"Love is the truest balm against the loss of love."—Rick Ridgeway
RICK RIDGEWAY is an outdoor adventurer, writer and advocate for sustainability and conservation initiatives.
For 15 years, Rick was the VP of Environmental Affairs and then VP of Public Engagement at Patagonia, Inc. During his tenure he has worked with teams to develop and launch environmental and sustainability initiatives including Freedom to Roam, the Footprint Chronicles, the Responsible Economy Campaign and Worn Wear. He also was founding chairman of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, developer of the Higg Index and today the largest apparel, footwear and home textile trade organization in the world.
In addition, Rick is recognized as one of the world’s foremost mountaineers. With three companions, he was the first American to summit K2, and he has done other significant climbs and explorations on all continents. He has written seven books, many magazine stories and produced and directed dozens of television shows. His memoir Life Lived Wild will be released in October 2021. National Geographic honored him with its “Lifetime Achievement in Adventure” award.
Rick serves on six boards of conservation organizations, including the Tompkins Conservation, the Turtle Conservancy, One Earth and the Kiewit Family Foundation.
Rick lives in Ojai, California, and has three children and four grandchildren.
During his explorations Rick witnessed the degradations of the wildlands that had come to define his life: he saw firsthand remote grasslands in Patagonia turned to tourist cities, and the glaciers on Kilimanjaro disappear. He also witnessed the wildlife that inhabited those wildlands decline, and the mid-90’s he began a series of journeys that allowed him to communicate, through books and films, what was happening to these formally wild regions. In 1996 he and companions climbed Kilimanjaro and from the summit walked 500 kilometers to the sea, giving Rick a vehicle to report on the fate of Africa’s wildlife. In 2004 he and companions followed the migration of the endangered chiru, walking without support 300 miles across uninhabited grasslands in northwest Tibet to confirm the locations of the specie’s calving grounds. Rick’s book The Big Open, and accompanying National Geographic television show and magazine article assisted the acclaimed wildlife conservationist George Schaller to convince the Chinese government to create a 15000 square mile protected area around the calving grounds.