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News/Blog & Recent Events - George Kourounis

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Dec 11 2018 - Storm-Hunters on Prime Video
 
Six episodes of the Storm-Hunters TV show that I sometimes co-host are now available on Amazon Prime Video. The program is produced by The Weather Network in Canada, but now, thanks to the streaming service, it is available in the U.S. Canada and the U.K.
 
To watch, head over to the Prime Video site and search for the show. (Amazon Prime Subscription required).

Storm-Hunters on Prime Video


Nov 13 2018 - Heading to Antarctica aboard the RCGS Resolute
 
News & Blog 2018 Final preparations are underway. Tomorrow, I depart on my next adventure... Back to Antarctica.
 
I've been invited to be a representative of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society on board the brand new One Ocean Expeditions vessel, the RCGS Resolute.
 
This is the maiden commercial voyage for this new ship, and is also the first time that a ship has been sailed with the RCGS prefix. It is an honour and a privilege to be on board, and I will update with photos and stories whenever I can.
 
While in Antarctica, I will be going LIVE via satellite to classrooms across North America, interacting with students and showing them the glaciers, icebergs and wildlife of Antarctica.. Many thanks to Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants and National Geographic Education for setting this up and supplying me with the satellite broadcasting equipment I'll need to do this.
 
This will be my 4th time visiting Antarctica. I love the place so much. This journey will be extra special with the new ship making its maiden commercial voyage under its new name.
 
This will also be the earliest in the season that I've been down there. in the past, I've always gone in January. This November trip will be interesting for me to compare the snow, ice and wildlife. For example, in January, the baby penguin chicks are already hatched, but on this trip the penguins will still be mating and laying eggs.

Antarctica Map

RCGS_Resolute

Nov 12 2018 - Canadian Geographic Travel
 
Canadian Geographic Travel has published a photo essay of some of my photographs from my recent Africa overland journey. Check it out here.

Canadian Geographic Travel

Nov 02 2018 - RCGS Dinner, Ottawa
 
Cana

RCGS Dinner

Oct 04 2018 - Heading to Africa
 
I've been anticipating this upcoming trip for a long time now. I've teamed up with Exodus Travels, and I'm hosting/special guest on a three week, overland trip from Capetown to Victoria Falls. The trip will take me, and 15 other guests through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
 
This is going to be an amazing journey, and I can't wait to share the photographs and stories that will undoubtedly come out of this. I'm finishing up my packing and preparations now.

Africa Map

Sept 15 2018 - Hurricane Florence
 
What a marathon that was.
 
We are homeward bound after hurricane Florence, and the storm luckily weakened before landfall, but it was so slow-moving that it ended doing a lot of damage simply because of the amount of time it spend lashing the Wilmington, North Carolina area.
 
We safely documented the storm before, during and after landfall, including the calm eye as we took a direct hit.
 
The region is still mostly without power and the city of Wilmington has effectively become an island, will all roads in and out totally impassable due to flooding. We were lucky to make it out when we did. If we had waited much longer, the water would have risen and we would have been stuck there for who knows how long.
 
The storm weakened from a category 4 down to a 2 before striking, and that's a good thing for the people who live there. The barrier islands off the coast were hardest hit by the storm, and it'll be quite some time before those parts are back to normal.
 
Many thanks to the rest of the team from TWN, as well as all the other chasers we teamed up with.
 
Photos from the hurricane can be found here.

Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence

Sept 11 2018 - En Route To Hurricane Florence
 
I was only home from Saltspring Island for about an hour and a half after taking the red-eye flight to Toronto before I was back on the road again, this time towards North Carolina for the landfall of Hurricane Florence. The storm looks to head directly towards the city of Wilmington.
 
We'll be reporting for The Weather Network throughout the storm. It looks like it could strike as a major hurricane when it eventually hits. It is also forecast to stall out and linger for several days. This could be very bad news for the Carolinas.

Hurricane Florence

Sept. 09 2018 - Saltspring Island, British Columbia
 
I'm in British Columbia, attending the Explorers Club Saltspring Symposium. It is a meeting of Explorers Club members that happens once every two years and is hosted by Pat and Rosemarie Keough at their awesome home on the island. The past 3 days have an exhausting, and amazing collection of presentations and conversations with 50 other explorers from all over North America, including Explorers Club president, Richard Wiese.
 
Thank you to all the attendees, and especially to our generous hosts.

Saltspring Symposium 2018

Aug 27 2018 - Come Join Me In Antarctica!
 
This November, I'll be on board the brand new vessel, the RCGS Resolute on its maiden Antarctic voyage, and you can come too.
 
One Ocean Expeditions, the official travel partner of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, is launching this brand new ship, and I will be on board as an ambassador for the society as we visit parts of the frozen continent that are off the beaten path.
 
Learn more about the trip, and how you can join us here.

One Ocean Expeditions - Antarctica Trip

Aug 15 2018 - Filming in Atlanta, Georgia
 
I've been in Atlanta for the past couple of days, filming on-camera interviews for the brand new season of "What On Earth?" for Science Channel.
 
This is season five of the show, and I've been involved since the very beginning. It was two long days of gruelling interviews, but in the end, I hope you all really enjoy the show. Look for it in Science Channel before the end of the year.

Atlanta

Aug 13 2018 - The Weather Files on Cottage Life TV
 
Tonight is the premiere of a brand new TV show that I appear in.
 
The Weather Files tells the stories of people who work in extreme weather and the storms they will never forget. Plus, experts tell us the how and why behind the world’s worst weather.

The Weather Files - Cottage Life TV

Aug 10 2018 - Marum Volcano, Ambrym Island, Vanuatu
 
I'm back home after the recent 3-week volcano expedition in Vanuatu.
 
This was my 5th time visiting Ambrym Island, one of the most interesting places in the South Pacific. Ambrym has several volcanic craters with boiling lakes of lava inside.
 
As expected, the lava lake at the bottom of the Marum crater was very active with liquid rock churning and roiling 1200 feet below.
 
Throughout the expedition, I was able to make three full descents all the way to the bottom, right beside the lava. The heat down there gets intense! Despite what you might think, the most dangerous part of the volcano is not the lava. It vents its energy continuously, so the risk of a big explosion is low. The bigger threat comes from falling rocks. It is a long and very technical descent/ascent to get to the bottom and back and the potential for falling rocks is ever-present.
 
Many thanks to all the team members for another epic expedition.
 
See more photos from the volcano.

Marum Volcano Expedition 2018

Marum Volcano Expedition 2018

July 29 2018 - Cracked.com Article
 
Thank you to Cracked.com for featuring me in another article. This informative, and very funny article is all about my Darvaza fire-crater expedition. "5 Things You Learn From A Trip into A Huge Chasm Of Hellfire".
 
Read it here
 
The previous Cracked article "6 Survival Tips from A Professional Adventurer" can be found here

Cracked.com

July 13 2018 - Heading to Vanuatu
 
I was planning on being in Vanuatu right now, on another extended volcano expedition, but unfortunately, I had to go in for hernia surgery which prevented me from going. It took several weeks, but I've healed up now and ready for anything. It's a good thing, too...
 
I recently got the call to fly to the South Pacific to join the rest of the volcano team there. They have some climbing clients who want to do a descent to the bottom of the Marum crater and need more crew to make it happen. I've going after all!
 
I fly out tomorrow afternoon.

Ambrym Island, Vanuatu

July 05 2018 - Into The Wild Blog
 
I recently did an interview for the Into The Wild blog.which is released by Frontier.
 
Frontier is an international non-profit volunteering NGO, with over 400 conservation, community and adventure projects in over 70 countries that give people the chance to make their travel meaningful.
 
Read it here

Into The Wild

June 11 2018 - Stormhunters - On The Weather Network
 
Tonight at 7 and 10PM on The Weather Network (Canada) is the premiere of the first Stormhunters episode from our recent trip to Nepal. This episode focuses on the recovery efforts in the wake of the massive earthquake in 2015 that killed 9000 people and crippled the nation. We travel from Kathmandu to the smaller villages in the hills to see how recovery is progressing in both urban and rural areas.
 
The episode will eventually be available online here.

Stormhunters - Height Of Ruin

June 10 2018 - Brain Candy - All-Speakers Conference
 
What a treat. This weekend, the intellectual taleny agency I work with put on a conference, bringing many of the amazing peopl on their roster together. We were able to hear each other give talks, ask industry questions, and we had a voice coach and social media experts on hand as well. It was basically a gathering of some of the most interesting people in the world: authors, business leaders, activists, artists, and more.
 
I was invited to be one of the ones to give a talk, and it was tremendous fun being on stage in front of so many colleagues. If you want to book me to come speak at your gathering or corporate event, you can do so through the Lavin Agency.

Lavin Agency - Brain Candy

May 31 2018 - Guinness World Record !!
 
Many thanks to the folks at the Guinness World Record book who have recognized my Darvaza flaming gas crater expedition with an official world record for "The first person to reach the bottom of the Darvaza gas crater." What a thrill!
 
Here's a Canadian Geographic article that details more info about the expedition, and the record.

Guinness World Record

May 16 2018 - "Home" - Fine Art Photo Exhibit
 
Neil Ever Osborne is a conservation photographer who focuses on the Earth's protected places. He invited me join him for an evening panel discussion and Q&A about nature and conservation at the Berenson Fine Art Gallery in Toronto. The evening was hosted/moderated by Michelle Mackey from The Weather Network.
 
Learn more about Neil and his amazing work.

"Home" - Fine Art Photo Exhibit

May 10 2018 - Adventure Sports Podcast
 
Thank you to the folks at the Adventure Sports Podcast for having me on as a guest again. It's always fun.
 
"Our favorite recurring guests Explorer George Kourounis is back today to talk about his trips to North Korea, Nepal, Everest Base Camp, Siberia, Africa and his experience viewing the 2017 Solar Eclipse. It's never a dull hour with George on the show!"

Adventure Sports Podcast

May 06 2018 - Captured - On The Weather Network
 
A new season of "Captured" starts airing tonight at 7:00 on The Weather Network in Canada. The program, hosted by Michelle Mackey showcases viral weather videos and brings experts on to analyze them and explain exactly what's going on in the video.
 
It was a great pleasure to be involved, and keep watching, as more episodes will be broadcast in the coming weeks. Sunday evening at 7PM eastern.

Captured

May 01 2018 - The Story Collider
 
Last night I had the great pleasure of being one of the people on stage for a Story Collider event in Toronto. The Story Collider is a collection of true, personal stories about science, told live onstage. Each person has 10 minutes to tell their story.
 
There were five of us in total, each with completely different stories which made for a fun evening. Some of the talks end up on their podcast as well.
 
Learn more:
The Story Collider

The Story Collider

April 25 2018 - Canadian Geographic Interview
 
The recent interview I did with Canadian Geographic has been published in the latest print version of the magazine. The question and answer with Alexandra Pope covers the details of some of my global expeditions, as well as my new role as an Explorer In residence for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
 
Canadian Geographic Online

Canadian Geographic Magazine

April 17 2018 - Regina, Saskatchewan
 
After coming back from the most mountainous place on Earth, I find myself flying into one of the flattest places in the world. This was the view from the plane as we approached Regina.
 
My stay out here in the prairies will be brief. I'm just in town for one night to do a speaking engagement. I'll be flying back to Toronto tomorrow.

Regina

April 12 29 2018 - Toronto
 
On Tues

April 08 29 2018 - Mount Everest Base Camp, Nepal
 
What a thrill it was to be able to take a helicopter up to Mount Everest Base Camp! The goal of this part of the trip was to film the effects of extreme changes in altitude on the human body. Base Camp is up at 17,600 feet (5360) meters, and normally it takes at least a week to trek there and acclimatize to the altitude.... We did it in about 30 minutes, so our bodies had no chance to get used to the thin air.
 
Because of the altitude, we could only bring the bare minimum, and we even had to offload some of the spare fuel to keep the weight down. Once we arrived, we only had about 5 minutes to get a few shots and react to the situation before having to scramble back into the helicopter to go down to a safer altitude. I was extremely light-headed, and my fingertips were tingling. Mark, was running around too much, and had to drop down to rest, he couldn't even stand up to do a piece to camera.
 
After a few minutes of soaking up the view and the experience, the pilot started yelling at us to get back in. Of course, he was wearing an oxygen tube, so he wasn't feeling the effects, but he didn't want any of us to pass out.
 
The Himalayas, and the Khumbu Valley are stunningly beautiful, and I can't wait for my next opportunity to come back and spend more time here.

Mount Everest Base Camp

Mount Everest Base Camp RCGS Flag

March 29 2018 - Kathmandu, Nepal
 
The team has made it to Nepal.
 
As expected, Kathmandu is a hectic city, but we've hit the ground running, filming around the city,including the ceremonial cremations at the Pashupatinath Hindu Temple on the banks of the Bagmati River.

Kathmandu, Nepal

March 25 2018 - Heading to Nepal
 
On Tuesday, I head off to Nepal with a team from The Weather Network. We'll be filming new episodes of the "Stormhunters" TV series. We'll be featuring various things while there, including: earthquake recovery efforts 3 years after the devastating quake struck, how climate change is affecting the Himalayas, and how high altitude affects the human body.
 
This will be my first time in the Himalayas and I'm really looking forward to this trip. I might be able to post some updates as we go.

Nepal Map

March 21 2018 - Canada-China Year of Tourism
 
I had an interesting evening at the "Canada-China Year of Tourism" kickoff event here in Toronto. I got to meet John McCallum (Canadian Ambassador to China) and the Honourable Bardish Chagger (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, and Minister of Small Business & Tourism).
 
Canadian Geographic Travel asked me to head down to the event and get a few quotes from the officials. I've only briefly visited Beijing, and I'd love to check out more of China at some point.

Canada-China Year of Tourism

March 20 2018 - Amazon Prime Video
 
The first three seasons of the TV series I used to host, Angry Planet, is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
 
Watch episodes right now

Angry Planet - Amazon Prime Video

March 13 2018 - The Pentagon
 
After several exhausting days in New York at all of the events surrounding ECAD, I have driven south to Washington D.C. to meet up with friend Darlene Christianson and her husband Tom. Tom is a senior historian for The Pentagon, and thanks to his generosity, he was able to get me inside for a private, VIP tour.
 
The photo on the right is the only place inside where I was able to take pictures but I was able to see quite a bit of the building. It's probably safe to say that I'm one of the only people who has been to both North Korea and The Pentagon within the past year. Perhaps the only one, who knows?
 
While in Washington, I also saw the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetary, and paid a brief visit to the Canadian Embassy. Now for the long drive back to Toronto...

The Pentagon

March 10 2018 - Explorers Club Annual Dinner
 
It was a tremendous honour to be invited by The Explorers Club to serve as the Master of ceremonies for their annual gala, black tie dinner fundraiser in New York City.
 
The event, referred to by James Cameron as the "Academy Awards of Exploration" was held at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. The event saw almost 1200 of the world's top explorers gather together to celebrate this year's theme "Next Generation Exploration"
 
Some highlights of the evening included:
 
- The "exotic" hors d'oeuvres which included: scorpions, cockroaches and tarantulas. Roasted iguana, jellyfish salad and much more.
 
- Meeting Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, and founder of Amazon.com and Blue Origin space travel company.
 
- Meeting astronauts Jim Lovell (Apollo 13 commander) and Mike Massimino (Upgraded the Hubble space telescope)
 
- Hanging out with Les Stroud (Survivorman)
 
- I also got to meet Robert DeNiro.
 
Name dropping aside, the evening was fantastic. I got to see so many old friends, and make many new ones. There were actually fours days of events revolving around the club including board meetings, chapter chair meetings, luncheons, an open house, and I even gave a presentation at the clubhouse on the Sunday afternoon after ECAD. I can't wait for next year... It might take that long for my hangover to wear off!

Explorers Club President Richard Wiese, Amazon.com Founder Jeff Bezos, ECAD MC George Kourounis

ECAD Master of Ceremonies

March 08 2018 - Stuck In New Jersey
 
Well, that was interesting. I was attempting to drive from Chicago to New York City when I was suddenly thwarted by the weather. As a storm chaser, I usually embrace bad weather, but NOT when I'm trying to get to a destination! I was on the road for 17 hours yesterday because the nor'easter that was going up the east coast dumped about two feet of snow in the exact spot where I was driving through. Ot was a direct hit.
 
After being trapped on the highway in New Jersey for hours, I was finally able to exit, but I had no place to stay, so I just found a quiet parking lot beside a lighting store west of Newark and slept in my car. This morning I'm off to The Explorers Club headquarters in Manhattan for some meetings. I'm tired, but at least I got a *bit* of sleep...

New Jersey

March 06 2018 - Canadian Geographic Interview
 
Canadian Geographic has put an interview online that I did with Alexandra Pope, talking about my style of exploration, and my new role as an Explorer in Residence for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
 
We also talked about: how I got into what I do, how I manage fear in extreme situations, and also climate change.
 
Read the interview here.

Canadian Geographic Interview

March 05 2018 - Filming For a New TV Show - Chicago
 
I'm currently in Chicago, filming a series of on-camera interviews for a new weather-based TV program. I can't say much about what it is, but Canadian viewers will be able to see it in a few months when it is finally edited and broadcast.
 
Thank you to the team who put this all together, I love Chicago, and I'm really enjoying my time here. This is the first stop in a ten day road trip that will take me to New York and Washington D.C. as well. It is going to be a busy week!

Filming in Chicago

March 01 2018 - Big Announcement - RCGS Explorer In Residence
 
I am extremely proud to finally announce that I have been named an Explorer In Residence by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. I couldn't be more thrilled.
Last night at an event in Toronto, myself and fellow explorer, Adam Shoalts were inducted into the program which originated two years ago with renowned cave diver, Jill Heinerth, who became the RCGS' inaugural Explorer In Residence.

Our role is to act as mentors, guides and resources for the next generation of Canadians. We will also be ambassadors for the Society and will further promote the program's mandate to help foster and invigorate an interest in Canadian exploration and geography.

Read more
here.

Explorer In Residence - Royal canadian Geographical Society

Feb 28 2018 - RCGS Event
 
It was a tremendous pleasure to be the Master of Ceremonies at the Sights, Sounds and Tastes of Canada event in Toronto, put on by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
 
The evening featured an all Canadian menu and drinks, a silent auction, music by Quebecois superstar singer Coeur de Pirate, and explorer Adam Shoalts gave a talk about his 4000km, four month solo journey across the Canadian Arctic last summer. Proceeds from the evening go to the Society's education and exploration programs.

Sights, Sounds, and Tastes of Canada Event

Feb 24 2018 - Living Full Out Radio Show
 
Today, I did a live interview on the Living Full Out radio show with Nancy Solari.
 
Listeners are encouraged to not only embrace change, but to look for opportunities to create it. Don't let life get you down. When your morale starts to dwindle, it's time to get motivated again, make some positive changes, and take each day as an adventure and opportunity to maximize your potential in life.

Living Full Out

Feb 14 2018 - Come Join Me In Africa This October!!
 
I am very pleased to announce that I have teamed up with Exodus Travels to offer an opportunity to come join me on a once in a lifetime overland journey from Cape Town, South Africa, through Namibia, Botswana and ending at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, during the full moon.
 
This is going to be an epic adventure. Learn more here.

Come Join Me In Africa This October!!

Feb 10 2018 - Filming A New TV Show
 
Most of today was spent in the hot seat, doing several hours of on-camera interviews for the new episodes of the second season of "Strange Evidence" for Science Channel.

The series gets experts to provide commentary and explanations for interesting or unusual things caught on surveillance cameras and smart phones.
 
The British crew was fun to work with, and we had a very productive day.

Filming "Strange Evidence"

Jan 16 2018 - Royal Geographical Society Fellowship
 
I'm proud to announce that I have been accepted as a fellow of the UK's Royal Geographical Society.
 
Founded in 1830, the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) is dedicated to the development and promotion of geographical knowledge, together with its application to the challenges facing society and the environment.

Royal Geographical Society

Jan 11 2018 - Featured by George Takei
 
George Takei (formerly Sulu on the original Star Trek) has become an internet sensation in the past few year, with his hugely popular Facebook page. He frequently shares pictures and video clips that are seen by millions of people.
 
Today, his account sent out a video about the Darvaza flaming gas crater in Turkmenistan. Several pics from my expedition to be the first to the bottom of the crater were featured in the video. Check it out here.

George Takei FB Video

Jan 05 2018 - Extreme Cold and Lake Effect Snow Squalls
 
More extreme cold temperatures hit Ontario as a potent Nor'easter lashes the east coast of Canada and the U.S, pulling down frigid arctic air from the north which swept across Lake Huron, producing an intense lake effect snow band.
 
I got up at 3:30 AM and teamed up with the crew from The Weather Network, to go and report on the snow for the morning show. Highway 402, a major artery was completely shut down due to dangerous driving conditions. The Ontario Provincial Police allowed us to access part of the closed road as a team of 2 heavy duty tow trucks pulled an 18-wheeler out that was stuck in the snow. We reported LIVE from the closed highway, then proceeded on to the town of Strathroy, which had been taking the brunt of the snowfall.

2018_01_05_SnowSquall_402

Jan 03 2018 - Explorers Club Canadian Chapter Chair
 
I'm now able to announce that I am now the new Chair of the Explorers Club Canadian Chapter.

For those of you who don't know, The Explorers Club is an international multidisciplinary professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore.

Taking over my old position of Ontario/Nunavut Regional Director is Travis Steffens, the region is in good hands with him. Many thanks to outgoing Chapter Chair Ray Hyland for all his hard work and guidance.

Explorers Club Canadian Chapter

Dec 31 2017 - New Years Eve Sunrise Steam
 
It has been a frigid December across much of NorthAmerica, and this morning we saw temeratures of -20C here in Toronto. I got up early and headed down to the shore of Lake Ontario to view the steam coming off of the lake. It made for a wonderful sunrise.

New Years Eve Sunrise Steam


An Archive of Previous Year's News Items Can Be Found Here

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

 

Any Questions/Comments?

Send E-Mail To George Kourounis

george@stormchaser.ca


All Images Copyrighted G. Kourounis

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