On Episode 277 of the Enormocast, we connect with the inimitable Kurt Smith. Kurt grew up in the 70s in Tahoe and through friendships with local climbers like Rick Lovelace and encounters with Yosemite Climber, Kurt found himself in Joshua Tree amongst the Stonemasters in the early 80s. Soon, Kurt and his crew were making waves right behind John Bachar and Ron Kauk in the Valley and J-Tree. After a stint as Bachar’s sideman and eventually close friend, an injury forced Kurt to reckon with his tradster roots and become a true sport climber – developing such areas as Clear Creek Canyon and Rifle. But one or two world class areas weren’t enough for Kurt, and he went on to put Potrero Chico on the map before being run out under shady circumstances. Kurt ranks up amongst the best and most influential climbers of all time, and his career spanned more styles and decades than almost any body before or since. And boy, can he tell a story!
On Episode 272 of the Enormocast, I connect with young trad-phenom, Connor Herson. Connor first burst into climbing’s collective consciousness with the 6th free ascent of the Nose at the tender age of 15. Connor had already climbed 14 5.14s by the age of 14 (say that ten times fast), and he went on to collect 50 by the age of 18. His resume includes two youth national lead titles and a few 5.14 first ascents. Most recently, Connor swept into Squamish and nabbed repeats of some of the hardest routes in the area. Connor credits his family’s connection to climbing with much of his success – his dad Jim was a hot Yosemite climber in his day, his mom is a tireless supporter and belayer, and his sister Kara was a successful youth climber. Mix that pedigree with a boatload of talent and you get a singular climber: Connor Herson.
On this in-between episode of the Enormocast, you get the outtakes from Episode 269 with climber, Tyler Karow. After the official interview ended, we kept talking about climbing in Jordan, the social cost of the itinerant climbing lifestyle, and a few more tidbits for your pleasure. And the cops showed up. Enjoy this free “bonus” from the Enormocast, but please support the title sponsors: Black Diamond, Sportiva, and Yeti – they’re why its free to you.