Enormocast 239: Janja Garnbret – Her Hardest Hue to Hold

On Episode 239 of the Enormocast, I have the privilege to sit down with Gold Medalist, Janja Garnbret. A Slovenian climbing hero, Janja, of course, took Gold at the inaugural climbing Olympics, but before that she was already the winningest climbing athlete of all time. As she beams into the interview from Oliana, Catalunya, a relaxed Garnbret talks about the pressures and joys of performing at the Olympics. Her secret seems to have been letting go of perfection. Now, as Janja faces her post Olympic period (until the next one), she is looking to continue to dominate the indoor field and set new standards for women’s outdoor climbing as well. But mostly, she wants to inspire girls and women to be their best and do what they love.

The Wall: Climbing for Gold

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Enormocast 217: Michaela Kiersch – Life’s Greater Needs

Photos: Simon Carter, Kiersch Collection, Brennan Robinson

On Episode 217 of the Enormocast, I connect after some internet trouble with the indomitable Michaela Kiersch. Michaela grew up a Chicago girl – loving baseball and the White Sox- but when she found the climbing gym, her baseball goals were supplanted. The climbing community embraced Michaela at just the right time as her mother’s long battle with cancer ended in her death when Michaela was just a girl. Michaela cites the embrace of her climbing community in Chicago as a major help in her grief. Michaela’s mother lived long enough to instill Michaela with ambition and drive that brought her to the top of competition and sport climbing with national championships and multiple 5.14c ascents. Those same traits are seeing her through a PhD program in occupational therapy. Truly someone who sees more to life than climbing, Michaela may just have the energy to have it all.

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Episode 197: Katie Brown – The Invisible Girl.

On Episode 197 of the Enormocast, I sit down with former champion comp climber, Katie Brown. Katie Brown inhabited a place in competition climbing in the 90s when the kids took over the sport. Her cohort, the likes of Chris Sharma, Tommy Caldwell, Beth Rodden, were the first wave of young competitors to put the adults on notice that the comps were about to change drastically. Katie was also a visionary onsight climber bagging an a vue ascent of Omaha Beach in the Red (.13d) and Hydrophobia in Montsant, Catalunya (.14a). But the untold story of Katie’s comp years is the family strife and eating disorders and confusion that plagued her short, meteoric career. Now a mom, wife, and just finding climbing again, Katie is ready to reveal her trauma in the hopes that the current generation of comp climbers can learn from her difficult path.

And ancient interview with Katie Brown.

Katie and Lynn Hill on the Leaning Tower.

Katie and Alex Honnold in the infamous Citi-bank commercial.

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