Podcast: Episode 175: Nick Elson: High, fast, and technical


Listener Suggestion: "Can you please get Nick Elson the podcast!? He's quiet and humble; if obliterating a classic FKT on Vancouver Islands highest peak doesn't grab attention, then taking down Dean Potters Half Dome FKT has to!!!

Agreed!  Thank you for the suggestion.  Nick is a technical maeven, known for doing high, hard, and fast summits.  In the inagural FKTOY in 2016, he was awarded #5 for his stunning time on the Grand Traverse (10 major summits in the Tetons with over 12k of vert), and was Nominated in 2018 for a new time on Yosemite's iconic Half Dome.  Both FKTs have never been challenged since.

So what does Nick have to say?

"The Grand Traverse was mostly 3rd and 4th class with some technical sections."

What?? The North Ridge of the Grand Teton, which is just one section on this huge route, is one of the 50 Classic Climbs of North America, and is rated 5.8.  Mt Owen is 5.6 and the Middle Teton is rated 5.5, along with countless other difficulties.

You can tell Nick's background is climbing; he is very understated!  We managed to pry some helpful thoughts out of him:

"People think the natural progression is from running to scrambling to climbing, but it's better to start climbing with a rope for safety. You gradually learn the skills, learn what you can do, then when you start scrambling you have the experience to do it safely"

Well said.  Be sure to listen to this episode for more.

Youtube video of a Traverse in the Tantalus Range : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8hROWRHUO8

Full CV

Nick Elson

  • Age: 37
  • City: Squamish, British Columbia
  • Family: N/A
  • Occupation: Criminal Defence Lawyer
  • Sports Highlights - - -
    • Grand Traverse FKT, Tetons, WY
    • Half Dome, Yosemite, CA
    • Stein Valley in BC
    • Golden Hinde on Vancouver Island in BC
    • Tantalus Traverse near Squamish, BC.
  • Social Media - - -
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