Afterglow is a new podcast series that travels deep into the mind heart and soul of world renown adventure athletes.
Afterglow is a series of in-depth and intimate audio conversations with athletes who chase their dreams through big mountain skiing, mountaineering, ultra running, and rock climbing.
Join us on December 1st, for Afterglow, a series of organic, long-form and intimate conversations that reveal the personalities, motivations and inspirations of iconic mountain athletes.
Every conversation goes deep in the attempt to learn universal truths from the experiences of these athletes including who we are, why we are here, and how these answers offer a pathway for the sharing of experiences, emotion and vulnerabilities that can potentially spark change and bridge divides.
Join us on December 1st for a different kind of mountain storytelling.
Season one of Afterglow showcases weekly conversations with notable mountain adventure athletes Tommy Caldwell, Will Gadd, Doug Robinson, Chris Noble, Dave Nettle, and Brendan Leonard. Our kick-off episode is a tandem chat with high altitude mountaineers Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards.
Subscribe now ….. and tell a friend. Email us with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Afterglow, A Mountain Storytelling Podcast” is like if our generation’s top explorers were on The Moth. " The Dyrt.com.
"Madigan is the dirtbag's Terry Gross." Geoff Quine
S3:E8 Glen Plake
In our eighth and final episode, we sit down with skiing icon Glen Plake. As a pioneer of the extreme skiing movement, Plake is most well known for his seminal appearances in the classic Greg Stump films including Blizzard of Aahhh's, the Maltese Flamengo and License to Thrill.
With his signature mohawk, Plake is arguably the most recognizable and most well known skier in the world. Over three decades he has maintained a love for all disciplines of the sport and a drive that has kept him timelessly relevant. It is safe to say, whether skiing 8-000 meter peaks, recording for Warren Miller Films, or traveling the country as part of his "Down Home" Tour, Plake has spread the love of skiing to millions across the globe.
Many of Glen's physical accomplishments have been well documented. In our chat, I wanted to learn more about him as a person. Plake occupies the rare air of hero status for many skiers. In our conversation I quickly realized that he is a historian of skiing, someone who has seen three decades of the evolution of a sport.
Glen is indeed one of the brightest shining lights we've ever had the chance to chat with, and our conversation does not disappoint.
S3:E7 John Long
In episode seven we sit down with rock climbing legend John Long. Long is most well known as one of the Stonemasters, a group of California rock climbers who, fueled primarily by LSD and Jimi Hendrix, pushed the sport to risky and adventurous new heights during the 1970s.
John Long's list of rock climbing accomplishments occupies a place of magnitude that borders on myth. A big wall pioneer, Long was the first person to ever climb Yosemite's most iconic route, the Nose, in a single day. He also owns the second one-day ascent of El Cap, a five hour blast on the West Face. He's also the first person to ever climb a 5.13-rated route and put up visionary test pieces like Astroman that were years, if not decades, ahead of their time.
Now in his late sixties, John is a tremendously insightful, reflective and philosophically inclined man. Our chat shines the light on John Long the person, and he talks openly, honestly and at length about a life well lived. He also talks about his regrets, epiphanies, struggles and ultimate wisdom.
We've always found John's writing to be unflinchingly honest, self-deprecating and absolutely beautiful. To be able to sit down with one of rock climbing's biggest heroes was an extreme honor and tremendously enlightening.
S3:E6 Rory Bosio
In episode six we sit down with highly accomplished ultra running personality Rory Bosio. Rory’s ascension in the ultra running world began in 2013 at what is arguably the most difficult mountain race in the world, the French Classic Ultra Trail du Mt. Blanc. It was here that a relatively unknown runner from Tahoe City, California smashed the women’s record by over two hours. She also became the first female to ever place in the overall top 10 positions of the race.
To silence any doubters, Rory returned to the race to win it again one year later. In doing so she became the first woman to ever win back to back UTMBs. And while Rory has finished in second place at the famous Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, has run across the French island of Corsica and won numerous 50-mile races around the globe, she is a person who is cut from a different cloth.
Rory runs solely because she loves it. She is a free spirit with a rarely seen zest for life. As you might guess, Rory doesn’t follow carefully designed training and nutrition plans but rather moves in the mountains to her own rhythm.
S3:E5 Caroline Gleich
Caroline Gleich has consistently pushed the envelope in the high alpine environment of the Himalaya. She has also pushed it at home in Utah's Wasatch Mountains. In 2017 she became the first woman to descend all 90 lines of "The Chuting Gallery," Andrew McLean's guide to steep, extreme skiing in the Wasatch.
She has also skied Cho Oyu, the 6th tallest peak in the world, summited Mt. Everest and skied the three tallest peaks in Ecuador, in one weekend.
Despite her accomplishments, Caroline has consistently had to battle misogyny, sexism and doubters at an unprecedented level for a professional athlete. We talk about these topics at length in our conversation, as well as the larger gender-bias implications in the outdoor space.
Caroline tells us about the vitriol of the cyber-bullying she has experienced throughout her career, and more importantly, how she has chosen to combat and beat it. We also talk about the importance of her family, how losing several close friends in the mountains drives her to this day, anxiety and depression and her outspoken defense of environmental and social causes.
We think you will enjoy this intimate and insightful chat with one of the most accomplished ski mountaineers and fantastic persons of our day.
S3:E4 Dierdre Wolownick
If the name Dierdre Wolownick doesn't sound familiar to you, you aren't alone. Wolownick is Dierdre's maiden name, but she is indeed the mother of Alex Honnold, the greatest rock climber to ever grace the sport.
While we do talk about Alex and his motivations, Dierdre's story is much deeper than merely being his mother, and she also has a much different origin story than most of our guests. Having grown up in a post World War II Polish immigrant family in New York City, she struggled to break the mold of what children, and particularly girls, were allowed to do.
In her mid 20's, Wolownick made the decision to move to California, where she married and began a family. But the struggle continued, and she tells us, in both our conversation and her book "The Sharp End," that she longed for connection her entire life.
Dierdre and I talk about her ultimate redemption, which she discovered through rock climbing and running. It was through these sports that she experienced a rebirth, but not until her mid 50's.
Dierdre's tale is a beautiful one in which the phoenix does indeed rise, in her case up the proverbial walls of Yosemite Valley as the oldest woman to ever summit famed El Cap.
S3:E3 Jim Herrington
Imagine spending nearly 20 years traveling to remote corners of the globe, on a non-existent budget, in order to compile images of famous climbers and mountaineers. Jim Herrington has committed a large portion of his life to accomplish just this. In the process he has created a staggering work of photographic beauty that will be cherished by climbers for many generations to come.
Herrington's seminal work "The Climbers," captures portraits, in stunning black and white analog film, of prominent climbers from the "Golden Age." These iconic pioneers were primarily active from 1920 to 1970 and pushed the ceiling on a fringe and dangerous sport.
The list of subjects in Herrington's book is staggering. They include some of the brightest lights to ever tie into the sharp end of the rope, including Fred Beckey, Royal Robbins, Yvon Chouinard, Reinhold Messner, Ricardo Cassin, Jules Eichorn and many, many more.
Through his evocative work, Herrington challenges our own concepts of aging and mortality, obsession, determination and what it truly means to live a life well lived. In our wide ranging conversation he touches on all these topics and more, as what as he learned from his subjects. We also talk at length about the influence the work had on him, his background and fascination with early Sierra Nevada climbers, how his other professional passion, rock and roll, exhibits many parallels to climbing and more.
I view Jim as a steward of climbing and mountaineering history and I think you will sincerely enjoy a glimpse into the mind of someone whom the climbing community owes a massive debt of gratitude. Jim is a soulful guy with a beautiful lilting voice that can only be found in the South. That voice makes the stories of these iconic climbers sound even more grand and wonderful. Enjoy!
Thanks heaps for the great interviews. Although I’m along ways from the mountains, I’ve been super impressed, inspired and motivated. Keep em goin!