Episode 41: Paul Piana, Rock Climbing Legend.

h_piana

A younger, steely-eyed Piana

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.

 

About Chris Kalous

Owner, operator, guru, yogi of enormocast.
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10 Responses to Episode 41: Paul Piana, Rock Climbing Legend.

  1. Golden says:

    Thanks for doing such great interviews! My teenage daughter and I have just started to get into climbing this past year, and I’m learning a ton from your podcast. Todd spoke at a corporate event that I attended (I think it was the Winter of 2005) and my wife and I sat at the table with him before his presentation on climbing Trango Tower. We got to hear some fun stories about eating strange stuff in the jungles of South America and other fun tales. He was such a genuine and friendly guy – I wish he were still around to interview! Listening to his presentation on the Trango Tower expedition was an unforgettable experience.

  2. Greg W says:

    Really great episode!
    There were some chilling moments for me as he described his Salathe fall. This interview was really solid from beginning to end.

  3. Brian says:

    Great episode! Up there with the best of Enormocast: Hayden Kennedy, Randy Leavitt, Craig Demartino, Henry Barber, etc. With this sort of interview pedigree, you should be able to land all the big fish (interviewees and sponsors). Glad you decided not to cut and edit too much from Paul’s interview. Everything left was worth keeping.

    • Chris Kalous says:

      Hey B,
      Was wondering if you were still listening. Glad you liked it. You and I are from that era when Paul was killing it.

      • Brian says:

        Never stopped listening–from the birth of “Off Belay” through episode 41 of the Enormocast. I’m just a pretty crappy correspondent (one of my many failings). But I’ve been a Enormocast evangelist: spray, Enormocast stickers, t-shirt, etc. I’ll try to be better chiming in online with ideas, kudos, and the like.

        I’m sure Paul wouldn’t remember it, but I spent some time with him and Todd when they were climbing with my friend Sally in the Meadows (Hans Florine may well have been around at that time too). Todd and Paul were both very cool guys to hang out with.

        Keep up the great work on the podcast, and I hope you have a great autumn on the rock.

  4. Tristan says:

    This is one of my favorite episodes so far. Thanks Chris for asking great questions, and thanks Paul for opening up and sharing some great stories. The adventures that you and Todd had have been inspiring me since I started climbing almost two decades ago. Thanks again.

  5. Geoff Georges says:

    wow, best climbing interview ever!
    I have been wondering what Paul is doing these days.
    I love to hear those stories!
    Thanks

    • Chris Kalous says:

      Best ever? I don’t know about that, but thanks. I got kind of sick of this one during the edit because I had to do a lot of engineering on background noise, but once I listened to it in post as entertainment rather than work, I, too, was quite pleased. Paul is a sweet and generous guy and it was a pleasure to talk to him. We both choked up quite a bit when talking about Todd.

      • Matt says:

        Just listening to him talk about Skinner’s passing just about brought tears to my eyes. Love what you’re doing man. Please keep it up.

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