An interview with climber, writer and public speaker Jim Davidson
As an adventure journalist I have the opportunity to meet some amazing people. And it was through the magic of social media that I became friends with climber, writer and public speaker Jim Davidson. We first got acquainted on Facebook. But last year we met in person at a café in the Canadian Rockies, a town called Banff. There he told his incredible story of friendship, adventure and survival that’s the subject of his new book, “The Ledge”. On a routine decent of Mt. Rainier Jim and his climbing partner Mike Price suddenly fell and were trapped in a deep crevasse.
“After a few more distant impacts, there is silence and darkness beneath this cocoon of snow,” Jim writes in his book. “I wonder whether it’s quiet now because the snow has ceased falling or because I am buried so deep that I can no longer hear what’s happening on top of the thick snowpack. The silence terrifies me.
I open my eyes -at least I think I do- but blackness envelops me. To make sure they’re actually open, I blink a few times and feel sharp snow grains scratch my eyelids. I see nothing.
I’m buried alive.”
Jim’s partner Mike died in the fall. And it was only after several hours of painstaking effort that Jim was able, all alone, to climb his way to safety. Despite the tragic circumstances of his story as detailed in his book Jim finds great comfort in the lessons he’s learned through the power of persistence, determination and the bonds of friendship. Ironically these are life-long skills that Jim picked up as a young a man not as a climber, but doing dangerous work with his father as a high altitude painter of tall buildings towers and bridges.
The Ledge: an adventure story of friendship and survival on Mount
Rainier by Jim Davidson and Kevin Vaughan is available in hardcover and published by Ballantine Books. You can learn more online at Jim’s web site Speaking of Adventure.
Music by Jake Shimabukuro
The Joy Trip Project is made possible with the support of sponsor Patagonia