On Episode 123 of the Enormocast, I it down in Cody, Wyoming at the Cody Ice Fest with alpinist Kitty Calhoun. Kitty grew up in “society” in South Carolina, but quickly learned to live simply and love the mountains. The late 70s found her bumbling up ice climbs in Vermont and dreaming of big peaks. By the 80s and 90s, Kitty was guiding worldwide and mounting small expeditions to climb gnarly peaks like Makalu in Nepal. After raising a boy and a stint away from big mountains, Kitty is back in the saddle for expedition climbing. She’s also thrown her hat in the ring as part owner of Chicks With Picks, where she tries to teach women climbers to be just as determined and capable as herself.
On Episode 119 of the Enormocast, I sit down in Grand Junction, in the landing pad of Mayan Smith-Gobat, to interview young alpinist and free climber, Brette Harrington. Oft mistaken for a Canadian because of her ties to Squamish, this young American climber has been lighting up in climbing media with tales of audacious solos and big wall climbs. Brette explains that she has always gone her own way and found climbing after a path toward freeride skiing took her to New Hampshire. Now only 24, and already an experienced expedition and wall climber, the whole world is at her command. Oh, and she is not related to climber Emily Harrington, though she wouldn’t mind it if she was.
On episode 104, I sit down in the Mobile Studio with German climber, Ines Papert. Ines started like many by hiking in her local mountains in Bavaria. But one day she decided walking around cliff faces sucked, and her fate was sealed. She has since become one of the top mixed ice climbers, a strong alpinist, and a top notch rock climber. Her proudest achievement? Raising up a 15 year old kid who loves the the outdoors, accordion, and big trucks. Climbing and exploration go hand in hand with being a mom for Ines.
On Episode 100 of the Enormocast, I get a little help from my friends to celebrate my entire catalog – 100! YEAH, DAWG! – and we then get down to an epic convo with man of the hour, and climber of the ages, Tommy Caldwell. Tommy talks inspiration, professionalism, and the ups and downs of life in the spotlight. He gets down to brass tacks about the Dawn Wall, and all it has meant to him professionally and personally. We also run down a series of equally amazing feats that nobody but us climbers noticed, including putting up two of the other hardest big walls in the world . Now that he’s super famous among the non-climbing civies, Tommy’s future is unknown, but he likes it that way.
On Episode 94 of the Enormocast, I enjoy an evening with alpinist, Colin Haley. Colin hails from Washington, grew up scrambling and snow climbing in the Cascades before turning his talents to Alaska, the Himalaya, and Patagonia. Colin methodically built the skills to become one of the heavy-hitters down in El Chalten and was finally called up to the big leagues by Rolo Garibotti to complete the Cerro Torre Traverse. But that was only the beginning. Don’t call it an obsession, but this guy now knows Patagonia as well as anyone.