Thursday, April 29, 2010


Let there be no doubt, two is greater than one.

I learned, not that long ago, that doing things on your own is only going to get you so far in life. I have found that the fulfillment of going it solo for any number of ventures is compounded sevenfold when you have someone to share the moment of accomplishment with.

But that's not all.

Partner's serve a purpose. They aid you through the mental crux of a problem. They shoulder invaluable weight (both literal and figurative) needed to get even close to where your objective lies. A partner will tell you to turn back when things get shitty. They will be the one to pay you out rope when you're victoriously clipping the chains at the top of a route. They will celebrate victory by your side and they will share the sourness of defeat when you turn back.

Each person is unique, as is their abilities. Two strong people could make terrible partners together, much like an all-star football team. Look at the Huber Brothers- the crazy Germans who put up the speed record on El Capitan. It's no secret that Alex is the stronger climber, yet there would be no speed records were it not for Thomas' lightning fast jugging ability or his competence in sending weaker pitches as Alex rests.


The team dynamic is second only to the weather with regards to what makes or breaks a successful summit/outing. I wouldn't want to be out on Denali for 28 days with someone who's humor is as dry as a fish bone nor would I want to be with someone who would rather sit on their hands and laugh when there's work to be done.

A Fine Balance

What are you trying to do?

A fine climber can be a horrid backpacker.
The best of hikers may be a terrible traveling companion.
Awesome cyclists could care less about ice climbing.
A person great at everything outdoors can have the humor of a sloth.

Look at your destination!

A partner with an innate knowledge can show you where the best guiness is served
...But the adventure is lost.

The most popular route to the top is a great way to get there
...If you wanna top out with 56 and 1/2 other people.

A tour guide can tell you all about the big things
...But it's the little things that you may find the most rewarding.

What's the Plan?

Some people are logistical experts, namely my girlfriend, Ashley and my roommate, Weston. These are the people to go to before things can even get off the ground and their dedication, combined with a touch of resource gathering expertise, may prove invaluable when looking at the big picture of an outing.

We're here, now what?

Leadership is pivotal. Two type 1-A personalities battling it out for the sharp end pitch after pitch will never complete a route. Two persons fighting over which knot to use will never build and anchor and a group divided on what to eat for dinner will waste much time before a decision is made. What many people do not realize is that leadership isn't static. Rather, it changes over the course of a trip based on the needs of the team. I think this is why my girl and I travel so well together- each of our talents complements the other.

En Fin

Partner's can make or break a trip out there. I guess all that's left to say is that in order to get the right partner, it's up to you to make yourself a good partner and maximize whatever talents you possess while learning and getting better at the things you may not be so talented in. When it comes time to help, help. When your buddy is down, cheer em' up. When the lead needs rope, feed em it best you can.

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