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 144 of the Enormocast, I sit down at the Ouray ice festival with ice climbing dark horse, Rapheal Slawinski. While a total legend in his backyard of the Canadian Rockies, Raph is maybe not quite the household name of his compatriot, Will Gadd. Yet, he has been on the forefront of ice climbing, dry-tooling, and big mountain climbing for over 20 years, receiving a Piolet D’or in 2014 for his and Ian Welsted’s ascent of K6 West in the Karokorum of Pakistan. Part affable Polish Canadian, part precision machine, Raphael found his calling scraping away at ice on rock in the Canadian Rockies and beyond.