On Episode 144 of the Enormocast, I sit down at the Ouray ice festival with ice climbing dark horse, Rapheal Slawinski. While a total legend in his backyard of the Canadian Rockies, Raph is maybe not quite the household name of his compatriot, Will Gadd. Yet, he has been on the forefront of ice climbing, dry-tooling, and big mountain climbing for over 20 years, receiving a Piolet D’or in 2014 for his and Ian Welsted’s ascent of K6 West in the Karokorum of Pakistan. Part affable Polish Canadian, part precision machine, Raphael found his calling scraping away at ice on rock in the Canadian Rockies and beyond.
On Episode 105, I sit down for a trip down memory lane with Canadian hero Will Stanhope. After cutting his teeth in Squamish, Will, and his buddy Jason Kruk, took Canadian climbing up a notch or two in the last decade. In an era of hotshot boulderers and sport climbers, Will took the opposite track towards big trad climbing and heady leads. Humble almost to a fault, Will continues to pull off hard leads in a style that hearkens back to the Golden Age more than the Internet Age. What’s more, he’s willing to buy you a Kokonee if you send his routes in better style. (Hey, Kokanee! Sponsor this guy already!).
On Episode 78 of the Enormocast, I send some love north to America’s Hat with an interview with Canadian Superstar, Sonnie Trotter. Sonnie sits down in a van by a lake in Siurana, Spain to talk about his origins, his inspirations, and his journey through most of the disciplines that climbing has to offer. Living up to the Canadian reputation for being swell, Sonnie gets rather embarrassed when I point out that he is now an inspiration for a generation of Canuck climbers. This is actually Sonnie’s second appearance on the cast, and we’re glad to have him back.