Semi-Rad Creator Brendan Leonard, Climbing’s Matt Samet and Rob Harsh Talk Resilience, from The Studio (Boulder) Airstream

**ANNOUNCING – See Brendan Leonard and Rob Harsh live at The Studio Boulder on Thursday, June 21, as part of the new Rare Air Talks outdoor adventure speaker series. Sign up at

Resilience is the theme of this Dispatch Radio Hour.

Whether it’s resilience to fight through substance abuse – drinking or pills – or Stage 4 lung cancer, these three guests have shown grit to get through life’s lowest moments. Climbing mountains is a big part of each of their stories.

Earlier this month we gathered creator Brendan Leonard, adventure guide Rob Harsh and Climbing Magazine editor Matt Samet in the Airstream at The Studio Boulder for a discussion about resilience.


Each guest read their personal writings and shared their story of coming through difficult periods in their life and coming through it with a deeper appreciation for climbing mountains.

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For Leonard, who struggled with alcoholism in his early 20s, discovering rock climbing through a gift from him brother helped him form a new identify away from his old one as a “drinker.” He reads from his memoir “Sixty Meters to Anywhere.”

Mountains already were a part of Harsh’s life when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, which has a five-year survival rate of less than 10 percent. The mountain guide and former international adventure racer found renewed focus and drive in the mountains and led a group up Machu Picchu within a year of the diagnosis. He now lives cancer-free. He read from his upcoming book debut, “The Adventure Mindset.”

Samet, a former semi-professional climber and longtime outdoors journalist, has struggled throughout his life with anxiety, finding solace in climbing. He struggled with addiction to prescription pills, benzodiazepines, and wrote a book warning about the dangers of these pills: “Death Grip: A Climber’s Escape from Benzo Madness.”

Leonard and Harsh will co-headline a Rare Air Talks event at The Studio Boulder on June 21. Tickets go on sale soon. Sign up for alerts at

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