Stuck in an engineer’s cubicle, dutifully beginning the responsible adult life he was raised to undertake, Kirkby is tormented by doubts and boredom. In a fit of rebellion, he quits his job to bicycle the Karakoram Highway in northern Pakistan. He is twenty-two and absolutely clueless. Miraculously, hilariously, he survives — and discovers his life’s passion.
Over the next fifteen years, Kirkby navigates an evermore uncertain and uncommon path, honing his skills on some of the most challenging expeditions the world has to offer. Whether it’s gun fights and crocodile attacks while running Africa’s Blue Nile Gorge, the rescue of a fallen sherpa on Mount Everest, evading capture in Myanmar’s forbidden tropical paradise, or learning to embrace the wilderness on the Tatshenshini River of Canada’s Arctic, Kirkby shares with the reader the excitement, doubts, insights, and even the uncomfortable self-knowledge that a life lived on the edge brings.