Mountain Voices: Influential guests, inspiring stories

Featured, Mountain Medicine, Mountain Protection, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Safety

From the reality of climbing Everest in 2024 to the allure of competition ice climbing; from avalanche rescue to adapting to climate change; from a passion for rock climbing to high altitude advice for women; the first series of the UIAA – International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation – podcast Mountain Voices has covered a range of important topics.

Contributions have come from 16 guests including a number of leading climbers as well as experts in the field of mountain safety, medicine and sustainability. All six episodes are now available.

Episode #1 – Inside the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour

Featuring: World Tour ice climbers Gordon McArthur (Canada), Eimir McSwiggan (Ireland) and UIAA sport events manager Rob Adie (UK)

Episode 1 of Mountain Voices transports you to the thrilling setting of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour. The annual series pits athletes against challenging, technical routes and sends them up vertical walls of ice at lightning speeds. The venues are scenic but temperatures challenging. What exactly is the World Tour?, what is its appeal?, and will it one day feature in the Olympic Winter Games?

Episode #2 – The Sounds Nobody Wants to Hear / Avalanches

Featuring: IFMGA Guides Marc Beverly (USA) and Zeb Blais (USA)

Episode 2 of Mountain Voices focuses on the subject of avalanches and is inspired by the UIAA Safety Commission’s recent work related to electromagnetic interference in avalanche transceivers. The guests discuss what causes an avalanche, the impact of climate change on avalanches and how our everyday electronic devices from phones to head cameras to GPS watches may interfere with transceivers.

Episode #3 – Everest: It’s Complicated

Featuring: journalist/author Ed Douglas (UK), climber/anthropologist Young Hoon Oh (South Korea) and climber and mountain guide Victor Saunders (UK)

A spotlight on the world’s highest, most iconic and debated mountain. 2024 marks the 100th anniversary of Mallory and Irvine’s fated last attempt to climb Everest. They’ve come to define that heroic post first world war period of exploration in their experimental oxygen sets and (by our standards) primitive clothing. What would define the present age? The age of commercialisation? A trophy achievement for rich individuals with limited climbing experience, blindly sliding up a rope fixed by teams of Sherpas? Is climbing Everest actually an achievement? And what is the current situation for the sherpas who support every climb?

Episode #4 – Women at Altitude

Featuring: IMFGA Mountain Guide Emilie Drinkwater (USA), Jacqueline Pichler Hefti, Senior Physician (Switzerland), and Alison Rosier (Australia) Organisational Psychologist & Strategic Change Consultant

Inspiration comes from the work of the UIAA Medical Commission who have played a leading role in the publication of a number of papers dedicated to women and mountaineering. Topics covered across the papers include altitude sickness, frostbite, nutrition and papers on female-specific issues like menopause. The episode tackles the following questions: Are women more or less prone to cold and altitude related illnesses than men? Do women need to follow different advice? and do women make safer mountaineers?

Episode #5 – Let there be rock / Rock Climbing

Featuring: Climbers Adam Ondra (Czechia) and Beth Rodden (USA)

In exclusive interviews, two legends from the world of rock climbing – Adam Ondra and Beth Rodden – share their passion for the sport, their favourite places to climb and what keeps them motivated. Ondra also discussed his plans for 2024, including an Olympic campaign in Paris, while Rodden discusses the release of her autobiography, A Light through the Cracks.

Episode #6 – Climate Change and Climbing

Featuring: François Masse, Superintendent/Lake Louise, Parks (Canada), climber and Piolet d’Or recipient Graham Zimmerman (New Zealand/USA), Pedro Lacaz Amaral, CEO & Founder of the Gear Tips Recycling Program (Brazil)

A focus on climate change and specifically three fascinating case studies; including the loss of a historic hut in Canada, an award-winning sustainability programme in Brazil and the perspective from a professional climber of how, in the face of climate change, we can adapt to spending time in the mountains.

Mountain Voices is presented by Tarquin Cooper, co-produced by Peter Bourne and edited by Tom Tushaw. Season 2 is scheduled for November-December 2024.

Mountain Voices is also available on most major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

For further details please visit the Mountain Voices website page.

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