Written in Stone: Climbing’s Most Important Ascents

Written in Stone tells the (mostly) true stories of the most groundbreaking ascents in rock climbing history. Hosted by Kris Hampton, you’ll hear the narrated, sound designed stories about what led to new levels in climbing, alternated with conversations with today’s top climbers about what inspired them about what went down way back then. Season One is focused on the 1990s, and will tell the stories of how sport climbing came to dominate, how women climbers made their mark, and explore the characters who made it all happen. Moon, Skinner, Gullich, Hill, Nicole and more! Like Todd Skinner always said, ”never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

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Episodes

6 days ago

In 1995, Todd Skinner began assembling a team for an audacious ascent in the Himalayan Karakoram. He’d been shown photos of a golden, rocket-ship-shaped tower that looked like it could be sitting in Yosemite, except it sat at 19,000 feet and was surrounded by some of the greatest mountains on earth. But he didn’t gather a team of experienced alpinists. Instead he put together a team of young Wyoming cowboys, including one who knew almost nothing about climbing. And they trained for the trip on sport climbs and boulders.
Nobody could believe it.
Once in Pakistan, illness, government regulations and weather conspired with the difficulty of climbing hard at nearly 20,000 feet to pull the climbers off the wall. Their doubts grew, but so did their resolve. Every other team in the range had either bailed or died in a week long storm, but the inexperienced cowboys persisted. 
After 59 days on the wall, the weather had cleared and the team could see the summit, but one hard pitch still stood in their way, and their best chance at freeing it had just ripped his finger open. Maybe it wasn’t possible after all. 
Check out more here.
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Thank you to our partner, Tension Climbing. Tension creates tools to help you elevate your climbing experience. Check out the goods here and use code STONE for 10% off anything but the full Tension Board set-ups, hardware, and gift cards. When you support Tension, you're supporting the team at Plug Tone creating this show. 
Written in Stone is co-created with Power Company Climbing. Use code STONE at checkout for 20% off. Details at www.powercompanyclimbing.com/stone

Wednesday Feb 21, 2024

Jonathan Siegrist isn’t just one of America’s best and most prolific sport climbers, having climbed over 25 5.15’s. He’s also someone who thinks deeply about what climbing offers us, and works to make sure we stay on track. 
In this episode, Kris and Jonathan discuss one of the most controversial topics in climbing, grades. How grades come about, what that means for outliers, how hard it is to quantify the experience of climbing, and how we can have a better relationship with these numbers that we all care about but pretend not to. 
Check out more here!
Join the Secret Stoners Club for FREE!
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Thank you to our partner, Tension Climbing. Tension creates tools to help you elevate your climbing experience. Check out the goods here and use code STONE for 10% off anything but the full Tension Board set-ups, hardware, and gift cards. When you support Tension, you're supporting the team at Plug Tone creating this show. 
Written in Stone is co-created with Power Company Climbing. Use code STONE at checkout for 20% off. Details at www.powercompanyclimbing.com/stone

Monday Feb 19, 2024

Seb Bouin is one of only three climbers who have climbed 5.15d (9c). Following in the footsteps of leading French climbers, he established his testpiece, DNA, in 2023 in the Verdon Gorge. It may not be a coincidence that this came shortly after his Vintage Rock Tour, in which he climbed all of the firsts in France from 7c+ to 9a+, including the first three 9as from Fred Rouhling, Hugh,  L’autre Côté du Ciel, and the most famous and most controversial of the trio, Akira. 
In this episode, Seb and Kris discuss collaboration versus competition, taking grades personally, DNA, and where Akira and Fred Rouhling fit into French climbing history.
Check out more here!
Join the Secret Stoners Club for FREE!
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Thank you to our partner, Tension Climbing. Tension creates tools to help you elevate your climbing experience. Check out the goods here and use code STONE for 10% off anything but the full Tension Board set-ups, hardware, and gift cards. When you support Tension, you're supporting the team at Plug Tone creating this show. 
Written in Stone is co-created with Power Company Climbing. Use code STONE at checkout for 20% off. Details at www.powercompanyclimbing.com/stone

Monday Feb 12, 2024

Fred Rouhling was a good climber, but 5.15b? At a time when 14d was the hardest grade, Fred suggested that his half boulder/half route hybrid, Akira, was much harder than any other climb on the planet. Not many people believed the quiet, usually reserved French climber. Many of the top pros at the time; Ben Moon, Jibe Tribout and Alex Huber, would speak out about the suggestion. 
Rumors about the ascent were rampant. Some said he never climbed it. Some said he filled in the holds after he did it. Some said he chipped it specifically to fit his freakish proportions. The media turned Fred Rouhling into a pariah. A warning about suggesting big grades. He was ostracized and disappeared. 
But Fred Rouhling might just have been ahead of his time. 
Check out more here.
Join the Secret Stoners Club for FREE!
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Thank you to our partner, Tension Climbing. Tension creates tools to help you elevate your climbing experience. Check out the goods here and use code STONE for 10% off anything but the full Tension Board set-ups, hardware, and gift cards. When you support Tension, you're supporting the team at Plug Tone creating this show. 
Written in Stone is co-created with Power Company Climbing. Use code STONE at checkout for 20% off. Details at www.powercompanyclimbing.com/stone

Wednesday Feb 07, 2024

Nina Caprez is a weapon. Known as the ‘Swiss Machine’, and easily one of the most accomplished big wall free climbers on the planet, she had her eyes on freeing The Nose, and she had partnered up with none other than Lynn Hill. What could possibly stand in her way? 
The same thing that nearly stopped Lynn. Changing Corners.
In this episode, Kris and Nina discuss her history with The Nose, the big lesson learned from it and the friendship that came out of the experience.
To get the FULL episode, sign up for the Secret Stoners Club for FREE here. 
A few more resources here.
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Thank you to our partner, Tension Climbing. Tension creates tools to help you elevate your climbing experience. Check out the goods here and use code STONE for 10% off anything but the full Tension Board set-ups, hardware, and gift cards. When you support Tension, you're supporting the team at Plug Tone creating this show. 
Written in Stone is co-created with Power Company Climbing. Use code STONE at checkout for 20% off. Details at www.powercompanyclimbing.com/stone

Monday Feb 05, 2024

Lauren Delaunay Miller is a climber, former YOSAR member, and award winning author of Valley of Giants: Stories from Women at the Heart of Yosemite Climbing. From her first moments in Yosemite Valley, hearing the stories of the inspiring women who not only climbed hard things but built the community, she knew that a book was necessary. She just didn’t know at the time that she would be the one to write it.
In this episode Lauren and Kris discuss how the book came about, the challenges of the anthology style, what the culture of women in Yosemite and on YOSAR was like for Lauren and where Lynn Hill fits into the pantheon of badass women - and people in general - in the most famous climbing area on earth. 
Check out more here!
Join the Secret Stoners Club for FREE!
----------------------------------
Thank you to our partner, Tension Climbing. Tension creates tools to help you elevate your climbing experience. Check out the goods here and use code STONE for 10% off anything but the full Tension Board set-ups, hardware, and gift cards. When you support Tension, you're supporting the team at Plug Tone creating this show. 
Written in Stone is co-created with Power Company Climbing. Use code STONE at checkout for 20% off. Details at www.powercompanyclimbing.com/stone

Wednesday Jan 31, 2024

In 2001, Chelsea Griffie topped out on Lurking Fear on the far left side of El Capitan and became the first black woman to climb the world famous formation. But she didn’t realize that until years later. She was just looking for things to challenge her.
In this episode, Kris and Chelsea discuss the path of her climbing that led to El Cap, what being the first feels like, and the importance of representation in the outdoors. 
Check out more here!
Join the Secret Stoners Club for FREE!
----------------------------------
Thank you to our partner, Tension Climbing. Tension creates tools to help you elevate your climbing experience. Check out the goods here and use code STONE for 10% off anything but the full Tension Board set-ups, hardware, and gift cards. When you support Tension, you're supporting the team at Plug Tone creating this show. 
Written in Stone is co-created with Power Company Climbing. Use code STONE at checkout for 20% off. Details at www.powercompanyclimbing.com/stone

Monday Jan 29, 2024

Bobbi Bensman was one of the most dominant competition climbers of the 1990s, winning the Phoenix Bouldering Contest 13 years in a row and 20 National Championships. She’s still going strong, adding every year to a 5.13 ticklist that’s now over 250 routes long.
In this episode, Kris and Bobbi discuss her years as a competition climber, her greatest rivalry, when she realized that Lynn Hill, who she’s known since 16, was on another level, and how their friendship has grown over the years.
Check out more here!
Join the Secret Stoners Club for FREE!
----------------------------------
Thank you to our partner, Tension Climbing. Tension creates tools to help you elevate your climbing experience. Check out the goods here and use code STONE for 10% off anything but the full Tension Board set-ups, hardware, and gift cards. When you support Tension, you're supporting the team at Plug Tone creating this show. 
Written in Stone is co-created with Power Company Climbing. Use code STONE at checkout for 20% off. Details at www.powercompanyclimbing.com/stone

Lynn Hill Proves It Goes

Monday Jan 22, 2024

Monday Jan 22, 2024

Lynn Hill was looking for a different kind of progression. By the mid-1990’s climbing grades had skyrocketed, and Lynn was climbing harder and harder. But the difficulty wasn’t what drove her. She wanted adventure. Partnership. To push into the unknown. Something BIG. And there was one prize that had been talked about for decades with the air of a fairy tale: Freeing The Nose of El Capitan. 
Many people had tried, and most of the easier climbing had been done. Variations had been figured out. But still, two of the pitches seemed futuristic. The scale was daunting. And the route would demand a skill set that nobody on the planet could match. 
Nobody that is, except for Lynn Hill. 
Check out more here!
Join the Secret Stoners Club for FREE!
----------------------------------
Thank you to our partner, Tension Climbing. Tension creates tools to help you elevate your climbing experience. Check out the goods here and use code STONE for 10% off anything but the full Tension Board set-ups, hardware, and gift cards. When you support Tension, you're supporting the team at Plug Tone creating this show. 
Written in Stone is co-created with Power Company Climbing. Use code STONE at checkout for 20% off. Details at www.powercompanyclimbing.com/stone

Monday Jan 15, 2024

Starting in the 80s, and extending well into the 90s, it seemed to be the French vs. The British for sport climbing supremacy. At the middle of this war of words and routes were Ben Moon and Jibe Tribout, and the greatest battles would play out at Buoux and Raven Tor, two of the most legendary crags of the era.
Check out more here!
Join the Secret Stoners Club for FREE!
----------------------------------
Thank you to our partner, Tension Climbing. Tension creates tools to help you elevate your climbing experience. Check out the goods here and use code STONE for 10% off anything but the full Tension Board set-ups, hardware, and gift cards. When you support Tension, you're supporting the team at Plug Tone creating this show. 
Written in Stone is co-created with Power Company Climbing. Use code STONE at checkout for 20% off. Details at www.powercompanyclimbing.com/stone

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