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Dec 22, 2022

Timmy O’Neill’s climbing career spans more than 30 years. He’s traveled the world, gaining climbing accolades and wisdom about life, and once spent 60 days living in a cave in Joshua Tree National Park, sharing his food cache with mice who also called it home. His resume of first ascents includes routes in Patagonia, Namibia and Madagascar. He’s spent much of his climbing life in and around Yosemite, where he once held the speed record on the nose of El Capitan after climbing the route with Dean Potter in 3 hours, 24 minutes, in 2001. O’Neill is co-founder of Paradox Sports, an organization that creates opportunities in adaptive climbing. 

Today, O’Neill is executive director of the Yosemite Climbing Association. In this episode, Timmy shares his excitement for the expansion of the YCA’s Facelift program and his desire to leave the planet in better shape than he found it. He reflects on 30 years of climbing, and why he values experiences far more than things. 

This episode is brought to you by The North Face.

Alpinist Magazine

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Host: Abbey Collins

Guest: Timmy O’Neill

Producer + Engineer: Mike Horn

Photos by Timmy O'Neill and Corey Rich