Your Host.
Photo: Dan Gambino

Do your friends complain that all you talk about is climbing? Does your girlfriend get a glazed over look when you try to explain to her just how run-out you actually were, I mean, you were really fucking out there!  Does the man in your life have no idea why its so important that you cross through before you stab the mono, not after?

Well, my name is Chris Kalous and I am here for you. I know how scared you were above that piece, and will hold you tightly in my podcast arms until you feel better. I understand that your beta works for you, and you’re going with it even if you’ve fallen from that same spot 32 times- my podcast will be happy to belay you on the next burn.

Here at the Enormocast, no beta is wrong, no story is too long-winded, and I will never utter the words, “Can we talk about something besides climbing for a change?”

Each episode of the Enormocast brings you a glimpse into the climbing life through discussion, interviews, and my perspective backed by 33 years in the sport. So get on Itunes and subscribe, leave your comments here at enormocast.com or send me an email at [email protected].

More Kalousification on the InterWeb

The Ghost: Big Limestone in the Canadian Rockies

Assume Nothing: Climbing in the Cochamó Valley, Chile

The Infamous Aid Rant

The Only Rule: Don’t Be an Asshole!

The Wadi Rum Expedition: A Film by Aaron Black

73 Replies to “About”

  1. Hi Chris,
    100% in love with your podcast. Always looking forward for any new episode you are dropping.

    I had a question. Could you give a hint on where these snippets of dialogue are from that you use in the intro more often then not. You must read them with a slight German accent.
    It goes like:
    -person A: “What are you doing.”
    -person B: “There was a frayed end on your side of the rope. I’m cutting it out.”
    -person A:”I enjoyed climbing with you.”
    -person B:”I don’t think so, but i’ll keep continue climbing with style.”

    Greetings from Brussels, Belgium

  2. This shit is great. Just started from episode one about 2 weeks ago and slowly burning through each episode on my way to work.
    Tie your knots.

  3. Just a quick note to say Thanks!

    For sharing the passion, the stories, the humour, and the psyche. I came across the Enormocast through a mutual friend in Verdon about eight years ago. Life’s changed a little since then, I was in the rat race and had recently started climbing in my mid thirties, the passion grew, the lifestyle changed, the van was bought, the home was rented, four years into this roadtrip around Europe now, and I appreciate those early influences from Verdon & Enormo-land. Maybe one day my van will make it to the states and I’ll get to say Hi.

    1. Hey,
      Keep it going, and that means never quit.
      I’m now 76, spent a few years climbing in college, a lot indoor climbing (in caves) but outside too, and those were some of the greatest days of my life. Nearly bought it twice with falling boulders about 4 feet across, one missed me by maybe 6 inches, but never got hurt and never even thought about quitting, just jobs, kids, wife, house, etc took it away. Well maybe, more likely, I took it away by not staying with it. Anyway, good fortune to you and a great life.

  4. Hey Chris!

    Another Enormofan here! I started listening to the podcast on a recent roadtrip to Squamish and now I listen to it every day on my commute. Got a lot to catch up to… Loved it man! You’re keeping the climbing lifestyle alive man! Thanks for being unique and genuine!

    The only problem with your show is that every time I listen to it I want to go climbing, and then I remember all the climbing around Canmore is covered in ice and snow for 6 months of the year… Maybe I should go back to Spain!

    Thanks anyways dude, YOU ROCK!

  5. I’ve just discovered this podcast… Giddy at the prospect of getting in to it

    I’m not a climber (my focus is rough water sea kayaking and fell running) – but this vibe and these podcasts are a pretty special achievement that I will keep coming back to – authentic, deeply honest, full of wit, good-humour and sparkle, and an insightful long-view

    Keep spooling fella


  6. Having problems changing the address using your ‘Cart’ page. I want to buy a t-shirt, but need to have it sent to the right place!

    1. Have you tried a VPN? When I was in Russia earlier this year LinkedIn was blocked but I was able to access it with a VPN. That might work in your case too.

  7. dude, I have to know where the intro comes from. “What the hell are you doing?”. “I couldn’t sleep. There’s a fray in you one end of your rope, and I’m cutting it out.” ….”I don’t think so, but we should continue with style.” … Just sounds like an epic climbing movie that I should know about.


      1. And the first 45 minutes will put you to sleep if you start it any time after 8pm. It is a wonderful climbing movie however, great inspiration for putting beers in your buddies climbing pack.

  8. Hey Chris! Started listening recently and loved the podcast. I just got back from a expedition to Ecuador with the Colorado State University outdoor program. I was sitting in the Quito airport giving the Brad Gobright episode a listen, and out of curiosity I turned to my boss Rodney Ley next to me and asked if he had heard of the podcast before. Turns out you two used to be connected. I had no idea about your time at CSU, or even that you went on one of the previous expeditions with Pat Rastall. Just thought it was a cool little thing, makes the podcast even more enjoyable now!

    1. Andrew,

      Hey there. No expedition. I was in an outdoor leadership course that Rodney and Pat taught, mostly Pat. It was the first one they ever tried. Also, I was on the Outdoor Adventure floor in Edwards Hall, a program that Pat had put together. The program failed somewhat miserably, though, as most people’s grades floundered because they were outside adventuring instead of going to class.

      I ran into Rodney a while back in Ouray and we shared some stories from that first class. A major food fight at the closing party, and we threw a couch off the roof, too.

  9. Hey Chris – Relative to many people, I’ve only recently started climbing (about 9 months) and also recently came across your podcast (which I love). First I want to thank you for all of the hard work and energy you put into your podcast. I’ve gone back to listen to many of the old episodes and I love how it’s grown. During my playthrough, I realized you were seemingly good friends with Hayden. I’m so upset about the recent news and I’m sure you are too. You two seemed to have a good relationship and shared some epic adventures. I read an article he wrote about Logical Progression. In it, he reflected about the loss of Justin and Scott and how half of that party which went to Mexico is dead. I know he didn’t die in a climbing accident, but with Hayden passing, it now leaves you as the only person alive from that party. I don’t know if you’ve spoke about it before but if you find yourself able to, I would love to hear an episode where you air your thoughts on that article, on your relationship with Hayden, and on the “gift or curse” of climbing.

    Hope your doing as well as you can and always remember to check your knot


    1. Adam – thanks for this post and I ditto it. If you ever feel like talking about it, I and many others would love to listen to your thoughts. This life and this sport unfortunately take some of us before our times. Chris, I had just listened to your Podcast w Kennedy the week before and this news hit me pretty hard though I didn’t know either of them, but I feel a pain every time we lose a brother from our climbing fraternity. So sorry for all of those who knew these two superstars. Chris – I love what you are doing. Thank you for hours of great listening – please keep it up!

  10. 20 years old just discovered your website/podcasts and couldn’t be more stoaked. All the interviews are well thought out with interesting questions but at the same time all ways flow like natural conversations. Not to mention the superstars you’ve gotten on the show… Peter Croft’s story soloing on his knees in the rain! As much as I love climbing and adventure I know that will never be me, but still what an inspiration, the guy is in a league of his own. So anyway cheers for such a rad site, you definitely have a new fan/follower in me my friend!

  11. Love the show. It’s our soundtrack for the weekend commute to the valley from SF. Also, “certified A5” has become the catch phrase any time someone from our gumby crew gets more than three feet above the last piece. Keep up the good work!

  12. Hey Chris,

    I magically found this podcast while looking for something to listen at work…And damn it’s good stuff!
    Now I can’t stop talking about something I’ve listened on some interview, or a story that some of your guests talk so much about. I can’t even stop talking about climbing!
    I chuckle and cheer to myself anytime someone mentions Patagonia, I’ve suffered with some stories, cringed with others. But specially I’ve learnt a lot about this beautiful world and lifestyle!
    So thanks for making this podcast.

    Lucas, from Argentina

  13. Recently found the podcast, you’ve made the last few weeks at work fly by. I live in the Carbondale, let me intern for you.

  14. Just discovered your podcast and now I’m binge-ing. Great stuff. Down to earth and real. Speaking of real, how about some episodes focused on climbing during different lifestages? In particular, how do climbers transition gracefully from a self-centered dirtbag to one who has to raise a family. With more and more young guns crushing these days, I’m gonna guess the vast majority are going to hit “reality” at some point. I sure did and I think people could benefit hearing from climbers who’ve had to deal with this. I’m sure there would be some interesting stories! Anyway, keep up the great work!

  15. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the podcast. I began listening a couple of months back, starting with the interviews with Peter Croft, Alex Honnold, Lynn Hill but quickly moved to the talks with other climbers, some I did not hear of before…There are some stunning stories and testimonies there (Demartino, Landolt…but also Barber, Leavitt and others…)…As we say, climbing is not just a sport, it is a lifestyle…love the variety, love the different voices and life stories…Great job mediating the conversations in informal and thoughtful way…I have decided to donate on monthly basis to help the Enormocast going. Keep it up!


  16. I used to know this guy at CMS who was just as fun as the rest of the crew but had the additive enticements of being rather brilliant, equitably honest, both accomplished AND personal, and great on the guitar who could also spray about 20th century lit. He moved, I moved, and our paths crossed again a couple more times, including a memorable night (for me) at IC in the infamous CK rig. I later heard about The Enormocast but didn’t have the discipline or time to commit to a Podcast. So this week I stumbled across it again and decided to give it a shot, and I can’t believe how much I’ve missed now that I’ve only digested the first five episodes. Something both fucking hilarious and motivating, all I can think about is how can I get through the remaining 50+ hours in the shortest amount of time. Listening to you and Kelly talk about the “shack” today made my day, my week, perhaps my fucking year. Keep it up, Chris, and thanks for stewing up that thing that both gumbies (like myself) and long-time-trunk-sleepers can continue to get amped on!

  17. Love the podcast. It is nice to find a resource that goes over the lifestyle, culture, and jargon that is “climbing” with such accuracy. I am an up and coming sport, trad, ice, mountain, building, car, whatever climber and am soaking up every bit of information I can. This show lets me be in the climbing world as deeply as I please. This is nice because even though I try, I can never get my partners to feel as strongly about this life as myself.

    Keep up the good work.

  18. Love the podcast! Helps a new climber like myself stay excited about the sport while trapped in grad school.

  19. I just started climbing this summer and I recently discovered your podcast. I love your interviews – thanks for entertaining me for so many hours.

  20. Thanks for the stickers. I listen all the time (only at work though, my boss thinks I am doing online safety training. He now things that I am the most trained in the dept. what a tool).
    Thanks for all the work you put into these. Its pretty much my link to the outside word.

  21. Hey Chris! I just bought some coffee from The Defiant Bean last night. I just wanted to show you the support!! KUTGW

  22. Love the podcasts! I’m very happy I found it on Andrew Bishart’s blog. Looking forward to future episodes.


  23. Chris, I had to comment after reading that March 23rd comment. My husband has been climbing since he was 11 and it’s a huge part of his life. I’m not much of a climber but I don’t mind listening to endless stories and descriptions (“…you’re coming off this wicked little crimp and the next hold is this gnarly sloper…”) and watching climbing movies. Just this week, we listened to your interview with Craig Demartino and it really got me thinking about how important climbing is to my guy, and that maybe I should try a little harder to be part of that since it would make him really happy.

    I think you’ll be happy to know that I went to the climbing gym with him last night for the first time in 2012 and I’m planning to work up to some outside climbing this summer. So there you go, your podcast is helping “bring ’em around.” The irony that a story about a terrible accident made me want to climb is not lost on me, but I think that’s a testament to how inspiring Craig’s story is. Great interview. We’ll be listening to other installments, I’m sure. And ordering some coffee!

    1. Sounds great that you found a way to spend some “quality” time with your husband. Mind if I give some advice? it’s my website after all. Remember that you are doing this to have fun. Its not like lifting weights or something. While you need to push yourself to improve, if you get to the gym and do two routes ( or none) and are over it, stop. Hang out. Spend the time chilling and enjoying the scene. That goes for the cliff, too. Years ago I had a conversation that went like this with my girlfriend “do you think I should try this route?” it was late in the day and the climb was too hard for her. I just said no. She got a little pissed, but I said “you’ve had a great day. Climbed a ton. Why end it with a beat down?” I had climbed the route but there was no reason she HAD to try it. She thanked me later at the fire because we were discussing all the routes she had slayed that day and not brooding over the last failure.

      Also, your husband will probably have visions of you guys climbing el cap together some day, but that’s probably not realistic. Be proactive about explaining your goals with him, and maybe come up with some things to work towards. Don’t just let him push towards unrealistic goals for you. Maybe el cap, or maybe just a weekend every other month at the cliff. Anyway, hope you have fun, don’t let the gym rats annoy you, and get fit and feel good.

      Keep listening and suggest some topics.

  24. Wish I had something witty to say, but alas, I am a half wit with only mildy funny jokes about anatomy, blondes and sometimes, pirates. I hope that by listening to your podcast, I will one day be endowed with witty reparte to enthrall my follow pebble-wrestlers with around camp fires (just kidding, I have more self respect then that. I climb trad. But only as long as there are big jugs to hang off of, otherwise that shit’s just too real.) Anyway, insert cliche comment about listening to your podcast on the way to work here. Keep up the great work and blah, blah, blah…

    1. Thanks, Climbingbetty! I think I need to incorporate more pirate jokes- a pirate walks into a bar with a steering wheel sticking out of his pantaloons, “Arrr, its drivin’ me nuts!”

  25. Great stuff man. My wife hates my podcast habit, but she REALLY hates yours…that’s a solid endorsement my friend. So happy people like you are out there to keep the psych going for flatlanders like myself . Good luck from Chicago, hope you keep it up.

  26. Hey Chris – I spent some time this weekend catching up on some of my favorite podcasts and finally got around to checking out The Enormocast (which has been bookmarked but, sadly, neglected until today). I listened to 3 episodes back to back – love it! Keep up the good work!

  27. Hey Chris
    Love the podcast, “it’s like the audio equivalent of three El Cap’s stacked on top of one another” also loved Off Belay. I found out about The Enormocast via Steph Davis on Facebook. I would like to wish great success for you and The Enormocast, Hope you find the time to keep it up.

    Where’s the donate button?
    Rob Crowder

    1. Rob,

      Thanks for the encouragement. Hopefully I’ll be sitting down with Steph soon. Decided to let this one bake a little longer before starting to beg for donations and such. For now, just tell some friends, like it on Fbook, or write a review on Itunes so I can get some momentum up.


  28. I have a talking that I think makes sense for your podcast.
    I am recently unemployed and I took a retail job at a The North Face store for the holidays to make ends meet. I have been a fan of the clothing and equipment so I figured it would be a great fit. When I started I noticed that none of my co-workers really embraced the lifestyle. Most of the customers saw more fashion than function in the product line. I wondered and then had a interesting conversation with my co-workers, family, and outdoorsy friends. Are sponsored athletes really necessary?

    Now don’t get me wrong. I have shared a meal, conversation, slope, and a rope with many a sponsored individual. I want the stories and experiences that these individuals provide. But does the greater public care? Is the woman buying the Triple C jacket more interested if J Lo. wears one opposed to Ms. Fairington? Would The North Face sell more Diez jackets if Jay-Z wore one in a video?

    I got a real interesting cross section of answers with this conversation and would like to hear your thoughts

    Mark Christensen
    Outdoor Enthusiast and Aspirational Thinker

    1. Mark,

      Really interesting subject. The word necessary throws me a little, but from a marketing standpoint, I think that companies still benefit from having their toe in the sport in some sort of semi-authentic way. Talking to Kelly in episode three, I mentioned that when guiding, at least some of the clientele were buying into the cache of the mountain guide as much as the climb or instruction. So for a large part of the market, I do think it benefits to have a sense that the real guys use this stuff, too. So yes, the fantasy that somehow this jacket that was used on Everest, etc. will make you a little more cool is a good marketing weapon. I mean, just put on a well-fit and sleek attack jacket while staring up at Conrad Anker’s jaw sticking out of a life-size photo on the wall, and you will feel cool, too. Just like beer makes you more handsome and interesting according to the marketing. Jay-lo doesn’t hurt, either, but you can get Cedar Wright for a hell of a lot less money.

      Also, within the actual climbing community, we are not immune to celebrity culture in that if somebody did have the balls to start a gossip mag about the climbing elite, we’d buy it- or at least look at the one our friend bought, because, after all, “I don’t buy those stupid rags.” I mean, as I start doing interviews on my show with famous climbers, I am counting on that to bring in more fans- and based on experience, it will. So the celebrity spokesperson works on most of us climbers on some level, too.

      So necessary? Probably not necessary to survive. Worth it at the cost? Certainly. Each company that has crossed over to the main stream- ie Patagonia, BD, North Face, etc.- decide on how much they want to seem still on the real climbing game, and spend accordingly. Without clothing, BD still needs us climbers for a good chunk of the revenue. Patagonia still markets the “Core” and “connected to the earth” image even to the mainstream and it works for them. North Face probably has its feet the deepest in the main stream, and while they maintain a climbing team for marketing purposes, the climbing community rips on them more than anybody for having too much BS around the marketing of their athletes- but they have the deepest pockets, and many of our friends profit from that, so we still give them a pass.

      In the end, North Face can run its whole climbing team around the globe with chopper support and hookers and blow for everyone for the price of one product placement covering Sophia Viagra’s (SP?) rack or Tom Brady’s oh-so-sweet abs. Good value, really.

      Thanks for listening. Turn somebody else on to podcast if you would.


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