On Episode 197 of the Enormocast, I sit down with former champion comp climber, Katie Brown. Katie Brown inhabited a place in competition climbing in the 90s when the kids took over the sport. Her cohort, the likes of Chris Sharma, Tommy Caldwell, Beth Rodden, were the first wave of young competitors to put the adults on notice that the comps were about to change drastically. Katie was also a visionary onsight climber bagging an a vue ascent of Omaha Beach in the Red (.14a, then .13d just after Katie sent, now .14a again) and Hydrophobia in Montsant, Catalunya (.14a, then downgraded to .13d, now .14a again). But the untold story of Katie’s comp years is the family strife and eating disorders and confusion that plagued her short, meteoric career. Now a mom, wife, and just finding climbing again, Katie is ready to reveal her trauma in the hopes that the current generation of comp climbers can learn from her difficult path.
On Episode 194, I sit down in Denver, Colorado with Louisville, KY native and Red River Gorge climber, Dru Mack. Dru is a youngish climber and coach who dropped roots in the Red as a kid, and now uses the base he gained there to tick hard sport pitches and boulders worldwide. At an early age, Dru experienced therapy for clinical anxiety, and he now can bring that experience to bear coaching kids not just in climbing, but finding their way in the complicated world of adolescence. Also, Dru is one of those seemingly rare climbers with a love of a ball sport, namely basketball, and apparently he has some actual skill? He uses the inspiration from that sport to drive his goals in climbing.
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.