Whether you’re about to embark on a massive road trip and need some audio stimulation to keep you amused on the journey, or simply want something entertaining to listen to at work, then you’ve come to the right place.
Here we have all the best climbing podcasts in one place covering topics from training for climbing and even a comedic bad beta podcast!
We’ve taken our time to gather an epic list of the best climbing podcasts out there, including some old favourites as well as new entries to the genre.
All bases are covered, and to help you delve in we’ve picked a few top chalk talk episodes to get you started.
So sit back, relax, put on your best pair of headphones or crank up the car stereo, and take a listen to the best 5 epic climbing podcasts out there!
Here they are!
- The Enormocast
- The Dirtbag Diaries
- TraingBeta Podcast
- Curious Climber Podcast – What Makes A Climber
- Climbing Gold
- Bad Beta Podcast
Best Rock Climbing Podcasts
Best US Climbing Podcast
Hosted By ~ Chris Kalous
Without doubt the most known and loved rock climbing podcast in North America, The Enormocast with Chris Kalous is nearing its tenth birthday.
With over 200 episodes spanning this time Chris and the enormocast has interviews with a bewildering of climbers including many of the world’s top professionals including Lynn Hill.
In the mix are also episodes featuring “normal” climbers who have equally interesting personal stories to tell and friends of Kalous such as Kris Hampton.
Having been an active part of the climbing community in the United States for over 30 years Chris has become a “sorta famous climber” in his own rights, but now is much more recognised thanks to the Enormocast Podcast.
Although he has some impressive and notable ascents, including the first free ascent of The Ivory Tower (5.13b) in Utah with Sam Lightner Jr, he is most recognised for being the chronicler of climbing history in the US.
For example take a listen to Enormocast episodes #6 and #7 with the late Hayden Kennedy, where he defends his decision for chopping the bolts on the notorious Compressor Route in Patagonia, and the ensuing madness that greets him back in the town.
Or #133, one of the many with climbing superstar Alex “No Big Deal” Honnold, in which they totally nerd out with a move-for-move recap of his historic free solo of the FreeRider on El Capitan.
Best All-round Podcast
The Dirtbag Diaries
Hosted By ~ Fitz Cahal
The Dirtbag Diaries, although not specifically one of the climbing podcasts, it actually encompasses everything to do with adventure and storytelling.
Focused on the stories of it’s community members, it brings the campfire tale to the twenty-first century. Whether you climb, ski, boat or travel then this podcast will be of interest to you.
Often referred to as the original adventure podcast, The Dirtbag Diaries was launched in March of 2007 by Fitz Cahal.
At that time he was a struggling outdoor writer who was about to give up on his dream.
He had spent the last seven years of his life living out of cars, living the dirtbag lifestyle in search of stories. He was immersed in this community of climbers, skiers, wanderers and dreamers.
The stories he most cared about never really sold and work was sporadic.
Tired of this, Fitz made one last effort, one forward thinking decision to start an online radio show.
The show would be dedicated to adventure and the people who call it a lifestyle. By the end of the third week he’d reached more people than he had ever writing. He realized technology could be his medium as a storyteller instead of writing.
Now, years on, and The Dirtbag Diaries is one of the best climbing podcasts available with a loyal following that continues to grow.
Fitz’s passion for storytelling has grown to include other mediums including filmmaking, community storytelling and social media.
He refers to his landscape of mountains, deserts and forests, in the west of the United States of America, as his office.
His goals now are to empower, strengthen and nurture connections with the natural world, and to encourage people to put down their iPhones, shut their laptops and go live the life they dream about.
With now over 250 episodes the Dirtbag Diaries has definitely developed it’s niche, and with over 16 million downloads it has a passionate following.
Best Training Podcast To Help You Slay Your Projects
Hosted By ~ Neely Quinn
The TrainingBeta Podcast is one of the best climbing podcasts if you’re trying to slay your projects and climb harder, but coming up short every time.
It’s host Neely Quinn talks to climbers and trainers about, yep, you guessed it, training for rock climbing!
Neely envisages people listening to the show and taking up the training tips and techniques in order so that they can get “a little better at our favorite sport.”
Whether you see rock climbing as a sport, or more of a lifestyle, one day you may decide the only way to progress is through digging a bit deeper and getting down to some training.
If you find yourself in this position then this is the rock climbing podcast you need to be listening to!
Every week (or so) there is a new episode including interviews with professional climbers, non-pro climbers, climbing trainers and other members of the climbing community.
They talk about their different climbing training philosophies, what they are doing at the moment, and their thoughts and insights on diet.
In addition to climbing podcasts the accompanying website is also extremely useful for climbing training. Run by husband and wife team Neely and Seth, they both admit to love training, sometimes actually more than climbing itself!
So if you’re looking for advice on training then these are the guys to come to!
The website also features a regular blog with tips and techniques as well as useful and helpful videos.
There are even dedicated training programmes designed by the couple that specialise in different forms of climbing.
Examples include training programmes for bouldering, route climbing, power endurance, endurance and finger strength.
As well as strengthening the body they also regularly talk and write about other important areas such as injury prevention, rehabilitation, nutrition and mental training.
Best International Podcast
Curious Climber Podcast – What Makes A Climber
Hosts ~ Hazel Findlay and Mina Leslie-Wujastyk
From the outset this climbing podcast warns that although it has climbing in the title, the subjects tend to vary.
If you are looking for the best climbing podcasts all about climbing then maybe skip over this one.
If you are interested in a range of topics from the environment to body image, then we would highly recommend giving this one a listen.
The conversations are ranging, but intelligent, and there is an eclectic mix of guests.
Hosted by legendary British rock climbers, Hazel Findlay and Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, their guests range from other professional athletes such as Beth Rodden and Dave MacLeod to relatively unknown but interesting climbers such as Anoushé Husain and Trevor Masiah.
If you are into training and nutrition then check out the episode with Dave MacLeod.
Dave is a professional rock climber and mountaineer from Scotland who is well known for his systematic and scientific approach to training.
This helped him become one of the worlds best all round climbers, climbing F9a sport routes, V15 boulders as well as Scottish XII mixed routes and E11 trad climbs.
In this episode podcast host Mina talks to him about his achievements, including how he deals with harder or dangerous routes. Later they delve into nutrition and Dave’s formal studies that include a BSc in Physiology, a MSc in Exercise Science and a MSc in Human Nutrition.
Another episode to look out for is the one with Anoushé Husain. She is a civil servant and paraclimber in the UK.
She is a champion for anyone experiencing barriers or with self-limiting beliefs.
Born without an arm below the elbow, and having lived with multiple health conditions including surviving cancer, as well as coming from an ethnic minority, Anoushé has never let what society or culture thinks she should do limit her or dictate the direction of her life.
Best New Rock Podcast
Host ~ Alex Honnold
From the creators of the Dirtbag Diaries, Climbing Gold is a Duct Tape Then Beer production, hosted by Alex Honnold and Fitz Cahall.
It aims to document the history of the climbing scene (in North America at least) and showcase the stories and legends that are commonly shared by the community.
Their argument is that these stories might be lost with a new generation of rock climbers growing up in the gyms, without the ubiquitous climbing magazine and therefore this is a way of preserving them.
Alex see’s the podcast as a “fun way for me to chat with the leading climbers of multiple generations and to hear their stories about where climbing has come from and where it’s going.”
He continues, “climbing is an incredible mix of adventure and athleticism and it’s interesting to see how that ratio has changed over the years.
Check out the first chapter, “More Bird Than Larry Bird” where Alex talks to climbing legend Peter Croft. They try to decipher how climbing changes and evolves, talk about their climbing heroes and “pushing the mentality of possible”.
Listen on to also discover how 1940’s bebop jazz connects to free-soloing Astroman in Yosemite!
The second chapter is also memorable, mostly for the images conjured up by pioneering climbers describing their first ascents. The description of bolting routes before power tools (or where they are banned) is remarkable and astonishing.
With a whole host of new podcasts coming out recently, this has to be one of the best climbing podcasts. It brings a solid production company with years of experience in the podcasting game, an A-list host and numerous historical climbing legends – a recipe for success!
Best Climbing Podcast for Comedy Value
Bad Beta Podcast
Hosts – Matthew Sapiecha, Anna Outdoors, Steve Andrew
The Bad Beta Podcast is not about training for climbing, it’s not about the best climbing destinations or the latest news in the climbing world.
They interview climbers to hear their personal climbing stories, and although hailing from Canada there’s little reference to the American Alpine Club.
What the Bad Beta Podcast really offers is real rock climbers, talking about issues that a climber wants to hear. They are here to upset ‘big-climbing’ by telling you everything they don’t want you to know.
This is what makes it one of the best climbing podcasts to listen to before tying into the sharp end.
A couple of quotes on their website sums up the podcast – “At the Bad Beta, we believe all spray, is bad spray” followed by a quote from Todd Skinner – “You know your life is over when you own a lawnmower”.
So if you’re more interested in having a laugh and listening to real conversations with climbers talking about personal stories that happened to them on a climbing trip, take a listen. There’s not much in the way of training and performance or any useful insights about training for climbing, but this is the best podcast to put a smile on your face.
Recommended podcast episodes include the sport vs trad debate where the hosts try and give a little more insight into who they are (although somewhat reluctantly!). The arguments about what makes a climber gets heated, but rest assured they all remain friends at the end.
Also make sure you check out their episode #8 – How to Poop at the Crag. Rest assured this is not just 67 minutes of toilet humour, they also cover topics such as helmets in the gym and ideas for a climbing based 90’s era sitcom!
Not satisfied with our list?
Or you’ve already worked your way through the best these podcasts have to offer and you’re looking for something more?
Then check out the ones below that unfortunately didn’t quite make it onto our list including the fascinating Chalk Talk climbing podcast, the online climbing coach podcast that is The Power Company Podcast and Niall Grimes Jam Crack Climbing Podcast.
Others That Just Missed The List:
Jam Crack Climbing Podcast with Niall Grimes
Chalk Talk Climbing Podcast with John Blomquist
The Power Company Podcast with Kris Hampton
Eric Horst’s Training for Climbing Podcast with Eric Horst
The Sharp End Podcast with Ashley Saupe
For further reading see: “Building a Trad Rack In 6 Amazing Simple Steps” and “How To Measure Ape Index For Climbing ~ How Important Is It?”
UK born and bred, once a passionate dirtbag Neil has finally traded it all in (read sold out!) for a comfortable life behind a desk in the climbing paradise of Siurana. He still dreams of his years spent living out of a tent / car / backpack and shunning the whole world (wide web) in glorious destinations from Taiwan to Thailand, Squamish to South Devon and many, many more.
Aside from climbing Neil is attempting to learn Spanish (despite living in Catalonia), thinks the environment is worth saving and his favourite food is toast with tomato, garlic and oil (Pa amb tomàquet).