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2021 In Review

2022-01-02 by Quinlan Pfifferyear-end-review



  • Lived in my car as a dirtbag kayaker sort of in bend for a couple of months. Turns out I don’t really like it enough to do it every day, forever.
  • Learned about Vulnerability.


The Tian Shan Traverse in Kyrgyzstan was obviously the highlight of the year.


Lots of big days early in the year to get ready for R2R2R, and a few multisport days before the Teton Ogre. I felt pretty strong in November for Run the Rock, too.


  • First at the 24-hour Teton Ogre Adventure Race.
  • The traveling continues:
    • Flagstaff, AZ
    • Boise, ID
    • Winthrop, WA
    • Placerville, CA
    • Kyrgyzstan
    • Grant’s Pass, OR
    • Bend, OR
    • Bozeman, MT
  • Did my first 24-hour push when we did this crazy packrafting loop on the Stehekin River. One, Two and Three. The most absurd part of the day was driving back home. We should not have done that.


  • Skii’d Humphrey’s Peak. Sorta.
  • Not much skiing other than the hut2hut trip we did at the end of the previous year. Did a couple of laps up Snowbowl in Flagstaff.
  • In December I really hit it hard though, a few days at big sky, some days skinning up at the resort, four backcountry days- I’m learning a lot and focusing on it.


  • Made it out to City of Rocks with M and Whitney.
  • Climbed in Joshua Tree but was too sketched to lead anything.
  • Some good miserable try-hard days in Red Rock.
  • A handful of climbing days around Tahoe, mostly at Lover’s Leap and the Cosumnes River Gorge. I lead a few things, super fun granite.
  • M and I both lead a pretty cool route in Flagstaff on the day I got my vaccine- super fun roof that challenged us both.
  • A few good bouldering days in Priest Draw near where we were staying in Flagstaff
  • Other stuff here and there- Some basalt cragging after R2R2R in Arizona, a weird day on a fucked up bolted crag with Nathalie right off the road near La Grande, a day with Jake and M on Phnatom Spires near Tahoe.


It was a whitewater year. I finally got a real plastic kayak, learned to roll, and spent way too many days in it. It was amazing. I can’t even begin to find all the days I was out on the water, I really should have written them down, but it was many.


  • Not really a lot of goals here but I was consistent with the pull-ups. That has helped with a lot of stuff randomly.
  • I really like the Moonboard for climbing training- it stresses the tendons in all the right ways.
  • More endurance forever. My body seems to finally be adapting, not a lot of overuse injuries this year except for the IT band thing in December.


Not as much as I wanted, but I’ve started dedicating more time to books in the evenings. I’m THIS CLOSE to finishing Black Spring, finally. I can’t stand it but I won’t let it beat me.

  • Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller
  • Breathe: A Life in Flow - Rickson Gracie
  • The Feral Detective - Johnathan Lethem
  • The Art of Resilience - Ross Edgeley
  • Piranesi - Maybe my favorite book of 2021
  • There is no Antimemetics Division - qntm
  • The Invention of Sound - Chuck Palahniuk
  • Consider Phlebas - Iain M. Banks


Who writes code anymore?


Goals from Last Year

  • SuccessImprove my Skiing
    • This last month in Bozeman has been really good for this. Lots of little things adding up. It’s getting there.
  • UnsureLead legit 5.10 Trad
    • Led this bad boy but did my final burn with some pre-placed gear. Not sure if thats truly clean. Whipped on a nut though! Twice!
  • FailedOne-armed Pull-up
  • UnsureDo a 50-miler
    • I ran R2R2R which clocked in at 48 miles, so sorta?
  • SuccessDo an adventure race
  • FailedComplete Strava Running/Climbing challenges every month
  • UnsureMax out Roth, 401k, HSA
    • Got the Roth and the 401k, but no the HSA. Does that count?
  • FailedFigure out how to manage time apart from my Other
    • Didn’t really do this in a good way. Working on it.
  • SuccessAvoid being distracted so much
    • I’ve been meditating in the evenings and avoiding electronics- go back to books, take IG and Telegram off of the phone. It’s been amazing.
  • SuccessContinue Therapy
  • SuccessLearn to roll a kayak and/or Packraft
    • Worked for sure- I did a ton of combat rolls on a few different rivers.
  • UnsureCultivate excitement, wonder
    • Sorta worked, sorta didn’t. I need to figure out how to work with my Other to thrive.
  • SuccessVisit my brother and mom
    • Lots of good family time.
  • UnsureBe more vocal about appreciation
    • I did this a bit I feel, but could have done more. Daily gratitude practice!
  • SuccessDetox on Coffee
    • I’ve quit drinking it as a daily thing and now it’s more of a once-a-week treat. I feel very good about this.

Goals for 2022

Spend all my time training. The pursuit of mastery.

  • Huck steelhead falls
  • Huck the falls on The Pit
  • Packraft and kayak staircase


  • I think I deeply injured or broke my hand or something in the San Juan Mountains- I crashed into a tree skiing and it took liek four months to feel normal again.
  • The night before running R2R2R my knee sweeled up for some reason- this seems to re-occur a lot. It’s for now harmless, but feels weird. I wonder if something is messed up in there.
  • Re-sprained my back a couple of times. I really need to do some PT for it or something. Core helps a lot but I don’t want to keep injuring it.
  • Really deep bruising after solo kayak swim- Bad idea.
  • Right big toe has some frostnip, I think. Normal.
  • Some left IT band syndrome from not recovering enough after Run the Rock. It only really hurts on descents though so I’m hopeing to survive Fat Pursuit.