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A Long, Brave Trip

Outside magazine, February 2001  

A Long, Brave Trip

I FIRST RAN INTO Rick Ridgeway ("Below Another Sky," December) some years ago when he was giving a talk about his K2 adventures. Halfway through the lecture, he mentioned the death of his friend Jonathan Wright and the enormous impact it had had on his life. It occurred to me that here was a man who had suffered terribly and had come out the other end with wisdom and an acute appreciation of what really matters. It doesn't surprise me that Ridgeway and Wright's daughter Asia would find themselves making the journey back to Minya Konka looking for the grave of Asia's father. I guess it's true that sometimes the important things that should happen really do.
David Bagnard
Boise, Idaho

AS I SAT in a pub in Hoboken, New Jersey, with a pint and an Outside mag, I was transfixed by Rick Ridgeway's story, a piece with enough personality and intelligence to transplant me to the Himalayas. As a 24-year-old New Yorker who is struggling between conceding to the corporate machine and moving to the mountains, I guess what I'm trying to say is that your article has inspired a new set of directions for me, and I would like to thank Mr. Ridgeway.
Michael Cosgrove
Hoboken, New Jersey

Au Naturel

YOUR STORIES ON enjoying nature without clothes remind us of why we love your magazine ("Think Naked," Destinations, December). The shame is that one must trek miles to secret, remote locations in order to avoid arrest for such an innocent and natural act as being naked outdoors. The Europeans have set aside many beautiful places where nudity is legal, and we Americans certainly could too. Charles Laines, Christine Docimo
Long Beach, California

Off the Mark

JUST WANTED TO applaud you for Mark Jenkins's column on Mark Twight. ("Companions in Misery," November). For years I've read Mr. Twight's self-indulgent "I did this, and I did that, and ME ME ME, and oh but life is so HARD" tales. He has indeed weathered some incredible events that are to be respected. But when reading about true adventure, I much prefer the writings of those who do not feel they have to probe the dark recesses of their own egotistical brains. And so, Mark Jenkins, your story about your trip up McKinley with Mark Twight put a huge grin on my face.
Madeline King
Berkeley, California

AS AS A LONGTIME friend of Mark Twight's, I had to laugh at Mark Jenkins's account of the ill-fated Mount McKinley jaunt. I've heard Twight's side of the trip, and the principal characters' mutual incomprehension reminded me of the time I put a slow-moving chameleon in a cage with a gerbil. The two animals had such different senses of time, they couldn't even see one another.
Kirk Stewart, V.P., Communications
James Martin
Seattle, Washington

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