Afterglow | Tahoe’s Mountain Storytelling Podcast

Brendan Madigan talks with Chris Noble and Doug Robinson for an episode of Afterglow. | Courtesy Alpenglow Sports

One of Tahoe’s own is now producing a new, adventure, storytelling podcast called Afterglow based on interviews with the mountain personalities from Alpenglow Sports’ Winter Film Series.

“We thought the podcast would be a great opportunity to sit down with these world-class athletes on a one-on-one basis to dig a little deeper into who they really are.”
–Brendan Madigan

“It’s become an event that we are really proud of,” says Brendan Madigan, the 38-year-old owner of the long-standing outdoor retail store in Tahoe City. “We’ve raised over $130,000 for local nonprofits throughout the past 12 years. It’s such a special night, five times a winter when the local mountain community gathers together. You can literally feel the energy, stoke and enthusiasm in the room from the experiences and tales that the speakers tell. We thought the podcast would be a great opportunity to sit down with these world-class athletes on a one-on-one basis to dig a little deeper into who they really are.”

Listen to the podcasts featuring Dave Nettle, and Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards

The interviews are recorded in Madigan’s dining room in which he’s invested around $5,000 in sound equipment to bring the podcast’s production to a professional level.

The first installment, which was released on Dec. 1, featured a tandem interview with high-altitude mountaineers Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards, who both completed summits of Everest without oxygen in the past two years. On the first attempt, Richards made it and Ballinger didn’t. They went back together one year later and Ballinger completed the climb with his friend.

Ballinger and Madigan have been friends since Ballinger moved to the area a decade ago with his guiding company Alpenglow Expeditions, which happens to share a name with Madigan’s shop. They’ve spent many an hour trail running and climbing the ski track together.

“We talk a lot about [Ballinger and Richards]’s partnership on the mountain and what their success and failure means to them,” says Madigan. “It’s not a play-by-play of the adventure. Our angle is more about who they are as people rather than their physical feats. Adrian is a pretty transparent person and Cory even more so. We’re not talking about their latest skiing or climbing endeavor, but instead the human stories behind their expeditions.”

The rest of the six-part series will features conversations with legends Dave Nettle, Tommy Caldwell, Will Gadd, Brendan Leonard, Doug Robinson and Chris Noble.

“It’s a really different approach to the conversation and great opportunity to splash out life lessons through adventure,” says Madigan. “Here in Tahoe we all get after it with our mountain pursuits and there is something to be learned from all our tales. I hope people can derive some universal truths in their own lives from listening.”

Madigan, much like the athletes he interviews, believes that the value in outdoor adventures lies as much with the inner experience as the climbs and descents themselves.

“When you go into the mountains with a partner, it is a strong bonding experience: physically, emotionally and spiritually,” he says. “A lot of people have likened the personal connections that you have with your companions to what happen in war with a brothers in arms type of mentality. I think that’s very strong and alive for us in Tahoe. It always has been that tremendously powerful thing and that is why we love it so much. We’re really living life here and not just punching the clock.”

Madigan sees the podcast as a way to give back to the community that has been so supportive of Alpenglow Sports through its nearly four decades in the area.

“Heritage specialty retailers have always been about building something of lasting value in their communities,” he says. “We’ve always had a community-facing business model, so giving back is a duty of ours and something from which we derive a tremendous amount of fulfillment. We encourage people to check out the podcast and subscribe if they like it.”

The Afterglow podcasts will continue to be released throughout the season. Episode 2 was recently released featuring Dave Nettle. Those interested can download the series from multiple content-sharing platforms including iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Google Play and more.

Read the Events calendar for upcoming dates for the Winter Film Series. |