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Aspen Public Radio is proud to present select lectures, discussions, and conversations from area events and festivals, thanks to a remarkable collection of community partners. Click here to view the full archive. Events are recorded at no cost to the partner and archived here online; select recordings are broadcast on Aspen Public Radio Sunday nights at 7 p.m.

Aspen Words: Winter Words with Sasha DiGiulian

This event was recorded on February 6, 2024 at the Aspen Institute, as part of the 2024 Winter Words series, in partnership with Aspen Public Radio.

World-champion climber Sasha DiGiulian joined Aspen Words to discuss her memoir, “Take the Lead: Hanging On, Letting Go, and Conquering Life’s Hardest Climbs.” From learning to climb as a six year old to putting up first ascents around the world, DiGiulian details her path to becoming one of the most successful climbers of all time while navigating a male-dominated sport, dealing with body dysmorphia in the age of social media, and channeling a competitive spirit into entrepreneurship and climate advocacy. If you love Tommy Caldwell’s “Push” or Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild,” this evening of adventure literature is not to be missed.


Sasha DiGiulian is a world champion climber and three-time U.S. national champion. At thirty years old, she’s traveled to over fifty countries and accomplished over thirty first female ascents. In 2016, she graduated from Columbia University with a focus on journalism and business and in 2022 became the founder and CEO of SEND Bars, a superfood nutrition bar company. In addition to being featured in dozens of magazines and new media pieces, she wrote for many publications including Outside magazine, National Geographic, Rock and Ice, Self, Seventeen and Crave. Sasha is an outspoken environmental activist and a global athlete ambassador for Right to Play, Protect Our Winters and Up2Us Sports. She served on the board of the Women’s Sports Foundation for six years and travels globally for expeditions, speaking engagements, sporting events and commercial work.


Caroline Tory is the managing director at Aspen Words and an endurance athlete who competes in both ski mountaineering and cycling. She was selected as one of 30 women for the 2023-2024 Life Time Grand Prix, America’s premier gravel and mountain bike series, and is a regular podium finisher at the Power of Four and Grand Traverse ski mountaineering races. She is also a recreational rock climber when her race schedule allows and has been a longtime follower of Sasha’s alpine adventures.