climber

Category Archives: Quinn Brett

Woes of Failure.

Levitating up Levitation and Eagle Dance

Failure.  

ARG!

I suck with failure!!!


I find sometimes I am avoiding moments where failure is the most likely outcome.  

Following the crux on Cloud Tower

I don’t project rock climbs.  I on-sight.  If I don’t think I can on-sight it I shy the lead away.  

Its not even that I fear falling.  I don’t fully commit to friends, relationships, plans….because what if it doesn’t work out.  It is better to be illusive.  

HA!  I fear failure.  It isn’t really working out any more, this fear of failure thing.  

I turned to Justin Dubois this spring when I was having a little head epic in the Valley.  In one week last April I climbed three big walls in a day in Zion, climbed to Dolt Tower and had my first run up the Regular Route on Half Dome.  All-in-all, 10,000 feet of climbing in 6 days.  Yet, I was frustrated with my progress in mid- May.  My intended objective was pushed out of sight by partner miscommunication and sickness. 
I emailed Justin, “am I a sissy if I bail?”

He sent back something short…probably not knowing that I really needed advice, an outside voice.  

“No, crazy…settle down!”  

This fall again Justin’s words ring around the vast space between my ears.  

Settle down. 

Baxter and Andrew on top of Mt. Wilson–Red Rocks


Ironic as Justin drops me a note today, 
“I think I have your disease…I can’t seem to take a rest day!”

Yup.  It is a disease and it is catching up with me hardcore.  
I feel that I have been battling it, so quickly moving on to the next project…the next adventure that I might not be enjoying the present moment.  





Cory Jammin up the last pitch of Cloud Tower

The pain of my stubby right toe jammed into the one inch crack 600 feet off the deck.  

The grunting exhale that escapes my lips as I shove my left index finger in the space between the parallel sandstone.

The tingling sensation as my hand cranks, forearm burning, pulsing.  Breath labored.
Mind twirling, eyes darting.  ‘

Finding comfort in the uncomfortable.
Taking control or just taking.

Maybe falling.  
Hopefully sending.  
Whatever it may be, pushing because that is what we do it for. 


I backed off a lead today, because my shoulders hurt.  Because my right elbow aches.  Because my shoes are all blown out.  Because I was afraid of not sending.  

Afraid of Failing.
  
My ego hurts as does my body.  I had a great time in Vegas last week.  Trying hard, succeeding.  Clay suggests that I may be too hard on myself.  
It allows me success, but it hinders the smile.  
It fogs the sunset, slogs the movement, mutters the conversations between friends. 

………and this is how it is now.  
Clinging to a pin scar on the first crux of Rainbow Wall.  

Red Rock Routes
Resolution Arete 5.10–11 hours C-T-C
Cloud Tower 5.12a
Rainbow Wall 5.12 
Levitation 29 and Eagle Dance Link-up 7 hours C-T-C
Rock Warrior, Dream of Wild Turkeys and Prince of Darkness link-up
Some cragging at Brass Wall, Gallery, and others
Zion Routes
Moonlight Free Attempt 5.12d (did not complete)
Sheer Lunacy 3 1/2 hours on route
Force Boyle 5.11
Bits and Pieces 5.11
Monkey Finger 5.12
some cragging at Touchstone Base and Kung Fu Theater, and others

Canadian Tour

Pitch 1 on East Colombian Indirect 5.12+, Tom Egan Wall– Snowpatch Spire 
Q.B leading up the Endless Struggle Pitch, Snowpatch Spire

When you type in your Google search bar “genuine, good-spirited, ego-less hard mutherF#^&ing crankers,” I am positive the search will mention or show photos of a Canadian rock climber.

For years I have fallen for their niceness.

This trip sealed the deal.

Gratitude fills me to the brim!!!!

I basically had the raddest 3 week tour in the Bugaboos, Lake Louis, and Canmore.

After our first day’s first ascent, local hard man Chris Brazeau proceeded to shuffle me around the best new free lines in the Bugaboos.  Many of these climbs were old aid lines that Chris and his buddies, Jon Walsh, Jon Simms, Simon Meis, Cody Lank and others opened up with much effort over the last six or seven years.

Sendero Norte was the tour opener.  This 13 pitch route is stacked with pitch after pitch of 5.11 and 5.12 climbing.  Links to Jon Walsh’s blog with topos and a photo of the route line.
http://alpinestyle.ca/sites/default/files/Snowpatch%20topos060.pdf
http://alpinestyle.ca/sites/default/files/Bugs-Snowpatch%20e%20face%20best%20copy%20copy.pdf

Both Chris and I fell on the lower thin seam crux pitch and both had a fall or two on the upper roof crux pitch.  The rest of the route we both climbed clean.  Rappelling down I kept saying, “this was my favorite pitch, no wait THIS was…”  Sendero is one of the highest quality routes I have climbed!

Following the lower seam crux on Sendero Norte

Our next foray on the North Face of Snowpatch Spire had us climbing another new route….
one that will be fully ready for next season!

Dark Prince starts out with a spicy 5.10 corner to a facey run-out.  Pitch 3 continues up a left facing thin and technical seam/stem over a roof.  This is sustained and difficult 5.11 maybe 5.12 pitch.  I led up the next 200 foot pitch—and would recommended splitting this into two pitches.  Climb up a steep wall on your left with dual and pumpy splitter hand cracks, 5.11, bop right to climb under an off-width/dihedral roof to a nice cozy ledge.

This ledge can blast you off two directions.

Hell or High Water.  http://alpinestyle.ca/2012/10/15/recent_favorites  

The Dark Prince or Hell or High Water.  Both stellar lines.  Chris just sent the Dark Prince earlier this season…check out the Canadian Alpine Journal cover!
(You can see the top of Dark Prince in the right-hand corner of photo above).

Leading a 5.11 Pitch 7 on Sendero Norte

This day Chris choose to finish on Hell or High Water.
I followed it clean.

AHH!!! We didn’t make enough time in trip for me to give it a lead go…”never not enough!”

Chris is pretty sure it hasn’t been sent yet….next season, next season!!

Off-width after the bolt ladder or 5.11 slab 

Brazeau also wanted to add a few bolts –anchors and protection on Dark Prince.   As we climbed, he would occasionally rap back down to do a little work.  I entertained myself and everyone near the North Face with my very loud personal renditions of ‘Man in the Mirror’ and ‘Elderly Lady Behind the Counter in a Small Town’ and maybe a few other classics.  🙂

Next on the tour was the Cooper-Gran, on Bugaboo Spires East Face.   Not a new Chris route, but an old line that has been freed with a sketchy 5.11 slabby rivet bolt ladder mid-route.

Between summits on Bugaboo Spire

A quick summit handstand!

It didn’t seem to have been climbed since its first ascent……either way it had some fun heads-up climbing.

After 8 or so pitches, the route gains the popular 5.8 north ridge of Bugaboo Spire about 300 feet below the North Summit.  We simul-climbed this portion.

An epic storm began her grumble as we tagged the north summit.  With a quick handstand, we nibbled a little chocolate, I spread some of Andrew’s ashes and then we high-tailed down the Kain Route.

C.B Racking up on Bugaboo Spire

Mmm, what was next.  I believe we had a failed effort on something on the Minaret.  We climbed two soaking wet waterfall pitches while getting totally baked in the sun.

Odd day.

We contemplated (I tried to convince Chris to climb) the Beckey-Chouinard but heard rumours of a line-up 6 or 7 deep (he wasn’t totally opposed but has climbed it a few times already).

Q.B heading up a stellar 5.11+ Hands to fingers on East Colombian.

So we bailed and did a walk-about around the Spires through glaciers and snow on our way home.

The last new route of the tour was another Brazeau route.  Stellar stacked pitches called East Colombian Indirect.  This blasts off on the left side of the Tom Egan Wall.  Pitch one starts off heavy but sweet.  A 5.12 (lead bolted) traverse climbs into a lay back flake.  The pitch continues on dicey face moves around a corner and leads up to a small stance.  From there a steep and long hands to fingers second pitch dihedral keeps you fighting.  Pitch 3 is a finger roof pitch.  The crack widens as you gain the lip and continues as a 2 inch crack for a 60 more feet.

Balance and reach through a couple of face moves to gain more moderate terrain.  A short moderate pitch lands you on a sweet lounging ledge…. Hobo’s Haven.  We hung out here for minute…spread a few more of Andrew’s ashes (seemed a perfectly named place for him to rest…I chuckled with tears!).

I regained my composure and with the nicest of encouragements from Chris, started up the looming pitch, “The Endless Struggle.”  This is the last pitch of another wild route called The Power of Lard.  The old guidebook gives it a wicked difficult rating….realistically mid-5.12.

Chris on Pitch 3 of East Colombian

This is a high quality 120 foot overhanging hands to fingers pitch.  Probably one of the best I have ever stepped up to lead!

The crack arches left so one foot jams as the other smears the sheer wall.

Fight the pump through a short finger rail traverse right and a jug over the arete to the north side of Snowpatch Spire.

WOW!!!!

Another amazing climb, pitch after pitch of clean splitter granite.  

I can’t believe I have waited this long to visit the Bugaboos!!  An adventure there next summer is in order as there is much on my tick list…new routes abound and many more scrubbed up routes by the Canadians that need help sending (I need to get stronger stronger)!!!  
Oh Man!  

In addition I got to climb with some rad ladies in Canmore and Lake Louis.  90 Meter over hanging sport routes in Lake Louis with a backdrop that is surreal!!  Canmore much of the same, limestone amphitheather.  Radical! 

Michelle Kadatz and Andrea Eitle were among the few that were kind enough to tour me around, 
hook me up with other partners.  It was sweet to meet and hang with some rad ladies, giggling!!  

Taking the long way home.  Snowpatch Spires south face in the background

Again not quite long enough!  I need to make more time to climb in Canada!!

So beautiful.  Can’t wait for next summer!

Resilience

Base Camp.  Barnes wall right of sunlight.

Greenland was a bittersweet adventure!  I have been home for 8 days.  As I write, I realize that reflection occurs only now, simultaneous with the blinking of my eyes.  

Nestled in our craggy fjord, a Satellite message brought Colorado reality rushing in.  My favorite person-a man I loved dearly– perished in the Black Canyon. 


The mood abroad altered immediately.

My heart moaned, the echo lapped far across the shores in the deep blue water abyss.  The granite walls quivered, as did my soul.  

  
In this piddle of a blog, I find it difficult to give an accurate and passionate detail to our climbing adventure.  
My mind drifts off, contemplating the loss and my love for the outstanding Andrew Barnes.  

When rock climbing, whether it be soloing or establishing new routes on unfamiliar terrain, I feel enlightened with a certain ethereal clarity.  This feeling fulfills my being, is addictive, and gets me through another day, another week, another year.  




On Morning Luxury…looking south…Brazil do you see it?



The handful of long traditional routes we established in the Torsukatak Fjord may or may not be climbed again.
Man, I sure hope they are!!!
“Morning Luxury”–our second big ascent– is a glorious rock climb and an equally amazing summit!!  It flirts a south facing ridge for 8-200 foot pitches.  Stacked with dreamy finger stem-box corners, jaw dropping views, and an adventurous summit block wrestle.  All on high quality granite with a dash of burnt potato chip-like lichen.    

Over time, perhaps, the rock will recover from the minor abrasions of our traffic and it may appear we were never there at all.  


The rock, lichen, and vegetation is resilient.  


: the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress
: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change


AB and the Grand Canyon. 

I seek this quality for myself.

The death and hard lessons in this year, draw my gaze downward.  I need to remember there is also so much beauty. 

   
With Andrew, though, I don’t want the memories to fade… the vegetative re-growth in the fissures to mask his presence.  
I certainly do not want the world to appear that he was never here at all.  I fear with time these events playing out in all of us.     

These routes we established. The roots we established. 

They are life altering.  
Built from the ground up, first try without hesitation.  Without artificial means of support….intuitively.  With love, with passion and a little try hard.   

We were lucky to have found such compelling and natural lines.  To climb an 1800 foot granite wall first go is surreal.  Yet, we did it and three days later we ascended another in similar fashion.  My two lady friends and I…giggling the entire way–oh yeah and the token male, John Dickey.  (He joined us for all but the first one).  

Morning Luxury ascends the left ridge to summit. 


“Plenty for Everyone” that was our first climb in the Fjord, on an unclimbed wall we named Barnes Wall.  10 rope stretching pitches with a mixed bag of face wandering, waterfalls, loose rock, a #5 off-width dihedral, a finger crack over a roof, splitter hands, and finishing on ridge with a tiny box summit.  

I am lucky to have had such a natural and compelling man in my life as my best friend and love.  Someone who taught me how to compassionately love with no expectations.  To remind me that “nobody is better than anyone else.”  

A man who believed genuinely that there was always plenty for everyone!  
Live like Barnes!!!

Thank you for reading.     

  


  

Beauty

   

The Breakfast Spire.  Morning Luxury ascends middle ridge.

Barnes Wall.  Lizzy leading Pitch 5.

4 Quickies.  John Dickey leading the 1st pitch.  

Pause on Morning Luxury

Morning Luxury


Paradox Sports

Twenty-three and a half hours!  I think that is when all three of us finally stood atop El Capitan.  It was October 3rd, 2012, another bluebird California fall day preceding a warm star filled evening.  The last time I had climbed The Nose it was June 9, 2012…Jes and I climbed our fastest NIAD time.  This, ironically, was my slowest NIAD time, barely squeaking it under a day!

In June, Jes Meiris and I were climbing for speed.  This Octobers adventure was a fundraiser for Paradox Sports– based out of Boulder, Colorado.  Paradox strives to create a world where “people of all backgrounds and abilities can pursue a life of excellence through human-powered outdoor sports, regardless of physical disability.  Timmy O’Neill (Paradox Sports Founder),  Mikey Ray (a new climber, but accomplished athlete), and myself.  The three of us climbed, jugged, and laughed our way up The Nose –Timmy even took a business call around Pitch 22– to raise money for this fantastic non-profit.
This time lapse video was taken by Tim McCanus in the Meadow.  Our headlamps climb through the rising full moon off Dolt Tower thru El Cap Tower, and end doing the King Swing.

Eternal Fall

Following the first pitch on The Prow

Wow.  I had a busy little October.

Climbed the Nose in a Day again with some friends….”Keeping it casual!”  I was only in the Valley for 3 days.  Man I love that place!

10 days later I found myself giving a slideshow on speed climbing the Nose at Metro Rock in Boston, This even was a fund-raiser for Paradox Sports.  The show went well and I thank Trango and Stonewear for providing swag for the give-aways.  Also a big thanks to my brother for organizing and helping to promote the event!

During my short stay in Boston, my brother and I stole away for a day of climbing at Cathedral Ledges.  We climbed The Prow.  A proud line I would like to go back and free.  The route was intimidating and seeping wet, we did a mixed bag of aiding/ climbing two of the soggy pitches but were able to free the rest.

My brother and I….where is the wine bar?

Tuesday Oct. 23, I boarded the plane in Boston at 6 am.  Landed in Denver, 9am.  Hopped a bus to Boulder, grabbed “Randy” (my trusty Subaru Forester), and drove to Estes.  Had a quick bloody mary at Ed’s Cantina with a friend, unpacked, re-packed, then drove to the Black Canyon.

I arrived around midnight, chucked my sleeping bag on the ground next to AB and zonked out.  I had been up for almost 24 hours and was cross-eyed from playing a game of frogger with deer and elk on the road!!!

Rappelling off of Medicine Man

The pink sky poked gently at my eyelids.  Jes quietly rustled through kitchen supplies as Andrew watched the sun do its magic at the rim.  After a dreary stretch, I was soon standing aside the picnic table drinking coffee and catching up with my NIAD partner, her current road trip partner, Bo, and my favorite person, Andrew Barnes.  Jes and Bo had been climbing in the Black for a few days and were leaving, while Andrew and I had just arrived.  After a leisurely breakfast, Andrew and I moseyed into the gneiss abyss and crawled our way out via the Checkerboard Wall.  What a lovely route.  A little heads up but overall a grand time….I even found a guidebook at the base!!

Our plan was to climb Southern Arete the following day–evening putting some names down on the white board—not our real names of course— but snow began to flurry about us at camp.  Colorado National Monument and Medicine Man were on my list, so we departed the Black earlier than desired. Our mission was to chase an eternal fall…snow was not appropriate!

Otto’s Route, Colorado National Monument

Opening the car doors at Sentinal Spire, in Grand Junction, 30 degree temps and a brain freeze wind greeted us.  Wine bars, distillery’s and visiting with Heather, my best girlfriend Prairie’s sister, sounded much more enticing.   Medicine Man was rescheduled for the following day and what a gorgeous day it turned out to be.

Medicine Man

Fifty degree temps, light breeze, southern exposure, splitter hand crack, and a surprise photographer at a view point who emailed photos of us rappelling. Unfortunately the route we climbed is on the opposite side of the tower, but Otto’s Route is in the background!!

We departed the next day for Indian Creek, popping off for a quick visit to friends in Paradox Valley, Colorado.

The car now brimming with potatoes, dill, and laughter we rolled into Indian Creek.  After a quick deciphering of Maren and Adam’s message, we headed up for a half day of cragging at Scarface Wall with the family.

Day 2 the gang piled up at Way Rambo area.  I tried Way Rambo as my first climb of the day, but was unsuccessful.  I am terrible at green Camelot sizes.  Knowing this, I decided to hop on Slice and Dice.  Yet another failed attempt—well I broke it into 5 pitches!  I did finally started feeling a little more confident though.  Green Camelots I will learn to love!!  Andrew crushed Layaway Plan.

Day 3 in Indian Creek was Halloween.  Andrew, Brennan, and I danced to a little “Thriller” from the car as breakfast potatoes simmered.   We racked up for a Vision Quest.  Climbing in costumes that were reminiscent to Saved by the Bell’s,  Zach, Kelly, and Slater…..that swimsuit top thing Kelly was
sporting is not ideal for off-widths!!!

Atop the Bridger Jacks, we could see the cottonwoods twinkling yellow, red sandstone spires and walls reaching up towards a piercing blue sky.  The Vision Quest was being fulfilled. The golden light of fall had found a way to hang on!!

Oh an Eternal Fall

The vision for the Trango athlete team is to find climbers who embody our brand’s values and support them in their climbing endeavors. We focus on the character of the climber, their passion for the sport, and their desire to contribute to the community.

Meet the Team

Featured Events

There are currently no upcoming events.

All Events

Partners

The American Alpine Club American Mountain Guides Association Access Fund Leave No Trace - lnt.org

Archives

Authors

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
eGrips Tenaya Fast Rope Descender

© Trango - All Rights Reserved