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Author Topic: Human Life is Fragile but EVERY Life is Valuable  (Read 5274 times)

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AGelbert

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    • Agelbert Truth AND Consequences
Agelbert NOTE: If the Republicans get their FASCIST way, everything Abraham Lincoln accomplished for wildlife, which Quinn Brett has dedicated her life to defend, will be destroyed by Corporate privatized pillaging of our National Park wilderness. A vote for Republicans is a vote to destroy our National Parks.

Quote
“When we left the ground, it didn’t feel right. I was climbing well and the pitches flew by, and still—I wasn’t there.”

An autumn portrait of El Capitan, the stone that twice changed the course of her life. Photo: Nate Ptacek

The Cleanest Line

Letting Go

Quinn Brett   |   Oct 8, 2018

A climber describes her passion for the wildness of the world.

SNIPPET 1:


In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln first protected the place we now call Yosemite National Park, which had come under increasing threat of commercial exploitation from miners and settlers. Lincoln’s deed acted as an antecedent to the national park system and a milestone for public land preservation. I was unaware of the history, but to me El Capitan’s sheer impossibility represented infinite opportunity, not only in climbing but also in all of life. Even at age 4, I’d sprint up hills as fast as I could, practice piano pieces to perfection, beat my P.R. on my bicycle route around the neighborhood. But El Cap blew open my imagination.

Ten years after that first family trip to Yosemite, with my legs dangling in the icy Merced River, I excitedly called my dad to tell him of my successful El Capitan climb, the first of more than a dozen to follow. Those childhood road trips had metamorphosed into a passion for climbing. I fell in love with my backyard cliffs of Colorado, the towering granite of Yosemite, the magical red rock desert of Indian Creek, and the unfathomable gorges and walls of Zion.

Quinn on the south face of Yosemite’s Mount Watkins. She recalls it as a healing climb for herself and her friends Jens and Josh, as they’d all recently lost a loved one. Courtesy Quinn Brett

SNIPPET 2:

In spring 2017, I joined 12 other climbers in Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress. I spoke to them individually. I tried to crack their cover and see the true person beneath. I offered to take them hiking or even climbing. I followed up with emails, letting them know that the offer still stood. I believed if I could just share a little time with them in the outdoors, they would understand. They’d be moved to protect wild places. I spoke and acted as an avid user as well as a public servant: I worked as a climbing ranger for the National Park Service, interacting with thousands of visitors each year and providing technical search, rescue and medical assistance. At least, I did.


On October 11, 2017, while climbing the Boot Flake on The Nose on El Capitan, in a moment of inattention, I fell 120 feet and struck a ledge. I don’t remember the fall. I do remember the morning before my accident, though. I’d driven to Yosemite low on psych, exhausted at the end of the climbing ranger season. My relationship was on the rocks, and I had come to even question my love for climbing. I wanted to be a homebody, train for some upcoming trail running endeavors. But I felt obligated. I’d made plans, I had campground reservations, and Josie McKee, my climbing partner, and I felt like we should climb because we said we would. We’d planned for a speed lap on The Nose—it should have taken us less than six hours.

I wish I would have listened to myself.

When we left the ground, it didn’t feel right. I was climbing well and the pitches flew by, and still—I wasn’t there, wasn’t present. I’m usually extremely diligent with placing gear, but eager to finish my block, I ran it out to the top of the Boot Flake because I was lazy or dumb or just f u c k i n g stupid. My last memory was of a hand jam and the terrain steepening slightly.

Following Quinn’s accident, she and Yosemite National Park Ranger Brandon Latham were short-hauled via helicopter to the valley floor. Photo: Tom Evans

SNIPPET 3:

My accident rerouted my life, but I’m still alive. I can still act. The therapists have a machine that supports my legs so I can stand, and although I can’t feel my legs, standing tall feels good in ways that I cannot describe. When my friends help wheel me onto gravel and gentle dirt trails, my heart sings. I still love wild places so much. So I will go again to D.C., to press the issue of protecting our public lands. I’ll go as many times as I can, as many times as it takes.

Quinn on January 14, 2018. Estes Park, Colorado. Photo: Tim Davis

I wish I could still take one of our lawmakers climbing, but if any of them are willing to join me for a simple outing on a beautiful trail somewhere, my offer still stands.

Climbers Libby Sauter, Sasha DiGiulian, Katie Boué, Caroline Gleich, Maricela Rosales and Quinn Brett hit Capitol Hill on May 10, 2018, to advocate for public lands. Photo: Stephen Gosling


Full Inspiring Story:

https://www.patagonia.com/blog/2018/10/letting-go/


🔊 VOTE DEMOCRATIC
Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

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