On Episode 209, I sit down on home turf in Carbondale, Colorado with climber and engineer, Natalie Afonina. Natalie grew up in the States but with a strong connection to her parents homeland, mother Russia. Fluent in Russian and holder of dual citizenship, Natalie has used that pedigree to her advantage as she’s travelled the world into far away places rarely accessed by Americans. Along the line, she was inspired by her mountaineer father to seek the cold and wild. A chance encounter with the North Face Team in Nepal set her on a path to climbing, though she also maintained a career in robotics software including stints at Tesla and Uber. Now on a sabbatical to cut her teeth as a full time ice climber before the next phase of her life, Natalie is ready for whatever adventure drops in her lap.