23 episodes

This is the podcast from BLISTER (blisterreview.com) that is dedicated to the community and culture that surrounds rock climbing. We cover the major events, prominent trends in the sport, gear and equipment, and the individuals that make the climbing world so colorful.
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All Things Climbing BLISTER

    • Wilderness
    • 4.7 • 42 Ratings

This is the podcast from BLISTER (blisterreview.com) that is dedicated to the community and culture that surrounds rock climbing. We cover the major events, prominent trends in the sport, gear and equipment, and the individuals that make the climbing world so colorful.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Erik Murdock and Tommy Caldwell on the Natural Resources Management Act

    Erik Murdock and Tommy Caldwell on the Natural Resources Management Act

    We talk to Tommy Caldwell and Access Fund Policy Director, Erik Murdock, to discuss a massive public lands bill that’s moving through congress called the Natural Resources Management Act. We dive into what makes it so important, hear about Tommy’s involvement with the Access Fund, then Erik helps us unpack the Natural Resources Management Act — what it is, how it was created, and why it matters to climbers.
    TOPICS & TIMES:
    Why Tommy got involved with the Access Fund (1:41)What’s in the National Resources Management Act? (2:19)How did it achieve bipartisan support when so little does? (6:20)Which parts have the biggest impact on climbers? (11:24)What is the Land and Water Conservation Fund? (13:40)Ways for climbers to be better advocates (16:30)Other exciting projects with the Access Fund (20:32)Plans for Climb the Hill 2019 (22:25)
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    • 29 min
    Climbers' Environmental Impact with Author J.B. MacKinnon

    Climbers' Environmental Impact with Author J.B. MacKinnon

    What’s the biggest environmental impact we have as climbers? It’s easy to be distracted by the obvious stuff: chalk marks, cat holes, bolts. But, as journalist J.B. MacKinnon points out, the reality is much more complicated.
    Longtime climber J.B. Mackinnon is a contributor to The New Yorker on ecology and consumer issues. He has written several award-winning nonfiction books including The 100 Mile Diet and The Once and Future World, and he is now working on a book on consumerism in the outdoor industry. In this conversation, we talk about the places climbing has the greatest environmental impact, how this has changed over the decades, and how we as a community can reduce our footprint.
    (MacKinnon's website and work)
    TOPICS & TIMES
    MacKinnon’s free soloing experience (1:40)What are the biggest environmental issues within climbing culture? (6:25)What are the underlying costs of consumer culture? (8:45)How is the outdoor industry different from other consumer industries? (10:06)What climbing equipment is most problematically produced and marketed? (14:28)On the importance of community-wide conversation (18:50)How do we decide to leave certain cliffs as ecosystems? (21:25)How do we prioritize climbing locally? (23:30)How do we get brands to do a better job? (28:20)
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    • 31 min
    Making Homemade Cams: Erick Davidson of Merlin Rock Gear

    Making Homemade Cams: Erick Davidson of Merlin Rock Gear

    Erick Davidson makes the best cams that you’ve never heard of — they aren’t sold in stores or online, and Davidson’s company, Merlin Rock Gear, doesn’t even have a website.
    Erick, a mechanical engineer by day, designs and fabricates large-format cams that are much larger than Black Diamond’s number 6 Camalot, and that cover sizes way beyond what is protectable with more common commercial cams. And because of some clever engineering and expert construction, they’re also much lighter than the Valley Giant cams that span similar sizes.
    Beyond the engineering elements of it all, making your own cams and selling them to people for use in very consequential settings is a much more serious undertaking than making chalk bags, packs, or bouldering pads. So we talk to Erick about the innovations in design he brought to Merlin cams, how he convinced himself that they were safe to use and sell, and where you can pick one up before you find yourself at the base of an unprotectable squeeze chimney.
    TOPICS & TIMES
    How did Erick get started making cams? (2:35)When cams fail, which part is usually breaking? And why? (9:20)What’s different about the stem of Merlin cams? (15:25)How does taking tons of poorly placed whippers affect the cam? (22:53)What do the control horns do? (32:50)Will there be a production run in the future? (39:40)Where does the name “Merlin” come from? (47:20)How can people place an order? (50:05)Has Erick whipped on one of his cams yet? (53:02)What’s the best possible way to boost sales? (58:05)
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    • 59 min
    Phil Powers and Alex Honnold on a Permit System for The Nose?

    Phil Powers and Alex Honnold on a Permit System for The Nose?

    Are we headed for a future where The Nose (or other well-traveled walls) are headed for a permit system? We started debating this “what if” scenario almost a year ago, prompted by a conversation about the recently established permit system governing the cables route on Half Dome (the standard “hiking” route to the summit). If crowds grow or rescues become frequent, could certain technical routes, such as The Nose, find themselves governed by a system similar to the one used on Half Dome?
    Over the past few months we also put this question to several of our guests to bring in some expert perspectives. So for today’s episode, we’ve got American Alpine Club CEO Phil Powers explaining why he thinks a permit system is likely, and Alex Honnold and Maury Birdwell making the case against. Even after producing this episode, we’re still deliberating, so we’d love to hear your thoughts or opinions and collect more data! Let us know what you think on this episode’s instagram post.
    TOPICS & TIMES
    Where did the idea for this question come from? (00:35)Phil Powers’ response. (1:35)Why would a permit system make more sense for The Nose than other popular climbs? (2:45)Two scenarios that could lead the park to instate a permit system. (4:25)What might that permit system look like? (9:30)Presented by Rhino Skin Solutions (12:00)Alex Honnold and Maury Birdwell’s response. (13:50)Strengths and weaknesses in their response. (17:25)How practical could a permit system be? (21:10)What are the potential benefits of a permit system? (24:35)Isn’t the rap route another example of adapting to crowding? (25:40)What are our conclusions? (26:50)Outro (31:25)PRESENTING SPONSOR: RHINO SKIN SOLUTIONS
    Climbing is complex and performing at your limit means bringing many variables together at the right moment. Rhino Skin Solutions makes the best skin care products for keeping your skin dry, healthy, and resilient, which brings one of the most crucial elements of performance under your control. Keeping your skin in good condition not just before a redpoint attempt but throughout the season means more effective training and climbing harder on the wall, it’s as simple as that.

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    • 31 min
    What's it like to climb The Nose?

    What's it like to climb The Nose?

    A couple weeks ago, our host Dave Alie and his wife Katie set off to Yosemite with the goal of climbing The Nose, often called The Greatest Rock Climb on Earth.
    It has a reputation as being accessible to non-elite climbers, yet at least half of the teams who leave the ground end up bailing on Day 1.
    With the good fortune of a stable forecast, relatively low traffic on the route, and a supportive ground team (helmed by the adventure baby), we succeeded in climbing the route wall-style over three days. Prior to our attempt on The Nose, we had done tons of prep and research, but still had a ton of questions going in.
    So this episode is a trip report and our chance to answer many of those questions for folks who might want to give The Nose a go. And if you have any questions that we didn’t cover or you’re gearing up for an attempt and want some beta, feel free to reach out to through Blister at (dave@blistergearreview.com) or on Instagram (@hakunaburrata).
    TOPICS & TIMES
    Brought to you by Rhino Skin Solutions (00:40)Why Dave and Katie chose to climb in October (4:00)How crowded was the route?When did they first decide they wanted to climb the Nose?Which big walls did they climb in preparation, and why was that so important? (8:50)Climbing as a married couple? (23:20)How did being new parents affect the experience? (28:45)The hazardous ‘Death Block’ at the top of the route (33:32)The importance of the order in which you build anchors (37:15)Best and worst equipment / food to bring? (40:40)Where Dave and Katie passed other teams. (46:20)Why The Nose has a misleading reputation for being easy (47:45)Dave’s advice to listeners for climbing The Nose? (51:33)Lessons from teams who climb in a day and other great resources. (55:00)Is there a consensus approach to handling loose rock on classic routes? (1:00:02)Outro (1:12:20)Check out the show notes to this episode to see photos from the route, including the loose block at the Wild Stance.
    PRESENTING SPONSOR: RHINO SKIN SOLUTIONS
    Climbing is complex and performing at your limit means bringing many variables together at the right moment. Rhino Skin Solutions makes the best skin care products for keeping your skin dry, healthy, and resilient, which brings one of the most crucial elements of performance under your control. Keeping your skin in good condition not just before a redpoint attempt but throughout the season means more effective training and climbing harder on the wall, it’s as simple as that.

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    • 1 hr 12 min
    Rhino Skin Solutions founder, Justin Brown

    Rhino Skin Solutions founder, Justin Brown

    Justin Brown is a Bend, Oregon local who spends much of his free time climbing around the country and volunteering as a board member of the Smith Rock Group. Between campfires and trail-building, he’s even found himself clipping the chains on routes as hard as 5.14a.
    He recently ditched his career as a chef to start Rhino Skin Solutions, after elevating his own climbing by creating recipes for some extremely effective antiperspirant and skin-recovery products. We talk about what it has been like to start a business in the outdoor sports industry, why it’s important for us all to give back to the resources we depend on, and why belaying just might be the sport of the future. We also cover why skin care is so important and how it can change your climbing.
    TOPICS & TIMES
    Intro (0:00)Bivouac Coffee (1:50)How did Justin get into climbing? (3:00)Why did he end up living in Oregon? (5:25)How did Justin’s background as a chef influence his founding Rhino Skin Solutions? (9:20)How does Justin make his products? And what is the chemistry behind them? (12:40)What level of climber tends to discover the importance of skin care? (23:40)Why did Dave initially resist focusing on skin care? And what changed his opinion? (30:25)What are some of the best circumstances for using lotion? (34:25)What is some of the essential work Justin does with the Smith Rock Group? (37:38)How does Justin characterize the climbing at Smith? (42:40)Adam Ondra’s skin care. (47:38)How can Rhino Skin Solutions serve every type of skin and circumstance? (50:05)Will there ever be career belayers, like famous golf caddies? (52:40)Outro (55:55)
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    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 Ratings

K. Benson ,

Best outdoor industry podcast of 2018

Dave Alie’s voice lingers of cedar and pine with a hit of campfire... but seriously the creative content on this podcast make this the most interesting outdoor podcast of the year. Dave dives into topics and conversations that are way deeper than the typical climber conversation. Intoxicating to the ears and tantalizing to the adventurous soul, this podcast drastically raises the bar.

desertdharma ,

Careful speaking from a place of white male privilege

When you sit in a place of privilege and say that “people” don’t need mentors or people who look like them to show them that even if they are not white, male or cis-gendered, they can still climb, it bothers me. The level of access and confidence to dive in and try something new comes with being in a place of privilege. I’m referring to the end of the episode with honnold and Birdwell when speaking about how people don’t need mentors to start climbing. Tell that to the shy gay girl who rarely sees someone like her climbing, or the inner city mixed race kid who doesn’t even know it exists.

RunForestG ,

EP 20: Bad Idea

The permit idea is ridiculous. If I roll into the valley at 11pm on friday and want to start a route on el cap at 4-6am, there is no way I will be able to talk to someone in the park about a permit. If the camping registration system is any indicator, then I wouldn't be able to talk to anyone till 8-10am, which is a serious inconvenience and waste of time. I agree with Alex, it self police's.

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