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 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.