Passion - The Tale of Two Climbs

© Edgar Boyles
Climbing alone high on a sea cliff or a remote alpine wall is not as lonely or as scary as negotiating the growth and decision making of adolescence. When these climbing challenges presented themselves, I knew it was the right time to attempt them because I was following my heart. No peer pressure, no trends or other outside influence induced me to take the first step; yet a first step had to be taken into an uncertain world. I would learn a lot, I would be tested and I would benefit from the experiences in ways I never imagined. This tale of opportunity and discovery is one I want to share with your group.

My name is Henry Barber; I started climbing near Aspen Colorado and Boston Massachusetts as a high school student. The mountains and my partners made a lasting impression on me that to this day drives my curiosity, passion and determination. Growing up I lived and slept baseball 24/7. Unfortunately I had no athletic talent and fortunately being bullied hastened a change from one pastime, to my passion for the wilderness and the vertical world. Climbing for 40 years has provided many valuable lessons, which have guided my personal and business life. A twenty-three and a half year career at the outdoor company Patagonia culminated in leading the North American wholesale division and then consulting globally for retail, mail order and wholesale.

Passion - The Tale of Two Climbs is a journey. How to choose a path and follow it while overcoming fear and the inertia of taking that first step is just the beginning. The sea cliff climb above was filmed for ABC-TV. What I learned about myself, creating a safe productive environment and not letting other voices get in my head was critical to success in a high-pressure situation. The alpine face below I climbed a first ascent of, up the central ice face alone, at night in a remote mountain range of Kyrgyzstan. Nothing is ever as it seems and this story is no different, the benefits the struggles and joy are different than what I expected from the onset. Passion drove me; it was my renewable resource of energy and it has never failed me.

© Henry C. Barber
This 45-minute talk I like to customize based on the needs of the audience. A question and answer period or smaller discussion group with interested individuals is always a highlight. I will follow up with you, or you may contact me. Thank you for your consideration.


Henry C. Barber