Nik Berry (Ep.13)

Nik Berry has propelled himself onto the national climbing scene with a seemingly unending series of hard sends on long routes all over the country. With a taste for big walls and an aptitude for committing routes, Nik has racked up an impressive list of hard, gear-protected test-pieces including the Salathe Wall (ledge-to-ledge variation) and El Corazon in Yosemite, The Hallucinogen Wall (5.13 R) in the Black Canyon, and Sendero Luminoso in Wyoming, as well as the first free ascent of Lunar Ecstasy (5.13 R) in Zion. He has also cultivated a career in nursing and remains one of the most enthusiastic climbers I’ve ever spoken with.

Nik Berry on Blister's All Things Climbing Podcast
Nik Berry on Father Time (5.13b PG-13), Middle Cathedral, Yosemite Valley. (photo by Austin Siadak)

In this episode, Nik discusses how he balances a career with the training required to climb at an elite level; what sort of climbs he aspires to for the rest of his career; and what goes into finding big-wall routes that have potential for free climbing.


  • Sending Wet Lycra Nightmare. (1:20)
  • Dyno into a chicken wing?! Is that actually fun?? (3:36)
  • Freeing Sheer Lunacy. (8:33)
  • Is there a group-think approach to discovering free-able lines on big walls? (13:55)
  • Why aren’t there more 5.14 climbs in Zion? (17:50)
  • What is it like balancing nursing and climbing? (21:50)
  • How do you stay in shape when not climbing? (27:20)
  • What about maintaining skin care while not climbing? (29:20)
  • What advice would you offer to all beginner climbers? (40:45)
  • Would you rather…? (41:55)
  • Outro (43:05)

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