Andy Knapp -- Survivor

Andy Knapp — Survivor

Filed under: Adventure 

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In today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune I profile Andy Knapp, a 60-year-old retail buyer at Midwest Mountaineering in Minneapolis and a lifelong adventurer who’s now fighting cancer.

The story focuses on Knapp’s life in the wilds as well as his fight over the past five years with tough-to-treat renal cell carcinoma kidney cancer.

Knapp biking to Alaska in the ‘60s.

Can perseverance and fortitude forged from a lifetime in the outdoors boost your strength in other parts of life? For Knapp the answer is a big Yes.

He has fought kidney cancer with the same type of strategy he’d apply to a tough mountain climb: Each painful therapy, each new experimental drug is a pitch to scale on a steep face. Kick one foot into the snow, rest, breathe, then step up and kick again.

Knapp and his team on the summit of Mt. McKinley.

The story also includes some high adventure, including descriptions of Knapp’s 1972 solo 502-mile mountain-range-traversing journey in the Brooks Range of Alaska; eight-week-long bicycle rides; mountain climbs past 20,000 feet; and kayak trips around the inland ocean of Lake Superior.

See Knapp’s full story here:

1972: Knapp hikes solo 502 miles through Alaska’s Brooks Mountain Range

Andy Knapp, December, 2007

Stephen Regenold
Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.