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.
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.
We talk to Boston-based Parlor Skis co-founder, Mark Wallace, about the origins story of Parlor; their “Build Your Own Skis” class; the new models in their 18/19 lineup — including Parlor snowboards and splitboards; and several trends on the East Coast ski scene. (We also talk about lasagna, burritos, and Camaros.)
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.