42 episodes

Since 2002 Alpinist has striven to push creative boundaries with everything we do, from award-winning climbing journalism and creative writing to photography and art. Now, with the Alpinist podcast, we aim to extend our conversations with climbers and community members into interviews and oral histories that will entertain and educate our listeners with everything from dramatic and humorous adventure tales to in-depth discussions of the most significant issues in the climbing world today. More at alpinist.com/podcast

Alpinist Alpinist Magazine

    • Sports
    • 4.5 • 157 Ratings

Since 2002 Alpinist has striven to push creative boundaries with everything we do, from award-winning climbing journalism and creative writing to photography and art. Now, with the Alpinist podcast, we aim to extend our conversations with climbers and community members into interviews and oral histories that will entertain and educate our listeners with everything from dramatic and humorous adventure tales to in-depth discussions of the most significant issues in the climbing world today. More at alpinist.com/podcast

    The Self Motivator: Chantel Astorga

    The Self Motivator: Chantel Astorga

    In June 2020, Chantel Astorga soloed Denali’s Cassin Ridge in less than 15 hours, setting a women’s record and making the first known ski descent of the Seattle Ramp during the approach. She recalls one particular moment after skiing through a dangerous icefall and spotting an eagle: “I’ve never seen a large bird in the Alaska Range up that high, and it was thermaling above me, and I had this wonderful sense of peace and calmness… I’d gotten through this thing I was most terrified of, and I did it in as good a style as I could, and as safely as one can do something like that alone.” Today, Astorga makes a living as an avalanche forecaster in Idaho. She received an honorable mention by the Piolets d’Or awards in 2018 for a new route that she completed on Nilkanth (6596m) in India’s Garhwal Range with Anne Gilbert Chase and Jason Thompson. In this episode, she talks with Derek Franz about her early days as a climber when she was rope soloing ice climbs and skiing Denali in oversized, second-hand gear, and the path that led to her recent success on the Cassin Ridge.
    [Photo] Chantel Astorga
    This episode is brought to you by Rab Equipment.
    Audio Production by Nick Mott.

    • 43 min
    Balancing Risk and Reward: Mike Gardner

    Balancing Risk and Reward: Mike Gardner

    Mike Gardner was 16 years old when his father, a respected climbing guide, died while free soloing on the Grand Teton in 2008. Mike has suffered the loss of other loved ones since then, yet he continues to climb and guide in the Greater Ranges as well as the Tetons where he grew up. In that time, he and his partners have completed some impressive fast-and-light ascents using a strategy of “ski-alpinism.” In this episode, Derek Franz interviews him about a remarkable spring 2021 season in Alaska, his formative life experiences, and how those inform the risks that he continues to face as a professional climber. “I don’t have a really clear, well-thought-out answer…why I go to the mountains when there’s so much hurt and tragedy there for me,” he says, “yet there’s so much joy, and the answer lies somewhere in the middle of these paradoxes….”
    [Photo] Evan Miller
    This episode is brought to you by Rab Equipment.
    Audio Production by Nick Mott.

    • 54 min
    From Pebbles to the Himalaya: Pete Takeda

    From Pebbles to the Himalaya: Pete Takeda

    Pete Takeda is a world-renowned alpinist who started climbing on boulders as a kid in Idaho. He has pursued every climbing discipline over the last several decades, from hard free climbing to big wall aid, as well as ice and mixed climbing. His first ascents range from ephemeral mud towers to some of the most impressive peaks in the world. In this episode, Derek Franz interviews one of his childhood heroes on a wide variety of subjects, from climbing and writing, to life philosophy.
    [Photo] Jeff Rueppel
    This episode is brought to you by Rab Equipment.
    Audio Production by Nick Mott.

    • 34 min
    The Novelty Seeker: Madaleine Sorkin

    The Novelty Seeker: Madaleine Sorkin

    Besides free climbing big walls, Madaleine Sorkin devotes herself to social activism, and has been a leader in starting the Climbing Grief Fund through the American Alpine Club. In this interview from April 2021, Derek Franz asks about her first climbing experiences as a teenager; her perspective as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community; how she is coping with the wear and tear on her body after nearly two decades of hard climbing; and also the latest developments with the Climbing Grief Fund.
    [Photo] Henna Taylor
    Audio production by Nick Mott.
    This episode is possible thanks to the support of listeners like you. If you enjoyed this episode please consider supporting our work with a one-time or recurring contribution.

    • 29 min
    Not in Ohio Anymore: Anna Pfaff

    Not in Ohio Anymore: Anna Pfaff

    Anna Pfaff grew up in rural Ohio, running through cornfields, playing softball and showing animals at the county fair, “but I always felt like there was something more out there,” she says of her decision to apply for a nursing job in Denver, Colorado, at age 20. “I had no idea what a climber was, or what rock climbing was,” she recalls of the life-changing opportunity that came when friends invited her on a trip to Indian Creek. There, she discovered a natural ability and interest that culminated with her joining The North Face team in 2016. Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz interviewed Pfaff remotely in April 2021 while she was rehabbing a shoulder injury.
    [Photo] Tyler Stableford
    Audio production by Nick Mott.
    This episode is possible thanks to the support of listeners like you. If you enjoyed this episode please consider supporting our work with a one-time or recurring contribution.

    • 39 min
    Alpinist Aloud: “To Look the Bear in the Eye”

    Alpinist Aloud: “To Look the Bear in the Eye”

    In this episode, Derek Franz narrates “To Look the Bear in the Eye: The Life of Yasushi Yamanoi,” a story by Sartaj Ghuman that was first published in Alpinist 62 (Summer 2018). Yamanoi is among the few who have established new climbs, alone and in alpine style, on 8000-meter peaks. His many significant climbs earned him a Piolet d’Or Asia Lifetime Achievement Award, but the Japanese alpinist is disinclined to self-promote. In this story Ghuman joins Yamanoi as a liaison officer on an expedition in the Zanskar region of India in search of a deeper dialogue with the wild.
     
    [Photo] Yasushi Yamanoi collection
    This episode is brought to you by Rab Equipment.
    Audio Production by Nick Mott.

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
157 Ratings

157 Ratings

godiscgolf ,

Great host

This podcast is so rich in differing perspectives and stories. It is clear the host does her research to ask specific questions to get the best stories out of her guests. Every time I’m drawn in by the imagination and cultural differences the outdoors has for our coexistence.

eleni petrou ,

Favorite podcast

I love this podcast so much,especially the episodes that feature diverse perspectives on conservation and and the spiritual component of being in the wilderness. Thank you for making such a thoughtful show!!

dhjdowodjdhd ,

Garbage

Episode about Karlo creating “safe spaces” in climbing is absolutely ridiculous. No one cares about your feeling. Shocking she was left behind on that big wall climb...

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