On Episode 225 of the Enormocast, I sit down in a yard with goats with ice climber, Manoah Ainuu. Manoah popped up on a lot of climbers’ radars in the film Black Ice from last year’s Reel Rock, but he’s been a North Face Athlete for 3 years and getting it done in Bozeman for longer. As a brown-skin climber and sporting long dreads, Manoah knows that he stands out in the ice climbing world, but that’s fine with him. His participation is his own statement about diversity. Above all, Manoah is trying to find a life balance that is a bit against the grain in the world of hard climbing and 20 something men: family, health, spirituality, climbing, in that order.
On Episode 210 of the Enormocast, we journey into the impossibly distant past of a year ago for an interview recorded in the pre-pandemic bliss of January 2020 with climber, guidebook author, and artist, Jason Nelson. Jason hails from Maine, but is most associated with the small town with big climbing aspirations: Ouray, Colorado. As a developer of rock climbing, ice climbing, and dry-tooling routes, Jason is a triple threat new route hound. One of his more controversial and now popular contributions is the infamous Hall of Justice cave where only dry-toolers need apply. Jason fills us in on the dark arts of dry tool choss development. Finally, Jason is the author of two guidebooks, Climbs of the Million Dollar Highway and Suffer Candy Volume One, as well as the soon to be revealed Suffer Candy Volume 2. Stick around the interview for an update from the present.
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.