On Episode 198 of the Enormocast, I sit down in Ouray, Colorado on a too bright Sunday morning with British alpinist, Tom Livingstone. Tom was born in the climbing desert of southern England, but now bases out of the climbing Mecca of North Wales. A traditional rock climber at first, Tom has made a name for himself climbing adventurous peaks in the Karakorum including completing the long sought after first ascent of the North side of Latok 1. Tom’s hyper-motivated and fun-loving attitude belies the fact that he is also tough as nails and willing to pitch himself at audacious unclimbed faces with style. And, of course, this show is a true lesson in the Queen’s English.
On Episode 183 of the Enormocast, I sit down with truly legendary alpinist, Jim Donini. Jim has been banging it out on big climbs since before most of you, dear listeners, were born. Jim cemented his reputation early on in Patagonia when it was still a truly wild frontier, but Donini went on to put up first ascents on all 7 continents. His career also depicts a long love affair with the Karakorum and Alaska. But for Jim, the quality of the person at the other end of his rope is far more important than the climbing objective, and Jim has passed through thick and thin with many of the greats. 55 years and not stopping yet, Jim Donini is barometer for what’s possible in climbing longevity.
On Episode 129 of the Enormocast, I sit down with consummate alpinist, Steve Swensen. Steve’s career in the big mountains has spanned decades. As a kid, Steve dreamed of flying to the stars as an Apollo astronaut, but he chose to climb as close to space as possible instead. While he has climbed worldwide, his most memorable and mesmerizing locale is the Karakorum on the borders of Pakistan, China, and India. In his new book Karakorum: Climbing through the Kashmir Conflict, Steve recounts his years exploring the mountains of this formerly closed region and falling in love with its people but also watching the waves of conflict ebb and flow in the surrounding lands. Steve spent 40 years balancing on the three pillars of his radical life: climbing, career, and family, and somehow he is as stoked as ever to be in the mountains and pushing his mind and body to the highest reaches of the Earth.