On Episode 257 of the Enormocast, I am joined in-person by climber, gym-owner, and newly minted television personality, Chris Sharma. Chris is one of the most well-known climbers in the world, and his legacy of ground-breaking sport climbing remains unmatched. Chris was of the earliest crop of child-phenoms to hit the competition scene. Along with the likes of Katie Brown, Tommy Caldwell, and Beth Rodden, he put climbing competitions on notice that the adults need not apply. Still as a teenager, Chris took his talents to the rock with the first American ascent of Just Do It, then the hardest climb in the US. Then he started his own legacy of establishing “King Lines” like Realization/Biographie, Jumbo Love, Es Pontàs, and La Dura Dura among countless others. Now a family man, owner of two climbing gyms, and host of the reality show, The Climb, Chris is climbing nearly as well as ever and nowhere near done with hard, beautiful first ascents.
On Episode 251 of the Enormocast, I talk with legendary British climber, Steve McClure. Steve was introduced to climbing as a youth by his folks, and by his teens, he possessed a deep well of trad skills. The two successive serious accidents sent him spinning away from climbing for a time, but the advent of sport climbing, and his discovery of the joys of trying hard, brought Steve back into the fold. Within a few years following his return, Steve was THE top British sport climber and perhaps the best in the world at a certain type of power endurance climbing found at the infamous Raven Tor. Now approaching 50 years on a rope, Steve is still trying hard, still looking for that immersive experience, and still loving climbing.
On Episode 217 of the Enormocast, I connect after some internet trouble with the indomitable Michaela Kiersch. Michaela grew up a Chicago girl – loving baseball and the White Sox- but when she found the climbing gym, her baseball goals were supplanted. The climbing community embraced Michaela at just the right time as her mother’s long battle with cancer ended in her death when Michaela was just a girl. Michaela cites the embrace of her climbing community in Chicago as a major help in her grief. Michaela’s mother lived long enough to instill Michaela with ambition and drive that brought her to the top of competition and sport climbing with national championships and multiple 5.14c ascents. Those same traits are seeing her through a PhD program in occupational therapy. Truly someone who sees more to life than climbing, Michaela may just have the energy to have it all.