Wild West

Wild West

A window into the movers and shakers of the natural places where we love to play. Hosted by San Francisco Chronicle Travel Editor Greg Thomas, the show features in-depth interviews with world-class professional athletes pushing the bounds of human achievement, as well as the influencers and advocates shaping our ideas about the outdoors.... Show More

Episodes

February 17, 2020 37 min
Lake Tahoe skier Hazel Birnbaum has traveled the globe on the freeskiing circuit for most of a decade, but this winter she decided to officially retire from the sport. What does that look like for a 33-year-old? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Pete Whittaker stops by to talk about his unique approach to rock climbing, why he loves suffering and his new book, Crack Climbing, out in January. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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December 27, 2019 26 min
White Wolf would be Northern California's first private ski area -- like a gated community for skiing in Lake Tahoe. Owner Troy Caldwell sits down to run through how the whole thing would work and how his project represents the future of skiing in Lake Tahoe. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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December 13, 2019 32 min
San Francisco surfer Grant Washburn comes on to talk surfing culture in the city. We cover the uncertainty around the future of the famous Mavericks surfing contest, the closing of SF's 50-year-old surfing shop Wise, and the emergence of the City Surf Project. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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November 25, 2019 37 min
BASE jumper Daniel Ristow is on a mission to pioneer legal BASE jumping spots in California's Sierra Nevada mountains. (Click here for our feature story on his mission.) We discuss the state's secretive BASE community, Daniel's first jump and much more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Adventure photographer Corey Rich stopped by to talk about shooting rock climbers on El Capitan, South Lake Tahoe's exciting future, and his new book, "Stories Behind the Images." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Randall Reeves has been at sea for 12 months and counting and is days away from completing a solo circumnavigation of Antarctica and the Americas. He traveled the Northwest Passage, the fierce Southern Ocean and contended with gales and icebergs. We talk challenges of the trip and Randall’s next challenge of reintegrating into society. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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October 8, 2019 40 min
Ocean swimmer Ben Lecomte recently swam from Hawaii to San Francisco, making sure to pass through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. What he found is pretty depressing: plastic trash everywhere. We talk about what he saw, what he learned, and how he psyched himself up each morning to hop back into an ocean of trash. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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September 24, 2019 34 min
Economist Jason Scorse runs the Center for the Blue Economy, a think tank dedicated to finding a healthy, sustainable equilibrium between society and the ocean. We cover the outlook for living on the coast, commercial fishing and other fun, thorny subjects. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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As the first person to ski off the highest peaks on all 7 continents, Kit DesLauriers has explored some of Earth's wildest places. We talk about finding freedom in the mountains, exploration in the 21st century, and her efforts to preserve a wildlife refuge in Alaska. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Patri Friedman is the founder of the Seasteading Institute in San Francisco and the festival called Ephemerisle in the Sacramento River Delta, which is kind of like Burning Man on water. He consults with countries around the world that want to create new experimental governments at sea. We cover his work, his vision, and whether we'll all be living on corporate islands at sea in the future. Learn more about your ad choices. Vis...
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August 13, 2019 33 min
A new report says the valley beneath Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite would be worth $100 billion if we were to drain the reservoir and let the valley return to its natural state. Chronicle reporter Kurtis Alexander and I chop up the pros, cons and feasibility of the idea, which has been percolating for more than a century. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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July 30, 2019 38 min
San Francisco surfing legend Doc Renneker doesn't mince words when giving his opinions on surfing culture. Surf memoirs? Cliche. Surfing in the Olympics? "Oh, God no!" We talk surfing literature and movies, the Mavericks big-wave contest, and how surfing is like jazz music. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Chris Burkard got his start as a surfing photographer and has parlayed that into a full-blown media brand. He’s published a best-selling surf photography book and a bestselling children’s book; his documentary on cold-water surfing in Iceland (called Under An Arctic Sky) is on Netflix; he’s given a TED Talk; he has three and a half million followers in Instagram. We talk about his love of Iceland, his fraught relationship with Inst...
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Pro climber and mountain guide Steve House and Olympic ski coach Scott Johnston just co-authored their second book, “Training for the Uphill Athlete.” In our conversation, they cut through the B.S. of all the fitness fads out there and talk about the bad and good of our cultural obsession with exercise. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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June 18, 2019 47 min
Vogel is the nutrition and performance research director at Gu Energy Labs and recently completed a rapid ascent of Mount Everest. We cover the how she prepared to take on the world's highest mountain, what lucky charms she brought with her, and why Everest gets a bad rap. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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June 4, 2019 35 min
Alfero is the founder of Wolf Connection, a wolf sanctuary in the mountains above L.A. where he offers "wolf therapy" to troubled teens, Hollywood big wigs, and anyone else looking to open their minds to the ancient bond between humans and wolves. His theory: wolves unlock a primal perspective within us that helps us socialize with the people around us and gain clarity about ourselves. Learn more about your ad choices. Visi...
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Dierdre Wolownick's new memoir, "The Sharp End of Life," chronicles her life as the mother of world-class rock climber Alex Honnold as well as her journey to overcome fear and push her personal limits by learning to climb herself. At age 66, she became the oldest woman to climb El Capitan, the 3,000-foot wall in Yosemite Valley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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When he's not filming the world's top adventure athletes in action, Pablo Durana is shooting documentaries around the world, from Greenland to Chile. We discuss shooting in extreme environments, his award-winning films, and his latest passion project. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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With climate change threatening to make our winters shorter and warmer, writer Porter Fox looks to ski areas around California to understand how higher temperatures are already changing how resorts operate. What he learns may change the way you think about winter forever. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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