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Nov 29, 2023

David Smart’s life and work seem to intersect with climbing at every turn. He’s a lifelong climber, revered route developer and the editorial director at Gripped Publishing. He’s a founding editor at Gripped Magazine and has been crucial to its success and longevity for more than 25 years. 

Smart has published five books, including a biography of Royal Robbins that recently won the Banff Mountain Book Award for climbing literature. He also actively contributes to Alpinist, including his mountain profile on Cima Grande in Alpinist 76 and a recent story on Kodak’s Brownie camera and how it impacted the representation of climbing in the media and beyond.

Smart has developed more than 300 routes in the Canadian Rockies and elsewhere around the world. At age 60, he continues to climb several days a week and revels in the ambiance of his home range. 

In this episode, we cover a lot of ground, from his new biography on Royal Robbins, to the state of publishing and climbing media, to his passion for route development and leaving something behind for others to experience. 

Support for this episode of the Alpinist Podcast comes from Osprey.

Alpinist Magazine: Website | Instagram | Facebook

Host: Abbey Collins

Guest: David Smart

Producer + Engineer: Mike Horn