If you’re a climber, you’re probably used to driving to the gym or the crag relatively often. If you’re lucky, the commute to your personal climbing mecca will be short.
Although a longer commute to your prime climbing destination may seem like a drawback of those far-off crags, consider this: a long drive means more time to listen to your favorite climbing podcast!
Climbing podcasts are the epitome of life on the road.
They chronicle the best and worst climbing stories, highlighting hilarious mishaps and offering sage advice on how to manage when things go awry on or off the wall. Many podcasts related to rock climbing also include engaging and informative interviews with elite climbers and world class trainers.
If you’re looking for a way to bide your time on your next drive to the crag, consider checking out some of our favorite climbing podcasts, listed below.
Our Top Six Climbing Podcasts for 2019
|Best Podcast for Catching Up on the World of Rock Climbing||Chalk Talk|
|Best Interview Podcast||The Enormocast|
|Best Podcast for Story Telling or a Short Commute||Dirtbag Diaries|
|Best Podcast for a Reality Check||The Sharp End|
|Best Podcast for Training||Power Company Podcast|
|Best Humorous Climbing Podcast||Bad Beta Podcast|
Best Podcast for Catching Up on the World of Rock Climbing: Chalk Talk
The Chalk Talk Climbing Podcast was started by John Blomquist in 2014 as a medium for informing climbers about what’s going on in the world of their favorite sport: rock climbing!
Blomquist, who is a routesetter at Basecamp Climbing Gym in Reno, Nevada, bases his informational podcast on interviews with a wide variety of folks from the climbing world.
His guests range from professional athletes to amateur route-setters, gym owners, and even climbing companies, all of whom contribute to informing the general public about the state of the climbing industry.
This is a great podcast to listen to if you want to be informed about everything there is to know about the goings-on in the climbing world today!
Best Interview Podcast: The Enormocast
The only internationally ranked podcast on our list, the Enormocast is one of the highest rated climbing podcasts available today.
hris Kalous has effectively created a cult following of dirtbags, amateur climbers, elite athletes, and the accidental passersby who only got into climbing after listening to him talk about the sport for hours on end through the Enormocast.
Kalous examines the climbing lifestyle through subversive discussions and intriguing interviews with top climbers like Alex Honnold and Lynn Hill, as well as glorified tributes to rock warriors of the past.
Started in 2011, the podcast now has 131 (and counting) episodes available for the diehard climber or the lackey who just can’t seem to find enough people to talk to about climbing!
The original motivation behind starting the podcast was to “demystify climbing while simultaneously building its mythology.”
Kalous has done just that through a collection of full-length (most more than 60 minutes) episodes, all of which focus directly on the sport of climbing - no B.S., but a lot of fun and games included.
For an enjoyable and informative take on the world of climbing, make sure to download an Enormocast episode before any climbing trip you take!
Best Podcast for Story Telling or a Short Commute: Dirtbag Diaries
For those of you fortunate enough to have a short commute to the crag, the Dirtbag Diaries offers a ton of regular shorts (10 - 15 minute episodes) that will uplift and inspire you to keep climbing no matter what.
The Dirtbag Diaries are brought to you by outdoor writer Fitz Cahall and his compelling team of fellow explorers and dirtbags at heart.
This podcast presents stories about the “dreamers, athletes, and wanderers” of the world.
Cahall expertly weaves together fantastical tales about exploring the most remote locations in the world with mundane stories from the trail to create an amusing array of ear candy that will inspire climbers and general adventurers alike.
Even if you do have a longer commute, you can still listen to the Dirtbag Diaries! You can choose to link up multiple “Shorts” for some variety, or select one of the longer tales that dives deep into the life of a particular individual or event related to outdoor adventure.
The Dirtbag Diaries is a stellar podcast to listen to for anyone who enjoys good ol’ storytelling around the campfire or if you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up to inspire you to get outside.
Check it out and then get out!
Best Podcast for a Reality Check: The Sharp End
Just in case you’re looking for something to keep you awake on your early morning excursion or you want to be prepared no matter what happens on the rock, look no further than The Sharp End - the best climbing podcast if you’re in need of a serious reality check.
The Sharp End features stories from the annual publication of the American Alpine Club (AAC), Accidents in North American Climbing, and brings to life the most harrowing epics a climber can imagine.
The show is hosted by Ashley Saupe, an Alaskan native who grew up skiing in the mountains of the west and entered the world of climbing with a bang when she created the Sharp End through the AAC in 2016.
According to the podcast summary, Saupe “interviews the climbers and rescuers involved in life-threatening incidents and shares their lessons, helping all of us become safer climbers.” The keyword here is ”safer,” not more fearful.
Some of the material covered in the Sharp End can be a bit hard to swallow, and probably isn’t appropriate for young children or individuals with a queasy stomach.
However, if you’re comfortable facing the uncomfortable truth about the dangerous reality of the outdoors, then by all means listen to every episode and gather unparalleled knowledge from the experts and individuals who’ve survived the perils of climbing and mountaineering and lived to tell the tale.
Best Podcast for Training: Power Company Podcast
If you’re a hardcore climber looking to up your game in the gym or pump yourself up for your big project at the crag, then the Power Company Podcast is a must-listen.
Kris “Odub” Hampton and Nate Drolet interview climbers, coaches, and experts in the sport about how you can become better climbers in all realms of climbing.
They dive deep into the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of climbing and narrow in on how to correct the most common mistakes they see in a series of episodes called the “Boardroom Meetings.”
Boardroom Meeting episodes of the podcast include insights from the Power Company team about how they believe individuals can improve themselves in the sport and offer a place for more relaxed conversation about why climbers make the same mistakes over and over again.
There really isn’t a better podcast focused on training for climbing out there today, so if your sole goal is to improve your climbing technique in 2019, then the Power Company Podcast is for you!
Best Humorous Climbing Podcast: Bad Beta Podcast
If your commute is starting to get a little stale, or you need to inject some humor into your system before undertaking the biggest project of your life, give the Bad Beta Podcast a quick listen to boost your spirits and calm your nerves.
Matthew Sapiecha, Steve Andrew, and Anna Pirko are your three hilarious hosts hailing from their van in Toronto, Canada bringing you stories about all things climbing.
They mix levity into serious discussions about strange occurrences witnessed at the crag, current events happening in the world of climbing, and sometimes even delve into climbing trivia when the mood strikes.
You won’t find any long form interviews on this podcast, but the show is full of personal anecdotes from the hosts about their experiences with what climbing is like today, as well as their opinions on various aspects related to the sport (is trad really better than sport?
Listen to episode number three to find out!).
The casual, light conversation style of the Bad Beta Podcast draws a lot of people in and the witty humor while discussing serious topics related to climbing keeps people listening.
Definitely check out the Bad Beta podcast if you’re looking for a friendly, conversational style of reporting to keep you entertained even on the longest of drives to the crag!
There are many other podcasts related to climbing and the world of outdoor adventure out there, but we think the ones listed above are well worth a listen, even if you’re not a climber!
Plus, new podcasts seem to be coming out every day, so if you happen to have a favorite that we didn’t list here or if you plan on releasing your own climbing podcast soon, let us know in the comments.
Who knows, maybe it will even make the list next time!
If you can’t get enough of climbing on your commute and at the crag, we’ve also compiled a list of the Top Ten Best Climbing Movies of All Time. It’s designed specifically for you to watch in your downtime, so be sure to check it out!