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.
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.
This week we’re talking with Will Anglin and Ben Spannuth of Tension Climbing. Both have impressive climbing ticklists and volumes of insight into how climbing works. We discuss their “mad scientist” approach to designing holds, and what years of coaching and studying have taught them about how to improve your climbing.
We talk to Jim Herrington about his new award-winning book, “The Climbers,” a compelling collection of portraits of many of the most influential climbers of the 20th century — including Fred Beckey, Yvon Chouinard, John Gill, and many more. We discuss the book, the subjects in the photos, and the book’s important role in the climbing community.
We talk to Barbara Zangerl about her recent send of Magic Mushroom on El Cap with Jacopo Larcher, which is the first repeat of the route since it was first freed by Tommy Caldwell and Justen Sjong. We also discuss how climbing culture is different in Europe, and how she found herself free climbing grade VI big walls after initially being focused exclusively on bouldering.