Armchair Explorer

Below Another Sky: A Himalayan Adventure in Search of a Lost Father with Mountaineer Rick Ridgeway

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Episode notes

Follow legendary mountaineer Rick Ridgeway on the most profound adventure of his life, a journey through the Himalayas in search of a lost friend.

In 1980, while climbing a remote peak in eastern Tibet, Rick and his three climbing partners were hit by a devastating avalanche. Rick survived but as he pulled himself out from under the snow, he saw his best friend Jonathan Wright lying on the ground not moving. He gave him mouth-to-mouth, he stroked his hair, he held him in his lap, but it wasn't enough. Jonathan died a few minutes later in his arms.

As he died, Rick made a promise. Thousands of miles away Jonathan's baby daughter, Asia, was taking her first steps. He promised he would be there for her and watch over her as she grew. 18 years later, Asia turned up on his doorstep with a favor to ask. She wanted to go find her father's grave to pay her respects, and she wanted to Rick to take her. This is the story of the adventure.

"A life worth living is lived at the edges where it is wild"
- Rick Ridgeway

But it is also the story of one of the greatest mountaineers of all time. Rick's latest book is called 'Life Lived Wild: Adventures at the Edge of the Map'.  It is a beautiful memoir of a life lived to the full, immersed in the beauty and adventure of the natural world. Through this episode we will also hear some of Rick's other favorite tales of adventure and learn the wisdom those wild places have given him. More info at

Highlights include

  • Getting lost while sailing across the Pacific Ocean in search of Tahiti
  • Taking the famous newscaster Tom Brokaw to the summit of Mount Rainier with legendary climbers Yvonne Chouinard and Doug Tompkins.
  • Nearly dying of hypothermia while kayaking across a frozen lake in Chilean Patagonia.
  • Discovering what it feels like to be trapped in an avalanche facing certain death
  • Following the journey of Rick and Asia through one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world
  • Learning the wisdom of a life spent in the wild and how nature can be our greatest teacher 

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Thank you Sponsors!
Today’s episode is sponsored by Wayfarer Vans - the backpacker’s version of camper vans. Kick-ass van conversions at literally ¼ price of other people, that are designed to de-clutter your adventure so you can be in the moment, taking in the wild spaces your van has delivered you to.

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