Meet the author: Jim Davidson
Denver author and inspirational speaker, Jim Davidson, will be at the Bookworm of Edwards this Wednesday
The Bookworm of Edwards
Exploring and getting up close and personal with the natural world is something that many Vail Valley residents and visitors hold dear. However, extreme outdoor sports like ice climbing seem to draw a certain kind of person, like author Jim Davidson.
Davidson, where he will discuss and sign his newest book, “The Next Everest,” about resilience and the near-death experience he survived while climbing Mount Everest.
Growing up in Concord, Massachusetts, Davidson’s love of nature began early in his life as he explored the woods and hills around him. He was only 19 when he decided to give more extreme outdoor sports a shot. “During a 10-day backpacking trip through the forests of Maine in 1981, I realized that the flanks and summits of mountains contained even wilder places than the ones I’d seen so far,” Davidson recalls. “I began rock climbing and ice climbing in 1982. Within a few months, I dropped my other hobbies to spend all available time and resources on climbing. I’ve never regretted it.”
Shortly after his discovery of climbing and extreme adventuring, Davidson earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, where he started his wild 20-year career in environmental geology.
“I started my college career intending to become an electrical engineer, but I found geology and hydrogeology classes far more fascinating,” Davidson said. “These classes put me into wild places to study the Earth.”
Davidson has been exploring the world in the most wild and extreme ways for close to four decades now. He’s even survived a handful of near-death experiences, including an earthquake while climbing Mount Everest in 2015.
“I was at Camp One (19,700 feet above sea level) when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake slammed into Mount Everest,” Davidson said. “Enormous avalanches rushed toward our tent down two steep mountain faces just a few hundred yards away, and the one-thousand-foot-thick ice of the Khumbu Glacier beneath us was lifting our tent up and down as the seismic waves rippled beneath us. I was pretty sure we would all be dead in the next few minutes. Although I was terrified, I took small actions to increase my survivability, such as turning on my avalanche beacon and preparing to swim through the rushing avalanche debris.”
This experience shook Davidson, and it was difficult for him to find the courage to climb again, but he discovered how resilient he could be.
“Resilience means finding the reasons and mental, physical and spiritual fortitude to endure difficult circumstances, no matter how bad things get,” Davidson said. “This recovery is not easy, and it is not done alone. As the pandemic revealed, we must take turns supporting one another. That is how we make ourselves and our communities resilient.”
He has applied the lessons he’s learned to his life and continues to climb and explore today, and encourages others to do the same.
“The hard-won lessons and strengths nurtured during difficult circumstances make us more resilient for the next challenge, the next opportunity, the next Everest ahead in life,” Davidson said.
What: Author Jim Davidson at the Bookworm
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday
Where: The Bookworm of Edwards, 295 Main St., Riverwalk in Edwards
Cost: $10 ticket, purchase online or at the Bookworm of Edwards
More info: Call 970-926-READ or visit BookwormofEdwards.com.