On Episode 142 of the Enormocast, I sit down in a wide open and relaxing space in SLC to talk to big wall legend, John Middendorf. John disappeared to Tasmania after single-handedly changing big wall climbing in the 1990s. Previously, porta-ledges afforded respite from the vertical, but could not hold any serious storm at bay. John’s designs at his company A5 lead the way to a ledge that could handle nearly anything the weather could throw at it. Armed with this shelter, climbers could cast off into the upward void for as log as it took come rain, shine, sleet, or snow. John himself took the ledge to the great ranges, putting up The Grand Voyage on Great Trango Tower with Xaver Bongard, perhaps still the hardest wall route in the world. Now he’s back in the designing game with the new D4 Ledges. And a shout-out to Rock Steady Body Works for the recording space.
On Episode 130, I sit down with Italian rock climber, Jacopo Larcher. We caught up while both in Spain and climbing at Siurana. Jacopo was on a mission to climb La Rambla (9a), which he did, and I was on a mission to pull off the first international trip with the Enormobaby, which we did. Jacopo, along with his special-lady-friend Babsi Zangerl, has been blazing the world in the last couple years free climbing big routes, big walls, hard trad, and hard sport. If its rock, he will climb it, and climb it well.
On Episode 122 of the Enormocast, I sit down rather early in the morning with the “Ambassador to The Nose” Hans Florine. Hans holds the speed record for The Nose on El Capitan with Alex Honnold at 2:23:46- basically, less time than you spent on Facebook yesterday. But Hollywood Hans has been a freewheeling Cali climber for decades, and climbed a lot more than just the Nose. Hans was also one of the first Americans to compete widely, and was once the man to beat in competition speed climbing. Recently completing his book, On The Nose, commemorating his 100th ascent of the iconic Yosemite route, the story also chronicles the years of tit-for-tat on speed climbing on the route. Now this family-man continues to dream of the big stone while managing Touchstone’s Diablo Rock Gym, fired up for the day somebody smashes his record.
On Episode 116, I sit down with big wall badass ans speed climber, Dave Allfrey. His endless psyche and skills-to-pay-the-bills has made Dave one of the go-to guys in the Sierra and beyond when moving fast and safe is on the menu. Dave’s years on SAR and mentorships from some of the best has made him the kind of climber that will succeed no matter what the project. Dave has also forged partnerships with the best young climbers of his generation. In this episode, Dave gives his perspective on the discussion of Haywire that we started with Cheyne Lempe back in Episode 110. Too much stoke for just an hour, but it will have to do. Dave’s Website
On Episode 107 of the Enormocast, I sit down in an office in Carbondale with expedition climber, explorer, and super-dad, Mike Libecki. Mike was once just a Yosemite climbing- bum like so many before him, but then he found expedition climbing and his fate was sealed. 60+ expeditions later and first ascents in far-flung locals such as Baffin Island, Greenland, Madagascar, and Afghanistan, Mike is still going strong and pulling his daughter along with him in his life of exploration. 100 expeditions are his goal, and after that? More trips, we suppose. “Never ration passion!” is Mike’s saying du jour, and he lives that every damn day.