Episode for November 18, 2021
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I have a great news recap for you today and then we get to a very special interview with Rick Ridgeway at
37 mins By the time he was thirty, Rick Ridgeway had gone on more adventures than most people do in an entire lifetime. Called “the real Indiana Jones” by Rolling Stone magazine, Ridgeway doesn’t shy away from unknown territory. In fact, he seeks it. Ridgeway is recognized as one of the world’s foremost mountaineers. He was part of the 1978 team that were the first Americans to summit K2, the world’s second-highest mountain, and he has climbed new routes and explored little-known regions on six continents.Ridgeway is also an environmentalist, writer, photographer, filmmaker, and businessman. For fifteen years beginning in 2005 he oversaw environmental affairs at the outdoor clothing company Patagonia. Before joining Patagonia, he was owner/president of Adventure Photo & Film, a leading stock photo and film agency. He has authored six books and dozens of magazine articles and produced or directed many documentary films. He was honored by National Geographic with their Lifetime Achievement in Adventure Award and was awarded the Lowell Thomas Award by the Explorers’ Club. Ridgeway serves on the boards of Tompkins Conservation and the Turtle Conservancy. He lives in Ojai, California.
At the beginning of his memoir Life Lived Wild, Adventures at the Edge of the Map, Rick Ridgeway tells us that if you add up all his many expeditions, he’s spent over five years of his life sleeping in tents: “And most of that in small tents pitched in the world’s most remote regions.” It’s not a boast so much as an explanation. Whether at elevation or raising a family back at sea level, those years taught him, he writes, “to distinguish matters of consequence from matters of inconsequence.” He leaves it to his readers, though, to do the final sort of which is which.
Some of his travels made, and remain, news: the first American ascent of K2; the first direct coast-to-coast traverse of Borneo; the first crossing on foot of a 300-mile corner of Tibet so remote no outsider had ever seen it. Big as these trips were, Rick keeps an eye out for the quiet surprises, like the butterflies he encounters at 23,000 feet on K2 or the furtive silhouettes of wild-eared pheasants in Tibet.
What really comes through best in Life Lived Wild, though, are his fellow travelers. There’s Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, and Doug Tompkins, best known for cofounding The North Face but better remembered for his conservation throughout South America. Some companions don’t make the return journey. Rick treats them all with candor and straightforward tenderness. And through their commitments to protecting the wild places they shared, he discovers his own.
A master storyteller, this long-awaited memoir is the book end to Ridgeway’s impressive list of publications, including Seven Summits (Grand Central Publishing, 1988), The Shadow of Kilmanjaro (Holt, 1999), and The Big Open(National Geographic, 2005).
1:22 Next I have a conversation with Ryan in KS who I last spoke to back in August on Episode 420
Ryan is a farmer in Kansas who is married and has 4 kids. We had another productive conversation and I think you will like it