On Episode 261 of the Enormocast, I connect with highball boulderer, Timmy Kang, to reflect on life, his youth, and the completion a major project. In December 2022, Timmy did 5 major Highballs in Bishop in a day, including the feared and revered Too Big to Flail. The forthcoming film, Focus, was made by Timmy and friends to document the audacious day. Through the runup and sending of the project, Timmy delved into all the emotions and reflections requisite in climbing dangerous and difficult things. He discovered incidents and influences throughout his life that lead him directly to the top of that last boulder and for now, the pinnacle of his career. But of course, there’s more to come from an over-stoked Timmy Kang.
On Episode 241, I connect with climber and author, Jonathan Howland. Jonathan started climbing in the early 70s and spent much of that decade obsessed with the pursuit. Then a 20 year hiatus ensued, but Jonathan returned to the climbing-fold with a similar passion but a new outlook. Then tragedy hit, and as can often be the case, so did a dark muse. The result is Jonathan’s first published novel, Native Air. The narrative in Native Air is based on characters living and climbing on the East Side of the Sierra in the 80s. However, the themes in Native Air are endowed with loss, friendship, family, and whether or not climbing can stand up to the weight of meaning we frequently heap upon it. Jonathan’s insight into the heart of why we climb is riveting.