EpisodesReviewsCharts
Detailed
Compact
August 1, 2019
A Rough Intro to Aid Climbing
Andrew Smith from Texas dreamed of climbing big walls in Yosemite Valley. He had learned to climb traditional routes with an experienced mentor and had practiced aid climbing in a specially equipped gym. When he decided to try his first outdoor aid climb, he chose the nearby Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma. But things did not go as smoothly as he'd hoped. Andrew fell near the top of his climb, pulled out multiple pieces of protection, and nearly hit the ground. In episode 43 of the Sharp End, Andrew and Ashley talk through his preparation, the fateful climb, and what went wrong that day. The Sharp End is presented by Mammut, with additional sponsorship from Suunto and the Colorado Outward Bound School. This episode received additional support from Matador Adventure Travel Gear and Tribe Alpha. The Sharp End podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club.
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38 min
July 1, 2019
Painful Lessons on the Nose of El Capitan
In 2012, Mike Drake was still a young climber, but he and his partner were well prepared for the Nose of El Cap and felt ready to take the next step in their climbing. They made it more than 20 pitches up the route before Mike suffered a damaging fall off the notorious short crack above Pancake Flake. In this episode, Mike and Ashley talk through the accident and rescue, and Mike shares insights about the long road to recovery, both physical and mental. The Sharp End is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Suunto and the Colorado Outward Bound School. This podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club.
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37 min
June 1, 2019
A Montana Mishap (Why More Leaders Should Wear Helmets)
Casey Brown and a friend were trying a seldom-climbed route at a limestone crag in western Montana. A huge block pulled loose. He tumbled toward the ground. Somewhere along the way, his helmet shattered. He believes the helmet saved his life. In episode 41 of the Sharp End, Casey and Ashley debrief this accident and the ways climbers choose to use (or fail to use) their vital head gear. The Sharp End is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Colorado Outward Bound School and Suunto. This podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club.
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35 min
May 1, 2019
Malcolm Daly's Legendary Alaska Epic
Twenty years ago this month, Malcolm Daly and Jim Donini attempted a new route on Thunder Mountain in the Alaska Range. After Daly fell near the top of the climb, the ensuing rescue was one of the most dramatic in Alaskan mountaineering history. In episode 40 of the Sharp End, listen to Daly tell this legendary story in vivid detail. The Sharp End is presented by Mammut, with additional support for this episode from Kavu, Colorado Outward Bound School, and Suunto. This podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club.
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42 min
April 1, 2019
Whipper in the Red (Ep. 39)
Stephen Leimgruber and his wife were wrapping up a day at Fortress Wall in Kentucky's Red River Gorge. He wanted to do just one more climb. Some warning lights were flashing: They were tired, it was getting dark, clouds were threatening rain. But, hey, he thought: It's a well-protected 5.8. What could go wrong? Find out what exactly happened, and what Stephen learned from it, in this episode. The Sharp End is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Colorado Outward Bound School and Suunto. This podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club.
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24 min
March 1, 2019
Avalanche in Colorado (Ep 38)
Mike Zawaski and a friend were ski touring in the popular Jones Creek area of Colorado in mid-December. Mike started their descent first and stopped in what he thought would be a safe point, but a slab avalanche broke loose and swept him hundreds of feet down the slope, breaking his femur. In this episode, learn how even well-trained and well-prepared ski mountaineers can get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Sharp End is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Colorado Outward Boulnd School and Suunto. This podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club.
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42 min
February 1, 2019
When and How to Call for Help! (Ep. 37)
Denali mountaineering ranger and flight medic Dave Weber returns to the Sharp End to discuss the ins and outs of calling for a rescue: when to do it (and when not to), how to make the call and what to say, and how to prepare for a helicopter rescue. The Sharp End is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Colorado Outward Bound School and Suunto. This podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club. Photo by Menno Boermans.
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43 min
January 1, 2019
Hypothermia! (Ep. 36)
Ice climbing in Michigan's Upper Peninsula can be seriously cold. In this episode, Ashley speaks with Jason Eicholtx about a midwinter adventure in the UP that went dangerously wrong as an ice climber collapsed with hypothermia. Plus, wilderness medicine specialist Dr. Bryan Jarrett explains how to prevent hypothermia and treat it in the field. The Sharp End is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Colorado Outward Bound School and Suunto. This podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club.
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44 min
December 1, 2018
The Aftermath (Ep. 35)
Starr Jamison suffered the agony of watching a good friend die in an avalanche in Colorado. He was one of three friends she lost to avalanches in a single year. In this episode, Starr describes the first accident and the painful, disorienting aftermath, how she recovered, and how she's working to help others deal with similar experiences. The Sharp End is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Colorado Outward Bound School and Suunto. This podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club.
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31 min
November 1, 2018
Psychological First Aid (Ep. 34)
When climbers, skiers, and other backcountry adventurers have an accident, they often aren't the only ones to suffer an injury. Partners, rescuers, and witnesses at the crag can feel the affects of "stress injuries" for years to come. In this episode, Ashley speaks with Laura McGladrey, a mental health nurse practitioner and veteran health provider in wilderness and humanitarian settings, about the importance of psychological first aid for outdoor adventurers and rescuers. The Sharp End is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Colorado Outward Bound School, Suunto, and Prival USA. This podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club.
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47 min
October 1, 2018
Two Broken Bolts (Ep. 33)
Brad Carter had started up a very difficult climb at Index Town Wall in Washington state. In the first 50 or 60 feet, this route has three widely spaced bolts for protection. When Carter decided to rest at the third bolt, he got the shock of his life. This incident occurred almost a decade ago, but the lessons about bad bolts are extremely relevant today! The Sharp End is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Colorado Outward Bound School and Suunto. This podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club.
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32 min
September 1, 2018
Splashdown in Clear Creek (Ep. 32)
Patrick Stefanik and a friend headed to Clear Creek Canyon, Colorado, on a beautiful Saturday in April. Crowds at the busy Creekside area forced them to change their plans, and Patrick started up an unfamiliar 5.9. When it came time to lower from the anchor, Patrick's fun day out went very, very wrong. The Sharp End is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Colorado Outward Bound School and Suunto. This podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club.
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19 min
August 1, 2018
Falling Off Liberty Ridge (Ep. 31)
Kris Nova and a friend were attempting Mt. Rainier's remote and difficult Liberty Ridge when a boulder pulled loose and sent her on a tumbling fall, badly injuring one hand. In this episode, Kris describes her preparation for the climb, what happened on Liberty Ridge, and what she learned about calling for help after a mountain accident. The Sharp End is presented by Mammut and co-sponsored by Colorado Outward Bound School and Suunto. This podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club.
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36 min
July 1, 2018
Hans Florine's Accident on the Nose (Ep. 30)
Hans Florine was attempting his 110th ascent of the Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. He and a partner were doing the Nose in a Day (an elite climb), but were not attempting any speed records. Yet Hans still took a bone-breaking fall, despite all of his experience. Learn what went wrong for the man who literally wrote the book on climbing the Nose. The Sharp End Podcast is presented by Mammut and co-sponsored by Suunto and Colorado Outward Bound School. This podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club.
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33 min
June 1, 2018
Broken Back on Half Dome (Ep. 29)
It was October 2017, and Alex Doria and Jonathan Wachtel were starting up a dream climb: the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome, high over Yosemite Valley. Alex was in the lead on the third pitch, and he felt good. Too good, as it turned out. He ran it out a long way between protection, and just as he was getting ready to place his next piece, he lost his balance and fell. Alex, Jonathan, and Ashley discuss what happened next and the lessons they learned. This episode of the Sharp End is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Gnarly Nutrition, Colorado Outward Bound School, and Health IQ. This show is based on Accidents in North American Climbing, an annual publication of the American Alpine Club (AAC), and is produced by the AAC.
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33 min
May 1, 2018
Ground Fall at Calico Basin (Ep. 28)
Greg Smith was 10 feet above his last piece of protection on a moderate climb in Calico Basin, outside Las Vegas, when he fell unexpectedly. His only piece pulled out and he hit the ground. At least that's what his climbing partner tells him, because he has very little memory of the day. In this episode, Greg and Ashley talk through the accident and the painful aftermath. Find more details about this incident report in Greg's report for Accidents in North American Climbing: https://bit.ly/2rdN8Kj. The Sharp End Podcast is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Colorado Outward Bound School and Health IQ. This podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club.
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25 min
April 1, 2018
The Rushed Rappel (Ep. 27)
Ryan Bowie, 34, was ice climbing with a friend in the remote backcountry near their home in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia. When Ryan set up a rappel from the top of a vertical ice wall, the highly experienced climber made a series of bad judgments, resulting in a terrifying plunge that could have ended a lot worse. In this episode, Ryan reflects on what went wrong that day. The Sharp End is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Colorado Outward Bound School and Health IQ. This podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club.
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36 min
March 1, 2018
Live with Quinn Brett (Ep. 26)
In October 2017, well-known climber Quinn Brett fell over 100 feet while attempting a speed ascent of the Nose of El Capitan. She now lives with paralysis. For this very special episode of the Sharp End, Quinn spoke with Ashley about her climbing, the accident in Yosemite Valley, and the painful aftermath in front of a live audience at the American Alpine Club's Annual Benefit Dinner in February. This episode of the Sharp End podcast was made possible by Mammut, Petzl, Health IQ, and Colorado Outward Bound School, and was produced by the American Alpine Club. Thanks to Chris Kalous for assistance in Boston and to Vince Schaefer / Cold House Media for photography.
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42 min
February 1, 2018
The Deadly Hole On Aasgard Pass (Ep. 25)
Steve Smith was glissading down from Aasgard Pass, gateway to the Enchantments in Washington State, when he plunged into a deep hole caused by a waterfall of melting snow. This was a dangerous mistake: Several hikers and climbers have died falling into this same hole. Steve is now the climbing education manager for the Mountaineers and owner of Experiential Consulting, a risk-management consulting firm for outdoor programs. In this riveting episode, he shares the many lessons from that day on Aasgard Pass. The Sharp End podcast is made possible by Mammut, Health IQ, and Colorado Outward Bound School, and is produced by the American Alpine Club.
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32 min
January 1, 2018
Ground Fall in Eldorado Canyon (Ep. 24)
Japhy Dhungana, a Nepal-born, Colorado-based climbing guide, aspired to lead Evictor, a notorious 5.12 climb at the Rincon Wall in Eldorado Canyon. After rehearsing the route on top-rope and practicing the critical gear placements, Japhy made a lead attempt at the end of the day last March. When he let go near the top, Japhy expected take a long but safe fall. But that's not what happened. This episode of the Sharp End is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Health IQ and the Colorado Outward Bound School.
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39 min
December 1, 2017
Avalanche! (Ep. 23)
Tyler Smoker and friends were out for an early season tour near Hatcher Pass, Alaska, in November. He let down his guard for a moment and took a terrifying ride. Ashley and Tyler use their deep knowledge of backcountry snow safety to discuss what mistakes were made. The Sharp End is produced each month by Accidents in North American Climbing, an annual publication of the American Alpine Club, and is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Vertical Medicine Resources and Colorado Outward Bound School.
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31 min
November 1, 2017
The Three Essentials: Lessons from a Mountain Ranger (Ep. 22)
Flight medic and Denali mountaineering ranger Dave Weber returns to the Sharp End to discuss the common themes he's heard in the first 20 episodes of this podcast. As he tells Ashley, there are three simple but profoundly effective lessons for preventing and surviving climbing accidents. You can hear Dave's previous appearance on the Sharp End (Ep. 4) here: https://soundcloud.com/the_sharp_end/denali-ranger-dave-weber-a-day-in-the-life. The Sharp End is produced each month by Accidents in North American Climbing, an annual publication of the American Alpine Club, and is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Vertical Medicine Resources and Colorado Outward Bound School.
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29 min
October 1, 2017
Upside Down on Hummingbird Spire (Ep. 21)
Craig Gorder, 28, and Kelsey Brasseur were attempting to climb all seven towers of the Bridger Jack formation in Utah in a single day. In midafternoon, as Craig started up the second pitch of Hummingbird Spire, their fifth tower of the day, he pulled off a huge sandstone block that crushed his body and cut his rope, leaving him dangling below Kelsey. In this episode, Craig describes the accident and the incredible rescue that followed. Read Craig's story about this incident in the 2017 edition of Accidents in North American Climbing: http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/13201214389. The Sharp End is produced each month by Accidents in North American Climbing, an annual publication of the American Alpine Club, and is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Vertical Medicine Resources and Colorado Outward Bound School.
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33 min
September 1, 2017
140-foot Fall in Eldorado Canyon (Ep. 20)
Bill Wright and Tom Karpeichik were attempting a bold challenge in Colorado's Eldorado Canyon: Climb 100 guidebook pitches in a single day. To cover all that ground, they planned to simul-climb most of the way. Early that morning, four pitches up a 5.8+ route, Tom broke a hold on 5.5 or 5.6 terrain and fell, 50 feet above his last piece of protection. In this episode, Wright describes the monster, unbelayed fall that followed, how they both survived, and the lessons he took home. Read the original Accidents in North American Climbing report: http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/13201104602/Fall-on-Rock-Simul-Climbing-Colorado-Eldorado-Canyon-State-Park. The Sharp End is produced each month by Accidents in North American Climbing, an annual publication of the American Alpine Club, and is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Vertical Medicine Resources and Colorado Outward Bound School.
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26 min
August 1, 2017
Grand Traverse Gone Bad (Ep. 19)
Ashley speaks with fellow Outward Bound instructors Matt Olsen and Ty Guarino, who survived a serious rappelling and rockfall accident during an attempt on the famous Grand Traverse of the Tetons. Hear about their impressive self-rescue and the lessons they learned. The Sharp End is produced each month by Accidents in North American Climbing, an annual publication of the American Alpine Club, and is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Vertical Medicine Resources and Colorado Outward Bound School.
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27 min
July 1, 2017
Epic in Yosemite National Park (Ep. 18)
By late April, Marcus Mazzaferri had already hiked nearly 1,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. He was just about to stop for the day near Tuolumne Meadows, high in Yosemite National Park, when he came across a swollen creek and decided to cross it before setting up camp. What happened next left Marcus all alone, with no gear, 15 miles from the nearest road. His story will make you wonder: What would I have done? The Sharp End is produced each month by Accidents in North American Climbing, an annual publication of the American Alpine Club, and is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Vertical Medicine Resources and Colorado Outward Bound School.
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32 min
June 1, 2017
The Survivor (Ep. 17)
In this special episode of the Sharp End, Ashley speaks with Ryan Montoya, a 23-year-old student who had the strength, skill, and fortitude to survive a terrible mountaineering accident on March 15, 2017. Just below the summit of 14,018-foot Pyramid Peak in Colorado, during a solo winter ascent, Montoya fell more than 1,500 feet down the remote east face, then made his way back toward the road over the next three days, despite serious injuries. We've given extra time to this episode to let Ryan tell his amazing story in full detail. The Sharp End is produced each month by Accidents in North American Climbing, an annual publication of the American Alpine Club, and is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Vertical Medicine Resources and Colorado Outward Bound School. [Note: Because of some technical difficulties, listeners may notice one or two brief gaps in this interview.]
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56 min
May 1, 2017
The Red Gully (Ep. 16)
Experienced mountaineers Jennifer Staufer and Adam Vonnahme were descending 14,294-foot Crestone Peak in Colorado when Jen slipped on an unexpected patch of ice and careened about 150 feet down the Red Gully, sustaining multiple injuries. Jen was 10 weeks pregnant at the time, adding to their fears. In this episode, Ashley chats with Jen and Adam about the climb and the dramatic nighttime rescue that followed. This incicdent was documented in the 2016 edition of Accidents in North American Climbing: http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/13201214127.
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30 min
March 31, 2017
Water in the Hole! (Ep. 15)
Skander Spies, a volunteer with Denali National Park's climbing rangers, had just headed out on patrol on the Kahiltna Glacier. Although they didn't know it yet, the rangers would record eleven separate crevasse falls that day, including Skander's. And his incident was scarier than most! The Sharp End is produced each month by Accidents in North American Climbing, an annual publication of the American Alpine Club, and is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Vertical Medicine Resources and Colorado Outward Bound School.
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28 min
February 28, 2017
A Rescuer Needs a Rescue (Ep. 14)
In this story from the mountains near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, a nighttime search for two lost skiers takes a dramatic turn when one of the rescuers is caught in an avalanche. Amazingly, the team from Routt County SAR not only bring their injured teammate home, they also bring out the lost skiers! The Sharp End is produced by Accidents in North American Climbing, an annual publication of the American Alpine Club, and is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Vertical Medicine Resources and Colorado Outward Bound School.
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25 min
February 2, 2017
Two Screws, Two Ankles (Ep. 13)
Raf Andronowski is a highly skilled ice climber, photographer, and gear reviewer (http://thealpinestart.com) who lives in the Canadian Rockies. But even the most experienced climbers may have a lapse in judgment...with painful consequences.
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24 min
January 1, 2017
Shock in Joshua Tree (Ep. 12)
On November 12, David had just finished a two-pitch climb outside of Joshua Tree National Park in California. From the top, he lowered his partner to a big ledge so she could walk off. He then decided to downclimb to the ledge without a belay. In this episode, David describes the accident that followed with remarkable self-awareness and good humor.
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25 min
December 1, 2016
A Snake Dike Tragedy (Ep. 11)
Around sunset on November 7, 2015, Angela Uys (26) was at an anchor partway up Snake Dike on Half Dome, preparing to rappel. Her tether system was not effectively clipped to the anchor, and when she weighted the system it failed. She fell approximately 500 feet to her death. In this episode, Ashley speaks with Yosemite climbing ranger Jesse McGahey, who responded to and investigated this tragedy, and the two discuss what went wrong and how similar accidents might be prevented. You can read Jesse's full report from Accidents in North American Climbing here: http://bit.ly/2gbz1Ba. Thanks to David Iliff (License: CC-BY-SA 3.0) for the beautiful photo of Half Dome's southwest face, where Snake Dike is found.
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25 min
November 1, 2016
The 69th Summit (Ep. 10)
Climber and backcountry skier Steven Lozano summited Mount St. Helens with a friend on a beautiful April day. When two climbers joined them on top, one of them, who was making his 69th ascent of the mountain, asked Steven to take a photo of him with Mt. Rainier in the background. What happened next will be seared into Lozano's memory forever.
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18 min
October 1, 2016
Ego Dangers (Ep. 9)
Felipe Proaño, a North Face sponsored climber and native of Ecuador, took a long fall off Black Elk, a classic 5.11 climb in Wyoming's Wind River Range, and nearly left a finger behind. Felipe tells Ashley how his desire to be a "badass" backfired, with painful results.
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23 min
September 1, 2016
Falling Way Too Far (Ep. 8)
Alina and Ben were climbing the Braille Book in Yosemite Valley. When Alina slipped while leading the third pitch, she fell much, much further than expected and suffered a serious spinal injury. In this episode, Ashley talks to both climbers about what went wrong that day and how Alina is recovering from the accident. Alina blogs about her recovery at http://SmallRestlessHuman.com.
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24 min
August 1, 2016
Hanging By A Thread (Ep. 7)
Three experienced climbers were enjoying a warm winter outing in Utah's Little Cottonwood Canyon when rockfall destroyed their belay anchor. Ashley talks with climbing guide Carl Dec about what happened that day and how good anchor-building decisions saved their lives.
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23 min
July 4, 2016
Caught In a Bad Place (Ep. 6)
Nick Thurston and his climbing partner were surprised by a severe thunderstorm high on California's Bear Creek Spire. In this episode, Nick describes the lightning bolt that struck his partner and how they escaped without more serious injuries. Plus: Ashley suggests ways climbers can minimize their risk of lightning strikes when they are caught out.
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26 min
June 5, 2016
Bomber Anchors or Ticking Time Bombs? (Ep. 5)
We think of bolts as offering bomproof anchors and protection. But many of the bolts used by climbers today were placed at least 20 to 30 years ago, and they were never designed to be used by climbers in the first place. In 2015, a climber in California died when an old bolt failed under his body weight. In this episode, Ashley speaks with Jason Haas and Brady Robinson about bolt safety. Should climbers blindly trust bolts? And what are leaders in the climbing world doing about the problem of old bolts?
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30 min
May 11, 2016
Denali Ranger Dave Weber: A Day in the Life (Ep. 4)
Mountaineering ranger Dave Weber describes a sobering incident in the Ruth Gorge of Alaska. Plus, Dave and Ashley discuss the realities of rescue missions and his thoughts on avoiding accidents in the mountains. Read the full story of this accident: http://bit.ly/1rGb1IU.
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23 min
April 6, 2016
Rescue in the Palisades (Ep. 3)
Eric Hengesbaugh had planned an expedition into the Palisades section of the High Sierra, with support from an AAC Live Your Dream grant. But a fall during his very first climb left him with a broken ankle and back injury, hundreds of feet above the ground. Amazingly, Eric captured the entire incident on a portable recorder. Afterward, he crafted a moving podcast telling the story of the accident and the people who rescued him. In this special edition of the Sharp End, Ashley introduces Eric's story and then interviews him about the lessons learned. When you're done, you'll definitely want to hear Eric's full hour-long podcast, "Fall Risk," at this link: https://soundcloud.com/hengesbaugh/fall-risk.
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30 min
March 3, 2016
A Rope Too Short (Ep. 2)
Blake Bowling aimed to redpoint 1,500 routes in Kentucky's Red River Gorge. The Madness, a 5.13 route at the Motherlode, would be number 1,499. When a friend came by his camper van and asked if Blake wanted to climb, he grabbed the rope he'd already used many times before while rehearsing the moves on the Madness. This time, however, using that rope would be a near-fatal mistake. Sharp End host Ashley Saupe interviewed Blake about his accident and the very simple steps he could have taken to prevent it. Blake and his belayer had 52 years of combined rock climbing experience, proving that experience is no guard against serious accidents. Blake's story and photos can be seen at the Accidents in North American Mountaineering website: http://bit.ly/1TrlGTB.
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24 min
January 28, 2016
The View from a Crevasse (Ep. 1)
Ashley interviews Seth Adams, who fell into a crevasse in Alaska's Hayes Range last spring. Hear Seth describe this scary incident and what he learned about traveling Alaskan glaciers. Here's a link to the report that will appear in Accidents 2016: http://bit.ly/20Cy2bV. And here's Seth's original account of the crevasse fall, republished at the Climbing Zine: http://bit.ly/1SUlqvl.
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20 min
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