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.
On Episode 208 of the Enormocast, I have a very enjoyable and inspiring talk with ice climber and author, Margo Talbot. Margo is Canadian and based out of Canmore, Alberta. In her memoir, All That Glitters, Margo reveals that she had a youth of drug addiction, depression, and suicidal tendencies but found climbing ice to be therapy she needed to start to face her demons. Instead of using climbing to hide her trauma, ice climbing gave her strength to dig at the roots of her addiction and depression. Finally overcoming her loneliness and darkness with the help of good friends, deep introspection, and the peaks surrounding Canmore, Margo now helps teach others to heal their own trauma by her example.
More about Margo: margotalbot.com
On Episode 207, Tara Kerzhner joins me via the Internet tubes to discuss her life as a climber, but more importantly, her life behind the lens. Tara came up a sheltered child in Bend, Oregon, and grew into an awkward, dark-poetry-writing tween before finding her mother’s old Pentax. Quite a few cat photos later, and a few other false starts, Tara found climbing, professional photography, and love. Tara is a prominent climbing and outdoor film maker with a mission to make great art and great outdoor films, but also use her skills to help make indigenous peoples visible. Not easily moved emotionally, Tara has lived a career as a woman and POC in the outdoor media world but is still forming an opinion of how her gender and skin has affected her prospects in that field, though she believes that climbing itself has only been welcoming.