On this special Episode, I whip those stallions pulling the Free Solo bandwagon and rebroadcast Alex Honnold’s interview from 2017 – just a few weeks out from his free solo of the FreeRider on El Capitan in Yosemite. Not just a cynical grab at downloads, when I re-listened this interview for myself, I was newly fascinated by Alex Honnold after now having seen Free Solo the movie. Before the hype, before the Oscar, there was just an over-stoked climber on top of the world. Its quaint how naive we were about the mainstream not really noticing what Alex had done.
On Episode 152 of the Enormocast, I realize a stated dream by sitting down in the Oasis Camper Trailer with Mark Hudon and Max Jones. Max and Mark quietly pushed the boundaries of free climbing in the late 70s in Yosemite. Operating under the shadows of the likes of Kauk and Bachar, Jones and Hudon were every bit as visionary on big routes as those superstars. They had a tremendous 5 year run in the Valley and beyond before Max Jones turned his talents to the budding sport of Mountain Biking, and Mark Hudon started searching for something new – eventually ending up with a coffee business in Hood River and then retiring to become a climbing bum again. But several years ago, the buddy movie that was their time together in Yosemite in the 70s got a reboot and they’ve been climbing walls as a team again to this day.
On Episode 151 of the Enormocast, you, dear listener, join the Enormocast for an ascent of Golden Gate on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. Golden Gate is a variation off the Salathe Wall, and as a free climb, the next step up from FreeRider. On May 18th, 2018, Steve Dilk and I blasted off up the Heart Highway for what would become a 7 day ascent of the wall- Steve’s first big wall, and my return to the Captain after 12 years. We encountered rain, pain, and scary climbing, but in the end, eked out an ascent that was not nearly in the style we had planned in terms of free climbing, but hell, we summitted.