Episode 20: Listener Mail Volume 1

On Episode 20, return co-hosts BJ Sbarra and Steve Denny return to tackle listener mail. Among other fascinating tangents, we address passing slower parties, climbing addiction, daisy chains (again), why the post office blows, how to approach gumbies, and much much more. Also, my favorite email of all time (so far). Thrilling and spontaneous, Episode 20 is a blatant attempt to get more listener mail.


9 Replies to “Episode 20: Listener Mail Volume 1”

  1. Such a killer show, as always. I only wish there was more, since I will have burned through all of these WAY too fast.

  2. Awesome stuff Chris. Been enjoying the podcasts for a while. I guess you could say I’m a long time listener but first time “commenter.”

    Here’s my burning question: I can’t quite place the sound clip from the intro that talks about selling out and the enormodome. Sounds like George Clooney in there but I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out where it’s from.

    Please enlighten me so I can sleep at night.



  3. Ok, I’ll bite. I guess I’m probably the slow guy the e-mailer was talking about. So I guess I will speak, if not for my snail like brethren, then just for my own slow ass. I’m actually ok with people passing me on multipitch if we are holding them up and they are going super fast.

    Some caveats include: Don’t solo past me while I’m leading. This has not happened in a while but when I was first starting out in Boulder it would occur occasionally in Eldo. I mean seriously go climb something at your level or if you can’t find anyone to climb with on the weekend maybe that is a sign that you are a bit of an ass.

    Next, don’t pass me and then go slow. The anecdote about passing a party and then yelling for directions for the rest of the climb would have been seriously annoying and would have undoubtedly merrited some beers.

    Finally, if the rock is questionable then you are probably going to have to wait. Sorry. You guys kind of poo pooed the idea of rock fall, maybe you climb better rock than I do, I don’t know. I’ve had some close calls this year with climbers of ALL ABILITIES, not just my 5.9 know it all friends, who have totally disregarded the fact that the laws of gravity and loose rock are a bad combo no matter how hard you climb.

    So I guess in closing if I deem things safe for my buddy and me then sure, go ahead and pass. If not…then bummer BRO I guess you need to get up a little earlier.

    1. D,

      Good caveats. I have been soloed past as well, in Eldo, too. That shit just scares me. And its seems as though soloing would be a better experience if one were, uhm, actually by him or herself, and not on some trade route in the middle of the day with a bunch of us toiling roped-up midgets.

      Listening to the episode, I too noticed that our dismissal of rock fall was perhaps a bit glib. In fact, BJ said so much as he was willing to trade places with the oncoming party in the drop zone. I think you are right about loose routes. Our quick dismissal was probably reserved for those that would simply never let others pass because of rock fall hazard no matter how small that hazard is. I guess one can reserve that right, however.

      I agree (and did in the cast as well) that if you are going to pass, you better be good at it and truly be going fast.

      As to my shot at the “just breaking into 5.9 crowd”, that’s my own prejudice from years of guiding on Lumpy Ridge and day after day dealing with prickly folks at the Book (a cliff with several classic 5.9 and 5.8 multi pitched routes). Its not that they are a hazard, I just found them to be touchy about breaking out of the set of rules that they had learned or being willing to adapt the plan they had figured out in the parking lot. Really “good” climbers (grade wise) can be sketchy in all sorts of ways- sometimes more sketchy because they have often erred too far into the comfort zone and are no longer taking basic precautions, they’re just a little more mellow about it is all.

      But hey, we can all get along out there if we watch out for each other and be nice.


  4. Works better to talk about a “Passion” than an “Addiction.” Enjoying Episode 20. And yeah, I’m Steve’s Dad!

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