Motivational Speaker & Elite Climber Manley Feinberg II Live with Brad

Motivational speaker Manley Feinberg II is and amazing dude.  He’s climbed crazy cliffs all around the world, is a world class, award-winning motivational speaker, a dad and a husband.   Oh..and he’s a pal.

In this live interview I get to ask him about some of amazing crazy stuff BEHIND the climbs. What was it like to sleep on El Cap? How does he carry his gear UP the mountain? Can you really sleep when you’re tied to a cliff in a bag?  And er…how in the heck does one go to the bathroom on a multi-day assent up a rock?

It’s fun to get to know Manley.  He is a very successful human (no matter what he’s doing) and to see into his brain is fascinating.  He’s focused, intense, and driven. But he’s also crazy gentle, modest, humble and warm.  Come to think of it, no wonder we are friends.

Thanks for joining me, Manley.  I loved the interview…and hope the rest of you do too!

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Biography of a Motivational Speaker

Brad Montgomery is not an elite climber.  But he is a motivational keynote speaker who focuses on positivity and emotional/social support as they relate to performance and bottom-line growth.

If you’re looking to know more about motivational speakers fees, Brad’s work as a health care speaker, or what he looks like as an online motivational speaker, you’re in the right place.

Call today and let’s talk about how to ramp up your next meeting or convention.

(Kind of Sketchy) Transcript by Otter.ai

Brad Monty
What’s up everybody? I’ve missed you. It’s a snowy day in Colorado. And it’s kind of nice actually. I’m inside. I’m drinking tea and I’m in a good mood and I’ll tell you why.

Unknown Speaker
Jasmine

Unknown Speaker
The reason why is because I have a really fun guy on the horn right now. We’re about to bring in manly find Berg cross my think pressure thing. He’s gonna get this right. Oh, there he is. Hold on. I think I’m gonna try something else man, Lido bring you gotta work. Nice. Man, Lee Feinberg. Hi, what’s up?

Unknown Speaker
So

Unknown Speaker
your camera is looking great. You’re so handsome. Are you so? Let me tell you a little bit about your

Unknown Speaker
camera to make me hate my handsome for a moment.

Unknown Speaker
Is that so? If I got a pretty nice camera doesn’t work for me. What

Unknown Speaker
the heck?

Unknown Speaker
I’m gonna add your last name to this real quick. Feinberg is spelled fine. Are you er g? Yeah, er, g

Unknown Speaker
f e i n b e r g. Yep.

Brad Montgomery
Got it? Well, folks, I’m so glad for you to know, Manley. Not only is he a very nice guy, and in my book that goes a long way. But he’s a master speaker, this guy. I’ve seen him in front of audiences, this huge corporate audience and he stood up there and tell him his stories about climbing mountains, showing his incredible photos of him climbing mountains, he brings out a rock guitar. Yeah, he brings a rock guitar. Which kind of made me jealous because I don’t know how to do that. And I don’t know how to climb a mountain. Not only though, is a very skilled speaker and a certified speaking professional. He is a veteran of build a bear, which I’m kind of eager to hear about. Because I’ve been in build of where I know all about it. I don’t. I’m curious as to what you do. And if you hate teddy bears now. But I think the sexiest part of you is the mountain climbing part. You have hung off these insane. Cliff you are one of those elite climbers that does things that most people would never consider do. Welcome to the show. manly. Thanks,

Unknown Speaker
Brad. psyched to be with you, brother. Happy Friday, everybody.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, it is really nice to have you. Let’s get into mountain climbing. So I heard your story. And it’s it’s very impressive being in your audience. Because you get to talk about being a mountain climber and you show these insane pictures. And that was one thing but then when I saw that picture, or the movie mainly free solo.

Unknown Speaker
What’s the guy that idiot?

Unknown Speaker
Alex Honnold.

Unknown Speaker
Alex, right. Okay, he’s on El Cap and they have those insanely cool cameras and crew on El Cap with him. And I all I could think of is manly has been on that. Man. That’s real manly. Was that you? Right?

Unknown Speaker
Well, not yet. And he’s does it you know, fast and a style without a rope. That’s something I always use a rope. So his risk tolerance is way, way wider range than mine is. But I have been up on that wall that a portion of that wall that he shows in that documentary. It’s that footage is amazing. So it’s a it’s mind blowing definitely.

Unknown Speaker
Say I’m telling you seen that movie just changed everything what I thought about you, because you see the camera pointing down and I know what you’re gonna say like, oh, there’s different routes and different sections of the wall. But for muggles. It’s a big freakin cliff. And you’ve been shown?

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, yeah, I’ve lived I save. It’s not I mean, it’s all relative, right? So it’s, a lot of climbers don’t get on something that big. And they’re bitten. And lots of I know a lot of climbers who’ve done way, way more impressive things in me and lived up there for days. But I spent like 15 or 18 or 20 days up there, living on the wall and being in that environment. And so it’s visually it’s just as it’s just as intense as what they show in the movie. Of course, I have a lot more equipment. I feel a lot more secure. But I think mentally it’s definitely the game is more intense the repercussions if he screws up or obviously death but but I wonder if just you know the way opera, I bet he’s less scared than I am. I’m not like that constantly freaking out the whole time. I’m up there. But But anyways, it’s a similar sense of presence. And like, there’s focus and I think he does it on a completely different level for sure. But visually, it definitely does capture that is really what it looks like and what it feels like mentally, your brain to process it. It’s pretty, pretty awesome. And I love that part of it actually, by the way. So that’s just I think that must be a gene in their in my brain or DNA or whatever, that you know how I respond to heights. And I think I bet it’s genetic. I haven’t looked it up. It’s probably on 23andme. Well, that’s,

Unknown Speaker
there’s so many things I want to ask you because I think mainly one of the things that makes you a really good person and a reason you makes you a really good speaker is you are not a sort of braggy look Good idea kind of guy. So, but I don’t mind telling you the goal. My goal today is to get you to brag a little bit, because the rest of us just can’t imagine. So I hear you saying like, oh, Alex, climate without a rope, which makes him by the way, both amazing and crazy. But for a lot of people, my wife mainly is scared going up an escalator if there’s not a wall right next door. So the fact that you’re on that wall hanging off with the safety ropes is still terrifying. And did you just say, yes, you’re afraid of escalators? Oh, yes, I

Unknown Speaker
was afraid. Yeah, my wife’s afraid of heights as well. But she’s climbed some pretty, she’s not been on El Cap with me. But she’s climbs and pretty tall rocks, with a lot of color, the exposure, you know, the visual, the difference between the current visual field and the forward visual field in the for this visual field creates what we call exposure in our brains. And just what’s interesting about that is that there’s certain certain climbs can feel very exposed, but not be that tall, right. And then a really long I’ve done longer, I’ve done right routes with my wife, they’re about as tall as El Cap, a shorter route that actually are don’t feel nearly as exposed because they’re not as steep, you know, the angle the rock is lower. So bottom line is, it’s all about how your brain is processing that perceived, you know, visual threat or not. So for me, that feels really good. I really embrace it, I kind of lean in to literally lean into it and the exposure of it, I find exhilarating, but part of that, because I’ve learned how to be I’ve learned how to operate in that environment in a safe way. So that literally no people think this is there. Like what we need to say, is literally drive safer than driving a car. If you know what you’re doing. If you’re using the right equipment, and you follow the rules, it’s safer than driving. So it took me a long time to build up that confidence, right and test the systems and, and get used to equipment, but then then it allows me to, to be up there and really enjoy it actually. Even though it’s a lot of work. But

Unknown Speaker
I’m not calling you a liar. I’m just saying, say for him driving a car.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah. So you can ask, you know, life insurance underwriter, if you’re not, that’s where that data came from. By the way, it’s life insurance industries, as you know, they have a lot of money on the line on understanding and really knowing risk that people expose themselves to. And so that’s why I had to pick Northwestern Mutual’s my company by chance, because of the reason the reason I’ve stumbled upon them is they were one of the few companies that actually understands the true risk, different types of climbing. So they had this massive like three hour by hour and a half interview through multiple pages of really detailed, you could tell they knew what they’re doing. Right, exactly. What kind of climbing do you do? Do you go to Nepal? If you go to Nepal, How high are you climbing? And what mountain? What even almost level of what route? Because rock ice know how altitude mountaineering, big wall climbing, sport climbing bouldering all have a dramatically different risk profile. So it’s failing, but

Unknown Speaker
it really isn’t.

Unknown Speaker
That’s right, because you’re wondering about the risk. So really, those statistics came from studies from life insurance companies. When I say that’s bicycling, actually, it’s pretty, pretty risky to you. But more injury, but the death percentage is similar to climbing. Anyway. So yeah.

Unknown Speaker
I think he just said death percentage. So I believe you but definitely you understand that. In spite of what the actuarial scientists say, hanging off a cliff from a rope is not something the rest of us see is super comfortable.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, that’s, that’s fair. Yeah. So

Unknown Speaker
I agree. I would love for you. I wonder if I if I asked you to summarize in a couple of minutes that I think you were two weeks capper, you did a unusual thing. And here’s the rules. Family, you are a skilled speaker. And you tell some of this from your keynote. You have to be able to tell me that story without going in your material. Do you accept this weird?

Unknown Speaker
Which which story?

Unknown Speaker
You it took you you wrote a specific route on El Cap with a partner? And it turned out it was harder than you thought and he had to fix your calluses. And in the end, it was a surprise ending.

Unknown Speaker
So you won’t hear that story.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, but but with the provision that you’re not allowed to go into your material.

Unknown Speaker
Okay, so story of no point. I think you’re talking about the last time I was on El Cap. It’s been a while now. I did a big wall. By the way. There was there’s two brief are ones I could still talk about. Last May I did a climb across the valley from El Capitan on a feature called the leaning tower. And it’s it’s really, really steep. It’s not all that tall. It’s about 1000 feet tall. But it’s really really overhanging and so it’s very, very, very physical. But I did it. The coolest thing is I did it with my son, mainly version three and he just graduate from high school. So we took we took way longer than you usually take to get up that while we were on the wall for four days, we had what we call a party cruise for took our time and slept an extra night the basis of an extra night at the top and just really took our time and enjoyed it. And part of that the truth of part of that is that physically, my physical condition wasn’t, I couldn’t have gone a whole lot faster anyway. So that’s, that’s part of it. More and more recent story of climbing and what we call a big wall. That’s where you live on the wall for days. And then the last time I lived on El Cap for days was in 2008, and a buddy of mine, his name’s rich Copeland, it was a kind of legendary local Yosemite climber at the time. And we spent five full days a night on the wall, and we ended up getting about a little bit halfway up the wall, and but through the most difficult sections, so we actually completed the second ascent of all that one move, and my buddy takes a fall, which surprises a lot of people. They’re like, What do you mean, you fell and we build, we expect to fall and we build systems, so that when we fall, we’re gonna be okay. Right. And that’s, it’s kind of whether it’s not really directly in my content material. But that is a direct application to life, right? It’s a different mindset, when you’re approaching it, like assuming I’m going to screw this up, right? And then pre build, preemptively build in whatever you need from personal support, or technology or equipment ahead of time, I think you’d go into things with a little different mindset. And you can, you can be a little more uncomfortable, because you know what, you’ve already looked at the worst case, you know, what happens if you screw up. So he falls, breaks his ankle, really, really bad ankle break. And we self rescued the next day, which is part of part of lessons in the conversation, the story is that I didn’t believe I could do this. And my buddy, he had an incredible amount of influence on me. And he was really good about like, he just kept hitting straight up. He said, You don’t think you can do this to you? And that’s also really relevant, right? I mean, I think a lot of times we are capable of stuff we don’t see that we’re capable of. And it was it was definitely his encouragement to gammy to self rescue off the wall. Because it’s my buddy rich said the time it would be bad style for us to call for a rescue. There’s this ethic in the climbing world where we we get ourselves in predicaments and are one of the unwritten rules is you need to be able to self rescue, right, you shouldn’t be going out there and put yourself in a situation and then just think you’re gonna call on a rescue team to put their lives at risk to get you out of it. That’s not it’s pretty frowned upon me. But if you have a legitimate crap hit the fan. Everybody’s You know, there’s no problem, get the rescue, but, but generally, they actually will quiz you and hit you pretty hard. If you get do call for rescue in Yosemite, and they find out that you were ill equipped or under train and they didn’t have the right gear or whatever, then they’ll find you actually and make you pay for the rescue. So many what’s the right thing to do? anyway? So yeah, we got off the wall safely the next day? And is that the story you were talking about? Do you think? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker
but so this gets me to the stuff I’m dying to ask you. Okay, so let’s summarize. You’re with a partner, two very experienced climbers, you’re up a very difficult route they, I get the impression you could. That’s a big part of it is picking which route you want to do. And why.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, and that’s a you know, the even the easiest route up but Okay, up elcapitan is very difficult. And really, and it’s in Tech’s expert level logistics and knowing the equipment, but then they’re very The other really, really difficult routes. Yes, it was a great variety of ways you can go right, and this was one of the harder one, the harder ones,

Unknown Speaker
and you’ve proven you got past the hard stuff, or somewhere.

Unknown Speaker
And then MSI falls,

Unknown Speaker
which is normal. He breaks his ankle, which is not normal. You know, and then we self rescued, but that means you rescued him.

Unknown Speaker
Right? Yeah, yeah. That’s totally dodged that. But that’s the truth. Yeah, I rescues

Unknown Speaker
right with you. We’re kind of pressured into it by this guy saying it’s not cool to call for help. So let’s not you can do it. Do you? I just kind of want to say this like, whiskey, whiskey Tango, Foxtrot what I am, there’s so many questions. I don’t understand, like, why you wouldn’t call the so yeah, there’s

Unknown Speaker
some pressure and maybe some money involved. Although I’m guessing, you know, even if we wouldn’t have been, we know for sure that we wouldn’t have we would not have been found it would have been. So they wouldn’t have we wouldn’t have paid and clearly it wasn’t about the money itself. Right. So.

Unknown Speaker
So I’m just so curious, as to the as to the why, because you proved You did it. Right. It has a good ending. But you’re up there yet another body that you have to get safely off of a cliff that you’re hanging on off. And you don’t just get another athlete in there to say like, maybe you could check my work.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, so here’s a couple other factors that helped me so we had a long conversation, like the whole rest of the day, that whole evening was like, What the hell are we going to do now? All right, here we go. Because I was insistent, like let’s give me your cell phone. We’re gonna call for a rescue. Here. This is crazy. And he kept encouraging me so I’ve been climbing with you for days here. I know you can I know you have the skills. To do it, the other big challenge, especially on a cliff, that big and that steep, is finding your way down is not, especially from that high up is really, really difficult. A lot of that is because the wall is like so literally so overhanging that when you lower down, you’re out in space, and you can’t you’re not touching the wall. So we had to kind of reverse climb the wall. So getting getting off of this particular wall is even more difficult than normally would be. The crux with that is that you can broomhill off the end of your rope or get to the end rather than be suspended in space and kind of stuck, which happened at one point during the descent. But I was really, really ain’t my number one. With all this whenever we crap hits the fan, right in life, or on a climb, one of the most important things we need to do is figure out what’s the most what’s the crux of this, right? What’s the most difficult thing or the most and the most dangerous thing potentially, that we need to deal with and figure out and let’s get all that out on the table. And for me, my biggest fear was rappelling off the end of the rope. So I was very anxious about that, and are getting stuck out in space and not being able to get to the anchor. So in fact, by the anchor, by the way, anchor is like a milestone a spot where we stop on the wall, and we pull the ropes but down and and reassess and reset and keep going it’s like a milestone or a rest stop. And so finding those is basically what you find. And it’s visually you’re trying to locate a little gray bolt, you know, the size of like a nickel was mentioned nickel, based on the size of a solid piece of white and gray granite. Right. It’s It’s literally chrome on granite. And so it’s incredibly difficult to see it. And then in your ad on the walls, it’s but here’s the secret weapon we had, we had a friend in the valley. And then Tom Evans, who’s known for his this great website called El Cap reports calm, retired school teacher needs to take photos of people actually the photo, which one the one on this side of me back here is a photo that the Tom took of me and rich on that climb from the from the metal. So we had him with a telescope that he could see where we were. In addition to that, we had two other big advantages. One was the climber who had done that route, originally, Dave Turner was in the valley, and we had radio access to him. And we had a radio access to a friend named Eric, who is also wrote the guidebook to Yosemite to that El Capitan in particular, and knows that like the back of his hand, so they gave us visual support from the ground to kind of give us direction in which you’re not going the wrong way. Or I need to veer towards my left or my right. So that that helped a lot, that was a huge factor for me, not going into all that in the dark and blind not knowing the way down at all. So they we had some ads on the ground helping us with direction, we needed every few hours or whatever. So all that combined eventually convinced me that we could do it ourselves. The other thing is, too, we always, you know, the back of my mind is like a we can try to I never really considered this but now I think back if we tried to start self rescuing and then we couldn’t we got stuck, we could still call for a rescue. Right? So it wasn’t like all or nothing. But it was definitely the the best style and and there’s a strong ethic in the climbing world to try to be self reliant and get yourself out of wherever you put yourself into.

Unknown Speaker
Okay, I admit that sounding a little bit more reasonable as we go and a little bit less, just crazy as dumb shit, weird. But I just still think probably one of those people with the telescopes that you mentioned, might have come down from the top and said, Are you tired? You need some help? I brought your snack. You know, probably another set of muscles would have been helpful.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, so that’s Yeah, it would have been easier for sure. Yeah. But I think we thought we believe we could do it. And we knew that that would be I don’t know that rewarding was the word that came through the night. It just felt like what I needed to do.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, so that’s interesting, because what I’m hearing from you is one of the biggest drivers is the code. Right? And it’s sort of a, I’m guessing it’s a little bit of a testosterone fueled. No, we do. It’s the way it works. We just do it yourself. As opposed to, like, sitting down and doing the calculus and saying what’s available? And what, what’s open to me.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, I don’t you know, I think it’s interesting. It’s like, I don’t, you know, I don’t know, maybe there’s probably a lot more people watching this that have done a race or a run or jog or something, you know, and even informal. So you did a 5k run at some point your life. And I mean, there’s always opportunity, like cut a corner, right? So you could you could cheat a little bit or, I don’t know, there’s things you could do in some pursuit in life and in work as well, right? We make these choices on basically whatever our moral ethical standard is like this, how men operate. And I think it’s part of that for me as part of that. It’s like what’s the, you know, either, so nobody’s gonna see like, here’s a funny thing. It’s like if we’re free. Here’s a grossly misunderstood phrase in climbing free climbing. Right? When people hear the phrase free climbing, they think you mean no rope, but it actually doesn’t mean that free solo means no rope right to the name of the movie. Free climbing means you’re freely moving up the rock under your own power. And you’re still using equipment though. So if you fall, you fall into the rope. But the ethic is, when you’re climbing up the wall, you only grab natural features in the wall, and you don’t hang on like a manmade, like your equipment, you, you put a piece of equipment in and you if you pull on it or hang on it, you can’t call that a free clamp. You have to you’re supposed to tell people I hated myself and I grabbed this piece of gear, I didn’t freak out, and nobody’s gonna see that that’s all up to you. That’s just kind of an honesty code, like you said. So it’s just deciding. I mean, it’s a personal matter of integrity, I guess. Because I’ve always been really, really obsessed about. Even in storytelling, this is funny, we talk about our friends and speaking this is I’ve had some friends encouraged me to, you know, alter my story some or enhance them or change names and of people, I just am really big on telling the truth. And there’s some friends like, well, you don’t have to exaggerate because your stories are so crazy. Anyway. So but I think it’s really important to I think people think that starts to add up. If there’s, you know, too much gets around, you started blowing the story up and exaggerating. It just, I think keeping as close to truth as possible is really important. But I think for me, that obsession comes from the climbing ethic of exactly what happened out there. And what did you do? And in doing? So? Yeah, definitely.

Unknown Speaker
When you’re rescuing rich, your partner? He’s got three limbs that are working is how much help us he or is he just dead weight that you’re Laurie?

Unknown Speaker
That’s a good, that’s a really good question.

Unknown Speaker
He was a

Unknown Speaker
pretty good amount of help more than you think. Because he was so strong, his upper teens really stout, blue collar cat just really tough, just tough, the guy could just go for days and not not stop. So he was actually able to, there’s little things little moments where he was one other crux of difficulty of the situation was we had to get him down myself, of course, and all of our equipment that we took up there and we didn’t have to but it’s expensive stuff. So we wanted to bring it bring it down with this. And to do that you have to like you have to put pulley systems in place, it gets kind of complicated at times logistically to be able to move this equipment around up there and lower it, you’re kind of doing vertical freight moving, right, so you have a couple 100 pounds of equipment. So you’re using pulleys. So sometimes stuff, it just helps a little bit to have some muscle to pick things up or move things so it can get unstuck. And he was able to do all that. And he just been such a tough guy. He didn’t he never complained. And he was pretty, you know, he helped quite a bit. I think it made a big difference. And so he wasn’t completely incapacitated by any means. And then it was encouraging him a lot of moral support to so that’s probably actually the original conversation on after he had his accident. I said, Well, you’re not going to be any healthier, your frickin ankles broken. And he said, I’ll be moral support. Okay, thanks, rich. He was amazing guy. He’s just a beautiful personality and really, really lit up. So he was good at that

Unknown Speaker
once. So it sounds like he broke his ankle. And then he spent the night and then you started down How long did it take to get down.

Unknown Speaker
It took the entire day. The next day, we we started at the crack of dawn, and we hit the base at it was after dark. I don’t remember what time nine or 10pm. So part 10 I took so more than more than 12 hours to get down, which is still pretty considerably moving all the equipment. The thing is to the other challenge logistically is I had to basically downclimb this section of climbing, established an anchor, then had to go back up on a cinders up the rope. climb back up to him, get the equipment together and get him together and then lower all of us back down to the next anchor system. So it was you know, it’s pretty tricky, in that sense. But in a lot more work. It’s like worth four times the amount of work you’re trying to do on your own

Unknown Speaker
break. So he would just come down and down. But but you’re going like this. You’re you went up and down

Unknown Speaker
the whole way down, down. Up and back down again. Yeah, so four trips. Yeah. Versus normally you just got one, right? You’ll just go down.

Unknown Speaker
Least

Unknown Speaker
was maybe that day I was right. So I don’t feel like it now. So I was in a good really good shape physically. And I don’t know, you know, we all I think we’ve we were put in that our backs are against the wall. I mean, I think people are probably realizing this year. I mean, things are going a lot of things are not going well. And but I think maybe we can’t see it right now because we’re in it still so much. But I hope when people look back on this year, they find at least a few moments. And I think it’s a beautiful thing. I just came up with this. So don’t don’t accuse me of trying to put content in our conversation. What are we reflecting on the year and we so what are a couple things that surprised me that I did you know, that I’m happy about and proud of or you know, that was courageous about you know, the celebrate, and it’s got to be relative and adjusted for the time, right? So I think just getting through this year, and if you’re still here, that’s a success, you know, that’s a big deal. So context and looking back on anyway, I just wonder if that would be helpful for people to I need I need to do that. But my point is that our backs on the wall we we rise to the occasion, I think more often than we give ourselves credit for so

Unknown Speaker
You made it. Let me talk about this stuff. So I asked you this, but I wanted to follow up. Did your keynote one of the photos you show and again, during the keynote, you have these amazing photos was, it looked like a blanket or a tarp? And it was all that it was very neatly laid out, like, oh, a bunch of these things, those things, and then here’s different ropes and whatever. And, you know, I didn’t know what they were. But I did think, holy cow, that’s a lot of metal that you apparently carry up the mountain. And then you said the most intriguing question ever been that you said. And you didn’t even ask me about the poop sec. Only you didn’t use the word poop. So you know what I want to know, right?

Unknown Speaker
How do you?

Unknown Speaker
How did as I go?

Unknown Speaker
How do you take care of business when you’re on the side of a mountain?

Unknown Speaker
It’s it’s a, it’s not fun. Every job has some dirty work, right? So as to get dirty jobs guy and on episode, right. So number one’s easy, you go into the goat pee into the air right? Or whatever is appropriate. If there’s people nearby, you can kind of pee on something that’s gonna evaporate on the rockler. So that’s pretty simple. Go number two is not fun. So because really what you end up, what you have to do is, we used to go in a brown paper bag, and then throw it off the cliff. And when I first started the Glock army, and anybody else shitbag, so pardon our pitch, but that’s, that’s a direct quote. That literally was the code, like you do it in the brown paper bag, roll it up like a grocery bag and yell the morning and toss it in in 1995. May, the end of May, June 1 1995. And I know this date, because I got my first three big wall climbs in, in May of that year. And there wasn’t, you know, this new regulation wasn’t in place yet. But after June 1, I think it was a 95, you had to call it with you and take it to the top all the way back down and dispose of it properly. So what we do now is we usually have some kind of big PVC, sealable tube, or a big bucket that can seal and then use big Ziploc bags of kitty litter and there’s like some, there’s some stuff you can get like powder, I think it’s something like that the heaven and the porta potties you can sprinkle in there to, to help contain things, but it’s really still very, very, very, I mean, just you can’t get rid of smell, it’s just nasty. It’s nasty. It’s, it’s not fun. And then on top of that, if you’re like, you know, if you have, if you’re shy about that, and you need to be alone in an insulated room, you know, then it’s not gonna work. Because you’re you’re, I mean, you’re maybe not be shoulder to shoulder with the person, sometimes you are, you might get bill to get down below the portal edge where you sleep. And that’s what we would do is actually lower down about 15 feet or so. And then you’re hanging in your harness, which is very uncomfortable, and you’re trying to get your drawers down, make sure that everything’s clear. Hit the bag, seal things up, put them back in the container, and make sure things are clean, use your hand sanitizer, make sure things are sanitary as possible. So it’s not it’s not for meeting like. But it’s a question. It’s funny. I used to talk about years ago, when I really was speaking that I didn’t really know what I was doing back and way back in the early days. You know, 20 years ago, when I talked about these things. That was something I always talked about. And when I started going into looking into being a full time professional, I was actually already launched in my career. At the end of my build a bear career. A friend of mine who had built a bear, she said she’s like, I don’t want to hear about that. And she’s not that other women in the audience don’t want to hear about how you got the bathroom either. So fair. So I use some really outspoken women who will ask me but for the most part, I’m generalizing, they’ll probably get, you know, some kind of social media backlash. But generally, men are like kind of want to hear about it like any other bathroom humor thing there. And then a lot most girls gals I talked to you’re like, Don’t don’t don’t even ask, right?

Unknown Speaker
Sunday. I’m living with three women and my wife and two daughters and I will ask them at dinner. If they want to know about this shit sack.

Unknown Speaker
Sure. bag as well used to call it. So this is like a Kroger bag that you’re lobbying down used to? Yeah, we don’t we haven’t done that. And over was announced nine to 15 years. So Oh, the good old days. 2020 2525 years. So 95 was the last time I was able to toss the bag. So the idea was that, you know, if you throw it into decomposes, and I guess at one time I would probably okay, because there weren’t a lot of people doing it. But now so many people. Have you ever missed the bag? Thanks. Yeah, I have not, thank goodness, but I’m sure there’s lots of stories. So yeah, but so 25 years, we’ve been packing to the top and out as you should do to leave no trace. And that

Unknown Speaker
is a new phrase to packing. So let’s talk about that stuff you have. So I get it, you’re free climbing meaning so you’re bringing your body up without support just safety gear. But I’m assuming that stuff you’re carrying with you like the chip sack and all the tents and whatever those are going up with mechanics

Unknown Speaker
Yes, exactly. So you basically set up, the simplest version is a one to one pulley system. So you basically would have, you know, a round pulley, that’s pretty low friction at the top. And you basically, it’s a little more complicated, cuz you’re setting up two anchor systems, essentially, you have an anchor system setup that came with, the idea is that you set up one anchor system that completely keeps the team safe. And you’re, you know, no matter what that’s going to hold you on the wall. And then we set up a separate anchor system that and connect the two, ideally, so that you haven’t completely independent system that will also hold all the equipment and can hold everybody, right, so that you’re putting a lot of load and impact on it. Because when you’re hauling on the pulley, when you’re pulling against it, and you use these little teeth on the road to hold it in place. All that system is it works really well. But if you screw that up, you can kill yourself. So it’s really simple stuff, like the mechanics of it are pretty simple. But so it’s almost, you know, in a way, in a sense, it is sort of like driving in that way. It’s like it’s not hard driving so hard to it’s just but there’s a lot of little things you have to do right consistently, or you’ll you can screw it up. So yeah, it’s not it’s not really that, technically that hard.

Unknown Speaker
The third year, the second system for the gear, why don’t you to run like an El Cap? I don’t know how you get to the top you run out of the top and drop drop of pulley down. So it’s, you know, tied to a Buick or something we know it’s not gonna fall.

Unknown Speaker
But you don’t go right.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, you do it is go because it’s the cliff is so big, there’s really the amount of rope and the weight of the rope it would take to really do something to move equipment lower down. It would be just it’s not practical, what people have done, and especially more remote peaks, and an elk cafe, they shouldn’t it’s very dangerous. But people have created little perish. And one of the most difficult things is once you get to the top, you got this big bag of equipment, you’ve got drag it all the way back down to the base, right. So in more remote mountain climbing locations, on occasion, people have used like little mini parachutes and thrown their equipment bags off and let them parachute down. Which is nothing, I don’t think it’s a good way to lose your equipment. Plus, if anybody’s below you. It’s really unsafe. So I’ve never done that. But, you know, it’s just kinda like the same thing to code. You pack it up, you pack it out, take the top because you got all the time you can to get it down. It’s just you’re being tired. It’s no excuse.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, that’s just so amazing. Like, I’ve never been in a place where I like the word parachute, and how am I going to get my gear back? Those are crazy cliff. Alright, well, um, it’s just, to me, you’re such a fascinating guy, cuz you’re just, it’s very hard to get you to brag. But, you know, we started here in between the lines. We realize this is crazy, stupid stuff. You’re in a cliff that’s so big. a rope can’t go to the bottom. That’s what you just said.

Unknown Speaker
Pretty much I think they have kind of they’ve ever made a single piece of cord that goes on others. I’ve heard of like 6600 feet long lines. I mean, they’re the rescue teams have some pretty big coils and things that can bring them helicopters and different equipment. I don’t know that they’ve ever had a single rope that goes the whole way though. It’s pretty, it’s it’s pretty. It’s um, it’s it was almost, let’s say three. So three or 3000 feet tall. Most of a lot of the faces on it. Okay, so it’s just an average robe is 200 feet long, you know? So that’s. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker
So how big is that? How much weight are you carrying up the mountain?

Unknown Speaker
It depends, you know, depends on style. So the in the weight like so, the most extreme example of that is Alex Honnold where he’s only got a chalk bag and his shoes on He’s like, literally has no equipment. Then from there, you can like this. Emily Harrington, I think is her name this gal that just got a lot of press about two weeks ago, she free climbed with it, which means she used a rope. But she was the first woman to free climb this route on El Capitan and 24 hours or less, I think she didn’t 22 hours. So in her situation, they they’re going into one push so they don’t need sleeping bags, they don’t need a bunch of food, they don’t need all the water. Probably don’t even like to bring any equipment for maybe a toilet paper or something in case of emergency but they’re not planning on going to the bathroom up there most likely, a lot of heavy duty equipment logistics that I would need versus how they approach that huge difference. So she’s probably carrying like 25 pounds or something worth of gear very, very going very light 30 to 30 pounds or something. We had around 200 pounds of equipment. So and why you got because you’re bringing all your water in a particular route we did was so difficult. On the climbing level. We needed a lot of extra heavy duty like old fashioned Tetons and stuff and these modern versions of them, they’re really thin. So a lot of super specialized equipment for the only use on really difficult aid climbs where you have to, you’re putting the equipment in the wall and you’re hanging on it. So it’s quite the opposite of what I was she that guy was doing and what Alex Honnold was doing where they’re free climbing, we were aid climbing so we’re using the equipment and pulling on it, which means We need a lot more equipment to begin with. And we were up there for a lot more days. So we were planning, we planned for 14 days. With that’s what how much food water we took on the climb, and what the estimate that we thought it would take us to get to the top of the wall. So that’s just takes, you know, 14 days versus one days, just in supplies alone is a significant difference. So you have what’s called a camping gear, that’s the one I like. I mean, the thing I like about the reason I like the wall climbing is I like living up there and camping part at the end of the day when you’re getting to hang out on the portal edge and be in this really amazing space. And that you know, not many people get to go, it’s just, this really feels amazing. So that’s, that’s why I like to do it. So I have done faster cons where you do go in and one push in 20 hours or whatever. And it can be very rewarding as well. But I just I like being out there and being in it for longer. Well,

Unknown Speaker
I definitely want to ask you about the portal edge and like camping but first, did when you carry he got 200 pounds? Did you sneak a couple things that maybe you didn’t really need but you want it was there like Oh Yeah, you

Unknown Speaker
did. like

Unknown Speaker
totally with it. I mean, that’s kind of like the ethic is also is you once you get it. It’s tricky though. So you get to a point where like, well we’d love to bring it anything you want. Right? So you bring a Bluetooth speaker now and we bring stuff you know that just luxurious items that you wouldn’t normally bring if you’re going fast and light is what we say. So yeah, but the problem is that still like when my son and I did the climb in last year 2019 we we had that you know he didn’t know he’s looking to die he’s like what do we bring? What are we not bring like we pretty much if you want to bring it let’s bring it so we can sister too much plenty at like extra food extra water, but then it gets then you got to pack the crap up to the base of the wall right and then drag up the wall. It’s like okay, it does add up. And you know, there was there’s definitely a margin of overdoing it I guess you’d say so it wasn’t that we regretted bringing things course specifics but there’s certain things I remember we unpacking like we didn’t even use this like so you can definitely overdo it

Unknown Speaker
but what was the most frivolous thing you took?

Unknown Speaker
I can’t see anything as I can’t remember specifically off top my head what you know pipe stuff like like a toolkit to fix gear like I have a little kit that you think you might need but you don’t always need them maybe but you don’t know they’re they’re frivolous and terrible. So I wouldn’t really be called that frivolous I think I know we had like no extra food water so we probably could have done with West West and that’s part of the reason so it’s interesting so we we knew we had a bunch of food and water so then we just moved it caused us to move slower and we were okay with moving slower because we enjoyed the environment and so I said you know he loves sleeping on the wall so we had slept an extra night and this really wonderful camping this little wedge at the base of the wall and at the top of the route is like this most amazing place you could ever sleep in your life and if you’d like sleeping in a really airy purchase like this little five foot by four foot ledge and it’s if you drop something off the front of this ledge it’s going it’s not hitting anything till hits the ground and it’s complete air to the ground. Just this is

Unknown Speaker
a this is a item you take that makes a ledge it’s like a no no no this is this was actually a good good This gets confusing so

Unknown Speaker
in this case on this route, there were natural ledges on the wall built built in by God or whoever it was ledge was there. So natural legends as we would call them. Versus the route I did with my buddy rich on El Cap there were no almost no legends at all because the routes so steep. And so we brought our own ledge. The Leaning Tower is really steep too. It’s the weirdest thing ever, for whatever reason this thing is even steeper than El Cap. And it’s even and we literally overhangs like almost that much in places. But there’s these ledges that are in cut in the wall. And so it makes this really crazy little purchase you can hang out and sleep on and they’re pretty level two.

Unknown Speaker
But if you sit on it, you kind of have to lean over, right?

Unknown Speaker
Like it’s almost like if you’re sitting in Hawaii, or you’re saying

Unknown Speaker
like how wide are no you just there’s no room wedge,

Unknown Speaker
so we slept on four different ledges on the one route. The first one was Rocky and it was fake, you know, kind of pointing down it wasn’t that great of a place to sleep. The second one’s amazing. It’s called the Ahwahnee ledge it’s famous place to sleep in Yosemite it holds for people packed in so you can walk around a little bit but you want to have your rope I do I always have I’m always tied in. So I’m not going to walk around a ledge like that and slip which people have done and fall because you can get lured into a false sense of security. If you’re up you’re if you’re doing it a whole lot like assembly do a driving we first start driving we’re paying attention you know and then in a year or so we’re just doing our everything drive down the road not paying attention. So it’s a little tricky, but you can you can walk around, some of them are big enough to walk around on the one we slept on on the very top was really nice and big enough to we could walk around on with rope for me. I wanted to be tied in the whole time.

Unknown Speaker
And the one pledge Is that like a hammock or what I can’t picture what that is

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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