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For the Love of Climbing
59 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
27: A Splash in the Pan
On April 16th, 2019, elite climbers Jess Roskelley, David Lama, and Hansjörg Auer lost their lives in an avalanche climbing Howse Peak in Alberta’s BANFF National Park. The margin of error for alpinism is unnervingly thin, and the truth of it all is that you are not in control—the mountain is. And it took losing Jordan’s brother, Jess, to learn this unforgiving lesson. "And even when I was close to defeat, I rose to my feet, my life a soundtrack, I rose to the beat." -Dr. Dre This episode is in honor of Jess Roskelley and the Roskelley family, David Lama, and Hansjörg Auer. For the Love of Climbing is brought to you by Deuter USA, Gnarly Nutrition, Allez Outdoors, First Ascent Coffee, and presented by Patagonia. Music by: Kakurenbo and Podington Bear. A HUGE thank you to Chad Crouch for creating absolute magic and to Peter Darmi for mixing this episode. Cover photo by Kika MacFarlane. Read the transcript here. Follow us on Instagram for podcast (pod-Kath?) updates and general life things. Support us on Patreon in exchange for a warm, fuzzy feeling. Donate to and learn more about the Jess Roskelley Foundation here.
37 minutes | May 1, 2021
26: I’m a Liver, Not a Fighter
Cedar, who was named after a tree, has achieved a lot in her almost-decade of being alive—she has a podcast, she’s sort of a Do-It-Yourself queen, an accomplished video game champion (thanks to Covid), and she likes a lot of, you know, normal kid stuff—not including getting a liver transplant at the age of five. Cedar has something called Progressive Familial Intrahepatic Cholestasis, otherwise known as PFIC 2. This devastating genetic disorder affects 1 in 50,000 to 1 in 100,000 live births and, if untreated, can be fatal by the age of twenty. Visit pfic.org for more information. This mini-episode is brought to you by Deuter USA, Gnarly Nutrition, Allez Outdoors, First Ascent Coffee, and Patagonia. Music by: Kakurenbo and Podington Bear. Additional music licensed by Music Bed. A HUGE thank you to Chad Crouch for creating absolute magic and to Peter Darmi for mixing this episode. Additional sound effects from zapsplat.com. Cover photo by Kika MacFarlane. Read the transcript here. Follow us on Instagram for podcast (pod-Kath?) updates and general life things. Support us on Patreon in exchange for a warm, fuzzy feeling.
20 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
Mini-Episode 9: I Did Not Know
How do you measure something that definitively changes your life forever—whether it be for better or worse? Like, what kind of metrics are we supposed to be using for that kinda thing? Is the entire idea of “change” just an arbitrary construct, something that we make up to make ourselves feel better? Since the start of the pandemic, life has been nothing but change. So, we thought it was a good time to ask folks how climbing changed their lives, and was it really for the better? Not to get all existential on you—because, you know, we’re not *that* kind of podcast. This mini-episode is brought to you by Deuter USA, Gnarly Nutrition, Allez Outdoors, First Ascent Coffee, and Patagonia. Music by: Kakurenbo and Podington Bear. Additional music licensed by Music Bed. A HUGE thank you to Chad Crouch for creating absolute magic and to Peter Darmi for mixing this episode. Cover photo by Kika MacFarlane. Read the transcript here. Follow us on Instagram for podcast (pod-Kath?) updates and general life things. Support us on Patreon in exchange for a warm, fuzzy feeling.
64 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
25: A Knot Like Infinity
Last September, North Bennett sent me a personal essay and told me that he thought it wasn’t send-y enough for most sports publications, but also a little too climb-y for others. And—that’s where we come in. As it turns out, it was actually *just* the sort of story that we’d share on this podcast. “A Knot like Infinity” is putatively about seeking romance on Tinder and climbing with friends, but really takes on the topics of self-image, self-representation, and the value of friendship. For all you lovers and Tinder-users out there, this one's for you.
47 minutes | Jan 1, 2021
24: The Process
Just shy of twenty 5.12 free solos, Austin had climbed nineteen unique routes—several of them onsights. And in 2015, he climbed Dopey Duck, a 350-foot 5.9 in the Gorge, not only without a rope—but without shoes and butt ass naked. On June 30th, 2019, climber and friend Austin Howell died after falling while free soloing in Linville Gorge, North Carolina. Austin’s love for climbing is hard to capture with words alone, so we flew to Minnesota in the summer of 2019 to borrow some of Susan’s. His story is complicated, but life is complicated. Austin understood a lot of that, but as the pendulum in life swings both ways, he embraced both its highs and lows and especially reveled in the joy that free soloing brought him. This episode is in dedication to our friend Austin and the Howell family.
41 minutes | Dec 1, 2020
23: Si me muero, me muero
Jack used to do all the things, like surfing and jiu jitsu. But an incomplete spinal cord injury in 2018 changed his plans indefinitely. What’s a little neck fracture at C4 and C5, right? It still hasn’t slowed him down and his accident unknowingly gave him the foundation for understanding risk and its counterpart, the consequences of rock climbing.
51 minutes | Nov 1, 2020
22: The '59 Sound
Moonlight Buttress is one of the most classic test pieces for hard climbing in North America, and on March 9th, 2016, Eric was working on linking the crux moves with the hope of free climbing it later that year when he fell from the upper pitches to his death. Eric Klimt was an accomplished climber and a teacher. He was a lover of mathematics, a pilot, and deeply passionate about adventure—and he loved climbing because he loved the freedom of it. This is just one part of Eric’s story, and we tell it through the lens of our friend, Hayley. This is also a story about the stereotypes of gender and emotional expression, the importance of self-love, and the trajectory of grief. Hayley believes that everything happens for a reason, and even though it can be hard to see that when you’re in the middle of grief, the good stuff is there. Silver linings don’t always look so shiny when you’re stuck inside of a raincloud, but it never rains forever, the sun eventually comes back out, and we aren’t as alone as we think. This is just one part of Eric’s story, who played a huge part in Hayley’s life. This episode is in dedication to the Klimt family and to Eric. Thank you for the larger-than-life adventures and for filling the world with and light in the short time that you were with us. “May your soul be free, and the view be breathtaking.”
47 minutes | Oct 1, 2020
21: Come As You Are
Body positivity isn’t about “fat” versus “skinny”, despite barrages of criticism from armchair philosophers who believe that this movement has further fueled an “obesity epidemic”. The body positivity movement IS about feeling comfortable in the skin you’re in now, at this very moment. Women are tenaciously shattering old and tired stereotypes by opening up about their relationships with food, showing off stretch marks, and embracing cellulite. And it’s not just a women’s issue, but where do men stand in this movement? Lack of conversation about male body-inclusivity stems from a stigma where men learn from childhood that emotion and vulnerability equate to weakness. But the more we invite men to the table to have conversations about self-love and male body concept, the more the foundation of toxic masculinity will crumble and allow men to acknowledge their self-worth. This movement is for every body—and you can come as you are.
48 minutes | Sep 1, 2020
Do you know the difference between shame and guilt? Because this episode is about that—and the link between addiction and shame. Addiction is a need-hate relationship. It can be a terrible secret, it can frame the very shape of your life. It’s the white noise behind many lives, and everyone’s experience with it is unique. For those who suffer from addiction, there’s a steep price to pay. Sarah learned what that price was. And yes, I’m going to quote Brené Brown again: “Shame can’t be felt by those without a capacity for empathy. Those who feel shame have the power to control it.” Empathy is the antidote to shame.
58 minutes | Aug 1, 2020
19: Light at the End of the Tunnel
Racism in science is real. Racism in academia is real. Racism in rock climbing is, yes, really real. Throughout America’s history, hallmarks of our democracy have been largely reserved for cis white people through intentional exclusion of BIPOC people. Connie and Kai Lightner call attention to the role of race and how racism in the outdoor industry, public and private institutions still disproportionately segregates and oppresses Black people in 2020. In the midst of a revolution and pandemic, things have felt pretty bleak to a lot of people. Go get some vitamin D and your headphones, and listen to episode 19 with the Lightners who remind us of the importance of elevating diversity in our outdoors and the possibility of radical hope. The quote goes something like: “There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but the way out is through.”
33 minutes | Jul 1, 2020
18: Life Through a Sieve
Going through a traumatic experience is kind of like putting your life through a sieve. Certain things and people will inevitably fall away, but what’s leftover is what’s important and what stays. In 2009, Kareemah was diagnosed with cancer and underwent an amputation on her left leg below the knee. Three years later, she founded Adaptive Climbing Group. This episode is about strength in visibility and what happens when the narrative shifts from; “you don’t belong here” to “you belong here, you exist, and you matter”.
43 minutes | Jun 1, 2020
17: What We Know
If you’ve been paying attention to the news, there has been a lot of heavy discussion around the exorbitant amount of atrocities committed against people of color. This is what we know: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd are victims of three separate crimes against black people and that they’re not the only ones. These cases have raised a lot of questions about racial profiling. Millions of people are affected by racial bias every day—but especially people from the black community. And it’s causing black people to ask allies to do better. Where do we begin to unpack this? It’s really complicated and heavy and so deep-seated within our society, and even ourselves. Brandon Belcher and I sat down last November and this conversation that you’re about to lean into needs and deserves to be heard. Not just by the climbing community, but by the world at large. We still have a lot of work to do, and that work begins by listening to one another—especially to those who have the least power in society. Healing begins by listening to those voices and their stories. Also, Mikey Schaefer makes a quick cameo—how random is that! This episode is in dedication to Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and every single black life that deserves to be celebrated, today and all days. #blacklivesmatter
53 minutes | May 1, 2020
16: A Hunger For Joy
You know when you end your season early and don’t tell anybody at all? Yeah, hi. Sorry, guys! Life got a little crazy there for a second! But not because of COVID. Well, sorta because of COVID. Ok, mostly because of COVID. On May 12, 1986, students and teachers from the Oregon Episcopal School Basecamp Program set off to climb Mt. Hood. Three days later, nine of the climbers would die in what’s known as the second deadliest alpine accident in North American history. At age sixteen, Lorca Smetana survived the 1986 Mount Hood Tragedy and has transformed a series of painful experiences into a life of resilience and leadership. Is this the Brené Brown episode of climbing podcasts? Maybe. Welcome back to season three.
26 minutes | Feb 1, 2020
Mini-Episode 8: How The F*ck Are You? (No, really.)
We’ll be back on April 1st with two new full episodes. Until then, enjoy two mini-episodes today and on March 1st while I try to do things like not burn a film festival into the ground (just kidding...I think!) and if you’re in Denver, Colorado March 5th through 8th, come out to the No Man's Land Film Festival Annual Flagship event for four days of films, workshops and guest speakers. This mini-episode is comprised of episode ten with Corey Mowery, which if you haven’t listened to yet, we highly recommend. Also, who is this “we” I keep referring to?
50 minutes | Jan 1, 2020
15: A Winter in Pakistan
When you go on a climbing trip, everybody thinks it’s a vacation. And you can’t get PTSD from a vacation, right? Except that a winter in the Himalaya nearly destroyed Ian. He survived unroped crevasse falls, an avalanche, bivouacs in negative forty-degree weather, high altitude cerebral edema, Hepatitis A, an earthquake, oh—and also, nearly being eaten alive by fleas. When he returned to the states, he couldn’t cope with society and suffered from severe depression and PTSD.
46 minutes | Dec 1, 2019
14: Donuts for Savvy (Part 2)
To know Savannah was to love her. Nina and Court loved Savannah to the ends of the earth, and her unexpected death forever changed the climbing community. In their love and grief, Savannah’s parents turned everything that she was into purpose. Savannah left the world with a legacy of love, joy, and gratitude. Introduction by the lovely Chelsea Rude.
32 minutes | Nov 1, 2019
13: Donuts for Savvy (Part 1)
Grief is the one human experience that we all have in common, but there are no words for losing a child. Savannah Buik was 22 years old when she died in a climbing accident at Devil’s Lake in Wisconsin. Nina and Court saw both sides of the pendulum: how the stronger and deeper we love, the harder it is to overcome the pain on the other side. This is part one of a two-part story. Savannah was a passionate advocate for eating disorder recovery and pushed for more open dialogue about mental health topics and worked to help end the stigma that surrounds EDs by speaking out against them. Savannah credited climbing for helping her overcome her eating disorder, and she dedicated herself to healing others. #donutsforsavvy
40 minutes | Oct 1, 2019
12: Life, Interrupted
Life is full of interruptions we’re rarely ready for, so the more doctors tried to convince Hans how serious his condition was, the more he denied it. Because, one minute you’re doing things like remodeling your apartment and riding your bike a hundred miles, and the next—the possibility of redoing your apartment and riding a bicycle is suddenly gone. We most commonly associate grief with death, but what about the softer versions of grief? Like, grieving the loss of a relationship or an old life, or maybe a kidney?
46 minutes | Aug 31, 2019
11: A Woman Knows Her Place
Women are a lot of things. We’re complex, we’re coffee-fueled, we smell good—sometimes we smell bad. Sometimes we’re hangry. But one thing is certain—we’re hustlers, we are strong, and we are gritty. Welcome back to the second season of For the Love of Climbing.
12 minutes | Aug 17, 2019
Mini-Episode 7: The Moral of the Story
It's Still (Mostly) Not a Climbing Podcast. We took the summer off to stand fully in our truth, which means sometimes we have to sit in those uncomfortable feelings, too. But we’re back this September with ten new episodes that unpack a lot of this. We spent the last eight months on the road talking to climbers (like you) about what resilience looks like when shit hits the fan—and everything that happens after.
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