BUFFALO – Climbing mountains above the Mediterranean Sea in Mallorca, Brad Burns looks like a seasoned pro. With only water below to avoid a nearly 50-foot drop without a rope, Burns accidentally deviated from his set course, but used his strength to rise to the top, throwing his fist in the air before making a celebratory leap.
Burns, a 2018 graduate of Buffalo High and Story resident, is a cast member of Climb , the new HBO Max show that pits 100 aspiring climbers against each other for $100,000 and is sponsored by lifestyle brand prAna.
Six episodes were produced online at the time of publication, with Barnes writing for a fourth series.
Just 21 years old when the competition starts in October 2021, Burns is the youngest and most inexperienced contestant at just five years old.
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"There was a lot of pressure in the beginning," he said. “I think it's very easy to get imposter syndrome. I remember going there the first week and talking to everyone and hearing about everything they had accomplished on the trip and everything they had accomplished in their lives, and I thought, "Man, am I really here? Despite this, Barnes has established himself in the local climbing community. has made a name for himself. He is a mountain guide for Bighorn Mountain Guides and chairman of the Bighorn Hikers Coalition. The show's producers found him through his YouTube channel and social media and called him to propose.
After several interviews about his life, climbing experiences and various safety tests, Barnes traveled to Spain for his first competitive climb.
"I love hiking," he said. "This is the biggest passion of my life, so I will definitely take every opportunity to step up and climb something new." According to Barnes, Spain is a popular haven for hikers who want to challenge themselves. He established himself as one of only two climbers to scale the rock while solo climbing in deep water in Mallorca. There, and in Catalunya, the climbing location of both shows, riders must climb the same limestone that Burns used to climb Bighorn. "They are very similar in foot type and rock style," he says. – not excessive; This is often a lot of vertical stretches or climbs, which we call technical climbs. The only thing that is really different is that Majorca has no ropes or ties and we are in the Mediterranean. Barnes said the nine other climbers on the show taught him a lot. It was also directed by Jason Momoa and his climbing idol Chris Sharma.
"Hai" is different from other competition shows on television. Athletes encourage and support each other, even if one person's success means being sent home to another.
"Everybody wants everybody to succeed and it was a really good experience," Barnes said. "I'm less stressed because I feel like everyone is there to support me."
In Catalonia, Barnes and eight other climbers took part in a regular rock-climbing game at Tenslip Canyon, a local climbing mecca. Out of the remaining nine athletes, he was the only athlete to cross that difficult path.
Attendees called him a "child prodigy" and "the best of Wyoming." Bouldering, the weakest climbing discipline, also paves the way to the top.
Barnes was eliminated in the fourth episode while climbing a cave wall in Spain. He graduated from Montana State University last May with a bachelor's degree in cell biology and neuroscience and will enter medical school this year. He currently practices in Sun Valley, Idaho, where he teaches adaptive skiing to people with cognitive and physical disabilities.
Of course, he hikes when the weather permits. And he is very grateful to his hometown.
"I started hiking in the Johnson and Sheridan area," Barnes said. "I had a lot of mentors and a lot of people who supported me in my education and climbing, and I really appreciate that."