Brady Robinson – Climber, Educator, Outdoor Advocate


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.


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.



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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