RIP Ryan Triplett 1977-2008


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Trad climber
WAS Auburn CA, NOW Seattle WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 10, 2008 - 01:54pm PT
My close friend and climbing partner, Ryan Triplett, died Sunday, while soloing ‘Prime Rib’ up at Goat Wall, in Mazama, WA. Ryan is survived by wife, sister, mother, and father. Ryan’s untimely death has devastated the Seattle climbing community. Ryan was a staple of the Seattle climbing community and will be sorely missed. Details of what happened are still a bit fuzzy, but he apparently fell from high up, and was found in his harness, with a rope on his back, presumably with the intentions to solo the route, and rappel off. His loyal dog was found at the base with his body, waiting with him. The route is a 5.9, and well within Ryan’s ability. Considering I have never seen Ryan fall on a 5.9 anywhere, I would venture to guess Ryan must have broken something. I had heard the route was a bit chossy in places.

Ryan was an extremely talented and diverse climber, whether he was climbing sport, traditional, bouldering, alpine, as well as ski mountaineering. Ryan was also an avid route developer and first ascensionist, putting up hard routes in Mazama, Newhalem, Zeke’s Wall, and other areas around Washington. Several of his routes are still unrepeated. Ryan was a hard sport climber, climbing 13c and beyond, yet he had no problem firing off difficult 5.12 traditional and face climbs at Index and Squamish. Recently, Ryan on-sighted ‘The Passenger’, an alpine 5.12, out in Washington Pass. Ryan was also an avid skier and cyclist. Ryan skied the Cascade backcountry during the winter, and did many ski ascents of Mt Baker growing up. Ryan could also hold his own mountain biking and road riding, winning several Seattle mountain bike races, and doing such burly rides as riding Washington Pass, as a ‘casual’ weekend outing.

I moved to Seattle last year and was fortunate to climb with, and have a friend like, Ryan Triplett. Ryan’s motivation was notorious and addicting for those around him. He was always psyched, and tried hard on everything. His persona made you want to do the same. Ryan climbed harder than most, yet seemed to maintain that balance in life, that many of us obsessive climbers struggle with. Ryan pushed himself in his career as a software developer, and was quite successful. Though he was working for the man, he aspired to eventually start his own business, and had several ‘projects’ of his own, on the side. Ryan was also a loving husband, who had a strong connection with his wife Jen, who is a national cycling champion herself. He somehow always found the time for supporting her and her races, and yet managed time for his climbing and climbing projects. Ryan was the coolest, nicest guy you could ever meet, who was forever considerate and giving to others. Ryan had a great sense of humor that reminded you to not take life, or yourself, too seriously. He always had time to throw back a few IPAs after climbing, which both he and I have quite an affinity for. Over beers we discussed future projects and future climbing trips to take together. Ryan took life by the balls, and lived in acknowledgement of our limited time on this Earth. Ryan was a bro, a husband, a climber, and a mentor in life, and I cannot believe he is gone. He will be missed greatly.


Ryan on 'The Quickening' at Smith.

Ryan climbing in Newhalem, WA.

After climbing the 'Roman Chimneys' in Squamish.

Going up to the 'Left Side' in Squamish.

Some runout 5.10 in Smith.

News Links:


Sep 10, 2008 - 01:55pm PT
I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Nutsonthechin, Wisconsin
Sep 10, 2008 - 01:59pm PT
Wow.... how unfortunate. My condolences go out to all who knew him.

Social climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Sep 10, 2008 - 02:00pm PT
Super f*#king sad. My thoughts are with you, his friends and family. Really tragic.

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Sep 10, 2008 - 02:03pm PT
My condolences to all of Ryan's friends and family.


Social climber
wuz real!
Sep 10, 2008 - 02:17pm PT
condolences to all who knew him.

I can't shake the image of his dog waiting with him.

Trad climber
Monrovia, Ca
Sep 10, 2008 - 02:26pm PT

Thanks for giving us such a fine testimonial to your lost friend. He was obviously quite a guy.

I am sorry for your loss, and I will surely think of you and Ryan when today is winding down and I tip an IPA myself.


Sep 10, 2008 - 02:40pm PT
Condolences to you Patrick, and all of Ryan's friends and family.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 10, 2008 - 02:43pm PT
very sad news. My thoughts are with Ryan's friends and family.

Hey all you out there, please be careful.

South of Black Rock City
Sep 10, 2008 - 02:47pm PT
Sorry for your loss and his family's loss.
Sounds like one hell of a guy!!!

Sep 10, 2008 - 02:49pm PT
Unbelievably sad news. I feel lucky to have met him on your trip to JH. His big smile and friendly laid-back demeanor were unforgettable. I'm sure he will be missed by many.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Sep 10, 2008 - 03:08pm PT
"Any man's death diminishes me
because I am involved in mankind.
Therefore ask not for whom the bells toll,
it tolls for thee."

John Donne

Very sorry about your friend. My condolensces to his wife and family.

Sep 10, 2008 - 03:19pm PT
My deepest condolences to Ryan's friends and family. It sounds as if he were a truely wonderful climbing partner, friend, and husband.


Boulder climber
Sep 10, 2008 - 03:24pm PT
So very sad. I wasn't close to Ryan but it was hard not to run into him at Stoney G's. He definitely had a presence that was hard to miss. Funny, down to earth and instantly likable. My heart goes out to his family and friends.


Big Wall climber
Phoenix, AZ
Sep 10, 2008 - 03:26pm PT
Damn. Absolutely tragic. My condolences to friends and family.


Social climber
Charlevoix, MI
Sep 10, 2008 - 03:28pm PT
Sad news. My best to all that knew him.


Sep 10, 2008 - 03:39pm PT
Some more pics.

Sending Buff the Wood, RRG:

Hard at work cleaning a new route in Newhalem, WA:

Ryan's loyal dog, Mekkiah:

At the Motherlode, RRG:

bay area
Sep 10, 2008 - 03:41pm PT

so so sorry to hear about this, man. this is terrible. i hope you and his family are holding up alright.

take care man,

A long way from where I started
Sep 10, 2008 - 03:43pm PT
We ran into him (and Mekkiah) up at Zeke's a few times over the last two years, and he seemed like a really fine guy. Open, friendly, and happy to be digging out new routes in a beautiful place. I never really got to know him well, though, and now it's too late...

Best wishes to you, his family, and his friends.


Social climber
Sep 10, 2008 - 03:50pm PT
hey there bobmarley... say, i am very sad to hear of this... i will pray best wishes for healing for his family, and my condolencess...

a wonderful day climbing, and being out with ones dog ended to fast and too sad....

best wishes for you too, to be strong, at this sad time of loss...
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