Tommy Caldwell (@tommycaldwell1) has been called “arguably the best all-around rock climber on the planet” by National Geographic, and is the author of The Push: A Climber’s Search for the Path.

What We Discuss with Tommy Caldwell:

  • How the confidence Tommy gained from climbing since age three transformed him from a shy, scrawny kid into a world-class athlete, author, and someone who can be interviewed on podcasts without fear.
  • Tommy’s tried-and-true formula for getting better at coping with scary, potentially life-threatening situations.
  • How climbing is part endurance, part puzzle, and part chess strategy.
  • The differences between sport climbing, free climbing, and free soloing.
  • What it’s like to get kidnapped by rebel extremists in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan when you’re just trying to do a little climbing with your friends.
  • And much more…

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The Push: A Climber's Search for the Path by Tommy CaldwellOn June 6th, 2018, The Push: A Climber’s Search for the Path author Tommy Caldwell and his climbing partner Alex Honnold scaled the sheer granite face of Yosemite’s El Capitan in one hour, 58 minutes, and seven seconds. It was a record ascent by way of The Nose, El Capitan’s nearly vertical route of 2,900 feet — once considered an impossible climb, typically taking days for most who have succeeded since it was first conquered in 1958. Tommy also ascended El Capitan’s Dawn Wall in 2015 with Kevin Jorgeson in a then-record 19 days, and has undertaken numerous solo free climbs and other feats of strength over the years — the majority without the use of his left index finger, which was mostly severed in a table saw accident in 2001.

In this episode we talk to Tommy about how an extreme childhood with a father who also climbed mountains prepared him for this life, what happened when he and three other climbers were kidnapped and held for six days in Central Asian Kyrgyzstan in 2000 before making a daring escape, and how an obsession with a craft and pursuing it to mastery makes Tommy world class (if not the best in the world) at what he does. Listen, learn, and enjoy!

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