MPH Entertainment, Channel Nine Australia, London Weekend Television-UK, BBC 1 and 2 UK. NHK-Japan, German Television, and Canal Television-France.

photo of Dave Banks

With the beginning of the “War on Terrorism” in 2001, Dave served as a solo journalist in Afghanistan for "Profiles from the Front Lines," This 13 hour documentary was produced by Profiles Television in association with the Department of Defense and Warner Bros.

Mark Burnett Productions and the Discovery Channel contracted Banks to direct a multi-million dollar, five-hour prime time epic, Eco-Challenge-Australia. Banks directed 15 camera crews, four helicopters, two airplanes, two boats, and 20 Land Rovers. They were deployed over ten days in a race with 192 competitors from 15 countries covering 335 miles from the Outback interior to the Great Barrier Reef. This project was brought in on time and on budget and had the best ratings of all the Eco-Challenge series. With the success of the Eco-Challenge-Australia, Discovery Channel contracted Banks to direct their new flagship show, The Discovery Channel Adventure Race series. The first of this series took place in the Southern Alps of South Island, New Zealand.

photo of Dave Banks climbing

As an ongoing project Banks is producing and directing a two-hour documentary, “The Quest for Noah’s Ark.” Notwithstanding the “off limits” status for access to Mt. Ararat by the Turkish government, Banks set out in September of 1999 under cover of darkness. With the help of the local underground, Banks climbed to the 16,984-foot summit of Mt. Ararat in 26 hours. “I wanted to show the viewer what risk looks like” he said. The Turkish government is now considering a scientific expedition permit to Dave Banks Films and Arcimaging for research on Mt. Ararat.

Research will include Synthetic Aperture Radar, Ice Penetrating Radar and Thermal Infrared Sensor. The documentary covers the history of Mt. Ararat and the men who climbed her.

In the area of technology, Banks has pushed the envelope to combine story telling and digital media. In April, 2000 Quokka Sports chose Dave Banks Films to produce 22+ mini-documentaries and 25 + vignettes for the premiere of Quokka’s broadband division. Video clips, audio journals and still images were satellite back to the States during the races for immediate broadband viewing. The Marathon Des Sables is a 6-day foot race across the great Sahara Desert in Morocco, North Africa.

From 2001 to 2008 Banks was contracted by MPH Entertainment and Cosmo Studios to take HDTV on location into the Sahara Desert of Egypt and to the Barents Sea in the Artic Circle (Russia).

2006 to 2012 Dave Banks Films, producing Through the Lens of Adventure and guest speaker for college film lecturer series. At present Banks is writing his memoirs in the book, Cue the Camels, mishaps, misadventures and travel blisters of a documentary filmmaker in far way lands.

photo of Dave Banks

Highlights from Dave Bank's book, Cue the Camels:

Ancient Spores: As I worm my way down the tunnel, my arms begin involuntary spasms as a result of holding a 26-pound video camera out in front of me. Along with dehydration, my limbs are aching from the release of lactic acid, which decreases my muscle fibers’ capacity to hold the camera steady.

Camel Smoothies: The attack was by one of the camel and not by some crazed Jihads. But, a long-necked, long legged, wooly dromedary with a Chris Brown attitude. The twenty-seven pound camera laid on my back and shoulder with the lens resting on my head in which I could hear the faint sound of the recording heads rolling internally.

La Musica for the Wandering Gringo: For me, Justin Bieber just doesn’t round out the experience of tearing across the sun bleached sands of the Sahara Desert in a Toyota Land Cruiser – although, the Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” does a terrific job in setting the mood.

Noah's Ark and Dog Biscuit: It took only one grainy photograph to convince me that I should go to Eastern Turkey to shoot the documentary, “The Quest for Noah’s Ark”. Notwithstanding the “off limits” status for access to Mt. Ararat by the Turkish government, for me like my first marriage, the attraction outweighed the risk of imprisonment. Think of it - to film the greatest biblical archaeological find in the history of man was too seductive.

Dave Banks
Documentary Filmmaker, Photojournalist and Writer

Dave's Most Memorable Moments Have Been:

Photo of Dave Banks
  • Lost in the landmine fields of Jordan and Afghanistan;
  • Chased by the Turkish Army at the foot of Mt. Ararat in Eastern Turkey while filming The Quest for Noah’s Ark;
  • Crawled into the ancient tombs of Egypt, Jordan and Israel
  • Lost in the Sahara Desert of North Africa;
  • Weathered Arctic storms in the Barents Sea off the coast of Russia;
  • Climbed the Southern Alps of New Zealand’s South Island;
  • Filmed his own rescue after a climbing accident on Half Dome in Yosemite Valley, California;
  • Directed an expedition race in the Outback of Australia for Discovery Channel;
  • Covered the War in Afghanistan as a solo journalist;
  • Dave is a member of the Adventurer’s Club of Los Angeles and the Frontline Club of London; and
  • For Dave’s efforts he has been recognized with 13 Emmy nominations and has won 3 Emmys.

© 1921 - All Rights Reserved
The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles ®
2433 North Broadway, P.O. Box 31226, Los Angeles, CA USA 90031-0226
(323) 223-3948

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© 1921 - All Rights Reserved
The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles ®
2433 North Broadway, P.O. Box 31226, Los Angeles, CA USA 90031-0226
(323) 223-3948