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 208 of the Enormocast, I have a very enjoyable and inspiring talk with ice climber and author, Margo Talbot. Margo is Canadian and based out of Canmore, Alberta. In her memoir, All That Glitters, Margo reveals that she had a youth of drug addiction, depression, and suicidal tendencies but found climbing ice to be therapy she needed to start to face her demons. Instead of using climbing to hide her trauma, ice climbing gave her strength to dig at the roots of her addiction and depression. Finally overcoming her loneliness and darkness with the help of good friends, deep introspection, and the peaks surrounding Canmore, Margo now helps teach others to heal their own trauma by her example.
More about Margo: margotalbot.com
On Episode 206, we get down to climbing talk and climbing stories with Andres Marin. Andres was born and grew up in the mountains of Colombia, but immigrated to the US as a young man. Ending up in Grand Junction, Colorado, Andres was quickly drawn to the climbing opportunities in his back yard. Soon, he found himself guiding Mt. Rainier over and over and over (and over) again. Finally, he wound up as a consummate guide in Ouray, Colorado and then on the North Face team. Andres has been drawn to all forms of climbing, with alpinism and ice climbing being his bread and butter. First ascents world wide dot his resume amid years of desert climbing and technical Rocky Mountain ice. Good for a laugh and a crazy story, Andres Marin is the kind of climber you want at your campfire.