What Are You Listening To? A Collection of the Best Climbing Podcasts

Seems like there is a podcast for everything these days. Comedy podcasts, parenting podcasts, mystery podcasts - there's a little something for everyone. Including CLIMBERS! If, like most of us, you live, sleep, eat, breath, and SWEAT climbing, it's a no brainer that you should give a climbing podcast a shot. Some have training tips, some gossip about the latest in climbing, some interview prominent climbers. We here at Summit have compiled a list of some of our favorite podcasts - read up, and check them out if they sound like your thing! The glorious thing about podcasts is that most are FREE, so there's no risk to just giving one a try!

The Enormocast

One of climbing's most popular podcasts, you may have heard of this one already. This podcast has been around since 2011, and host Chris Kalous has been very prolific since then. With nearly 150 episodes available on their site, this is one podcast that once you start it, it's one rabbit hole that could take you a very long time to go down. Most episodes are one-on-one interviews with a prominent climber, normally about a specific accomplishment or experience the climber has had, or just serves as a general spotlight. Each episode is pretty lengthy, normally at least an hour, but definitely goes past the "Nice job on the send, bro. Are you stoked?" "Yeah I'm stoked!" sort of interviews that some climbing media do. You'll learn a lot about some really interesting figures in the field of climbing! My favorite thing is how detailed the Enormocast site is - it is very well organized, and every episode has a pretty lengthy synopsis, so you know exactly what you're getting into when you start each episode. 

Stand out episodes: 

Episodes 143: The TAPS Edition: AKA Kill Your Daisy Chain with Andrew Bisharat and Steve Dilk

Episode 125: Nina Williams Comes Clean

Episode 114: Colin Powick Uses SCIENCE to Keep You Alive!

Training Beta

Here's one for the training minded folks. Training Beta is way more than just a podcast - if you visit their site, you see that they're also a great resource for nutrition advice, training videos, and even some personalized training plans. That other stuff you have to pay for, so we're giving a shout-out to their free podcast. Hosted by nutritionist Neely Quinn (shout out to the ladiezzzzz), the Training Beta consists of weekly interviews, usually at the hour mark. What makes Training Beta unique is that Neely talks to a lot more than just members of the climbing community- she also brings in physical therapists, sports psychologists and personal trainer to bring their expertise to help climbers improve. Of course, she does have the occasionally star-studded interview with a prominent climber, but these interviews tend to be more about injury recovery, or otherwise overcoming some sort of adversity. It is a very interesting perspective to hear from some big names in the industry. Not in a listening mood? Neely posts transcripts online of most of her interviews.

Stand out episodes:

Episode 88: How Adam Ondra sent the World's First 9c / 5.15d

Episode 83: Maureen Beck climb 5.11+ With Only One Hand

Episode 73: Margarita Martinez on Climbing Her First 13d at Age 58

Bad Beta

And for the more gossip-focused climber, there's Bad Beta! This sometimes rambling podcast is more centered around issues-at-large in the world of climbing. Whether it's #vanlife, sh%4 the hosts have seen at the crag, to sometimes what they watch on TV, this podcast definitely has a lot of personality. While it doesn't have the accessibility of the other podcasts (you might feel a little lost if you start on one of their later episodes - they tend to references jokes and stories from episodes past), it definitely helps once you become familiar with the hosts and their personalities. Sometimes informative, nearly always funny, the hosts of Bad Beta are also really good at laughing at themselves. It is honestly a very fresh take on the world of climbing - it's a podcast for the everyman, not just those bagging FAs in foreign countries, or sending their 4th 5.15.

Stand out episodes:

Episode 8: How to Poop at the Crag

Episode 6: How to Behave like a Climber

Episode 3: The Sport Vs. Trad Debate

The Sharp End

Are you an ambulance chaser? Then this is the podcast for you! JK - this podcast is actually a really insightful look into previous climbing accidents, and shares (in a non-judgemental way) how these accidents could have been avoided, and the lessons the climbers involved learned. Host Ashley Saupe interviews the climbers and rescuers involved in the accidents, which are compiled from the Accidents in North American Climbing books. Even the most experienced climber can make mistakes, and this podcast stresses the importance of humbling yourself and checking, and double checking everything you do. It's also fascinating to hear how rescue processes work - in many remote climbing locations, ambulances are not a thing. Through helicopter, dog sleds, or just good ol' fashioned man power, many distraught climbers are rescued from a perilous situation. 

Stand out episodes:

Episode 30: Hans Florine's Accident on the Nose

Episode 17: the Survivor

Episode 9: Ego Dangers

Plastic Weekly

Gym rats! This one is for you! Plastic Weekly is a weekly round up of all news competition, and indoor climbing gyms. Climbing is adventure - but climbing is also an industry, and this podcast explores that side. Host Tyler Norton posts recaps of prominent climbing competitions, trends in climbing gyms, brief interviews with routesetters - Tyler also gets pretty analytical, and posts about scoring system breakdowns, and even make charts and graphs occasionally to illustrate his points. The podcast is still pretty Toronto-centric, since that's where Tyler is based out of, but he also travels to cover big events. Give it a listen if you're a comp / plastic nerd!

Stand out episodes:

Episode 28: ONE OF US: Lauren Watson

Episode 20: 30 Years of Walls

Episode 7: Do It For the Kids (starring our very own Canon Huse!)

For the Love of Climbing

For the Love of Climbing brings it back to the basics, focusing more on the joys and trials of climbing. It is a lifestyle podcast made by Brooklyn-based climber Kathy Karlo (also co-founder of the No Man's Land Film Festival). It is a relatively new podcast, but Kathy has built a really robust blog, so I am intrigued to see the future of her podcasts. A lot of her blog posts are about rather introspective topics and it seems like her podcast is following the same direction. The very first episode is called "This is Not a Climbing Podcast," and in a way, she's right. It's more of a personal journey chronicled through climbing, in a way that climbers can relate to. If there was a "Sex, Death and Money" for climbing, this is it. If you don't know what that is ... look it up and further your podcast nerddom. Keep an eye on this podcast - there is only one full-length episode, but she has a handful of mini-episodes you can go through. Each one is a very brief confessional from a climber about something personal they are experiencing. 

Stand out episodes:

Episode 0: This is Not a Climbing Podcast

Episode 2: Mini-Episode - Bleed Into My Life

Episode 6: I Didn't Know at the Time

Let us know if we missed any, or if you are a current listener of any of these podcasts, which episodes are your favorites?