My climbing partners and I were kidnapped and held hostage for a week before we conspired to throw a guy off a cliff to escape. AMA!
In August of 2000, I went on a rock climbing expedition to the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. Asleep on the side of a mountain, my three partners and I were rudely awoken by some men shooting at us. We were subsequently taken captive and held hostage for a week before we conspired to grab our then-lone guard and throw him off a cliff. Actually, Tommy Caldwell - of the current Dawn Wall fame - did the tossing. My other two partners were Beth Rodden and John Dickey.
Although not exactly accurate in the strictest sense, this is the most concise version of the events that is currently available:
The guy we threw off the cliff, Su miraculously survived (I will never understand how) and John and I saw him six months later in prison. He was overjoyed to see us because we were the nicest people he had seen since the last time he had seen us. The conversation itself was somewhat awkward and we both apologized to each other and exchanged well-wishes. * Imgur * Imgur
A year later, in 2001, I had an even worse climbing trip when I was struck by rockfall on a remote mountain in the Canadian Arctic (Mt. Asgard, accompanied by Cedar Wright). After 57 hours camp-to-camp with no sleep and an immobilized left leg, I was feeling pretty unwell. On the 50km walk back to the ocean I started experiencing hallucinations and nightmares and was unable to figure out what was reality. Two weeks after I got home the events of 9/11 transpired and I, not ready to see Americans lose their minds about terrorism, got on a plane to Asia, fell off the planet for over a decade. I tried to forget everything I thought I knew, asked myself a lot of questions, and read a lot of books.
Heavily affected by my experiences, I was not a ready or able to be a functioning member of society for a very long time and still struggle a bit. Finally, my wife dragged me kicking and screaming into a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym and my life has been steadily uphill since that first beatdown. I can now say that jiu jitsu saved my life. I don't feel like I have to be afraid of everybody everywhere I go, I can communicate and socialize again, and my confidence and motivation steadily grow as time goes by.
I am now available for speaking engagements to share my story with others and my current contact is: www.jasonsingersmith.com
I am happy to answer all questions that are composed in a thoughtful and respectful fashion.
EDIT Since a lot of people ask about how I afford to travel. I had money from the book and movie for about 6 or 7 year, maybe. Money that made me extremely unhappy and that I didn't want in my life. I used to work for a month or two here and there when I would stop in to stay with friends in different places. I am a builder of all things: fabric, wood, masonry, electronics, leather, etc. so I'm just a handy guy to have around. Especially if you have a lot of land that needs work or a house you're working on. I've been in Australia for the last seven years and basically do the same, various odd jobs. We can afford to travel (these days usually three months in the winter) because we are extremely frugal. We don't spend money on crap and we don't have debt. Debt costs a lot of money to maintain and ties you down permanently. So the short story is that we have goal, that we know makes us happy, and we save until we get it.
Ask me anything!
Jason 'Singer' Smith
My Proof: Imgur
EDIT: It's 3AM PST and I have to catch some shuteye. Thank you all for the mostly positive and kind words, I really appreciate it. I will answer more tomorrow. I put the book link up because I thought it was evidence and people would end up asking me about it. I'm not making money on the book and if it really offends people I'll remove the link. I really don't give a shit.
EDIT: Okay, Reddit. It's 10AM PST and I've got about four hours.
EDIT: I have to bail again. Will return later.
EDIT: Still responding
EDIT: 11pm on 17/Jan Thanks reddit! You guys were 98% really cool and supportive; even the skeptics, who I don't blame. I'm pretty frank about this stuff because it's my past and it is what it is, so thanks for being understanding even if my tone is a bit...unusual. I'm not hiding anything even though I'm really sensitive about some of it. People had been asking me for this for a long time and I was quite hesitant but you guys were great. I'll continue to respond if I see messages pop up. Continue with kindness!