On Episode 180 of the Enormocast, I sit down with Team Texas Alum and current comp climber, Claire Buhrfeind. Claire was born and raised in Plano, Texas, far from any form of rock or mountain climbing, but she found the sport anyway. Claire started climbing in the gym at age 5, and as she grew up, climbing and Team Texas became her second family. Annual trips to the Red with the team also solidified Buhrfeind’s love of the climbing community and lifestyle. 2018 was highly successful for Claire with wins in speed and sport at US Nationals, but 2019 has been more trying due to illness and injury. Nevertheless, Claire is working through letting the rest of 2019, the Olympic trials, and her future unfold as they should.
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.