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 this special Episode, I whip those stallions pulling the Free Solo bandwagon and rebroadcast Alex Honnold’s interview from 2017 – just a few weeks out from his free solo of the FreeRider on El Capitan in Yosemite. Not just a cynical grab at downloads, when I re-listened this interview for myself, I was newly fascinated by Alex Honnold after now having seen Free Solo the movie. Before the hype, before the Oscar, there was just an over-stoked climber on top of the world. Its quaint how naive we were about the mainstream not really noticing what Alex had done.
On Episode 132, I sit down with Alex Honnold. You may have heard of him. He recently free-handed the El Capitan.
But seriously, a seriously-still-stoked Alex Honnold joins the Enormocast for his sophomore appearance. In opposition to his many recent mainstream appearances, on Jimmy Kimmel for example, we decided that a total move-for-move nerd-out on his history-making free solo of the FreeRider on El Capitan should be soup du jour on the Enormocast- a CLIMBING podcast. Alex reports the parts that truly made him nervous beforehand, the film effort, a false start, and how it made him feel to accomplish one of the, if not THE, crowning athletic achievements of human kind, EVER, ever. So strap in for this very hot, very exclusive interview. In Alex’s own words, “If you’re a climber, you pretty much have to do the Enormocast.”