• Curious Case: Brette Harrington Breaks New Ground
  • Stefano Ghisolfi - One of The World's Best Makes Time For Fun
  • Kai Lightner Reflects on Competitions, Bouldering and the Future
  • The Locomotive: Roy McMurtrey – 87 and Still Climbing
  • No Expectations: Joe Kinder Sends 6 5.14c's in Spain
  • Spotlight: Megan Mascarenas - The Logician
  • Alpine Warriors - History of Alpinists in Yugoslavia
  • Q&A: The Willpower of Mar Álvarez
  • Q&A: Ethan Pringle on Thor's Hammer (5.15a)
  • A Youth Wasted Climbing
  • Bouldering Bub - Isaac Caldiero
  • Spotlight: Alexander Ruchkin - Russian Locomotive
  • Alex Johnson - The Pro Life and Growing Up as a Climber
  • Rock Climbing Saved My Life: A Veteran’s Struggle with PTSD
  • The Beatnik of the Alps: A tale of FA's, Rescues, Love, and Suicide
  • Kev Shields – High Solace: Demons, Depression and Solo Climbing
  • Dean Potter On Laws, Modern America and Soloing Delicate Arch
  • Climbers We Lost in 2014
  • Spotlight: The Double Life of Chris Webb Parsons
  • What I've Learned: Sonnie Trotter
  • What I've Learned: Mark Udall
  • Reinhold Messner: What I've Learned
  • Listening for the Echo: The Klem Loskot Profile
  • Climbers We Lost in 2013
  • Layton Kor Dies
  • Climbers We Lost in 2012
  • Life on Hold: The Ian Powell Story
  • Rope Jumping with Dan Osman
  • Mike Foley: Never Enough
  • Naomi Guy: What I've Learned
  • Hayden Kennedy: Superballistic
  • Dave Macleod: What I've Learned
  • Q&A: V15 Maestro Nacho Sanchez Unleashed
  • Francesca Metcalf: Meant to Compete
  • Maurice Herzog Dies
  • Mason Earle: Crack Ropegun
  • Kurt Albert: Free Wheel
  • Mayan Smith-Gobat: Climber for all Seasons
  • John Long: What I've Learned
  • Nik Berry: Obsessive Crusher
  • TNB: Tony Scott, Climber, Movie Maker, Lived and Died Large
  • Who's Next?
  • Tom Patey: The Tiger of Yesterday
  • Todd Skinner: The Renegade
  • The Stonemasters Climb at Pirates Cove
  • Patxi Usobiaga: The Bionic Man
  • Michael Reardon
  • Max Turgeon and Louis-Philippe Ménard: Alpinists and Ice Climbers
  • Kurt Albert: The Climber Who Invented Redpointing
  • Josh Wharton: The Alpinist
  • John Rosholt: Climber and Gambler Disappears in Las Vegas
  • John Long: A Man for All Seasons
  • John Bachar's Last Interview
  • John Bachar Remembers Michael Reardon
  • John Bachar Remembered by Duane Raleigh
  • John Bachar by Henry Barber
  • John Bachar by Doug Robinson
  • John Bachar and the Bachar-Yerian First Ascent
  • Colin Kirkus: Climbing's Greatest Unknown
  • Alex Puccio
  • The Prophet
  • The Guy Whose Nuts Revolutionized Climbing: R.P.
  • Randy Leavitt
  • Galen Rowell: The Vertical World
  • Brian Kim Spotlight
  • Rob Raker
  • Ueli Steck
  • Kemple and Lindner Almost Free El Nino
  • Crack Attack
  • Climbing World Mourns Todd Skinner
  • Ammon McKneely
  • A Tour of Magic and Mystery
  • Tanja Grmovsek
  • Rob Miller
  • Climber Hugh Herr Honored by Esquire Magazine
  • Climber Eric Brand Dies
  • Chuck Fryberger, Climber and Filmmaker
  • Chris Schulte Profile
  • Beth Rodden - What I Learned
  • Joe Kinder
  • Hazel Findlay
  • To the BASE Layer
  • Pete Ward
  • Mad Max
  • Chris Boskoff
  • Bradford Washburn
  • Revenge of the Nerd
  • Chris Lindner
  • Tim Clifford: Escaping the Quantum Hole
  • Renan Ozturk
  • One-Track Mind
  • Traveling Light
  • Colette McInerney
  • The Banner Years
  • Pakistan: The Big and Free
  • Kris Hampton
  • Jules Cho
  • Extreme Eleven and Beyond
  • Bob Bates, 96, Takes His Final Journey
  • Jody Hansen
  • Home Girl
  • An Encounter with Fred
  • The Average Hero Sir Edmund Hillary, 88
  • More Than One Trick
  • Dave Graham
  • Red River Sugar Mama
  • Phillip Schaal
  • An Advanced Beginner
  • The Last Samurai:
  • Sonnie in Scotland
  • Offwidth Hombre
  • Moonlight Solo-Nata
  • Jasmin Caton
  • Crag Clown
  • Unlikely Candidate
  • Lone Star
  • The Calculator: Alex Kordick
  • Rise of the Machines
  • Dave Waggoner 1955-2009
  • Blood Spider
  • The Original Desert Rat: Kyle Copeland | 51
  • J-Star
  • Italian Legend: Lino lacedelli | 83
  • Committed: Matt McCormick
  • Cold Justice Paul Cormier
  • The Suffer King
  • The Need for Speed
  • Nick Martino Gives All
  • G-Money
  • Climbing Out of Academic Trouble
  • Charles Houston, 96
  • Bobby Model, 36
  • "Open Bivy" Willy
  • To the Rescue
  • The Genius - Jeff Lowe
  • The Gamer
  • Shock Rock
  • Ryan Triplett | 31
  • John Bachar and the Cosmic Surfboard
  • Hand Crafted
  • Return of the Verm
  • Amped
  • Regime Change
  • Man vs. Snake
  • Living Legend
  • Layton Kor honored by AAC
  • Cold Justice
  • Cowboy Anguish
  • The Rock Jester
  • Mixed Rehab
  • Laura Fletcher
  • Bill Stall
  • Benjamin Strohmeier
  • Joe Six-Pack
  • Freedom Path
  • Manboy
  • Up and Down
  • The Duelist
  • A for Achiever
  • Paul A. Duval
  • Kelly S. Bell
  • Close But No Cigar
  • Video Spotlight
    When We Were Knights
    When We Were Knights
    Whipper of the Month
    Weekend Whipper: Squamish Cheese Grater
    Weekend Whipper: Squamish Cheese Grater

    Climber Eric Brand Dies


    On September 30, Eric Brand went into the home he shared with his wife, Carol, in Silver City, New Mexico, lay down on the couch and never woke up. Throughout his 50 years, Eric followed his own path with intensity and determination, and it is difficult to grasp that someone with so much passion for living on the edge could leave in so peaceful a way.

    For much of his life Eric lived in bucolic Marin County, California. At an early age, he wandered the foothills of the coastal range, developed a love for the outdoors and began a lifelong interest in reptiles. During his high school years he struggled with the rigid curriculum, but throughout his life he never stopped learning. Largely self-taught, he developed a comprehensive knowledge of herpetology, especially venomous snakes and lizards. Visiting Eric, close friends were often rewarded with a tour of his latest acquisitions, usually poisonous. If you were really lucky you might witness a feeding.

    Eric's passion for climbing developed in his early 20s, mostly on the local crags around Marin and the East Bay. From humble beginnings he became accomplished at all aspects of climbing, but it was his particular determination that saw him putting up first ascents in the United States and abroad. Some of the longer and more difficult routes involved climbing measured in weeks, not days, without touching terra firma. He had an innate sense of his capabilities, and could confidently push difficult and poorly protected leads at his upper levels, both free and aid. At a time when many felt that new routes in places like Yosemite had mostly been done, Eric, with various partners, discovered and climbed Heartland (VI 5.10 A4) and Genesis (VI 5.11b A4) on El Capitan, and Ten Days After (VI 5.9 A3) and Saddam Hussein (V 5.9 A4) on Washington Column. Difficult and technical for their time, all of the routes required many days of nervy aid placements and sometimes difficult free climbing. Heartland, for one, took 18 days.

    Eric also joined and organized expeditions to other parts of the world. In 1985 he traveled to Baffin Island with John Bagley, Tom Bepler and Earl Redfern to attempt the huge west face of Mount Thor, a climb that had already rebuffed several international teams. Climbing difficult and crumbly rock and hauling hundreds of pounds of gear, including a double-tiered portaledge they had designed and built, the four climbers spent 33 days slugging out one of the world's few Grade VII climbs. In later years, expeditions followed to Nepal and Pakistan. Of particular note was the first ascent of the North Face of the Trango (Nameless) Tower via Book of Shadows (VII 5.10 A4 WI 4) in 20 days with Willie Benegas, Jared Ogden and Kevin Starr in 1995.

    The climbs only tell part of the story. For Eric, the history of the sport he loved was as important as the part he was playing in that story. Recognizing that many of climbing's pioneers had either died or grown old, Eric set out to record the stories of those still surviving with video interviews. These tapes, along with historic still and motion pictures, were collected with the intention of producing a comprehensive documentary on the history of the sport. Although he was not able to complete the project, much of this valuable history has been preserved. He also involved himself in local conservation issues, and served as the chairman of the Sierra Nevada Section of the American Alpine Club. Later, when he moved to New Mexico with Carol, he not only continued climbing and developing new routes, but became an active member of the Grant County Search and Rescue.

    Eric was larger than life. He approached all things with passion and honesty, and it's hard to believe he isn't still here. Donations to continue work on the preservation and creation of films celebrating the history of climbing can be made in Eric's name to: The American Alpine Club Library, c/o Gary Landeck, 710 Tenth Street, Suite 100, Golden, CO 80401.

    Reader's Commentary:

    Don't want to use Facebook, but still want to comment? We have you covered:

    Add Your Comments to this article:
    No items found.