Insiders Recount Efforts to Save North Face Founder
Gale force winds and a broken rudder forced kayakers to swim for their lives in frigid Chilean lake.
Five days after a kayaking accident claimed the life of Doug Tompkins—devoted conservationist and founder of the iconic outdoor equipment company The North Face—a fuller picture of the incident on General Carrera Lake in southern Chile is emerging. The members of his team and rescuers have provided new details about the events that led to Tompkins’ death.
Tompkins, 72, had been traveling with two of his closest friends: Yvon Chouinard, 77, founder of outdoor clothing maker Patagonia, and Rick Ridgeway, 66, a noted climber, filmmaker, writer, and Patagonia’s vice president of environmental initiatives. Though the three men, all pioneering figures in the outdoor industry, maintained extremely busy schedules, they always made a point of getting together for regular adventures