On Episode 148, I had the honor and pleasure of talking to Hugh Herr. Hugh was a prodigy rock climber as a kid, and in 1982, at the age of 17, an accident on Mt Washington in New Hampshire changed the course of his life forever, and ironically, perhaps for the better. Hugh and his partner were lost for three days in a storm, and subsequently, Herr lost both legs below the knee to frostbite. He quickly returned to climbing, but when that passion waned, it was replaced by a desire to change the world of bionics and create prosthetic limbs better than the original biological counterpart. Now Hugh, a professor at MIT, is far better known in that field than he ever was as a rock climber.
On Episode 147 of the Enormocast, I sit down with current American Alpine Club CEO, Phil Powers. Phil cut his climbing teeth as an instructor at NOLS, and went on to combine a deep personal climbing resumé with guiding and instruction across the US and the world. At the helm of the AAC, Phil has tried to guide the club back to relevancy and broaden its base to include old-timey mountaineers and sneering boulderers alike. As a former NOLS instructor, a guide throughout the US, owner of Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, and spearheading the AAC‘s education component, Phil reckons he’s taught thousands to not only climb, but cherish the places that all climbers love.
On Episode 146 of the Enormocast, I journey to Jackson, New Hampshire to sit down with an old friend, Majka Burhardt. Majka has actually been on the show twice before but the files were ruined one way or another due to inept skills on the part of the Royal We. Finally, 4 years after the first attempt, Majka makes it to the air. We discuss her ongoing fascination with Africa and trying to save some of its wild places. We also get into the climbing life up in New England with not one, but two twin babies. A long time coming but worth the wait.
On Episode 145 of the Enormocast, I sit down with my friend and Carbondale local, Mary Harlan. I often get requests for the “everyman (sic)” interview, and though Mary is not ordinary, nor is she a man, she does tread near the mainstream category as not only a good and experienced climber, but a mother, wife, and career firefighter. Mary talks about her ambition to be a sponsored climber, her ambition to be the best, and her ambition to stink really bad. Perhaps not quite the “everywoman”, but Mary certainly tried to have it all and realized not a moment too soon when something in her climbing had to give.
On Episode 144 of the Enormocast, I sit down at the Ouray ice festival with ice climbing dark horse, Rapheal Slawinski. While a total legend in his backyard of the Canadian Rockies, Raph is maybe not quite the household name of his compatriot, Will Gadd. Yet, he has been on the forefront of ice climbing, dry-tooling, and big mountain climbing for over 20 years, receiving a Piolet D’or in 2014 for his and Ian Welsted’s ascent of K6 West in the Karokorum of Pakistan. Part affable Polish Canadian, part precision machine, Raphael found his calling scraping away at ice on rock in the Canadian Rockies and beyond.