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ITAI SCHKOLNIK

Founding Member

Itai Schkolnik's remarkable journey as a speleologist and explorer spans continents, from the remote caves of Easter Island to the bustling streets of Buenos Aires, and the underground landscapes of Israel. As the co-founder of the Middle East Chapter of the Explorers Club and the Israeli Caving Club, Itai's life is a chronicle of exploration, discovery, and the relentless pursuit of knowledge.

Itai's academic background from Harvard University, where he studied Computer Science and Digital Marketing Management, has been pivotal in promoting his speleological and exploratory endeavors through digital media and scientific research.

Itai's professional journey is marked by significant entrepreneurial and scientific exploration achievements. His role in expanding our understanding of underground environments and his leadership in the speleological community are just facets of his multi-dimensional career.

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Explorations and Discoveries

Easter Island Exploration (2002-2004): Itai lived on Easter Island, engaging deeply with the island's mysteries. He explored its numerous caves, discovering archaeological artifacts that had never been seen before. These findings contributed to the broader understanding of the island’s historical and cultural context.

Buenos Aires (2004-2005): Moving to Argentina, Itai immersed himself in the culture and history of Buenos Aires, working as a tour guide. This experience honed his skills in cultural narration and deepened his appreciation for Argentina's rich heritage.

Introduction to Speleology in Almería, Spain (2005):
In Almería, Itai discovered the world of caving clubs. He joined the Almería Speleological Club and learned the Single Rope Technique (SRT), a method used by cavers to ascend and descend ropes efficiently in vertical cave systems. This skill became a cornerstone of his speleological expertise.

Founding of the Israeli Caving Club (2006-2013):
Inspired by his experiences abroad, Itai returned to Israel with a vision to establish the country's first official caving club. In 2013, the Israeli Caving Club was founded, later receiving a charter from the National Speleological Society as the only official caving club in Israel.

Establishment of eXteriorate (2014):
Itai founded the Extreme Adventure tourism company, eXteriorate, which introduces thousands of tourists to the subterranean wonders of Israel and the canyons of the north. His company has been instrumental in promoting adventure tourism and caving in the region, and thus was nominated by TripAdvisor as the Best Adventure Tourism Company in Israel between 2018 and 2020 until it was closed due to the COVID pandemic.

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Literary Contributions

"Caving in the Holy Land" (2018): This book offers a detailed look into the caves of Israel, combining Itai's experiences with practical caving insights and the historical significance of these locations.

"Canyoning in the Holy Land" (2020): This book serves as both a guide and a narrative, exploring the thrilling sport of canyoning within the unique landscapes of Israel. Itai's profound connection to the land and his extensive experience as an adventurer come together in this compelling read.

 

"Land of the Birdmen: An Explorer's Memoir on Easter Island" (2024): Completing a 20-year writing project, this book encapsulates Itai's extensive research and personal explorations on Easter Island, offering unique perspectives on its enigmatic past and the profound mysteries it holds.

Itai Schkolnik continues to be a leading figure in exploration and speleology, with a legacy that inspires new generations of explorers and adventurers. His profound impact on the scientific community and his contributions to our understanding of the world’s most hidden places have solidified his status as a true pioneer in the field.

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