Episode 142: John Middendorf – Build It and They Will Go.

On Episode 142 of the Enormocast, I sit down in a wide open and relaxing space in SLC to talk to big wall legend, John Middendorf of Sambla AS. John disappeared to Tasmania after single-handedly changing big wall climbing in the 1990s. Previously, porta-ledges afforded respite from the vertical, but could not hold any serious storm at bay. John’s designs at his company A5 lead the way to a ledge that could handle nearly anything the weather could throw at it.  Armed with this shelter, climbers could cast off into the upward void for as log as it took come rain, shine, sleet, or snow. John himself took the ledge to the great ranges, putting up The Grand Voyage on Great Trango Tower with Xaver Bongard, perhaps still the hardest wall route in the world. Now he’s back in the designing game with the new D4 Ledges. And a shout-out to Rock Steady Body Works for the recording space.

John and D4’s Facebook Page


4 Replies to “Episode 142: John Middendorf – Build It and They Will Go.”

  1. Really interesting conversation, I enjoyed this a lot. This filled in some important gaps in the history and development of wall climbing for me, thanks a lot for sharing this, Chris. John sounds like a great guy, and his engineering approach to problem-solving in climbing was fascinating. I also think his analogy of how experiences build on each other, until one day you realize you’ve become somebody who can do things that may have seemed so far beyond you in the past, was right on the money.

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