cover image Life Lived Wild: Adventures at the Edge of the Map

Life Lived Wild: Adventures at the Edge of the Map

Rick Ridgeway. Patagonia, $30 (400p) ISBN 978-1-938340-99-4

Mountaineer and environmentalist Ridgeway (Big Open) delivers a thrilling account of his life spent exploring the far reaches of the globe. He captivates with harrowing tales of his mountaineering exploits over the past few decades, including his role as part of the first American team to summit K2, the world’s second highest mountain, in 1978. In describing that brutal experience, he narrates his thought process while struggling to breathe in the thin atmosphere: “Lift a foot. Look at that crescent in the snow up ahead. That’s my goal... Dizzy again, don’t panic, breathe it out.” He also pays tribute to those who ventured out with him, including Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and his professional partner, Jonathan Wright, whose death in an avalanche is recalled in gut-wrenching detail. Other extraordinary encounters include filming a climb in the Amazon rainforest with the help of the region’s Yanomami tribe, who—at the time, in the early ’90s—had only recently been encountered by anthropologists (“I had seen a human acting as pure Homo sapien, an animal among other animals”). Perhaps most memorable is Ridgeway’s consistent sense of wonder at nature: “the beauty of the untamed world... had become a foundation for all our lives.” Readers will be left in a similar state of awe. (Oct.)