In 1978 Rick Ridgeway was on the first American team to reach the summit of K2, the second highest mountain in the world. After a long career as a professional adventurer Ridgeway is now vice president of environmental initiatives at the outdoor clothing company Patagonia. Today he’s devoting his life to the preservation of wildlife corridors across North America. Working with a coalition of environmental protection groups and major corporations Ridgeway is helping to establish and maintain clear pathways that allow animal species to travel freely from one habitat to another. Called Freedom To Roam this program aims to raise awareness for the importance of wildlife protection by telling the stories of the animals themselves.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="322"] M3's Route to the summit of Mount Cleveland[/caption]
Like humans animals have the same inherent need to move from place to place. Species such as caribou, wolves, elk and mountain lions traverse the landscape traveling hundreds of miles between grounds used for breading, hunting or grazing. And in some cases just like humans, to simply live out their lives in the joyful pursuit of happiness. But in our rush to develop and civilize the natural world human beings are disrupting wildlife corridors through which these animals pass from one habitat to the next. And in the process we’re putting at risk our own future on the planet. In this edition of the Joy Trip Project environmental activist Rick Ridgeway shares the story behind his work to protect these passageways while defending our Freedom to Roam.
I got an email from an old friend, Amy Skinner.We hadn’t connected in a while so it really good to hear from her. Her message read, “Thought you might get a kick out of my son's third grade writing assignment. We're going to have to have a little talk about plagiarism, but it's apparent that he has listened to your podcast many times. I have it on my ipod and he loves to listen to it.”
In the body of the message Amy included a scanned image of her son Jake’s writing assignment. Written in pencil on wide ruled paper, the little boy liberally quoted without attribution from a story I produced in 2006. I have to say I didn’t mind at all. In fact I was touched to point where I was almost brought to tears, because Jake’s writing assignment quoted from the story I produced on his father’s memorial service.
They say that imitation is the sincerest from of flattery. Jake’s use of my words from this story let me know that in a small way I’ve helped him to remember his father. Todd Skinner was a good friend and three years after his death many people still remember him and what he meant to the outdoor community. And just so we don’t forget in this special edition of the podcast I’m bringing you a Joy Trip flashback, a celebration of a life well lived.
We’ve explored much of the modern world. Today very little is left to tempt the imagination. We’ve succeeded in climbing the highest mountains. We’ve traveled to the depths of the ocean. There’s not much of our planet that we haven’t seen. It would seem then now that what remains of adventure, at least on earth, isn’t to discover where human beings have yet to go but instead where we’ve been.
A new film by produced in cooperation PBS and National Geographic takes a look at the discovery and exploration of an ancient civilization. The new film The Secrets of Shangri-La: Quest for Secret Caves premiered at the 2009 Banff Mountain Film Festival. In this edition of The Joy Trip Project producer and professional mountain guide Peter Athans takes us on an amazing journey to reveal the great mysteries of a long-ago culture once forgotten.
An interview with Banff Mountain Literature Award winner Steve House
Leading alpinist Reinhold Messner once called Steve House “the best high altitude climber in the world today.” That’s no small praise coming from the first man to solo the summit of Everest without oxygen.
In his late 30s House has had a distinguished career ascending the most challenging routes on many of the highest mountains in the world. Just after the release of his new memoir Beyond the Mountain House shared his thoughts on his earliest days in the sport.
Empowered women like Kim Reynolds call themselves what they like. This Chick runs a business out of Colorado showing other women how to climb rock and ice called Chicks Rock.
"It’s fun. I think sharing life experiences, climbing experiences, there’s a certain comradery," Reynolds said. " Someone might have the same challenges or same talents or whatever as I as do and it’s nice to experience that with other women."
A few weeks ago Kim, a certified mountain guide and life coach, lead a small group of women on a rock climbing trip to a local crag about 40 miles north of Madison, Wisconsin, a spot called Devil’s Lake. I only came out for the day to take pictures and ask a few questions. Because on this trip there were no men allowed.
"I think men are fun. I don’t want to leave them out, but there’s also a trend toward more and more women’s trips I think," Reynolds said. "And women wanting to do things with other women and learn from other women and have that opportunity."
In the world of adventure women are busting out on their own. They’re leaving husbands, boyfriends and children at home to discover their strengths and celebrate the feminine side of the wild. Hear their story in this edition of The Joy Trip Project.
If you’ve been watching television or checking your favorite web sites lately, you’ve noticed one number keeps popping up. On October 24rd in particular people around the world have been plastering the number 350 on billboards, marching with it on signs and performing physical stunts to share this number with as many people as possible. Groups numbering in the thousands have gathered across the U.S. and in many countries to spell out 350 on surfaces from grassy fields, to mountain summits, to the open ocean. Writer and environmental activist Bill McKibben says 350 is a number we all need to be aware of.
"It’s the most important number in the world. It’s the amount of carbon, that’s measured in parts per million, that the scientists now say is the most we can have in the atmosphere and maintain the civilization that we now enjoy," McKibben said. "We’re past that number already. We need to get back to it. That’s why the stakes are so urgent."