On Episode 194, I sit down in Denver, Colorado with Louisville, KY native and Red River Gorge climber, Dru Mack. Dru is a youngish climber and coach who dropped roots in the Red as a kid, and now uses the base he gained there to tick hard sport pitches and boulders worldwide. At an early age, Dru experienced therapy for clinical anxiety, and he now can bring that experience to bear coaching kids not just in climbing, but finding their way in the complicated world of adolescence. Also, Dru is one of those seemingly rare climbers with a love of a ball sport, namely basketball, and apparently he has some actual skill? He uses the inspiration from that sport to drive his goals in climbing.
On Episode 177 of the Enormocast, I sit down in a parking lot with Canadian boulderer and comp-climber, Allison Vest. Though Allison grew up in the heart of the Canadian Rockies’ alpine gnar, competition and plastic were her heart’s desire. She made her mark as a youth climber, and after a wayward year in Edmonton, and the worst Southeast Asia sport climbing trip anyone has ever lived to tell about, Allison buckled down to become Canada’s National Bouldering Champ in 2018. Following this interview, she won the Canadian 2019 Open Lead Championships. Now, after struggling through injury last year, but tasting recent success in 2019, Allison is poised to find her true potential training in Vancouver and looking to the future beyond the 2020 Olympics.
On Episode 162 of the Enormocast, I sit down with visually impaired climber, Justin Salas. Hailing from the unlikely climbing locale of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Justin started losing his sight to an unidentified syndrome while a teenager. The first thing to be abandoned was his passion for BMX, then depression set in. Luckily, a friend got him on his bike again, and Justin began hucking tricks and riding around town with his buddy as a “seeing eye person” on a bike. Not long after, Justin was introduced to climbing and never looked back, pun intended. Since that intro, he’s climbed V11 and won his category at the World Championships in Innsbruck. What Justin lost in eyesight, he’s makes up for in vision of what a visually impaired athlete can accomplish.