On Episode 179 of the Enormocast, I sit down with Dierdre Wolownick, perhaps better known in the climbing world as Alex Honnold’s mom. Up until now, Dierdre has appeared to the climbing world as a talking head in Alex’s movies, and I believe, she’s a bit misunderstood. Dierdre has recently put her thoughts on raising Alex, her life as a mother, and her new climbing passion in a book titled The Sharp End of Life: A Mother’s Story. In our interview, Dierdre talks about being the mother of perhaps the greatest climber ever to live, but she also relates being a beginner and dipping her own toes in the climbing life for the first time well into her 50s. Despite her son being a mentor of sorts, Dierdre had to overcome a life of the workaday straight-and-narrow to jump into the cliquey, jargon filled world of rock climbing. Initially she sought out climbing to simply understand her son Alex’s crazy life, but soon Dierdre found her own inspiration in climbing that lead all the way to an ascent of El Cap.
On Episode 178 of the Enormocast, I sit down with Canadian rock and ice climber, Will Gadd. Will hit the early sport climbing scene in Boulder, Colorado in the 80s and has never looked back. As an early comp climber, Will had the honor of getting crushed by a young Chris Sharma. Switching his focus to paragliding and ice climbing, Will has set records on the wing and was a progenitor of modern mixed climbing, while still slaying rock and alpine routes on demand. Now in his 50s, there still isn’t anybody as stoked on climbing as Will Gadd.
On Episode 177 of the Enormocast, I sit down in a parking lot with Canadian boulderer and comp-climber, Allison Vest. Though Allison grew up in the heart of the Canadian Rockies’ alpine gnar, competition and plastic were her heart’s desire. She made her mark as a youth climber, and after a wayward year in Edmonton, and the worst Southeast Asia sport climbing trip anyone has ever lived to tell about, Allison buckled down to become Canada’s National Bouldering Champ in 2018. Following this interview, she won the Canadian 2019 Open Lead Championships. Now, after struggling through injury last year, but tasting recent success in 2019, Allison is poised to find her true potential training in Vancouver and looking to the future beyond the 2020 Olympics.