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.
On Episode 141, my friend and climbing advocate, Sam Lightner, returns for his sophomore appearance on the Enormocast after joining us way back on Episode 9. Sam just recently published a book, Heavy Green, about a battle in the Vietnam War that involved a climbing twist as the NVA were faced with a climbing crux for a daring attack. Apropos, since Sam’s interest and admiration for Southeast Asia has been a decades long pursuit. We also talk climbing opportunities in Laos, the current scene in Thailand, and bolts. Sam’s been on the front line of bolting and climbing conservation for years, and knows the difference between a bomber bolt and rusty death-bomb.