Member Spotlight: Dylan Fant

Check out the Quaran-Tee by Dylan Fant Illustration!

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where do you live, what do you like to do? 
My name is Dylan Fant (rhymes with ant) and I live in Burlington, Vermont. I’m from Virginia and have a graphic design degree from Virginia Tech. I’m an Illustrator and tend to spend my time either behind my computer or somewhere in the mountains of Vermont. 

When did you start climbing and when did you become a member of Petra?
I didn’t really discover climbing until moving to Vermont. Pilar, my wife, won two day passes to Petra in a silent auction in November of 2017. I started a recurring membership a few days after that and have been going ever since. We often joke that she got me hooked on this climbing addiction, it was the best day of my life and the worst of hers. I’m pretty sure, with the current closures because of Covid-19, this is the longest I’ve gone without a day climbing at Petra since I started my membership.

You’ve done some of the art for Petra, can you tell us about that?
After a winter of climbing pretty regularly indoors I watched some youtube videos online and started top roping at Lower West. After top roping outside for a while I naturally thought it was time to start lead climbing right? I figured I should probably learn a thing or two from someone who knew what they were talking about before I started leading, so I reached out to Petra and asked if, in exchange for a t-shirt design, they would include me and my regular climbing partner in the lead climbing certification class they were doing. Thankfully they agreed. Since then, I’ve done a few other designs for Petra as well as CRAG-VT. It’s so awesome to be able to use my design and illustration work toward something I’m passionate about. It’s pretty cool to see people in the gym wearing Petra or Crag shirts that I designed. 

Do you have any current art projects you’re working on?
I recently finished up a gig poster for a band which I squeezed a rock climber into. I’ve also been working on something new for Petra as well as some more art for CRAG-VT. I’ve been trying to keep myself busy by posting the occasional doodle to Instagram.

Do you find any similarities between art and climbing?
Sure, when I’m concentrating on the moves of a hard climb, or really focusing on drawing something, I can enter a sort of flow state, where my mind quiets down and I’m totally immersed in the present moment. I also love the way you can see incremental progress in both. Like with all things, I guess, the more time you put into it, the better you get.

Have you been on any climbing trips recently? Do you have any favorite routes?
I’ve forced some climbing into quite a few non-climbing trips, but the first dedicated climbing trip I went on was this past February to Puerto Rico. Not the biggest hot spot most people think of when they think of climbing destinations, but it was an absolutely incredible place to climb. After a late night of scrolling through Mountain Project and discovering the number of sport climbs Puerto Rico has, we booked plane tickets later that week. Coincidentally, a new crag was opening up while we were there, and we got a private tour of the new climbs. Some of my favorites were Finger Lickin’ Good and Esquina de Coca.

Some of my favorite local climbs are Release the Hens, Fresh Meat, and Truffle Hog.

What has it been like being a part of the Petra Community?
It’s been amazing. I owe nearly all of my Vermont friendships to Petra. It’s so nice to be able to see people in the gym, at the crag, or at reel rock events, and even extend some of those relationships beyond just climbing. I met all the people I went to Puerto Rico with at Petra.

What's a fun fact that many other Petra Members might not know about you?
I’m a big fan of saunas. Is that fun? I love going to the nordic spas in Montreal. I also once spent the night on a small houseboat in Norway that had a wood fired sauna and a trap door in the floor so you could dunk yourself into the water. 

You can check out Dylan’s work here: