Our Top Ten Podcast Episodes of 2018

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On New Year's Eve 2018, The Power Company Podcast officially turned 3 years old. We’ve grown massively since we started this thing, finishing this year with nearly 750,000 downloads. We’ll hit one million this year, as well as close in our 200th show - which is a drastic difference from the “I’m not even sure we’ll continue this thing” of the first few episodes.

Literally, I have more than 40 conversations recorded that haven’t yet come out. I’m addicted to having and recording these talks - they are part of my continuing education. Maybe because of this, I have a hard time remembering all of the episodes I still have tucked away, and I’m delighted every time I open that file to decide which episode goes out next.

A few thanks are in order, of course. First to my cohost of the Board Meetings, Nate. Two of the Board Meetings made the Top 10 list this year, and you all keep asking for more. Those episodes are jam packed full of actionable info, but I like to think we keep it entertaining, and Nate’s dry wit and common sense voice is a perfect foil to my dated references and low tolerance for bullshit.

Second, to the Patrons. I’ve driven and flown thousands of miles this year just for interviews I really wanted to do. That doesn’t happen without you. Thanks. If you’d like to become a Patron and support more great episodes to come, you can do that on our Patreon Page.

And finally, to everyone who is listening and spreading the word. I don’t have time to promote this thing, but you all do a great job of that for me. I appreciate all of the great feedback. The most important thing that can be done is to share this with the people you know will love it. Hell - take your friends phone and subscribe them yourself. They’ll thank you later.

So here they are, the Top 10 of 2018, according to number of downloads. As always, I have my own personal Top 10... some of which made it onto this list, some of which didn't. You can listen to them right here, or you can subscribe to us on your podcast app of choice.

Adios to a fantastic 2018, and cheers to making 2019 even stronger.


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#10 - Ep. 108: Motor Learning with Trevor Ragan

It’s no surprise that Trevor Ragan, from Train Ugly, made this list, even though his episode dropped only 2 months before years end. Our first conversation together, Episode 64, is one of our Top 10 of all time. And for good reason. Trevor knows his stuff and can discuss it in a very polished yet organic way. He’s passionate about it, and it shows.

In this episode we discuss Motor Learning, and I selfishly force him to consider climbing situations and how we can apply his lessons to them. Had I dropped this episode in January last year, it would be a contender for #1, no question.


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#9 - Ep. 80: Assessments with Steve Maisch

Again, I’m not shocked that this one made the list. My first conversation with Steve, Episode 58, sits at the top of our All Time list. Steve has all but disappeared from the internet - planning a new site but very busy. However, these episodes will live on virtually forever, so all is not lost.

In this episode we discuss how Steve assesses his athletes, and what he thinks the important numbers are. Maybe I’ll catch up with Steve for another one sometime soon - to prove to everyone that he still exists.


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#8 - Ep. 100: How to Weekend Warrior with Kris Hampton, Hosted by Nate Drolet

For our 100th episode we flipped the script and asked Nate to sit in the host chair. I took the hot seat. It started out slow for Nate, and I couldn’t resist pointing it out to him, but once he hit his stride he asked a bunch of great questions (as he always does).

In this episode we discuss my history as a weekend warrior, and why I feel that might be the best possible schedule for climbing hard. If you haven’t had enough of me already, this one turned out really nice.

More on the way with Nate as host!


Photo by Heiko Wilhelm

Photo by Heiko Wilhelm

#7 - Ep. 96: Project 9b with Jorg Verhoeven

I had the pleasure of emceeing the Vail World Cup in 2018, and I had to take advantage of being around some of the worlds best to capture a few episodes. Jorg is one of the great all around climbers of our generation, and went a step further by putting on display his training, successes, failures and injuries on his quest to climb a mythical 9b (5.15b).

In this episode we discuss his goals, his training, the process of getting there, and all the ups and downs. Maybe soon we’ll be due for an update - he’s back at it over there, in pursuit of 9b.


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#6 - Ep. 101: Board Meetings | Top 5 Ways Your Gym is Holding You Back

I couldn’t be more stoked that a Board Meeting (1 of 2!) made this list! Nate and I put a ton of work into these, and we both feel that these conversations are as important for us as they are for most of you. Someone once told us that if we ONLY put out Board Meetings, they would be our biggest fan. I’m not sure Nate or I could handle quite that many episodes with just the two of us, but we appreciate the sentiment.

In this episode we discuss the ways that our climbing gyms and the changes in setting and facility have negatively affected us as outdoor climbers - and potential ways for you to circumvent that. We also discuss a few ways that gyms can make changes for the better. We’ve actually heard that some gyms have had staff meetings to discuss this episode and how they could do better. To those gyms - THANK YOU.


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#5 - Ep. 91: Board Meetings | Do Climbing Gym Grades Matter?

We mention grades, everyone comes running. And everyone has an opinion. Some a little smarter than others, but we aren’t naming names.

In this episode Nate and I sit down in Richmond, VA while on tour to have a sometimes frustratingly funny conversation about gym grades and their relevance. Is there even any relevance? Ultimately you can decide for yourself, but we’re right, obviously.


Photo by Dawn Kish

Photo by Dawn Kish

#4 - Ep. 94: Bouldering, Through a Different Lens with John Sherman

The Verm is an original. You know the old phrase “they broke the mold after they made him”? Well I sure as hell hope so. John is one of the fathers of modern bouldering (which is in part why it’s so screwed up) and the de facto creator of the beloved V system for bouldering. Nowadays, even he doesn’t know what it means.

In this episode we sit down in a room full of people in Hueco Tanks, at the American Alpine Club Rock Ranch, and talk a little history. Then we argue. John is wrong, of course, but he’ll never acquiesce.


Photo by Peter Hoang

Photo by Peter Hoang

#3 - Ep. 105: Big Walls and Authenticity with Sasha Digiulian

I’m incredibly proud of this episode, and even though it was released late in the year, the fact that it made it into the Top 3 shouldn’t be a shocker. Sasha is a massive figure in our sport, and rightfully so. She’s pushed the limits for quite some time. However, just like in every sport, becoming a figure on this scale also comes with detractors. People who claim that you’ve sold out or aren’t “authentic”. I set out to prove otherwise.

In this episode I sit down with Sasha in her Boulder, CO home to discuss her recent trip to Canada to climb three 5.14 big walls, a trilogy established by living legend Sonnie Trotter. Without much in the way of fanfare and camera crews, and while weathering a few storms along the way in the form of breakups, injury, and internet scandal, Sasha proved that she’s one of the best around, and can accomplish whatever the hell she sets out for.


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#2 - Ep. 89: Become a Better Climber with Peter Bonamici

We recorded this one WAY before I put it out, and frankly it wasn’t the best conversation we had that week. That doesn’t mean it isn’t chock full of gems. To be honest, I was surprised by this one - but I shouldn’t have been. I’ve watched the trends with this podcast, and it’s not always the biggest names in climbing that do the best. You listeners are in this thing for GOOD CONTENT. And Peter is one those quiet midwestern bone crushers who everyone wants to know more about.

It appears that Peter Bonamici can crimp on anything - but that isn’t what makes him a great climber. It’s that he’s a great climber. He puts a lot of thought and awareness into everything he does, and he isn’t afraid to admit that he’s not so good at something simple like heel hooking, which he says he learned AFTER climbing V13.


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#1 - Ep. 88: Climb Injury Free Pt. 1 with Dr. Jared Vagy

Dr. Jared Vagy is a high energy, very passionate advocate for staying healthy while you climb. I’m with him. He’s the author of a must have resource - Climb Injury Free - that features an easy to use pyramid of rehab (and prehab) for common climbing ailments. The popularity of this episode may have something to do with the proliferation of injury in our sport - which I’m not stoked about - but it also has to do with the fact that Dr. Vagy loves what he does and it shows.

This episode is one of the few remote conversations I’ve had, and Jared and I have since sat down together for Part 2. In this one we discuss the first part in the Rock Rehab Pyramid - Mobility.


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