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Apr 4, 2017

XX Factor: Beth Rodden Unpacked

Beth Rodden, a female rock climbing legend, opens up about a terrifying kidnapping, broken marriage, and her struggle with perfectionism. (Photo: Annie Tritt)

In the 1990s, Beth Rodden was a climbing prodigy, celebrated for her athletic gifts and unwavering discipline. Then, while on an expedition in Central Asia in 2000, she and her small team of friends were kidnapped. That terrifying ordeal—and their daring escape—changed her life in ways she has only recently begun to understand. In a revealing conversation with Outside contributing editor Florence Williams, Rodden opens up about the price of perfectionism, blowing up her marriage to climbing superstar Tommy Caldwell, and moving forward as an athlete and new mother. 

The Outside Podcast

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.

XX Factor: Beth Rodden Unpacked Podcast