What Dean Potter taught us

What makes the late Dean Potter remarkable was that he did things that were worth making a remark about.

Potter was mostly known in the climbing community for his daring free solo ascents, speed ascents, free base jumps, and free highlines. Yet, he is famously known for two controversial events: 1) climbing Delicate Arch and 2) for his wing suit flight with his dog.

Good or bad, right or wrong – he changed the way we think and viewed climbing.

The fact is that Dean Potter had something to say about Art. He was a map maker and explorer. He trusted his compass and explored all the edges.

Dean Potter passed away last year in a base jumping accident. His path was a high risk, high stakes game. Potter pushed his chips in the middle and always bet on himself and his abilities to be perfect.

Most of us will not play that game and most of us shouldn’t. If the stakes of the game are so high that the result of failure can crush you then you might want to consider a different game. That didn’t matter to Potter though. As most free soloist will tell you that they do not feel like they are going to fall. What level of self mastery!

What we can learn from Potter and his work of art is to overcome fears and to bet on our own abilities to push the status quo.

Thank you Dean.