Episode 81: Peter Croft- Kid in a Candy Store.

CroftOn Epsiode 81, I sit down at the Bonnie Springs Hotel during the Red Rock Rendezvous for a chat with a personal hero: Peter Croft. While I try to contain my fawning, Peter expounds on his relationship with John Bachar, the first free solo of Astroman, El Cap and Half Dome in a day, and his humble beginnings in Canada. Peter reveals that despite his penchant for going ropeless, its the moments with friends and his own heroes that he cherishes most. He warns us off the teat of the camera, and makes sure we know he considers himself a bit of “lummox” when it comes to climbing. Alas, its Peter F-ing Croft! I can’t hardly believe it myself.

Peter on the Incredible Hulk

18 Replies to “Episode 81: Peter Croft- Kid in a Candy Store.”

  1. This was my first time listening to Enormocast and it more than anything reconnected me to the life I love. Peter has been the climbing icon that has inspired me the most. What a life!!

  2. Met peter in 1980 on elcap …can you advise if peter has any presentations or intending to visit the uk in 201

      1. I could have listened to that if it went on for 2 more hours. Croft is so unique in his perspective among his contemporaries. No ego whatsoever. No self promotion. No chest pounding. No interest in the spotlight. Of course he is not going to chop anyone’s bolts.. he doesn’t feel that his ethics are any better than another’s. He respects most everyone who is enjoying the mountains, regardless of their personal approach. The humility and the understatement is Croft’s legacy (to me). Croft personifies the phrase “leave no trace”.

  3. According to Don Reid’s Yosemite Free Climbs, Van Belle O Drome is a bolted 5.13c crack on a crag located between Arch Rock and The Cookie Cliff in Yosemite, near the The Roadside Attraction crags. First ascent is credited to Hidetaka Suzuki in 1990. Second ascent is credited to Peter Croft.

    Just next to this climb is a second crack climb called Van Belle Syndrome, 5.13. First ascent by Croft, 1991, no bolts.

    1. Oh, and the idea of sitting Croft and Schultz down together for another Enormocast to cover the linkups and free climbing escapades is a must-do. That (mid-80’s to mid 90’s) is a sorely neglected era in terms of Yosemite history.

      1. I agree about the blank spot between the Stone Masters and Stone Monkeys. I think it was just too scattershot of an era and frankly, they dont have massive PR machines behind their legacy’s like the Stone Whichevers do. I love that era, though, and will keep hunting those folks and get them to talk.

  4. Such a good interview. I love listening to a guy with such a pure motivating force. I’ve listened to it three times. Still can’t find out about the route he climbed that had been sport bolted. What is the name? And any chance we could see the photo?

    1. Vanbelladrome, or vanbelledrome. I did a google search after interviewing Peter and found a few mentions on Supertopo, etc. But no real info about whether the bolts are still there or not. I dont even know where it is, actually. If you could get your hands on a Moving over Stone 2, the footage of peter is on there.

  5. Excellent interview with an amazing and humble climber. I’ve been an enormolistener for about a year now and this was definitely my favourite episode. I had no idea he was from Vancouver Island. I would love to hear what he has to say about the rock and alpine climbing I’m betting he did while growing up there.

    To me, an experienced, bold adventurer like Peter is much more entertaining to listen to than some gym-junkie red-pointer, but I wonder what the enormodownload stats have to say about the climbing world’s current interests in the different styles…

    1. I’ve gotten tons of good feedback on the PC interview- yes, much of it from the olds- but if I introduce some folks to Peter, then that’s great. Overall, Honnold still rules in total downloads. But I’m hoping to blow that out of the water with a Caldwell interview this summer!!

  6. HOLY MOLY, Peter Croft on Enormocast: YESSS!!! The only climbing I was doing in the 80’s was on playgrounds, but I’ve always admired your alpine humbleness and high level of stoke! And thanks also for signing posters… in fact you signed one for me last year at the RRR and it’s the only poster I keep in my house (“Have fun out there”). Thanks for sharing your stories, you made this little alpinist’s Saturday chores awesome!!!! Keep sharing!

  7. Thank you for seeking out Peter Croft to get this interview. It goes without saying that he is also a longtime hero of mine and being a Canadian also from Squamish, it’s always a pleasure to try to repeat some of his lines around here. He just seemed to get the FA on all the nicest most aesthetic rock. I actually had the pleasure of meeting him in owen’s gorge one day and it was hard not to be awestruck by him. He has a presence and has lead such an incredible life. I can only hope to emulate his super humble approach to the mountains. Such a class act.

  8. That was a fun blast-from-the-past for us 80’s-era fossils…I think one of the main reasons that no one from the Valley ever seriously tried to free El Cap that didn’t get mentioned in the interview wasn’t so much because no one wanted to be shown up by a 5′ tall female, as the fact that if you weren’t training on steeply overhanging sport routes (which there really is none in Yosemite) you were at a pretty serious disadvantage endurance-wise vs. those who were (like Lynn). You climb all the time on radically-overhanging rock, then get back on vertical rock, and it feels like a rest day. This is why Huber had “power to waste” on his El Cap free routes, because he was used to training on ridiculously-steep rock all the time, which El Cap isn’t. The Valley guys from the 80’s just didn’t have the fitness level of the euros who came along later.

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