On Episode 220 of the Enormocast, I sit down across the internet with Alex Honnold. A lot has happened to Alex Honnold since we last talked in 2017. Back then, he had just free soloed El Cap, but the Oscar winning film of that ascent was still year away from blowing our minds and moistening our palms. So I endeavored to discover if AH had changed much. If he had let the fame and fortune fortune and rubbing his elbows with rock stars go to his head. Turns out he’s same old Alex Honnold: still wants to climb, still has no time for your bullshit. And he also still wants to make the world a better, more equitable place. Good to know that some things never change.
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.