On Episode 197 of the Enormocast, I sit down with former champion comp climber, Katie Brown. Katie Brown inhabited a place in competition climbing in the 90s when the kids took over the sport. Her cohort, the likes of Chris Sharma, Tommy Caldwell, Beth Rodden, were the first wave of young competitors to put the adults on notice that the comps were about to change drastically. Katie was also a visionary onsight climber bagging an a vue ascent of Omaha Beach in the Red (.14a, then .13d just after Katie sent, now .14a again) and Hydrophobia in Montsant, Catalunya (.14a, then downgraded to .13d, now .14a again). But the untold story of Katie’s comp years is the family strife and eating disorders and confusion that plagued her short, meteoric career. Now a mom, wife, and just finding climbing again, Katie is ready to reveal her trauma in the hopes that the current generation of comp climbers can learn from her difficult path.
On Episode 196 of the Enormocast, I sit down with couple, Janelle and Mark Smiley. Janelle and Mark spent much of the last decade in a van pursuing the 50 Classic Climbs of North America. In addition to that hair-brained addiction to climbing and alpinism, both are crack skiers and guides, with Mark and 18 year veteran mountain guide and Janelle a champion ski-mountaineering racer . On this episode, we learn of all the trials and tribulations of completing 48 of the 50 Classics (attempting all of them at least once), the ups and downs of love and vanlife, and more. Mark and Janelle also have launched climbing and skiing online learning courses at mtnsense.com with the simple mission of keeping you alive. These two have relentlessly pursued an exceptional life in the mountains together and it shows.
On Episode 195 of the Enormocast, I sit down in my comfortable study with British climber Tom Randall. Tom just happened to be driving by in a snowstorm and turned up on my doorstep desperate for shelter. So we made a deal: warmth and comfort for an Enormocast. Tom talks about his entry into the gladiatorial climbing scene in Sheffield, England, how his crack addiction started despite the lack of cracks in the UK, and the battle that him and Pete Whittaker took on with the world’s hardest offwidth (?!?!?), Century Crack in Canyonlands National Park. Good cheer and good tales abound in this rare Anglophile edition of the Enormocast.