The Seattle climbing community was devastated by the untimely departure of Ryan Triplett, who died on September 7, 2008, when he fell soloing Prime Rib (5.9) at the Goat Wall, in Mazama, Washington. A locally well-known and respected climber, Triplett will be remembered for his laid-back nature, friendly demeanor and sense of humor as much as for being psyched to climb.
Ryan was a great partner and friend. His motivation was infectious; he tried hard on every route and always made you want to do the same. When we went climbing, it wasn’t just about the climbing—laughing over a couple of beers afterwards was just as important. Ryan had a great sense of humor that reminded me not to take life, or myself, too seriously. One time, at Little Si, I sent Black Ice
, via the Bust a Move
start. Ryan quickly informed me, “Uh, dude, that’s not Black Ice
. Black Ice
starts on Propaganda
, not Bust a Move
.” Slightly irritated, I prodded him further and asked what, exactly, I had done. “Puss-Ice
,” he said plainly, with that smile he was famous for. His competitive edge was always present, but never contentious. If anything, it made climbing with Ryan more focused and fun.
Ryan rarely boasted about his ascents. Last summer, he onsighted The Passenger
, an alpine 5.12 on Washington Pass, though he never told us about it. He redpointed 5.13+ sport routes, climbed 5.12 trad and developed many hard routes in various areas around Washington.
Perhaps more impressive, Ryan achieved a balance in life that many of us obsessive climbers struggle with. He excelled in his career as a software developer, yet somehow always found the time to climb and also be a loving, supportive husband to his wife, Jen. When Ryan wasn’t climbing, he was cycling, skiing, working, training for climbing, or cheering his wife on in one of her cycling races.
Ryan took life by the balls, and lived with a deep awareness of our limited time on this earth. He was a bro, a husband, a climber, and, in many ways, a mentor in life. I can picture Ryan right now, sitting across from me at the pub, with that silly grin on his face, toasting a good day of climbing, with more to come. Cheers to you, Ryan Triplett!