Episode 98: Eric Barnard – Small Town, Big Dreams.


On Episode 98 of the Enormocast, I sit down with Midwest native and ice farmer, Eric Barnard. Eric found climbing after Jerry’s death and getting sick and tired of Hacky Sack, and he went on to develop the early bouldering scene at Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin. After a stint in Pocatello, Idaho, he and his family moved back to the flatish-lands to start working on a climbing empire on the Mississippi. While working as the Director of Winona State’s Outdoor Education and Recreation Center, he has been a force behind creating a world class gym and now a city supported ice park. A motivated family man and climber, Eric is trying to have it all in what will soon become the Boulder of the upper midwest, Winona, Minnesota.

Take a class from Eric.


6 Replies to “Episode 98: Eric Barnard – Small Town, Big Dreams.”

  1. Love this episode! Such a great talk with a climber I share some common ground with, I’m a father with similar conflicts between family and climbing. I also try my best to be a good steward in my local climbing area of SLC. What really strikes a cord is how he speaks about the utilization of our lands as a source of income because of its recreational activities and not energy extraction. W I th what’s going on with governor Herbert and bears ears at the moment, that part of the conversation really struck home. Thanks Kalous.

  2. Chris & Eric,
    This was by far the best Enormocast I have listened to (and I have listened to everyone). Thank you! Eric stated, “If you don’t have the things around you that make you happy you can either travel to them or create them.” That single line made this Ohio climber get off his ass and get involved. Why don’t we an ice park in Ohio! We have cliffs dammit! We just needed the inspiration. So, thanks for that. I love the show, keep it up. Congrats on the enormobaby.

  3. Great episode again.
    I like hearing about regular (5.10/5.11) climbers with good stories. I gotta be honest; sometimes listening to the pro-climber guests is intimidating rather than inspiring. They won’t even mention anything below 5.11/5.12. You always hear how hard it was and how much training it took and how, after months of work, they finally send. But somewhere in that conversation i just want to hear about the most fun they ever had on a route. Like “Man, that 12 pitch 5.9 is beautiful.” or “Halfway up that 5.11 there’s this awesome cave”.
    Climbing well withing your limits and just having fun. Fun is more important than grades. To me a least.

    1. I still maintain that one of the great things about this sport is the ability to challenge so many people at so many levels, and yet at the same time, we can relate our experiences to each other. I’d so most of the pros I’ve had on still marvel at the beauty of the 5.9 perfect hands pitch, but they’ve been trained and proded to talk about the big and difficult shit. Also, its actually much harder to talk about the aesthetics, so they switch to the default of “it was rad”.

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