Episode #39

Credit Photo Courtesy of:
Brian Poon


About this Episode

The guest for today's episode is author and creative writer, Chris Kalman. A storyteller at heart, Chris’s writing has landed him in the pages of Outside and Climbing Magazine with stories that make you think about both sides of the climbing coin—the good and the bad. He’s also been featured on a number of audio productions too: Dirtbag Diaries, The Firn Line, and, of course, The Cutting Edge, where he plays host himself. Chris also co-authored the guidebook for Index, Washington and has authored two fictional climbing books that take the reader on a powerful emotional journey through the ups and downs of climbing.

Chris has a particular fondness for the Cochamo Valley in South America. The pristine granite walls there have earned it the nickname “Yosemite Valley of South America.” Cochamo has gained more well-deserved exposure in climbing media due its pristine nature and world class landscape, but with more notoriety and exposure comes increased impacts. But impacts also present an opportunity to drive stewardship efforts and inspire the protection of a place. Chris and Peter use Cochamo as an international example of the nexus between tourism and conservation and get into what Chris has done to help proactively manage impacts in Cochamo, while also keeping it available for people to climb on its stunning granite walls.

6:36 - Intro to Chris
12:57 - Authoring the Index guidebook
14:46 - The best worst trad climbing in the U.S.
18:24 - Experience working for the National Park Service
26:46 - “It’s Time to Rethink Climbing on Devils Tower”
40:53 - Chris as an author
47:03 - “Dammed if You Don’t”
1:01:07 - “We Haven’t Messed It Up Yet”
1:06:25 - Preservation vs. conservation
1:07:47 - Friends of Cochamo
1:14:47 - Where you can find some of Chris’ other work

Chris’ website: http://www.chriskalman.com/

Chris’ Instagram: @chriswritekalman

The Best Worst Trad Climbing in the U.S.: https://www.outdoorresearch.com/blog/lumpy-ridge-the-best-worst-trad-climbing-in-the-united-states

Devils Tower article: https://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/climbing/why-its-time-rethink-climbing-ban-devils-tower/

NPS info on the Devils Tower closure: https://www.nps.gov/deto/planyourvisit/currentclimbingclosures.htm

Climbers- Honor the June Closure at Devils Tower: https://www.accessfund.org/news-and-events/news/climbers-honor-the-june-closure-at-devils-tower

Patagonia Cochamo article: https://www.patagonia.com/stories/coming-to-bat-for-cochamo/story-71772.html

As Above, So Below: http://www.chriskalman.com/books/as-above-so-below

Dammed If You Don’t: http://www.chriskalman.com/books/uf64nh7hgb6gurd3mtkwkdagckky5a