The Adventure Podcast Episode 101: What is ‘Clean Climbing’?

We’re back with another episode of The Adventure Podcast this week and we’re discussing a weighty and difficult topic. Based on a request from a listener who wanted my co-host Dave Adlard and I to weigh in on the topic of performance enhancing drugs—and general drug use—amongst mountaineers. The conversation stems from an article posted by Gear Patrol awhile back that examines what exactly “clean climbing” means. For some, the use of certain drugs is seen as beneficial while attempting big peaks, while for others even the use of bottled oxygen is viewed as a PED when used at altitude. When we started of researching this topic and exploring it more in depth, we thought that it would be fairly easy to draw a line. But the many shades of gray that are a part of this topic make it very difficult to decide what is seen as “fair” and what is out of bounds. In the end, we may have have ended up even more confused than when we started.

Before jumping into this difficult topic, we take a look at the latest Adventure News, with stories about the lone Chinese climbing team on Everest this spring and the end of a long warming trend in a remote region of Norway. Later, Dave and I share our weekly gear picks, with him offering thoughts on a camp coffeemaker, while I review a pair of mountaineering boots from Lowa.

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