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On Episode 73 of the Enormocast, I pay a visit to Devils Tower Legend, Frank Sanders. Frank runs the Devils Tower Lodge in the shadow of the Tower. His first magical trip to DT occurred in the early 70s, and he’s never lost that loving feeling. Frank’s climbing accomplishments span three continents, and include climbing at Devils Tower 365 days straight in 2007-08. A lover of life, a giver of wisdom. a man of faith, Frank welcomes climbers of all stripes into the fold at the Tower.
On Episode 72 of the Enormocast, I barrel through record snow in the Previa to meet up with Kelly Cordes. Kelly has graced the Mobile Studio and the Live Stage on the Enormocast, but on this night, he proudly recounts the harrowing task of writing (and saying) The Tower: A Chronicle of Climbing and Controversy on Cerro Torre. Kelly trotted the globe in search of answers to the long standing mystery of Cesare Maestri‘s claim to the first ascent of Cerro Torre in 1959. He also enlightens events surrounding the controversial chopping of the 1970 Compressor Route. Finally, he calls for justice in the death of Toni Egger.
On Episode 71 of the Enormocast, I sit down with New River Gorge climber and Team Texas alum, Jessa Goebel. It also happens to be the 3rd anniversary of the Enormocast. Whoopee! 3 years behind us. Good lord, that’s a lot of frothy spray.
Jessa talks about rebelling in her youth and anchoring her attitude in climbing. She goes on to describe the outlet of Team Texas, a East German like climber training program that creates super human climbing machines out of boys and girls. Finally, the New River Gorge brings her home and adventure becomes her mantra. And after 29 years, she’s earned balance with climbing, work, and life, for the moment, anyway.
On Episode 70 of the Enormocast, we dip into the neglected mail bag for listener mail. My guests Simon Longacre, Steve Dilk, Tracy Wilson (from Episode 15), and I answer burning listener questions. What do you do about scary gumbies at the cliff? How do you pick up a hot climber girl? How to not act like a douche at the cliff and much, much more. Tune in to hear sage advice, useless commentary, and complete BS in equal measure.
On Episode 69 of the Enormocast, we present a LIVE show from the New River Gorge Craggin’ Classic. The Enormocast hosts guests Kenny Parker of Waterstone Outdoors and New River Guidebook Author Mikey Williams in the American Alpine Club campground above the New River Gorge. In front of a raucous crowd, we hash out the long time rivalries between the New and the Red, and the East and the West. Kenny and Mikey know both the long history and new scene in the New and the “MidAtlantic”. Great crowd and good times.
On Episode 68 of the Enormocast, I pull out one from a few months ago in Lander. Photographer and climber Becca Skinner sits down in the Mobile Studio for a deep talk. Becca fills us in on growing up in a climbing family, losing her beloved Uncle, Todd Skinner, and taking a step back from the pressure to climb. In the meantime, she finds a new way to honor the legacy of her famous uncle by adventuring with her camera in tow. Finally, we discuss her photography projects returning to the disasters in New Orleans with Katrina and the tsunami in Indonesia.
On Episode 67 of the Enormocast, I pull one more interview out of the dingy hotel in SLC. Dawn Glanc, from Episode 57: Mega pack, returns for a full interview. From 4×4 enthusiast to Black Hills badass, to Ouray CO homegirl, Dawn’s path to ice climbing and guiding was never set in stone. Also, Dawn is fired up about gender stereotypes and helping woman find their place in the mountains, alone and free.
On Epsiode 66, I sit down in a dumpy hotel in SLC with Angela Van Wiemeersch. Angela’s story began on the sharp blades of competition skating and came full circle when she strapped on crampons for the first time. In the meantime, we hear about a whirlwind life crisscrossing the US and Canada as a traveling soul, hunkering down in the Yukon winter, and finally getting a lucky date in the Ouray Ice Park. Angela’s entry into the hardcore world of ice climbing belies its fierce reputation. And though she has a lot to learn, swinging picks came as natural as hucking double axels.
On Episode 65 of the Enormocast, I sit down in some random hotel room in Salt Lake City for a chat with my good friend Russ Clune. Gunks local, long time hardman, world traveller, Clune fills us in on the beginnings of sport climbing, comp climbing, and the heyday of European free climbing. He participated in some of the earliest comps in the US and Europe and embraced new ethics and methods to push free climbing forward. Russ fills in the murky history of Lycra and makes a plea for the return of Team Motivation‘s trophy. Also, Maria the maid drops by to hand out towels.
On Episode 64 of the Enormocast, I sit down will friends Bill Ramsey and Dan Mirsky. Bill is a climber who cut his teeth during the pre-sport days at Smith Rock, went on to develop the early hard climbing in the Red, and now tics routes at will in Vegas. Dan is an up and coming sport climber and at times, serious road dog. Together, they form the book ends of 25 years of sport climbing. Dan’s Grasshopper to Bill’s Master Po, the two met a decade ago in Rifle and formed a bond that crossed generations and inspired each other. Mentoring, trying hard, dealing with failure, climbing into old age, and more is covered in this serious climbing conversation. Strap in for deep thoughts and good laughs.
NRG Craggin’ Classic Sept 19-21.
Forks Fest Sept 27-28.
Idaho Mountain Fest Sept. 25-28
On Episode 63 of the Enormocast, I sit down in the Mobile Studio (this time, actually mobilized to Lander, WY) for some SCIENCE! Dr. Jared Vagy is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and an orthopedic specialist with a whole bunch of other letters after his name, and he has studied climbing injury prevention like nobody before him. Dr. Vagy’s mission in life is to put surgeons out of business by preventing injury before it occurs, or helping you rehab without the knife. From dirtbag to pro, we all have trouble taking the time to warmup, stretch, and do strength-training off the wall, so Jared has put together the simplest methods possible to keep us out of injury depression: 5 minutes and a rubber band is all it takes. Listen and stop the pain!
On Episode 62 of the Enormocast, dedicated boulderer Angie Payne is lured into the sweltering Mobile Studio for a deep talk about her inner workings. Angie candidly tells us about her struggles with perfectitude, expectations, and the midwest mindset. Climbing Vwhatever did not come easy to the former Cinci golden girl. Angie Payne took the road less traveled, and that continues to make all the difference.
On Episode 61 of the Enormocast, I roll the mobile studio to the Northern Corner of the Bromuda Triangle for a sit down with author Don McGrath about his book, Vertical Mind. Along with Jeff Elison, Don wrote Vertical Mind about how to train the mind to work with the body in climbing, rather than, as it often does, turn us into whimpering, scared little weasels. Don reveals that even in a simple day at Rifle, I had exhibited embarrassingly little will over my own mind and am in need of some serious reprogramming. So come along for this ride into your inner space, and maybe find some tricks for taming those fears that you didn’t even know you had.
On Episode 60, we record a live one on Climbing Lawyer Dan Markoff’s deck overlooking Boulder, Colorado. Climbers Topher Donahue and Chris Van Leuven join me for a discussion of what it takes to lose that new climber smell, and replace it with old trad-climber stink. The sometimes contentious discussion ranges from toothbrush shaving, to where to store your nuts, and, luckily, a few pearls of wisdom get dropped by my guests. I’m pretty sure we don’t mention the Black, Indian Creek, or Rifle: perhaps a first on the Enormocast. As a bonus, stick around to the end for a moment of slam poetry created at the event by Jena Kirkpatrick.
On Episode 59 of the Enormocast, I finally lure the elusive (at least for me) artist Jeremy Collins into the Enormostudio for a chat. The free-range convo covers art, family, faith, climbing, and expeditions. Jeremy explains where the connection between his art and his love of climbing intersect, and how climbing is more than just something he does. By the end, Jer is clearly relieved and elated to have finally succumbed to my wiles and gone on his first Enormodate.
On Episode 58, the Enormocast breaks the boulderer drought by bringing on compression problem savant, Chris Schulte. Chris arrived in Carbondale to bartend for the 5Point Film Festival, and graciously followed up his mini interview on Episode 57 with a full length sit down. Chris talks of his oddball existence in Indian Creek, his humble origins in BFE, Texas, and his rocky path towards enlightenment through bouldering. Hopefully, Chris is the first padsniffer of many to grace the Enormocast studios.
On Episode 57 of the Enormocast, we blaze through four separate mini-interviews with four excellent climbers recorded at the 2014 Redrock Renedezvous. Nik Berry is a young(er) guy coming out of SLC and destroying everything he touches, with a recent free ascent of the Hallucinogen Wall under his belt. Chris Shulte is a soul-boulderer with a jones for squeezing fridges. Our old friend Kate Rutherford returns to show her appreciation for the Enormonation. Dawn Glanc, a ice climber and guide from Ouray, CO rounds out the cast. Fast and furious, short and sweet, young and restless.
On Episode 56 (not 55!) of the Enormocast, I fight the sound of the clinking coffee cups and the hiss of the espresso machine to bring you a Live Enormocast from Bonfire Coffee in Carbondale. The winds of 5Point Film Festival brought my three guests to town: agitator Jonathan Thesenga, OG photog Chris Noble, and Dirtbag Diaries auteur Fitz Cahall. JT defends himself for his Deal-Breakers piece on Rock and Ice, and we call Quebecois crack master Peewee Ouellet. Chris talks about his new book, Woman Who Dare, and the good old days when you actually had to be somebody to take a good pic. Fitz and I finish our talk with a hug, enough said. So grab yourself a mug of coffee, and join us for the second Live Enormocast from 5Point.
Woman Who Dare at Amazon
On Episode 55 of the Enormocast, I seek out mad desert climber Eric Bjornstad. Though confined to a care facility in Moab, Eric is as bearded and bright-eyed as ever. He recounts his years climbing with Beckey, writing guidebooks, and mastering the dirtbag dream in a pre-outdoor-lifestyle Moab few can remember. Other than his homie Fred Becky, not many can match Eric’s longevity in the sport.
On Episode 54, the Royal We sits down with a bevy of ladies to talk about what makes the perfect climbing male. We discuss superfluous shirt-off climbing, buddy spray, and if climbing hard makes one sexier. A gallon of Cabernet, some nice curtains, and my deep tenor is all it took to get the ladies to open up about their fantasy man. We also hash out the climbing-date-that’s-not-a-date-but-it-is-a-date problem.
On Episode 53 of the Enormocast, Josh Wharton and I grow drowsy in an uncomfortably warm conference room at the George Something-or-other library in Boulder. Josh shares the highs and lows of his upbringing, talks about his scariest moment in a life of scary moments, and admits that he cried through his first climbing expedition. JW is hot off his latest send: a new baby girl, and though he thinks he’s clipped the chains on that one, for a guy who seems to always have a plan, between you an me, I think Josh is in for a surprise or two from life with his new baby-best-friend. Just sayin’.
On Episode 52, we wrap up the second half of my epic interview with Lynn Hill. See Part 1 here. Believing that she could do it was all that it really took for Lynn to free the Nose in 1993, and again in a day in 1994 (nearly 20 years ago! Holy crap!). This feat cemented her legacy as one of the greatest ever to pull on a pair of rock slippers. She also fills us in on dinking, Tub Talks, and who inspires her in the current women’s climbing scene.
On Episode 51, I have posted up the first half of a far-reaching interview with legend Lynn Hill. In this installment, Lynn talks about her near death experience, her beginnings in So Cal, and her association with some of the greats from those halcyon days in the 70s in Josh. She also reveals why she was so attracted to John Long (spoiler: its the muscles).
On Episode 50, Brendan Leonard returns to the show for an interview with your not-so-humble host, Chris Kalous. Chris talks about his strange premeditated journey to climbing, his vision for the Enormocast, and even manages NOT to say Free Rider, or the Black Canyon (but a couple Indian Creeks do slip in). You asked for it, now open up and say “Ahhhh”.
GMF: John Grant (go buy this song).
Semi-rad.com (go buy Brendan’s book).
On Episode 49 of the Enormocast, we rebroadcast audio from the 5point Aspen event from Feb 2013. During that event, I hosted Alex Honnold and Michael and Hayden Kennedy in front of a capacity crowd at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen. Honnold is conspicuously low key, Hayden is a smartass, and Michael drops wisdom like a Shaolin master.
On Episode 48 of the Enormocast, we arrive at the two year anniversary of the Enormocast! Whoot! I know. Right?
More importantly, British hotshot Hazel Findlay sits down in the Mobile Studio amidst an unfortunate desert blizzard to fill us in on her origins in the British climbing scene, her life as a sponsored monkey, and girl stuff. She also inadvertently coins the phrase “loads of men”. Try not to be lulled into a dreamlike state by the smooth accent of the Spice Girl formerly known as Hammy the Hamster.
On Episode 47, James Lucas returns to the Enormocast. If we recall, James told us about his pie baking defeat in the 2012 Carbondale Mountain Fair pie baking contest in Episode 21, and this summer he returned for vengeance on the old ladies of Carbondale. James also fills us in on the new developments this year in big free climbing in Yosemite, and the overblown reaction to his “desecration” of Midnight Lightning in Camp 4.
On Episode 46, the Enormocast reunites with Jen Vennon Bisharat and Michael Logan from Episode 14 for another Listener Mail Hoedown. On this installment, we revisit guy/girl climbing issues, and we try to throw a lifeline to a lost listener trapped in Slovakia. We discuss grade chasing and free climbing and why we are all so god damn special. I also announce my pending podcast about squash.
On Episode 45 of the Enormocast, I sit down with kayaker slash ice climber Aaron Mulkey. With the strength of 10 men, Aaron attacks both first descents and first ascents with zeal and unwavering psyche. Aaron admits that he’s a bit of an adrenaline junky and a lucky optimist that gets in over his head once in a while. In addition, I tell the tale of my near death at the hands of the screaming barfies. Good times at the Rodeway Inn.
On Episode 44 of the Enormocast, a chance meeting leads to an enlightening interview with Iraq war vet Joshua Brandon. Josh explains how struggles with PTSD led him to finding solace in the mountains and climbing (turns out that mountaineering has many of the thrills of combat but without the guys shooting at you). He explains his mission with the Sierra Club to help his brothers and sisters in the military find an outlet in the mountains, and what its like to try to get the Department of Defense to hug a few trees.
On Episode 43 of the Enormocast, the Royal We sits down in the immobile studio with Asa Firestone. Asa recently started a company called Beyond Gear to help his mission to get underprivileged Brazilian kids out climbing on their neighborhood rocks. Asa talks about his mission, his lost partner, and why we all need to think about giving back.
On Episode 42 of the Enormocast, I sit down with Midwestern refugee, Luke Mehall. Luke is an author, publisher, poet, and climber who is not afraid to bear and bare his soul on the written page. In Episode 42, we remember Zines, learn about when it is and isn’t appropriate to inundate a women with poetry, and why a small part of me hopes Luke fails miserably. Like so many authors, Luke is a purveyor of truth through mythology, and a creator of real stories that may not have happened, and a damn good story-teller.
On Episode 41, I have the distinct pleasure and honor to sit down with one of my heroes, Paul Piana. Paul spent the 80s and 90s defining big free climbing along with his intrepid partner, Todd Skinner. These cowboys shirked tradition and set new standards for big rock climbs all over the continent, hemisphere, and world. Paul talks about his upbringing as the descendent of immigrants, his Wyoming roots, and his storied relationship with one of the all time greats, Todd Skinner. Above all, Paul proved himself to be the steadiest of partners from start to finish.
On Episode 40 of the Enormocast, I sit Doug Shepherd down in my comfortably air conditioned hotel room on a sweltering SLC day to discuss alpine climbing. A relative unknown, Doug has climbed in the greater ranges of North and South America and quietly racked up impressive ascents and the respect of his more famous peers. Doug and I discuss the nature and risks of modern alpinism, why community matters, and why its so easy to be smart and stupid at the same time when it comes to alpine ascents. We also give a shout out to Doug’s lost comrade Kevin Landolt.
One Episode 39 of the Enormocast, me and Henry Barber nurse mild hangovers and sit down to talk about his 45 years of climbing. In the 70s, neither your crag nor your women were safe from Hot Henry’s talents. Henry rode the wave of clean climbing and free climbing in the 70s into history with famous trips to Australia where he blew the lid off the grades, and Dresden, Germany where he learned barefoot climbing and sling craft. Listen and learn the old ways from a master.
On Episode 38 of the Enormocast, I eek out one more closet interview with Cincinnati rapper/climber/artist Kris Odub Hampton. Kris is an interesting character who traveled an unusual path to climbing from the mean streets of Cinci. His provocative climbing rap songs have drawn admirers and haters alike. But we also see the soft side of the man as he talks about his own mentors and inspirations. Don’t worry, if this interview sucks, we’ll hear about it on his next song.
On Episode 37, I sit down for what is probably the last episode from Studio A- the closet. The Royal We is getting thrown out on his royal ass because they’re selling the joint and he can’t afford to buy it (hint!). Duane Raleigh from Rock and Ice Magazine joins in for a discussion about safety, about why you shouldn’t use the bowline, should put knots in your rap lines, and all sorts of other simple tips to staying alive. This guy has made all the mistakes and somehow lived to tell the tale, although not without his share of bone screws.
Because I didn’t use it in the show, here’s a link to the classic Safety Dance Video.
On Episode 36 of the Enormocast, I sit down with return guest BJ Sbarra and local guide and teacher Mike Schneiter to discuss new routing and bolting. In this episode, we manage to say “bolt” enough times to probably overload the servers over at the Supertopo Forum. Mike and BJ share their vast knowledge of putting steel to rock and creating climbs so we don’t have to. To Bolt or Not to Be really is the question here in the Roaring Fork Valley, and BJ and Mike give us some good inside knowledge on why we ought not forget that even bolts can fail.
On Episode 35 of the Enormocast, I lure Canadian climber Jen Olson to my closet with promises of glory. After giving her the tour of two thirds of the Bromuda Triangle (Rifle, Black Canyon, but not Indian Creek), Jen finally agreed to get on the mic and fill us in on how she ended up becoming such an accomplished alpinist. Jen tells us how she didn’t need no stinkin’ boyfriend to show her the ropes, and how she became the 7th Canadian woman to receive her international guiding certification, and managed to climb a little ice and rock in between. Jen Olson: as Canadian as Roller Skates and Duct tape.
On this very special episode of the Enormocast, I post up a virtually unedited recording of the very first Live Enormocast. Recorded Saturday morning, April 27th at Steve’s Guitars in Carbondale, and during the 5Point Film Festival, the Live Ecast features guests Jonathan Thesenga, Kelly Cordes, Austin Siadak, Anson Fogel, and Jeff Hollenbaugh. Also, Sonnie Trotter makes and appearance via satellite. Every bump, click, clap, shout, laugh is here. Enjoy!
On Episode 33 of the Enormocast, I lure yet another subject to the Rodeway Inn in Salt Lake City (I think I deserve a couple free nights for all this publicity, eh?). Wunderkind Jonathan Siegrist sits down to reveal his climbing pedigree and a stunning background on big routes. He tells of early beat-downs in the mountains, and later beat-downs on El Cap. In between, he manages to climb a few routes and put up a few more. This toenail painting tough guy finally won my heart with a humble attitude and a reverence for his peers and mentors. Prepare to be swept off your feet like a prom queen after her 7th lemondrop shot.
Hola! Bienvenidos al Episodio 32 con Paige Claassen. I am taking time out of my precious Euro climbing vacation to post this up for you! On this installment, I meet up with Paige in a seedy hotel in Salt Lake City during the darkest days of winter to find out what makes her tick. She fills us in on how to stay motivated, how to hang on until it hurts, and how to win friends and influence people. She also talks about how to navigate the moral landmines of the heathen climbing world as a believer. Prepare to get your crush on!
Ho, Man! On Episode 31 of the Enormocast I lure Andrew Bisharat and Hayden Kennedy into the closet for an old-fashioned bro-down. Andrew and I discuss whether or not the recent ascent of La Dura Dura, AKA the hard hard hardest route in the world, even matters. Hayden tells the story of his Piolet d’Or nominated ascent of the Ogre in Pakistan. I debase myself by begging Steve House and Josh Wharton to come on the show. And so much more. A return to form from the early days of the Enormocast: beer-fueled climbing spray!
On Episode 30, I travel to a place called Gun Barrel to meet up with climber and author Matt Samet. We talk about his days developing Rifle, and his start as a climber. Yes, European listeners, we love guns so much we name our neighborhoods and towns after them. More importantly, we discuss the events depicted in his new book: Death Grip. Matt spent several years in a hellish battle with antidepressants and establishment psychiatry. Then we take a deep breadth, invite his toddler Ivan to the table, and the interview unwinds with a blatant plug for Matt’s next project. Ah, commerce!
On Episode 29, I sit across a plastic Club Colombia table in Refugio La Roca from undercover bone-crusher Cody Roth. Despite appearances in Chuck Fryberger’s films and Andy Burr following Cody around like Paparazzi hunting Lohan, and despite him crushing 5.14 and V-hard, I postulate that Cody, AKA C.H.U.T, AKA The Critter, is an unknown in the USA. His disappearance into the Alps for a decade didn’t help. Cody and I dive deep into the differences in climbing culture between the US and Europe. We tread water in stereotypes and my thick-headed preconceived notions until we climb out the other side with a great big hug for our Euro brothers and sisters who climb rocks while sporting their jaunty scarves. Cameos abound from Alexandra (our hostess at the refugio), Andy Burr, and Ramillo (AKA Karl) the dog. Viva Colombia!
On Episode 28, I bag with one clean shot, a perfectly healthy free-range Honnold. Alex sits down in a clean, well-lit place to expound on his life in the glare of the klieg lights . He tells us what it was like to lock eyes with the beautiful and mysterious Lara Logan, what it was like to lock eyes with the happy-go-lucky Steve Denny on a lonely night on El Cap, and what its like to lock eyes with you, as he blows past on that hanging belay in Yosemite. From shy boy to pro-sesh hero, Alex lets us sit in on his world for an hour. Turns out, its pretty fun and chill in the Republic of Honnoldlandia.
Want more Alex Honnold, you freak? Just google him and say goodbye to the afternoon!
On Episode 27, I chase down New Zealander Mayan Smith-Gobat in of all places, Grand Junction, Colorado. Mayan tells how she is holed up in the oddly frigid wasteland that is Colorado’s Western Slope to retool her mind and body into a killer android-like climbing machine. Who knew that GJ was such a hotbed of training fanatics? Mayan tells us about her beginnings in New Zealand, her move onto the world scene, and her obsessive no-excuses methods for getting it done. I manage to avoid even making a single sheep joke about NZ or referring to her namesake alien-seeded middle Americans whose lame apocalypse was such a letdown last month. I’m getting to be pretty pro-sesh if I do say so myself.
On Episode 26, we sit down in Denver, Colorado with young alpinist Keven Landolt. Kevin is facing down leukemia and still dreaming of the mountains. He fills us in on what goes through his mind as he fights to keep his dignity as his body fails him. From diagnosis through a bone marrow transplant and a failed remission, Kevin has used his experiences climbing as motivation and a bulwark against the void . This episode may begin to answer one of the ultimate alpine questions: does climbing really matter?
On Episode 25, our one year anniversary episode, we finish the Green River chronicles by floating and rapping about international climbing travel. Jonathan Thesenga and Brittany Griffith are both consummate world travelers and let us in on the beta for safe and satisfying touring abroad. From JT’s know before you go stance, to Brittany’s beta for barfing in a bowl, this episode will prepare you for anything the 3rd world, or even Canada, can throw at you. Kick back and soak it in as the sounds of the water tinkling on the oars becomes a balm for our troubled times.
On Episode 24, we take a 1 hour cruise to a deserted island in the Green River to meet up with Brittany Anne Griffith- affectionately known to her friends as the BAG. Two parts Mary Anne, one part Ginger, a dash of the professor, and a scosh of Mrs Howell for good measure, Brittany brings a formidable package to the outing. Climber, caterer, athlete, sorority girl, world traveler, entrepreneur, dirtbag, ambassador, and spy are all titles she’s swapped out with ease over the years. Listen while she spins a tail that starts in the cornfields of Iowa and ends on the desert landscapes of Algeria.
Bored of hearing about the Trifecta- Indian Creek, The Black Canyon, Rifle- on every fucking Enormocast? Are you like James Lucas and sick and tired of me relentlessly bringing up my glorious ascent of the Freerider on El Cap? Well, that’s nothing a little booze can’t cure. Just gather your friends, a a couple cases of PBR, a bottle of whiskey, and cue up an episode.
Any time you hear “Indian Creek” take a slug of delicious beer.
“Black Canyon” gets you two swigs.
A “Rifle” mention, the weapon or the climbing area, and its time to shotgun one of those barley sodas.
“Free Rider” is a shot. No puking.
And after you loosen up a little, don’t be afraid to make up your own. For example, a reference to anything “back in the day” could be followed by shouting CLIMB! and toasting. Dropping “Sharma” could mean you make-out with the person next to you.
Clue into the overused rhetorical devices. “What’s interesting to me…” could mean you remove a piece of clothing. “Whatever else…” means its body-shot time. And on and on.
Just let your imagination, your growing inebriation, and the relative sexiness and gender of your immediate compadres be your guide.
NOTE: Do not play Enormocast Booze Bingo while driving or operating heavy machinery.
And don’t forget to tie-in BEFORE you start drinking.
On Episode 23 of the Enormocast, hotshot crack addict Mason Earle survives a near fatal fixie accident and arrives at the mobile studio ready to open his soul. We learn about his beginnings on the East Coast, his fateful first days in Indian Creek, a shameful ascent of El Cap and more. We are both convinced that OW climbing is god’s own, but when we both claim to suck at it, one of us is lying. Nico Favresse might or might not make a cameo. Finally, James Lucas can skip to 33 minutes for this show’s reference to me climbing the FreeRider.
On Episode 22, Andrew Bisharat and I discuss why hard climbing is so important to everyone. We hit on grades, appropriate hero worship, why Americans are the lifestyle climbers of the world, and how Ecstasy, sex, and climbing go together . Also, unbeknownst to him, we decide that Chris Sharma is the world’s saddest climber. Come along for this philosophical climb up that overhanging tufa route that you’ve been dreaming about.
On Episode 21, James Lucas and I take a break from smoozing the Trade Show ladies to sit down for a chat. James dishes on his pie baking bombs and bad breaks, his career as perhaps the world’s only living redpoint soloist, his upcoming book about the Stone Monkey era in Yosemite, and how try as he might, he just can’t get the French out of the FreeRider. Bad to the bone, but also smooth as fine Cognac, James Lucas is an original.
On Episode 20, return co-hosts BJ Sbarra and Steve Denny return to tackle listener mail. Among other fascinating tangents, we address passing slower parties, climbing addiction, daisy chains (again), why the post office blows, how to approach gumbies, and much much more. Also, my favorite email of all time (so far). Thrilling and spontaneous, Episode 20 is a blatant attempt to get more listener mail.
On Episode 19 of the Enormocast, co-host Chris Parker and I sit down for a rambling chat with one of the last Mountain Mystics, Jeff Jackson. Consummate climber, first ascensionist, yogi, father, husband, musician, Jeff has more than one engaging story to tell. Listen in as Chris and I sit jaw-dropped as Jefe describes his encounters with shape-shifting horse people, alien visitors, crazy Canadians, and worst of all, young republican lawyers. Bonus audio includes two original tunes by Chris Parker with JJ on harmonica and me on bass. Its quite a journey, so dig in for this one.
Episode 18 is here to make you feel lazy and weak. You’re welcome. Listen in as rock climbing legend Randy Leavitt admits to being good at everything he tries. He works harder than you do, he wastes less time than you do, he’s smarter, stronger, and, frankly, better looking. This guy makes the Energizer Bunny want to trade in his bass drum for a triangle just so he can relax for a second. Oh, and he happens to be so damn nice about it, it was all I could do not to reach over and poke him in the eye.
While posted up in the Rodeway Inn in Salt Lake City, the Enormocast hosted author and online mogul Brendan Leonard. After a series of shocks to his system, Brendan finally said “the hell with it” and packed up his Astro Van and hit the road. Now he brings us his witty and soulful writing from a Starbucks near you while living the dream on the road. One look at semi-rad.com and you, too, will be hooked on the long-haired man-hugging goodness that is Brendan Leonard.
On Episode 16 of the Enormocast, I park the mobile studio in the park in Lander, WY for a conversation with climber and artist Kate Rutherford. Often confused for Laura Ingalls, Kate fills us in on her upbringing in the Alaskan bush. She has lead a charmed life that recently found her on the top of Fitzroy in Patagonia. Art, climbing, and adventure all are part of the elegant package that is Kate Rutherford. (Yeah, I have a crush! What of it!?)
One Episode 15, I go in search of my lost youth by sitting down to rap with two young killers who quietly get it done. Everyman road warrior Steve Denny fills us in on how he saved Alex Honnold’s triple wall solo in Yosemite. Henry Nadell wants to do it all NOW, not when he grows up. Don’t hate them because they have all the time in the world.
The Enormocast lures two new guests into the Rocky Mountain Bunker to banter about partners and why they bring more to the table than just a good belay. Guests Michael Logan and Jen Vennon Bisharat dish on what are the key qualities a partner has to have to carry the honor of holding their ropes. Michael might not remember your name, but he will remember that drug deal gone bad. Jen might pull your rope, but she ain’t gonna slap together your PB and J. And when I look at you, all I see is an elaborate belay device. Listen in and find out if you might qualify to win the chance to give a multi-year Rifle belay session with either contestant.
On Episode 13, I meet up in the mobile studio with infamous climber Cedar Wright. Cedar fills us in on his hippy upbringing, his crash course in free soloing, and his days in the dirt in Yosemite Valley. Even though Cedar is known for his sarcastic wit, the Enormocast brings out his serious side as we talk about his inspirations, and he pays homage to all of those that helped him on his path to pro-boy superstardom. The whole thing was followed by a protracted bro-hug that may have lingered a little too long for my taste.
I used to work at the Mountain Gazette as the gear editor where I fought bravely against the tide of uninteresting tripe that are the majority of gear reviews. For this gallant effort, I was rewarded with my walking papers! But that was another time, and another crew, and I forgive them. Besides, Fayhee is still the man.
They are trying to suck up to me now with a nice write up. Check it out.
On Episode 12, I am joined by two lovely ladies, Gracyn and Tracy, in the home studio to hash out why its so hard for guys and girls to just be climbing buds. Gracyn thinks every guy wants her, I cop to being in love with every climbing partner I’ve ever had- male or female, and Tracy just looks on in horror. Its ladies night at the Enormocast, and the feeling is oh so right.
Episode 11 is EPIC! Craig Demartino takes us blow by blow through his climbing accident which culminates (spoiler alert!) in losing his leg. He fights to survive, then he fights to regain his life, then fights to climb better than he ever did. The real deal doesn’t even come close to describing this guy. Guts, determination, and unconditional love all bring him through. Be inspired. In fact, if this doesn’t inspire you, you may be a soulless android. Stab yourself in the hand, does it hurt? Okay, you’re human after all.
More Craig: http://www.demartinophoto.blogspot.com/
On the first double-digit episode of the Enormocast, co-host Kelly Cordes and I discuss the the films we saw at the 5Point Film Fest and outdoor film making in general. We end up deciding that climbers are the nerds of extreme sports. Turns out that big wave surfers and big falls kayakers are way, way cooler than climbers and ultra-runners are far tougher. Kelly also repeats the word “porn” enough times to make me uncomfortable.
Links to some of the films we rant about:
In Episode 9, we start with a lengthy, then a short, then again lengthy discussion of author and climbing-crusader Sam Lightner’s special daisy chain. If you are still awake, then keep listening for stories of the infamous FOICers, Thailand, and why the Access Fund has your back. Not unlike his daisy chain, Sam can be both rigid and flaccid as the situation demands when standing up for your rights with megalomaniacal land managers.
The new Ascent from Rock and Ice has an article by yours truly and a bunch of more better writing. I even managed to get CLIMB! in there. Click on the link below to order one. Come on, don’t just read your buddy’s copy. Throw down some cash!
Episode 8 finds me in climber and flyer Steph Davis’ double-wide contending with her cat, Mao, her dog, Cajun, and her husband, Mario all futzing around in the background. Man, I can’t wait for PBR to build me a studio. Anyway, Steph and I mostly just reminisce about our shared past, but we do talk about her origins, inspirations, and transition to falling as much as climbing. And I manage not to swear for the first time, so gather the kids around. By the way, this podcast is in no way an admission of any guilt on the part of Ms. Davis.
Need more Steph?
In Part 2 of my epic interview with Hayden Kennedy, we get to the bottom of the arguments against Jason Kruk and Hayden’s decision to chop the Compressor Route on Cerro Torre. Hayden withers under my pillorying verbal attack, let me tell you. Begging for mercy. I also beg PBR for a sponsorship. Do you hear me? I will do anything for you, my overlords.
My old friend Jonathan Thesenga writes a “scream-of-consciousness” account of our ascent of Texas Tower in Southeast Utah. Good pics, too. I wish I had audio of me rubbing my feet and whining on that ledge after digging through the “snow mushroom”!
Friend of the show, BJ Sbarra, has a pretty spot-on break down of the Cerro Torre kerfuffle over at Splitterchoss.com.
Oh, man. On Episode 6 of the Enormocast, I sit down in a remote secret bunker deep in the Rockies with the man of the hour and my friend: Hayden Kennedy. HK comes clean about his season in Patagonia with Jason Kruk and their now infamous decision to remove the headwall bolt ladders on Cesare Maestri’s 1970 Compressor Route. Quite a ride its been. This is Part 1.
More fun reading on the Compressor Controversy:
On Episode 5, I sit down in Studio A with author and climber Andrew Bisharat. Andrew warms up to the idea of using his voice instead of his pen to communicate with the outside world and explains his philosophy behind writing, climbing, why Rock and Ice is like his family, and the best and worst ways to die. Hint: one has to do with drinking just a little too much urine. He also puts the kybosh on my pending Carhart sponsorship. Thanks, jerk!
More Mandrew on the web:
On Episode 4, I hang out in BJ Sbarra’s kitchen fending off his vicious dog, Thunderpup, while he goes on and on and on about his big deal website, splitterchoss.com. Ooh, Outside Magazine’s Top Ten Climbing Blog list, ooh, seven years old, ooh launched my internet career. Blah, blah, blah, BARK. Anyway, we talk about the future of internet media and why we are both selfless princes among men. Check it.
In episode 3, I park the Enormocast headquarters outside the Alpinist headquarters to talk with alpinist and internet sensation Kelly Cordes. Kelly reports on the old daze and new days in Estes Park, Colorado, the Ouray Icefest, and the world’s most inappropriate Halloween costume. Always a pleasure to talk with this simple, yet complicated, dark, yet illuminated, man (and his haircut).
Too much is never enough- more Kelly:
Chris and guest host Lisa Hathaway retire once again to the Oasis in Moab to explore the deep psychological underpinnings behind secret cliffs. Necessary evil or just the realm of egotistical dickheads? Turns out it can all be explained by lewd metaphors involving blossoming sexuality.
Cold weather and no bouldering forces Lisa Hathaway and Chris into the shelter of the Oasis trailer on the inaugural episode of the Enormocast. They try to decide who would last longer in a Zombie Apocalypse (ZA), and Chris dishes on why Italians are sorta like deer.