You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose. Just don’t pick your friend’s nose!

One of the biggest factors in ensuring a great adventure is choosing the right partner. Because getting to know someone better is sometimes the only positive result. The greater the potential for pain and suffering, the more careful you have to be in your decision. You kind have to look to your judgmental side and start rating all your friends. Pros and cons, virtues and vices, I find myself labeling my friends and putting them into make believe categories and groups. Does that make me an inconsiderate piece of trash? I guess I better put myself in the jerk category.

The funny thing is climbers, skiers and kayakers do this very thing with almost everyone. For example a typical conversation between climbers goes something like this.

Pitt : “Hey Mark”
Mark : “Hey Pitt. Do you know anyone with a really cute dog, I could borrow to pick up chicks?”
Pitt : “Hmm. I think Justin has one. Do you know Justin?”
Mark : “I don’t think I do.”
Pitt : “He totally crushes. He is a super strong climber. Anyway I will ask him about his dog.”

It’s almost like people’s surnames don’t matter. They are only known by their first name and how hard they push it at their chosen passion.
Justin “the total crusher” Roth
Jackson “the ripping skier” Couch
Tyson “the gnarly paddler” Titensor

Listen for it in your next conversation with a climbing buddy or ski partner. You will find yourself referring to others in this way. But be careful, you can’t always rely on the opinions of others. To help me make better decisions when choosing an adventure partner and not rely on their pseudo suffix, I have created a flow chart to reference in my adventure notebook.


Though this may look like a very serious matter, I want to remind you that risk is part of the journey. Remember that it is not really an adventure unless something unexpected happens. So next time you are looking for just the right partner, maybe you should throw the flow chart in the trash and take a risk on new potential partner. Who knows you could have a great weekend with the future Dave “the guy that dragged my butt back to the car and bought me a burrito on the way home” Sherman.




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