Jonathan Calvert ’53
Jonathan Calvert ’53
Courtesy Jonathan Calvert ’53

In the last 47 years, Jonathan Calvert ’53 has climbed, trekked, kayaked, and sailed on six continents. He has summited to the top of Argentina’s Mount Aconcagua, kayaked off the coast of Greenland, and gone dog sledding in Alaska in temperatures that reached 40 below zero. Now he has collected the stunning photographs he took of those expeditions in a book, The Urge to Know.

The oversized, nearly 600-page book weighs a staggering nine pounds and costs $150. It has 576 color photographs, many spanning two pages, that bring to life his account of his many trips. Calvert has no formal training in photography. He self-published the book, ordering an initial run of 1,500 copies. It is available for sale at Amazon.

“I wanted to inspire people to follow their own adventures, whatever they are,” says Calvert, who worked for nearly 50 years in the investment business in San Antonio.

Calvert first traveled extensively after graduating from Princeton, when he explored Europe for six weeks before entering the Marine Corps. “I went to Zermatt and saw the Matterhorn — it was so spectacular,” he recalls. He returned several years later and made his first climb.

He has walked in the footsteps of early explorers, been afflicted with altitude sickness, and come face-to-face with a walrus. His treks have taken him to Tibet, Bhutan, England, and Pakistan; he has climbed in Nepal, Tanzania, Switzerland, and France. He writes, “Many people have said to me about my stories, ‘I wish I had done that.’ Do not allow an opportunity to pass, as you will have only regret and nothing more.”

At age 84, Calvert still is at it: In January, he plans to fly to an airstrip on an island in the Antarctic peninsula and sail across the Drake Passage to Argentina.

In the last 47 years, Jonathan Calvert ’53 has climbed, trekked, kayaked, and sailed on six continents. He has summited to the top of Argentina’s Mount Aconcagua, kayaked off the coast of Greenland, and gone dog sledding in Alaska in temperatures that reached 40 below zero. Now he has collected the stunning photographs he took of those expeditions in a book, The Urge to Know.

The oversized, nearly 600-page book weighs a staggering nine pounds and costs $150. It has 576 color photographs, many spanning two pages, that bring to life his account of his many trips. Calvert has no formal training in photography. He self-published the book, ordering an initial run of 1,500 copies. It is available for sale at Amazon.

“I wanted to inspire people to follow their own adventures, whatever they are,” says Calvert, who worked for nearly 50 years in the investment business in San Antonio.

Calvert first traveled extensively after graduating from Princeton, when he explored Europe for six weeks before entering the Marine Corps. “I went to Zermatt and saw the Matterhorn — it was so spectacular,” he recalls. He returned several years later and made his first climb.

He has walked in the footsteps of early explorers, been afflicted with altitude sickness, and come face-to-face with a walrus. His treks have taken him to Tibet, Bhutan, England, and Pakistan; he has climbed in Nepal, Tanzania, Switzerland, and France. He writes, “Many people have said to me about my stories, ‘I wish I had done that.’ Do not allow an opportunity to pass, as you will have only regret and nothing more.”

At age 84, Calvert still is at it: In January, he plans to fly to an airstrip on an island in the Antarctic peninsula and sail across the Drake Passage to Argentina.

The breathtaking descent of the Matterhorn.
The breathtaking descent of the Matterhorn.
Courtesy Jonathan Calvert ’53
Moving across the Kailtna Glacier in showshoes.
Moving across the Kailtna Glacier in showshoes.
Courtesy Jonathan Calvert ’53
Enjoying lunch among "bergies" stranded by low tide.
Enjoying lunch among "bergies" stranded by low tide.
Courtesy Jonathan Calvert ’53
 A pair of Calvert's fellow climbers on the side of Kilimanjaro.
A pair of Calvert's fellow climbers on the side of Kilimanjaro.
Courtesy Jonathan Calvert ’53
On a ridge at Mount McKinley.
On a ridge at Mount McKinley.
Courtesy Jonathan Calvert ’53
 Little Tahoma, a satellite peak of Mount Rainier, poking through the clouds.
Little Tahoma, a satellite peak of Mount Rainier, poking through the clouds.
Courtesy Jonathan Calvert ’53