Mothers Have it Hardest — Kyle Dempster Tribute

“Maybe you and I would have the same recommendation—from my standpoint to the climbers out there, and from your standpoint to the mother’s of those climbers out there,” Kyle Dempster said to his mother. “Talk about the worst case scenario. Don’t pretend that it doesn’t exist. Express the love that you have for each other, and also the insurance that, in the event of worse case scenario, life will go on.”

On August 22nd, 2016, our friend Kyle Dempster and his climbing partner Scott Adamson went missing on Pakistan’s Ogre II. After days of bad weather, friends and family, with incredible help from the Pakistani government, were able to conduct a search, but found no trace of the two climbers.   

Our hearts go out to Terry and to all of Kyle’s friends and loved ones. We know that he understood the risks involved in the activities he did, and we know that still doesn’t make the hole he’s left in the lives of the people close to him any easier to live with. Kyle was one in a billion.


We originally aired a version of this episode in 2014–a story from Kyle and his mother, Terry, about the struggle of loving an adventurer. The struggle between loving them so much that you don’t want to see them hurt, and loving them so much that you want to support them in pursuing their dreams and doing the things that make them tick.

Last year, we reworked the piece to submit to Third Coast Audio Festival. We have never aired this version publicly before. It seemed like the right moment.


Music: Original Scores by Amy Stolzenbach    •    Shadowlark by The King in Yellow    •    Last Chance for Love by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club    •    Around the Bend by woodrowgerber    •    Yucca by Dokapi    •    Pay My Dues by Battery Life    •    Hard Right by Drop Top Lincoln

Tracks provided by Amy Stolzenbach and Mevio’s Music Alley.



3 Comments on “Mothers Have it Hardest — Kyle Dempster Tribute

  1.  by  Gregory C Steiner

    My sons don’t climb remote peaks but they do venture far from home, to places I would never go. I do worry but I can’t ask them not to go because I’m fearful. Part of being a parent is being able to let them go, to make their own choices. That’s hard to do. As parents we have to remember it’s their life, not ours. And hug them fiercely when they leave and when they return.

  2.  by  Nadeem Aslam

    Kyle was a man who connected people. Though we have lost Kyle but are connected to so many from his family and friends. He actually connected Pakistan to USA in a positive manner. We will always remember Kyle and pray for the family to have fortitude and strength to bear the irreparable loss.

Leave a Comment