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 (.14a, then .13d just after Katie sent, now .14a again) and Hydrophobia in Montsant, Catalunya (.14a, then downgraded to .13d, now .14a again). 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.
On Episode 186 of the Enormocast, I sit down with comp climber, boulderer, and sport climber, Sean Bailey. Sean’s outdoor feats include an ascent of Biographie/Realization (5.15a) in Ceuse, France and Joe Mama (5.15a) at Oliana, Spain. His comp results have put him on top of Nationals in both bouldering and lead, not to mention a space early in his career on the USA youth team as, wait for it, a SPEED CLIMBER. Sean admits that there is a bit of a conflict between climbing outside and training for comps. Nevertheless, he does his best to unite his passion as a competitor and passion for outdoor climbing. We also discuss Sean’s reluctant but necessary participation in social media. A little bit punk rock, a little bit hip-hop, Sean Bailey may just be the vanguard of a new wave of young, serious, slightly disaffected climbers ready to crush the old’s expectations.
On Episode 180 of the Enormocast, I sit down with Team Texas Alum and current comp climber, Claire Buhrfeind. Claire was born and raised in Plano, Texas, far from any form of rock or mountain climbing, but she found the sport anyway. Claire started climbing in the gym at age 5, and as she grew up, climbing and Team Texas became her second family. Annual trips to the Red with the team also solidified Buhrfeind’s love of the climbing community and lifestyle. 2018 was highly successful for Claire with wins in speed and sport at US Nationals, but 2019 has been more trying due to illness and injury. Nevertheless, Claire is working through letting the rest of 2019, the Olympic trials, and her future unfold as they should.