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Backpacker Radio

Aug 22, 2022

In today's episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Quinn Brett. Quinn was a world-class climber prior to her 2017 fall in Yosemite left her paralyzed from the waist down. Since then, Quinn being the badass athlete that she is, has found new modes to adventure, having most recently completed the 2,500-mile Tour Divide on an adaptive handbike, which she did in just 25 days. We learn all about Quinn's accident, how her adventures, friendships, and life have changed since that fall, and we go in-depth about her advocacy work- how Quinn is fighting to improve recreational accessibility for other persons with disabilities.

We wrap the show with a Triple Crown of Countries You’d Live in if Deported from the US, a brief overview of some of the reasons we've fired Mara, and we opine on where Funyuns belong in the greater chip ranking.

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Interview with Quinn Brett

Time stamps & Questions

00:03:08 - QOTD: Have you heard of Elon Musk’s dog mode?

00:07:38 - Reminders: submit your AT terminus pictures!

00:08:10 - Introducing Quinn

00:08:37 - How did you originally get interested in the outdoors and climbing?

00:10:47 - What does climbing look like in Minnesota?

00:11:51 - What does doing a season in Yosemite mean?

00:13:04 - How did you get started on the big walls?

00:14:51 - What is it like camping in a portaledge?

00:16:25 - Discussion about premier climbing locations in Colorado and the US.

00:17:28 - Tell us about your accident.

00:20:47 - How did you get off the wall?

00:22:49 - Was the fall itself painful?

00:23:33 - How did you brain process learning that you were paralyzed?

00:25:21 - How did your relationship with climbing change?

00:27:13 - Are there options for climbing while paralyzed?

00:29:30 - Would you go back and change anything if you could?

00:31:21 - What have you noticed about inaccessibility since your injury?

00:34:39 - What are the most common barriers to accessibility in the outdoors?

00:37:30 - Tell us about your documentary.

00:38:52 - What would you want to change about the documentary?

00:41:31 - Tell us more about the current and future therapies for spinal cord injuries.

00:44:01 - Is there any hope in something like Neuralink?

00:46:30 - Tell us about your ride on the Tour Divide.

00:47:53 - How did you train for the ride?

00:49:15 - Would your hand cycle have tipped less with two rear wheels?

00:51:35 - How did you solve the battery problem?

00:52:51 - Tell us about the camping.

00:54:55 - Do you feel like your upper body has gained perception after your injury?

00:56:04 - What were some of the highlights of the Tour Divide?

00:57:01 - Do you have any advice for someone who’s interested in doing a similar ride?

00:58:36 - Can you describe the community you’ve found among other people with disabilities?

00:59:56 - Do you have any good poop stories from the ride?

01:02:15 - Did you see any grizzly bears?

01:03:50 - Are there any states that are particularly accessible or particularly not?

01:04:44 - Tell us about the political advocacy work you do.

01:07:03 - Tell us about the advocacy work you’ve done for public lands.

01:09:00 - How have your personal relationships changed since your injury?

01:12:22 - Are there any other toys or gear items you’re excited to try?

01:13:28 - What safety measures do you take while rafting or kayaking?

01:15:15 - Were you ever interested in the Paralympics?

01:16:00 - What are some of your plans or goals for the next five to ten years?

01:17:37 - Where should people go to find you or support initiatives you’re working on?


MG Check-In

Trek Propaganda

Triple Crown of countries you’d live in if you were deported from the US

Reasons We’ve Fired Mara

Mail Bag

5 Star Review

Listener Voicemail


Check out our sound guy @Paulybooyshallcross.

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A super big thank you to our Chuck Norris Award winner(s) from Patreon: Andrew, Austen McDaniel, Jason Lawrence, Christopher Marshburn, Sawyer Products, Brad and Blair (Thirteen Adventures), Patrick Cianciolo, Paul Packman Sealy, Matt Soukup, Jason Snailer, Greg Mac,  Tracy “Trigger” Fawns, Mike Poisel, and Kristina Diaz.

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