Jon Turk takes us deep into the wilderness with this adventure podcast. The legendary adventurer has crossed the Pacific in a kayak and circumnavigated Ellesmere Island. He skis mountains you wouldn’t climb–after climbing them. And he tells great stories. Join the adventure.
Episode #16: Mind, Body, Tundra: Jon learns he is a lousy traveler in the spirit world but a great one in this world. He discusses the native Siberian attitude toward the relationship between mind, body, nature, and the spirituality. And he describes how he has incorporated this worldview into his own life and a seminar he is conducting this summer on the subject.
Episode #15: Special Moments: Jon describes seeing blue whales mating from a kayak in Chile. A wolf welcomes you to the polar regions. A hawk or a deer in your back yard. Sometimes exploring deep wilderness comes down to individual moments of encounter.
Episode #14 In Defense of Cold: As winter comes in, Jon defends the much-maligned cold. It’s important to human health, important to ecology. There is no bad weather, he insists, only insufficient clothing.
Episode #13: Hiking the Bitterroot Ridge: Jon and his son-in-law decide to traverse the endless Bitterroot ridge that separates Montana from Idaho. It’s like hiking the Appalachian Trail–only very high up and with no path and with one foot in one state and another in a different one.
Episode #12: Luck, Skill and Death: Jon Turk tells two stories in which adventurers did not die because of some combination of luck and skill and analyzes which played what role. In one, he and his kayak get sucked into an underwater cave in British Columbia. In the other, an adventure partner gets stuck on the side of Mount Denali during dozens of avalanches.
Episode #11: Loss in Emptiness: Jon pays tribute to an expedition partner who died skiing in Kyrgyzstan and tells about the walkabout Jon took on the frozen Kamchatka tundra. On this solo trek, Jon angers the FSB, goes looking for the holy stone of the Koryak tribes, gets caught in a killer storm, and finally takes a reckless, irresponsible run on the perfect ski run created by the storm. A meditation on loss in the big, big empty.
Episode #10: After Misha’s Death, A Return to Vyvenka: After Misha’s death (see Episode #9), Jon returns to the Village of Vyvenka on the frozen tundra of the Kamchatka Peninsula, having decided to go on a solo walk-about in 20-below-zero temperatures. Don’t miss this moving story of his return in hard times to the village that once changed his life.
Episode #9: The Death of My Friend Misha: Jon and Misha head off to Kamchatka. Only one of them makes it back. Misha wasn’t killed on an expedition. He died, rather, in a hospital in the Russian Far East before the adventure even started. Jon talks about how he and Misha met, their long collaboration, Misha’s recent decline, and his tragic death on the eve of their return to the Siberian tundra.
Episode #8: An Interview on Hemispheres: While Jon is away in Kamchatka, we bring you this interview he did earlier this year with Jim Banks’s Hemispheres show on KGNU public radio in Boulder CO. Jon talks about his spiritual journeys to Kamchatka over the past fifteen years, his explorations there of native Koryak religiosity, and his relationship with the ancient shaman woman named Moulynaut.
Episode #7: A Bitterroot Mystery: Jon and his wife, Nina, hiking in the Bitterroot forest near their home in Montana, find some strange tracks in the snow: some human, and some canine. And they discover a person who seems to have teleported into the woods in the midst of a snowstorm.
Episode #6: Returning to Kamchatka: Jon heads off to a remote village in the Kamchatka peninsula in fear eastern Russia, where an old shaman woman once invoked the spirit raven to heal him. It’s a return to the village that he discussed in his book, The Raven’s Gift: A Scientist, A Shaman, and their Remarkable Journey Through the Siberian Wilderness.
Episode #5: So You Think You’ve Known Fear: This is an incredible discussion between Jon Turk and Barry Blanchard about climbing in what Jon—who knows something about hostile environments—considers the most hostile one in the world. It’s three miles of vertical ascent in the Himalayas, with no sherpas, a half-hour long avalanche, 70 mile per hour winds, three feet of snow per hour, and no air. It’s a story you don’t know because when Blanchard went into thin air, nobody died.
Episode #4: So You Think You’ve Been Tired: Paul Attalla rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, finished third in a 500 mile kayak race having never done distance sea kayaking before, and won a non-stop bike race from Canada to Mexico. He knows something about exhaustion. He and Jon–who has island-hopped across the Pacific, circumnavigated Ellesmere Island, and gone around Cape Horn in a kayak–swap stories about being tired. Sharks, wolves, and a broken ore in the middle of the ocean.
Episode #3: So You Think You’ve Gone Skiing: In which Jon talks about different kinds of skiing–in particular, the sort of back country skiing he does. Avalanches, evaluation of snow conditions, crazy steep drops, cliffs, and guys you’ve been skiing with for years who don’t know your name and think your PhD is a new kind of ski binding.
Episode #2: Who the Hell is Jon Turk?: We learn about where Jon Turk comes from, how he ended up in a sea kayak in the Solomon Islands, and what happens when waves break in open ocean.
Episode #1: Crocodile Attack: From a hotel room in the Solomon Islands to a crocodile attack against Jon’s kayak in the open ocean. An introduction to deep wilderness.
For forty years, Jon Turk has wandered through exotic and remote landscapes and returned to write and speak about his adventures, the people, and the environments that he has encountered. He was trained as a scientist and worked for decades in environmental education. Now, he is focused on storytelling as a way of raising awareness of cultural and environmental tipping points—and thereby seeking some level of sanity and sustainability in this oil soaked, internet crazed world.
He is the author of several books on travel in deep wilderness and the far reaches of the world: