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 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.
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. “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. Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz interviewed Pfaff remotely in April 2021 while she was rehabbing a shoulder injury.
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).
Alpinist Aloud: "Less Rich Without You"
In this episode, Chris Kalman narrates “Less Rich Without You," a story by Nick Bullock that was first published in Alpinist 68 (Winter 2019-20). The story chronicles Bullock's attempt to climb a new route on Minya Konka, a 7556-meter peak in Sichuan Province, China, in 2018. At age 52, on his twenty-fourth expedition, he and Paul Ramsden make their way through the hazardous maze of an icefall amid heavy mist and falling snow—and through the allures and pitfalls of a modern professional climbing life.
Alpinist Aloud: “Melting Giants”
For 141 years since its first ascent, mountaineers from around the world traveled to climb la Meije in the Massif des Écrins of France. Meanwhile, the permafrost that held its stones together was melting. On August 7, 2018, rockfall destroyed much of the normal route. In this On Belay story from Alpinist 68 (Winter 2019-20), Benjamin Ribeyre and Erin Smart recount a search for a new way up the peak amid the uncertainties of the planet’s future.
Fire and Ice: Scott Coldiron
Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz interviewed Coldiron at the Winter Outdoor Retailer in January 2020.
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.
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!!
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...