On Episode 215 of the Enormocast, I connect with climber, writer, former YoSAR member, Lauren Delaunay Miller. Lauren found climbing in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, and quickly made a plan to climb El Cap in 5 years despite not having any idea what rock climbing actually entailed. She pursued her goal not quite relentlessly, but nevertheless ended up in Yosemite a few years later. She did, indeed, climb the Nose in just under 5 years and then quickly pulled off a NIAD and a one day ascent of the Triple Direct with Quinn Brett and Josie McKee. In that same season, climbing lost some of its glow with a near fatal accident of Lauren’s mentor and a series of other tragedies in her tight-knit scene. Helplessness in the face of these accidents made Lauren resolve to learn more and finally qualify to join the feted YoSAR. Her latest challenge is completing a 78,000 word manuscript on some of the somewhat forgotten female legends of climbing.
On Episode 169 of the Enormocast, I meet up at the home of a mutual friend with Quinn Brett. Quinn took a monstrous fall on El Cap in October of 2017 that should have killed her, but it didn’t. Instead, Quinn is left paralyzed from the waist down and facing a new life with a slew of difficulties to overcome. In this talk, an uncertain woman comes clean about her regrets and fears for the future. But she also grows more hopeful by the day that a full life can be resumed complete with adventure, excitement, love, and optimism. Part cautionary tale, part inspiration, Quinn’s story is a different type of climbing story, for sure.