On Episode 209, I sit down on home turf in Carbondale, Colorado with climber and engineer, Natalie Afonina. Natalie grew up in the States but with a strong connection to her parents homeland, mother Russia. Fluent in Russian and holder of dual citizenship, Natalie has used that pedigree to her advantage as she’s travelled the world into far away places rarely accessed by Americans. Along the line, she was inspired by her mountaineer father to seek the cold and wild. A chance encounter with the North Face Team in Nepal set her on a path to climbing, though she also maintained a career in robotics software including stints at Tesla and Uber. Now on a sabbatical to cut her teeth as a full time ice climber before the next phase of her life, Natalie is ready for whatever adventure drops in her lap.
On Episode 192 of the Enormocast, I sit down in the Access Fund offices late night with Jenny Fischer. Jenny grew up and lived in the small city of Port Huron, Michigan until she was 30. Then she blew up her rather preordained life and lit out after a dream she’d had since she was a littler girl: explore and climb in the Great American West. Being a somewhat late in life climber, Jenny made up for lost time by diving in with everything she had and cutting her teeth with big whippers and scary near misses until coming up for air and mellowing out a bit before her luck ran out. Now, Jenny has created a life around climbing and just set out on a world tour.
On Episode 187, I sit down with recent trad convert, Brittany Goris. We were ensconced on a very cold evening in the Mobile Studio parked in the Supercrack Parking lot in Indian Creek. Brittany started as a boulderer and sport climber but has been spending her energies recently exploring the limits of her trad climbing. For better or worse, she battles constantly with ego and competitiveness, but strives to be her “best self” with every new challenge. The result has been a growing resume of bold trad ascents at the hardest grades with the ultimate dream of the elusive tick of 5.14 trad.