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A podcast from Accidents in North American Climbing, hosted by Ashley Saupe and presented by Mammut.

A podcast from Accidents in North American Climbing, hosted by Ashley Saupe and presented by Mammut.
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A podcast from Accidents in North American Climbing, hosted by Ashley Saupe and presented by Mammut.




Falling Off Liberty Ridge (Ep. 31)

Kris Nova and a friend were attempting Mt. Rainier's remote and difficult Liberty Ridge when a boulder pulled loose and sent her on a tumbling fall, badly injuring one hand. In this episode, Kris describes her preparation for the climb, what happened on Liberty Ridge, and what she learned about calling for help after a mountain accident. The Sharp End is presented by Mammut and co-sponsored by Colorado Outward Bound School and Suunto. This podcast is produced by the American Alpine Club.


Hans Florine's Accident on the Nose (Ep. 30)

Hans Florine was attempting his 110th ascent of the Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. He and a partner were doing the Nose in a Day (an elite climb), but were not attempting any speed records. Yet Hans still took a bone-breaking fall, despite all of his experience. Learn what went wrong for the man who literally wrote the book on climbing the Nose. The Sharp End Podcast is presented by Mammut and co-sponsored by Suunto and Colorado Outward Bound School. This podcast is produced by the...


Broken Back on Half Dome (Ep. 29)

It was October 2017, and Alex Doria and Jonathan Wachtel were starting up a dream climb: the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome, high over Yosemite Valley. Alex was in the lead on the third pitch, and he felt good. Too good, as it turned out. He ran it out a long way between protection, and just as he was getting ready to place his next piece, he lost his balance and fell. Alex, Jonathan, and Ashley discuss what happened next and the lessons they learned. This episode of the Sharp End is...


Ground Fall at Calico Basin (Ep. 28)

Greg Smith was 10 feet above his last piece of protection on a moderate climb in Calico Basin, outside Las Vegas, when he fell unexpectedly. His only piece pulled out and he hit the ground. At least that's what his climbing partner tells him, because he has very little memory of the day. In this episode, Greg and Ashley talk through the accident and the painful aftermath. Find more details about this incident report in Greg's report for Accidents in North American Climbing:...


The Rushed Rappel (Ep. 27)

Ryan Bowie, 34, was ice climbing with a friend in the remote backcountry near their home in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia. When Ryan set up a rappel from the top of a vertical ice wall, the highly experienced climber made a series of bad judgments, resulting in a terrifying plunge that could have ended a lot worse. In this episode, Ryan reflects on what went wrong that day. The Sharp End is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Colorado Outward Bound School and Health IQ....


Live with Quinn Brett (Ep. 26)

In October 2017, well-known climber Quinn Brett fell over 100 feet while attempting a speed ascent of the Nose of El Capitan. She now lives with paralysis. For this very special episode of the Sharp End, Quinn spoke with Ashley about her climbing, the accident in Yosemite Valley, and the painful aftermath in front of a live audience at the American Alpine Club's Annual Benefit Dinner in February. This episode of the Sharp End podcast was made possible by Mammut, Petzl, Health IQ, and...


The Deadly Hole On Aasgard Pass (Ep. 25)

Steve Smith was glissading down from Aasgard Pass, gateway to the Enchantments in Washington State, when he plunged into a deep hole caused by a waterfall of melting snow. This was a dangerous mistake: Several hikers and climbers have died falling into this same hole. Steve is now the climbing education manager for the Mountaineers and owner of Experiential Consulting, a risk-management consulting firm for outdoor programs. In this riveting episode, he shares the many lessons from that day...


Avalanche! (Ep. 23)

Tyler Smoker and friends were out for an early season tour near Hatcher Pass, Alaska, in November. He let down his guard for a moment and took a terrifying ride. Ashley and Tyler use their deep knowledge of backcountry snow safety to discuss what mistakes were made. The Sharp End is produced each month by Accidents in North American Climbing, an annual publication of the American Alpine Club, and is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Vertical Medicine Resources and Colorado...


Upside Down on Hummingbird Spire (Ep. 21)

Craig Gorder, 28, and Kelsey Brasseur were attempting to climb all seven towers of the Bridger Jack formation in Utah in a single day. In midafternoon, as Craig started up the second pitch of Hummingbird Spire, their fifth tower of the day, he pulled off a huge sandstone block that crushed his body and cut his rope, leaving him dangling below Kelsey. In this episode, Craig describes the accident and the incredible rescue that followed. Read Craig's story about this incident in the 2017...


140-foot Fall in Eldorado Canyon (Ep. 20)

Bill Wright and Tom Karpeichik were attempting a bold challenge in Colorado's Eldorado Canyon: Climb 100 guidebook pitches in a single day. To cover all that ground, they planned to simul-climb most of the way. Early that morning, four pitches up a 5.8+ route, Tom broke a hold on 5.5 or 5.6 terrain and fell, 50 feet above his last piece of protection. In this episode, Wright describes the monster, unbelayed fall that followed, how they both survived, and the lessons he took home. Read the...


The Survivor (Ep. 17)

In this special episode of the Sharp End, Ashley speaks with Ryan Montoya, a 23-year-old student who had the strength, skill, and fortitude to survive a terrible mountaineering accident on March 15, 2017. Just below the summit of 14,018-foot Pyramid Peak in Colorado, during a solo winter ascent, Montoya fell more than 1,500 feet down the remote east face, then made his way back toward the road over the next three days, despite serious injuries. We've given extra time to this episode to let...


The Red Gully (Ep. 16)

Experienced mountaineers Jennifer Staufer and Adam Vonnahme were descending 14,294-foot Crestone Peak in Colorado when Jen slipped on an unexpected patch of ice and careened about 150 feet down the Red Gully, sustaining multiple injuries. Jen was 10 weeks pregnant at the time, adding to their fears. In this episode, Ashley chats with Jen and Adam about the climb and the dramatic nighttime rescue that followed. This incicdent was documented in the 2016 edition of Accidents in North American...


Water in the Hole! (Ep. 15)

Skander Spies, a volunteer with Denali National Park's climbing rangers, had just headed out on patrol on the Kahiltna Glacier. Although they didn't know it yet, the rangers would record eleven separate crevasse falls that day, including Skander's. And his incident was scarier than most! The Sharp End is produced each month by Accidents in North American Climbing, an annual publication of the American Alpine Club, and is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Vertical Medicine...


A Rescuer Needs a Rescue (Ep. 14)

In this story from the mountains near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, a nighttime search for two lost skiers takes a dramatic turn when one of the rescuers is caught in an avalanche. Amazingly, the team from Routt County SAR not only bring their injured teammate home, they also bring out the lost skiers! The Sharp End is produced by Accidents in North American Climbing, an annual publication of the American Alpine Club, and is presented by Mammut, with additional support from Vertical...


Two Screws, Two Ankles (Ep. 13)

Raf Andronowski is a highly skilled ice climber, photographer, and gear reviewer ( who lives in the Canadian Rockies. But even the most experienced climbers may have a lapse in judgment...with painful consequences.


Shock in Joshua Tree (Ep. 12)

On November 12, David had just finished a two-pitch climb outside of Joshua Tree National Park in California. From the top, he lowered his partner to a big ledge so she could walk off. He then decided to downclimb to the ledge without a belay. In this episode, David describes the accident that followed with remarkable self-awareness and good humor.


A Snake Dike Tragedy (Ep. 11)

Around sunset on November 7, 2015, Angela Uys (26) was at an anchor partway up Snake Dike on Half Dome, preparing to rappel. Her tether system was not effectively clipped to the anchor, and when she weighted the system it failed. She fell approximately 500 feet to her death. In this episode, Ashley speaks with Yosemite climbing ranger Jesse McGahey, who responded to and investigated this tragedy, and the two discuss what went wrong and how similar accidents might be prevented. You can read...


The 69th Summit (Ep. 10)

Climber and backcountry skier Steven Lozano summited Mount St. Helens with a friend on a beautiful April day. When two climbers joined them on top, one of them, who was making his 69th ascent of the mountain, asked Steven to take a photo of him with Mt. Rainier in the background. What happened next will be seared into Lozano's memory forever.


Ego Dangers (Ep. 9)

Felipe Proaño, a North Face sponsored climber and native of Ecuador, took a long fall off Black Elk, a classic 5.11 climb in Wyoming's Wind River Range, and nearly left a finger behind. Felipe tells Ashley how his desire to be a "badass" backfired, with painful results.


Falling Way Too Far (Ep. 8)

Alina and Ben were climbing the Braille Book in Yosemite Valley. When Alina slipped while leading the third pitch, she fell much, much further than expected and suffered a serious spinal injury. In this episode, Ashley talks to both climbers about what went wrong that day and how Alina is recovering from the accident. Alina blogs about her recovery at