On Episode 117, I sit down in a La Quinta Inn in Rifle, Colorado (the town, not the climbing area) with Heather Weidner. Heather and I nerd out on the process it took for her to do the first female ascent of China Doll (5.14R) sans bolts. Then we go deeper. After sending the multi-year mega-project that was China Doll, instead of lasting elation, Heather felt let-down and self-loathing. Heather had given up being a veterinarian to become a professional climber, and as she finally had space to reflect on that choice and her life before climbing, she’s had to reckon with sad memories and troubled times from the past. Climbing, though, still gives her the outlet she needs to be happy and move forward. Onward and upward, Heather hopes to graduate to “For-Lifer” and always find solace in climbing.
On Episode 116, I sit down with big wall badass ans speed climber, Dave Allfrey. His endless psyche and skills-to-pay-the-bills has made Dave one of the go-to guys in the Sierra and beyond when moving fast and safe is on the menu. Dave’s years on SAR and mentorships from some of the best has made him the kind of climber that will succeed no matter what the project. Dave has also forged partnerships with the best young climbers of his generation. In this episode, Dave gives his perspective on the discussion of Haywire that we started with Cheyne Lempe back in Episode 110. Too much stoke for just an hour, but it will have to do. Dave’s Website
On Episode 111 of the Enormocast, I sit down with rock climber and genuine good guy, Brad Gobright. This lighthearted “kid” approaches climbing the gnar with joy and stoke, but don’t let that fool you – he’s got the eye of the tiger and skills of the ninja. Brad has been quietly crushing first free solos and speed records in Colorado and California for a long time. His new found recognition does not fit him like a glove, but he’s getting comfortable with the creature comforts that come with success, like not living in his Civic. Happy to be climbing, happy to be on the Enormocast, happy to be alive, Brad gives us a lesson on how to have a good time, all the time.
On Episode 110 of the Enormocast, I sit down in a seedy hotel in SLC with a very Zen Cheyne Lempy. Cheyne had just returned from a session with Rock Warrior Way‘s author, Arno Ilgner, and was feeling absolutely himself. Cheyne instantly unloads about his trip to Baffin depicted in his film, Haywire. His first big expedition, things did not go as planned and Cheyne came to question the motivations that brought him so deep and “out there” on the ice. Cheyne also comes clean about the anxiety and depression that he has dealt with his whole life, even while taking down big walls left and right. He’s ready for the next big thing, but he’s just not quite sure what that might be.
On Episode 107 of the Enormocast, I sit down in an office in Carbondale with expedition climber, explorer, and super-dad, Mike Libecki. Mike was once just a Yosemite climbing- bum like so many before him, but then he found expedition climbing and his fate was sealed. 60+ expeditions later and first ascents in far-flung locals such as Baffin Island, Greenland, Madagascar, and Afghanistan, Mike is still going strong and pulling his daughter along with him in his life of exploration. 100 expeditions are his goal, and after that? More trips, we suppose. “Never ration passion!” is Mike’s saying du jour, and he lives that every damn day.