It has been some time since we’ve had any kind of update on the Greg Mortenson story. You’ll recall, he’s the climber-turned-author-turned-humanitarian who wrote the book Three Cups of Tea, and then proceeded to use his platform to raise funds to build schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan. His organization, the Central Asian Institute (CAI) was viewed as a model for doing good in struggling countries.
But then, in 2011 Mortenson became the subject of a hard-hitting 60 Minutes piece that called into question the stories he wrote about in his books, how the money CAI was raising was being spent, and whether or not schools were being built at all. That followed on the heels of an article written by John Krakauer entitled Three Cups of Deceit, which further blasted Mortenson, essentially calling him a liar and a fraud. In a matter of a few months, Mortenson’s world crumbled around him, and CAI’s funding dropped dramatically. Civil lawsuits were raised against him, although most were quickly dismissed, and for his part Mortenson disappeared from the limelight, with not much more to be told.
That is, until now.
Two filmmakers, Jennifer Jordan and Jeff Roads, are working on a documentary that delves back into the Greg Mortenson story. Their film is called 3000 Cups of Tea (see trailer below), and it is nearing completion. They say they have a very different side of the story to tell, and that their experience with CAI, and Mortenson’s work, does not resemble what 60 Minutes reported. They have visited many of the schools that were the result of Greg’s work, and they say that aside from a few that aren’t up and running, most of them are serving the purpose that their founder intended.
Recently, Jennifer and Jeff gave ExWeb an interview about their work, and what they had to say was quite interesting. While they don’t address all of the issues raised against Mortenson – they’ll save that for the film – they certainly do offer a different view from what has been the public story over the past few years.
The filmmakers are seeking $40,000 to complete their documentary so they can get it out to the public to see. To that end, they’ve set up a donation page for anyone who would like to contribute. They hope to wrap up production soon and have the film released sometime this year.
Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing the final product. When the 60 Minutes and Krakauer story broke, it was big news in the adventure and mountaineering community. It seems only fitting that we report on the other side of the story too. It is also important to point out that Mortenson and CAI continue to press ahead with their work, despite funding dropping off by 80%. Apparently, the author was able to build up a sustainable fund to keep his efforts going, even when hard times set in. That’s a far cry from the financial mismanagement that was reported in 2011.
Hopefully we’ll hear more about this soon.
“3,000 Cups of Tea” Trailer from Jennifer Jordan on Vimeo.
Okay, “best” might be too strong of a superlative, but we can certainly use the word “glorious” to describe our hike out to Andrews Bald this past Saturday.
As mentioned in a post on Tuesday, Kathy and I spent several days hiking in the Smokies last week, and spent our final day at Andrews Bald. And what a perfect day it was to visit one of the most scenic spots in the Great Smoky Mountains. Temperatures were in the low 60s, there wasn’t any wind to speak of, and we had cobalt blue skies above! It was a wonderful reward after enduring one of the worst winters in human history! Moreover, we practically had the entire grassy bald to ourselves for almost the first hour.
As we soaked in the amazing panoramic views, large white billowing clouds began to drift overhead.
During our five-day stay we literally saw spring emerge in the Smokies. Last Tuesday, as we drove over Newfound Gap, there were very few signs of spring. We spent the next several days exploring some new trails on the North Carolina side of the Smokies. So on Saturday, when we drove back over Newfound Gap, we were quite amazed to see how green everything had turned in just those couple of days.
Can’t wait to get back and possibly hike to Gregory Bald during the azalea bloom!
As result of our hike on Saturday we have updated our Andrews Bald page with some new information and photos.
Hiking in the Smokies
Is Philippe Gilbert back? He won the Brabantse Pijl yesterday by beating Michael Matthews in the sprint but only minutes before he was making a big solo effort off the front of the bunch. It’s only his second win since the world championship title in 2012 and his first win in a BMC jersey in […]
Okay, so the original video I placed here was suddenly password protected. I guess they didn’t want us to see what they were showing off. So, I’ve replaced it with a classic clip from Alan Arnette
that gives us great insight into an Everest climb up the South Col Route. Enjoy!
As is tradition in the spring, we’ve been talking a lot about Mt. Everest lately, and I thought you might like to see what the climbers are up against in the weeks ahead. The video below is a simple animation captured in Google Earth, that leaps from Kathmandu to the airport in Lukla, then up the Khumbu Valley to Everest, before proceeding up the South Side route to the summit. It’s brief – just one minute in length – but it does put some things in perspective.
For those of us who don’t have the skills, or guts, to ride those really challenging downhill mountain bike courses, this video will have to suffice. Clearly shot while wearing a GoPro, or similar action camera, the clip gives us a point-of-view perspe…
Packing a machete, board shorts, and a rack of big wall gear, Mason Earle journeys 5,000 miles to the giant basalt pillars of Ua Pou.
The post Mason Earle Seeks Towering Climbs in the Marquesas Islands—Part Deux appeared first on LIVE YOUR ADVENTURE by Mason Earle.
While these recipes were developed by Excalibur Dehydrators for use in their high-end dehydrators, the recipes can be used in many other dehydrators as well – although drying times may be much longer. Enjoy these recipes for a new taste in trail-ready (or heck, desk ready) chips to munch on. BBQ Cucumber Chips Ingredients 3 large […]
The post Snacks to Boost Energy Naturally appeared first on Trail Cooking & The Outdoors.
It’s Wednesday, which means its time for more great travel tips from our friend Richard Bangs. This time, Richard has a story about a funny encounter he had in New Guinea while scouting locations for a BBC documentary, during which he came across one o…
Communications from Everest Base Camp on the South Side continue to be sporadic, as cloud cover and snowfall limit access to satellites and keep solar panels from charging the comms equipment. Still, there have been a few reports from the mountain the …