What’s the biggest environmental impact we have as climbers? We talk with award-winning author, J.B. MacKinnon, about the three main environmental impacts from the outdoor industry, how those manifest in climbing, and the path to a more sustainable future.
Merlin Rock Gear makes the best cams you’ve never heard of — they aren’t sold in stores or online, and they don’t even have a website. Engineer Erick Davidson designs and builds extra-large format cams at home, trimming weight and introducing clever design elements to raise the bar significantly for large cams. We talk about his design improvements and how he convinced himself that they were safe to use in the real world.
Are we moving toward a future where The Nose (or other well-traveled walls) are headed for a permit system? Dave and Luke debate this hypothetical with the help of American Alpine Club CEO Phil Powers, Maury Birdwell, and Alex Honnold.
What’s it like to climb The Nose? Is it really as “easy” as people say? And what level of experience is required to have a reasonable chance of topping out? Our host of All Things Climbing and his wife Katie report on their recent trip up the world’s most iconic rock climb.
Justin Brown is the founder of Rhino Skin Solutions. He’s also a board member of the Smith Rock Group, and a 5.14 climber. We talk about starting Rhino Skin, why climbers need to be leaders in land management, and why belaying just might be the sport of the future.
Matt Pincus is the head coach/trainer at TrainingBeta, and he has a strong resume both as a coach and a climber. We talk to Matt about balancing his climbing goals with full-time work; the most important lessons he’s learned as a coach and trainer; and some of the key things most of us get wrong when it comes to progressing.
Alex Honnold is arguably the best and certainly the boldest climber in a generation, with a mind-bending free solo ascent of El Cap, and an unbelievable speed record on The Nose in under two hours. In this episode, we sat down with Alex and Maury Birdwell to talk about what may be an even more impressive accomplishment: the Honnold Foundation. (And, of course, we sneak in some talk about climbing, too.)
Climbing is growing — really fast. At some crags around the country, that means that our impact has also been growing, which has forced the critical question of how best to manage the increased traffic on public lands. So today we’re talking about best practices, controversial approaches, and how climbing culture could be affected if oversight from outside of the climbing community becomes the new norm.
Nik Berry is pushing the boundaries of his sport in a direction that many climbers aren’t even looking: his skill and composure on hard and scary trad routes fuel an obsession with freeing big aid lines and seeking out adventurous climbing. In this episode, we talk about his recent stellar season in Yosemite and how he balances a career with all that hard climbing.
John Sherman, one of the godfathers of modern bouldering, discusses the major ways in which the climbing scene has changed since his day; how and why he became a dedicated conservationist; making peace with the changing ethics and arrival of crowds; and much more.
We talk to Phil Powers, CEO of the American Alpine Club, about his own relationship to climbing (including summiting K2); the mission of the AAC and why it’s so important; the decision to give Alex Honnold the AAC’s Underhill Award; and much more.
In part 2 of our conversation with Will Anglin and Ben Spannuth of Tension Climbing, we talk about some of the finer points of shaping holds from wood, and what setting routes has to offer as a tool for learning difficult movement.