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Nov 16, 2021

Mike Gardner was 16 years old when his father, a respected climbing guide, died while free soloing on the Grand Teton in 2008. Mike has suffered the loss of other loved ones since then, yet he continues to climb and guide in the Greater Ranges as well as the Tetons where he grew up. In that time, he and his partners have completed some impressive fast-and-light ascents using a strategy of “ski-alpinism.” In this episode, Derek Franz interviews him about a remarkable spring 2021 season in Alaska, his formative life experiences, and how those inform the risks that he continues to face as a professional climber. “I don’t have a really clear, well-thought-out answer…why I go to the mountains when there’s so much hurt and tragedy there for me,” he says, “yet there’s so much joy, and the answer lies somewhere in the middle of these paradoxes….”

[Photo] Evan Miller

This episode is brought to you by Rab Equipment.

Audio Production by Nick Mott.