Brady Robinson – Climber, Educator, Outdoor Advocate

Brady

Brady Robinson

(L-R) Brady Robinson, Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin after their 2001 K7 expedition

Brady Robinson is the Executive Director of the Access Fund, a conservation and advocacy organization that helps to protect climbing areas throughout the United States.  Despite being a relatively small non-profit, the Access Fund’s work has a broad ripple effect far beyond the climbing community and extends into areas of conservation, public lands policy, and general outdoor recreation, just to name a few.  Under Brady’s leadership, the Access Fund has been incredibly effective, and as climbing becomes more popular, the its work will only become more important.

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The avalanche that almost took Brady’s life [33:50 in the podcast]

Brady also has a seriously impressive outdoor resume—he was an instructor for both Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and has done a number of large-scale expeditions throughout the Himalayas.  He still finds time to push himself hard in climbing, mountain biking, and other adventures, while simultaneously leading the Access Fund and being a fully committed family man.

 

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Just seconds after narrowly avoiding the avalanche [39:30 in the podcast]

We had a fun conversation that covered a wide range of topics.  We dig into the details of the Access Fund’s mission and methods, including why non-climbers should care about its work.  We talk about Brady’s diverse career experience, and he tells a few crazy stories from his big-mountain expeditions with climbing partners such as Jimmy Chin and Conrad Anker.  Brady also offers advice to young people who would like to pursue a career centered around the outdoors, conservation, or advocacy. [A full list of topics covered is below.]

Even if you’re not a climber, you’ll gain some solid insights from this interview, so I hope you enjoy.

All photos courtesy of Brady Robinson


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Episode Notes

Topics Covered

4:10 – How Brady describes his work
5:00 – Specific methods that the Access Fund uses to protect climbing areas (public policy & acquisitions)
10:30 – How does the Access Fund prioritizes projects
10:45 – Correction from Brady: The Homestead is between Phoenix and Tucson, not Phoenix and Flagstaff.
13:15 – Access Fund’s nationwide partnerships
13:55 – Access Fund’s stewardship team
16:30 – Access Fund’s support for landowners and education initiatives
18:40 – Foundation of the Outdoor Alliance
21:20 – Why should non-climbers care about the Access Fund’s work?
26:00 – Early outdoor experiences
27:30 – First climbing experiences
31:44 – Brady and Jimmy Chin learn photography
33:50 – Brady’s near miss with a massive avalanche in Pakistan (see photos above)
41:10 – The closest Brady ever came to dying in the mountains
45:00 – Lessons learned from a life of adventure
46:15 – Memories of the late great Alex Lowe
47:45 – Brady’s decision to pursue a career in education/advocacy/conservation instead of full-time climbing
52:00 – Reflections on finding your passion
57:00 – Advice to young people –  a career in the recreation/conservation
1:07:50 – The Access Fund’s biggest threat and opportunity in the next five years
1:11:15 – Favorite books
1:16:30 – Favorite documentary
1:18:30 – Favorite locations in the West and the world
1:21:00 – Brady’s request of the listeners
1:25:55 – Connect with the Access Fund

Information Referenced


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