Austrian alpinist Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, the first woman to climb the world’s 14 8,000- meter peaks without supplementary oxygen, was named National Geographic Society’s “Explorer of the Year” Thursday night.
Jacques Piccard, who in 1960 was one of the two first men (with Don Walsh) to explore the deepest part of the ocean, the Pacific’s Mariana Trench, received the Hubbard Medal posthumously. It was accepted by his son, balloonist Bertrand Piccard, the first person to complete a nonstop, round-the-world balloon flight.
Film director James Cameron, a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, became the third person to explore the Mariana Trench, on March 26.
Cameron participated in the program at the society’s headquarters, which included a viewing of “Titanic: 100 Year Obsession,” commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking.
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