On Episode 257 of the Enormocast, I am joined in-person by climber, gym-owner, and newly minted television personality, Chris Sharma. Chris is one of the most well-known climbers in the world, and his legacy of ground-breaking sport climbing remains unmatched. Chris was of the earliest crop of child-phenoms to hit the competition scene. Along with the likes of Katie Brown, Tommy Caldwell, and Beth Rodden, he put climbing competitions on notice that the adults need not apply. Still as a teenager, Chris took his talents to the rock with the first American ascent of Just Do It, then the hardest climb in the US. Then he started his own legacy of establishing “King Lines” like Realization/Biographie, Jumbo Love, Es Pontàs, and La Dura Dura among countless others. Now a family man, owner of two climbing gyms, and host of the reality show, The Climb, Chris is climbing nearly as well as ever and nowhere near done with hard, beautiful first ascents.
On episode 256, climber, entrepreneur, and Florida man, Matt Segal, joins the Enormocast. Matt was born and raised in Florida, and this podcaster contends that he is the baddest climber to come out of that flat and swampy State (Matt demurs this accolade, BTW). Though he started as a proto gym-kid, and had a short but very successful indoor comp career, Matt pivoted in his early 20s to hardcore trad-climbing. For 15 solid years, he pretty much only trad-climbed and took down some gnarly R and X routes ground up. Along that dedicated path, Matt was not afraid to get uppity about how rad his cohort’s ethics were compared to whatever bullshit climbing you were doing. But in the end, a hard fought maturity prevailed, and now Matt looks at climbing with a much more encompassing view, though big adventures and fun with friends are still his compass. At 38 and with gas still in the tank, Matt is as happy with this moment as he’s ever been.
On Episode 255 of the Enormocast, I connect with Dani Dobrot and Prerna Dangi. Dani is the Associate Director of the Global Climbing Initiative and Prerna is an Indian climber and guide for Climb Like a Woman. I catch up with both woman to talk about the Global Climbing Initiative, and its efforts to assist and empower climbing communities around the world. Dani’s experience as a medical aid worker informed her decision to join GCI and also gave her the experience to know the good, the bad, and the ugly of aid work around the globe. She brings this light but focused touch to GCI’s efforts in Kenya, Malawi, India and beyond. Prerna is a recipient of GCI’s investment in leadership training which she brings to her role in CLAW: the org started by Gowri Varanashi to introduce Indian women to rock climbing. GCI, Dani, and Prerna love climbing and are building the climbing community around the world.