Episode 14: Partners- More than just a soft catch.

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.

Proof that I, Chris Kalous, am the reason Jen Vennon Bisharat climbs 5.14.



13 Replies to “Episode 14: Partners- More than just a soft catch.”

  1. Come to think of it I did sense a certain kinship with her at that moment, I guess it was the name thing.

    Maybe next time I see her I will walk up to her and say, “Hey Lynn, my name is Lynn too.” followed by awkward silence followed by me walking away embarrassed and quickly driving out of the canyon.

    Or maybe not…

    I already spent the $100 bucks on some new tights and a tank top, sorry.

  2. So when I fell off Bottom Feeder in front of Lynn Hill, she 1) did not see me and/or 2) didn’t care?

    If this is true I can stop seeing my therapist. Thanks Chris, you just saved me a bunch of money

    1. Lynn,
      I’m sure Lynn did not notice or care. However, had she known you guys share the same name, she probably would have noticed and cared enough to say something like “Whoops!” in a friendly way that would have implied a certain understanding that everybody sucks sometimes, even both the Lynns in this situation.

      Do you feel better? That will be $100 dollars for the session. Thanks.


  3. Thanks for making the 16 hours driving from Austin to Boulder fly by.
    My girlfriend and I listened to way too many hours straight.
    I sent a dollar an episode for now, hope thats not an insult as its priceless stuff.
    Keep up the awesome work, your audio production is so much better than the old podcast.

  4. Another great episode in the bag!

    Here’s to the “random” by the way- a classic staple of dirtbag existence! Excellent phrase.

    My best random story involves climbing the Steck Salathe, getting benighted, and enduring the manspoon with a dude I’d met the night before. Failed/forgotten headlamps you ask? No.

    Here’s the clincher: we were on top and only had the 3rd class gully to scramble down back to another night of drunken revelry on the valley floor! But the random informed me on top that he had no intention of descending the “treacherous” gully in the dark! Though he gave me the green light to go down if I wanted to, some obscure sense of partnership kept me up there shivering my ass off with him til dawn… funny stuff.

  5. Ok so climbing 5.14 and teaching kindergarten must be up there with some of the greatest feats in sports…I defy Alex Honnold to sub a day in kindergarten and then solo the third flatiron…he would be a wrecked sobbing mess.

  6. I think that the point about needing to have a similar world view as your partner is accurate. It seems that the only time that it doesn’t really matter is on quick one pitch or top rope local crags where you just want to get out for an hour or so. There is a great part of a book called The Unbearable Lightness of Being where the author touches on an interesting point about language and relationships that is applicable here. It’s possible to not really understand what someone is saying even if you speak the same language, just think of inside jokes that a typical family may have, one word can mean something very specific to them but leaves outsiders confused. The point I’m making may be a little more philosophical than it needs to be, but it’s important if you are caught in a storm with someone on a big wall, or especially stuck in a tent deep in the mountains, or hell even if you’re just camping. I’ve climbed with people who speak very little English yet we understand each other better than many native English speakers I’ve climbed with. A testament, it seems to me, about the effect world view has on understanding. This isn’t to say that you need to find a partner with the exact same opinions as yourself, that is horrible and could be as bad if not worse than barely understanding someone at all, but a general framework can be important. Finding a good climbing partner is not completely dissimilar to finding a good life partner.

    As an aside, I love your podcast. Keep up the good work!

    1. A,
      That bit about different languages and still understanding is interesting. Joseba and I (the dude I mention in the cast) were climbing in Riglos on a multi pitch and got hammered by a thunderstorm coming of the Pyrenees. We really didn’t know each other that well, only climbed a few days together, and my Spanish sucked and his English was just okay, but as we worked through getting the hell off the route, we found ourselves easily anticipating what needed to be done and what each would do. I think it solidified our partnership as it broke my conception that Joseba was just a glorified sport climber, and he probably realized that I, too, could be counted on. To this day, deep conversation between us is limited, yet I have spent many days climbing with him and always have a great time. I just know that we see things in a similar light even though I don’t know if he is very religious, political, or anything else.

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment.


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