On Episode 218 of the Enormocast, I connect after some really weird internet glitching with climber and author Mark Synnott. Mark’s book The Third Pole: Mystery, Obsession, and Death on Mount Everest and its imminent release was the occasion for our talk, but the convo quickly turns to our shared past and his personal struggles juggling adventure, family, and marriage. Mark is one of the preeminent explorers of our time with not just mind-boggling climbing feats under his belt, but adventures in massive caves, deep jungles, and wild landscapes on his resume as well. His former life as a dirtbag expedition climber has been supplanted by a career in journalism and documentation, but his wit and love of adventure remains.
On Episode 159 of the Enormocast, I sit down with professional climber Sam Elias in his camper parked at Rifle Mountain Park. With the creek gurgling in the background and the occasional late night drive-by, we get deep into Sam’s motivations and psyche. Once on a pro-skiing track, Sam decided to slow his life down with climbing and find himself in the Red River Gorge. Using his athleticism and knowledge of training from ski racing, Sam quickly progressed to 5.14. Then he took up ice and mixed climbing on the path to where he is today – with a short pit-stop on Mount Everest.
On Episode 27 of the Enormocast, I sit down with blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer. Erik found climbing just in time to save him from a miserable existence in the dark safe place where taking chances and adventure are out of the question. Instead, Erik learned to push against his boundaries and seek fearful situations to help him grow. Giving in to his blindness instead of fighting it was the ironic catalyst to a life of adventure that has taken Erik to the top of Denali, Everest, and countless other ice, rock, and snow climbs. Not satisfied with just climbing, Erik also learned to kayak and descended the entire Grand Canyon. Erik has learned to let go of the forces he can’t control and achieve a certain flow in the river of life. And did I mention that he can’t see a damn thing? And climbs 5.11 and kayaks class 5? WTF?