The Best Climbing Podcasts of 2021

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It’s no secret, people love to climb – so obviously, many rock climbing podcasts have popped up over the years across various platforms. They range from being educational, relaxed, motivational, or even comedic. At times, special well-known rock climbers even make appearances on them which helps to always keep things fresh. Whenever you need a chance to sit back and enjoy your day off, any of today’s podcasts will certainly be able to keep you entertained for hours. Even if you are just getting into climbing or not the biggest fan of such activities, these podcasts have elements for everyone. With all that said, let’s delve into three sections, our favorite overall podcast, the runner ups, and of course – the honorable mentions.

Our Favorites for the Best Climbing PodcastsOur Favorites for the Best Climbing Podcasts

The Sharp End

Starting off with a banger, the Sharp End Podcast provides its listeners with interviews featuring climbers involved in serious incidents so that they can provide tips and make sure your average climber won’t have to deal with what the people involved in the accidents had to. This podcast is simply put, very educational and helps raise awareness of the potential dangers of climbing which in turn ensures boosting the safety of the viewers. As for the average duration of the episodes, that clocks in at just about 45 minutes per podcast. On the rating side, it’s stated on their site that they bring in a regular 34,000 people. The Sharp End Podcast quickly drew in viewers when it first started in 2016 and continues to get constant 5-star ratings. The show’s creator, Ashley Saupe loved to ski throughout her entire childhood which is part of the reason she started the podcast. On one last note, The Sharp End Podcast occasionally gets into territory where the climbing incidents get extremely detailed and at times graphic, meaning this podcast might not be for the faint of heart. But, it’s extremely informative and accomplishes providing safety tips as well as interesting commentary.

What Makes The Sharp End Podcast Unique:

  • It’s the only podcast out there that’s completely focused on featuring climbers who endured terrible accidents and then educating the viewers on how to not let it happen to them. This one feels special because it’s truly a good cause and it lets those who have had accidents while climbing gets their story heard for the better.
  • The Sharp End Podcast is geared towards an older audience that is okay with seeing and hearing from horrific incidents while out on the climb. Life is unfair most of the time, which can be a lesson taken from these episodes. But, learning from accidents can be beneficial, which is why this podcast exists.

Listen to the Sharp End Here

Jack Mountain Bushcraft

The Jack Mountain Bushcraft podcast is packed full of talks about the adventures and time host Tim Smith has endured. Tim happens to be a registered Master Maine Guide and teaches and shares his tips with his viewers on leadership skills, safety tips, and of course bushcraft. When the summertime comes around, these podcast episodes come out the wazoo, but even in the winter, Tim talks about expeditions in Alberta and outdoor winter activities. Here’s an example of the summaries included with each podcast episode, “Episode 62 is about how to know a place. Part of what we teach on our immersion programs is how to be at home in the forest. This includes both academic and experiential components, which we discuss. We also talk about the Masardis glacier and give an update about our articulation agreement with the University” Tim and his occasional guests and temporary hosts are extremely fluent in the arts of the vast and open outdoors which adds a huge level of credibility to their names and thus the Bushcraft Podcast.

What Makes the Jack Mountain Bushcraft Podcast Unique:

  • When compared to the rest of today’s podcasts, the Bushcraft Podcast is mostly centered around a huge variety of outdoor survival tips and activities. Even if it doesn’t feature climbing topics all that much, the basis of survival and safety can still build upon your knowledge and overall skill level which makes this podcast one to keep watching.

Listen to Jack Mountain Bushcraft Podcast Here

The Runout

Chris Kalous and his friend Andrew Bisharat happens to host The Runout Podcast, Chris’s name might sound familiar to you – as he is relatively famous in the climbing community, having multiple followings across his various social media platforms. He’s also mostly known for The Enormocast. The goal of the podcast is to bring together the most intense climbing moments and the more laid back events, striking a happy medium between the two. The feeling that’s evoked by listening to the podcast can be described as informative, exciting, and comedic. We say “comedic” because the names of the episodes are quite hilarious with examples such as “Dude Looks Like a Slaydie”. But besides the comedy, each episode’s starts by playing the intro which says, “It’s time to clip your last good piece and dig in, because The Runout starts now!” which just shows you’re in for a good time. There are over 20 episodes that are all around 30 minutes. Their topics range from climbing controversies, wildlife such as birds, and women’s climbing. It’s quite the diverse range of subjects, always offering a new take on a variety of subjects that are picked. Andrew and Chris are even always open to new ideas for episodes of their podcasts and are willing to take feedback to better themselves and the overall format – not many people are as open to fan feedback and ideas like that. On top of all of its great qualities, this podcast also continues to receive great reviews.

What Makes The Runout Podcast Unique:

  • With over a hundred written reviews, literally every single one of them is entirely positive and rated with a perfect five stars. One review even goes as far as saying, “This podcast is sick! I love listening to Chris and Andrew waxing poetically about the important topics in current climbing news.”
  • Chris Kalous is probably the most highly recognized podcast host on the list today which means he’s built a trust with rock climbers over the years. He clearly knows what he’s doing.

Listen to The Runout Here

Our Runner Ups for the Best Climbing PodcastsOur Runner Ups for the Best Climbing Podcasts

Bad Beta

Hosted by three men, and a woman, the Bad Beta Podcast offers a fresh take on podcasts in general. In comparison to some of the other podcasts on this list such as The Sharp End, the Bad Beta podcast is on the longer length – being over an hour per episode. Furthermore, the motto that the creators behind the podcast want you to attract your attention is, “Real rock climbers, talking about issues that real rock climbers want to hear. We’re here to upset ‘big-climbing’ by telling you everything they don’t want you to know.” However, one unique aspect of this podcast is that it’s extremely laid back and relaxed, meaning that it’s not meant to be taken entirely seriously. They are doing it for good fun. The relaxed nature also reflects on the wide variety of topics they discuss which range from how to be safe while climbing, their favorite rock climbing movies, messing around with a soundboard, to 90’s sitcoms. Being a relatively new podcast, just recently starting in mid-2018, the hosts have learned how to make the viewers have a big impact on their show.

What Makes the Bad Beta Podcast Unique:

  • The wonderful four hosts of this show, incorporate viewers input, emails, and requests and making them a part of the podcast, which really shows through their high ratings. Viewers have a ton of impact on this podcast in particular.

Listen to Bad Beta Here

Outside Magazine

The Outside Magazine Podcast at first glance clearly is the most professional and high budget podcast on today’s list. Any outdoor activity that you can possibly imagine is somewhere within any of these podcast episodes. From episodes focused around how the outdoors effect how we think, to snakes venom, and even talks about the end of nature as we know it. It frequently has a change in guests and hosts with each episode always offering multiple views and takes on the situation at hand. One thing to truly be grateful of the Outside Magazine Podcast is the sheer topics and limits the guys that host the show go, it may just have the most unique and varied topics when shifting from episode to episode. This podcast has something for everyone, with episodes titled “Bob Ross’s Strategy for Survival” and “Using Pain to Reach Your Potential”.

What Makes the Outside Magazine Podcast Unique:

  • The upload schedule of each podcast installment is one to admire. There’s always a new episode every single week, seven days after the prior episode which really just shows the professionalism and care that goes into scheduling each topic.

Listen to the Outside Magazine Podcast Here

Honorable Mentions for the Best Climbing PodcastsHonorable Mentions for the Best Climbing Podcasts

Everest

On the quieter side of things, the Everest Podcast entails one man named Erick Tseng detailing the daily occurrences of his trip to Mount Everest. In particular, this podcast spans 25 episodes in total, beginning and ending in April of 2012. Erick’s trip to Everest was a daily struggle and required a huge amount of energy and planning, thus he created the Everest Podcast to detail every day from the start to the end of his expedition. Each episode ranges from 3 minutes to 20 minutes which means it’s easily digestible – and it’s even packed with hundreds of pictures of his journey which uniquely means this podcast has a video side to it as well. His trek to Everest wasn’t without its inconveniences and problems with him having to rebook flights and spend more than expected on materials to make it all that way. This podcast makes for a very educational one that discusses every little step necessary to embark on such a journey as this one. Another factor that makes this one special is how the host talks to the viewer, in that, he speaks in such a way that he could be talking with a friend which makes for a great and enjoyable overall experience. It’s quite an undiscovered podcast with not too many people knowing about it, which makes us realize we found something special. We think many people will be glad to know that a podcast such as this one exists out there, so get to listening to it if you’re intrigued.

What Makes the Everest Podcast Unique:

  • The sheer idea of the Everest Podcast is one of a kind. Not many podcasts out there are designed to be short-lived and highly rich full of content such as pictures. But, this one here is like no other.
  • As well as being a unique idea, the length of the episodes being extremely short also makes this one shine. Packed with hundreds of pictures Erick took on his Mount Everest excursion, it’s got both audio and visual elements to it.

Listen to The Everest Podcast Here

Chalk Talk

As for today’s last podcast, we have the well-known Chalk Talk Podcast. Beginning in 2014, this podcast boasts a motto of “Climb, listen, climb and listen. Listen to it, like it, love it… palabra!” With 67 episodes currently on its belt, many installments happen to feature professional climbers such as Eddie Fowke, Dan Beall, Kyle McFarland, and Zach DiChristino. The goal of this podcast is to simply provide its listeners with interesting facts about climbing that can help to aid in your adventures. It’s received reviews stating the podcast provides “a perspective you don’t always hear” which happens to be very true due to the many guests and professionals featured on the show. But, rock climbing isn’t the only main point talked about here, other elements that the guests and host John Blomquist discuss include outdoor products, staying motivated, goal management, facing your fears, and avoiding injury. It’s a very “content-rich podcast” another viewer left in a review. If you ever need some motivation or just some seriously great commentary on the climbing side of the world, the Chalk Talk Podcast just might be right up your alley. It will surely take your climbing experience, knowledge, and skills to the next level.

What Makes the Chalk Talk Podcast Unique:

  • Celebrities galore. Each episode typically comes with a new special guest who happen to be high profile people known in the rock climbing and other high endurance sports.
  • Extraordinarily well liked by its viewers and casual people who happen to stumble upon it. You know you’re doing the right thing with your podcast when you continue to pull in the views and maintain high ratings.

Listen to the Chalk Talk Podcast Here

Summary of the Best Climbing Podcasts

We’ve gone over a lot today. Here’s a helpful table to consolidate every climbing podcasts we went over:

Out of all of the rock climbing podcasts on the planet, our overall favorite just has to be The Sharp End Podcast. It won us over just by the very concept of the podcast, helping fellow climbers out by informing them of terrible accidents that professional climbers have experienced and even hearing from the people that got hurt and even unfortunately crippled by those very incidents. Many viewers have expressed their gratitude they have for The Sharp End Podcast and we simply couldn’t agree more, it’s a great podcast to watch even for people not necessarily too big into climbing. With it being so accessible and informative, we highly recommend checking this one out if podcasts just so happen to be up your alley.

Moving on, as for the best runner up podcast, this one goes to the Bad Beta Podcast. The nature of this one as we’ve stated is entirely different than the prior favorite The Sharp End Podcast because while The Sharp End is all serious and sometimes even sad, the Bad Beta Podcast is chilled out and a fun time for all. It’s four hosts aim to tell their viewers all the details the big-climbers in the game don’t want you to know. Although, it does feature many other topics such as educating the listeners on rock climbing safety and fun facts that are comedic most of the time.

And lastly, the Everest Podcast receives the best honorable mention due to the unique qualities it possesses and how it details one man’s journey to Mount Everest over a short easy to listen and watch podcast series. While almost every single podcast no matter what it’s focused on are typically many minutes in length – being well over an hour most of the time. The Everest Podcast remains the most important honorable mention of the day due to the sheer amount of effort and original basis. If you’re up for it, you could probably watch the entire 25 episodes of the podcast in one day!

In closing remarks, all of today’s podcasts are great to listen to when you need some entertainment while bored. However, some will probably be better suited to you than others would be, as is the case with most things in life. Each podcast has its own personality and feel to it, which makes every single one out of the seven mentioned today very special and personalized. We hope that today’s article has helped you narrow down a podcast or two that happen to tickle your fancy.

If you found this post helpful, you might also like our post on the best climbing documentaries and best climbing movies on Netflix.

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