On Episode 177 of the Enormocast, I sit down in a parking lot with Canadian boulderer and comp-climber, Allison Vest. Though Allison grew up in the heart of the Canadian Rockies’ alpine gnar, competition and plastic were her heart’s desire. She made her mark as a youth climber, and after a wayward year in Edmonton, and the worst Southeast Asia sport climbing trip anyone has ever lived to tell about, Allison buckled down to become Canada’s National Bouldering Champ in 2018. Following this interview, she won the Canadian 2019 Open Lead Championships. Now, after struggling through injury last year, but tasting recent success in 2019, Allison is poised to find her true potential training in Vancouver and looking to the future beyond the 2020 Olympics.
On Episode 176 of the Enormocast, I sit down in my kitchen with author and climber Jeff Smoot. Jeff had a wild climbing ride in the 80s as he shadowed two of the renegades inventing sport climbing in the USA: Todd Skinner and Alan Watts. In his book, Hangdog Days: Conflict, Change, and the Race for 5.14, Smoot tells some of the fundamental stories of the conflicts and visions surrounding the invention and mainstreaming of now tried and true techniques like rap bolting, hangdogging, previewing, and route specific training: all taboo in the 70s and early 80s. The stories in Hangdog Days are the stories of how most of us climb today, and though they never gets as much hype as the freewheeling, dope-filled 70s, the 80s had far more influence on modern climbing.
On Episode 175 of the Enormocast, I sit down in the Mobile Studio parked under a rainy Moab sky with Mark Hudon and Jordan Cannon. Mark and Jordan are on a great Western road trip and prepping for Mark’s attempt on the Freerider on El Cap. But here’s the thing, Mark is 63 and Jordan is 24 which makes them an odd generational couple. Hudon was a legend in the late 70s for attempting to free climb the Salathe Wall with Max Jones. If he pulls off the Freerider, Mark will certainly become the oldest climber to free El Cap and his story will come full circle to realize his ambition from 1979. And Jordan, almost as much as Mark, is determined to make that happen.