In 1939 Dudley Wolfe was on one of the earliest expeditions to reach the summit of K2. An adventurer and one of the wealthiest men in the world he was left for dead with a rescue team of Sherpa after a devastating avalanche. Some say he was the victim of his own foolishness, others say he was abandoned by the members of his climbing party as they fled the mountain to save their own lives. And even though his body has been found there remains a great deal of controversy around Wolfe’s death that continues to this day. In her book “The Last Man on the Mountain” Jennifer Jordan gives us a close look into life of an American adventurer and the first to die on K2.[caption id="attachment_3683" align="alignright" width="213" caption="Jennifer Jordan"][/caption]
I know. It’s been a long time since the last audio edition of The Joy Trip Project. But if you’ve been following the blog and the Facebook page you’ll know that I’ve been traveling on an extend Joy Trip. I just got back. Over the past several weeks of summer I’ve been conducting interviews and collecting stories about people and institutions hard at work making the world a better place. I know that sounds like hyperbole or so vague that it sounds almost meaningless. But there’s really no other way for me to describe the athletes, artist and activists who find their way on this show. Yeah I know we talk a lot about climbing mountains or making movies about people who climb mountains or base jumping or kayaking or whatever, the point is these people work at protecting the planet and improving the lives of others by being actively engaged in the world in which they live. Through their stories about their adventures they stand as an example of how each of us can make a difference in the course our own lives and perhaps do some good. A few weeks ago I was at the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride. And if you’ve ever been you’ll know this annual celebration of adventure culture through cinema is about a lot more than high altitude thrill rides and adrenaline induced mayhem. The collected speakers, authors, and filmmakers give us a look from their perspective into the many complex questions of life. One of the presenters and judge in the film competition was the actress Anna Deavere Smith. And while she’s not a climber or a skier or any type of outdoor professional through the power of storytelling she has the ability show us a glimpse into the lives others who ponder these same questions.