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 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.