Yvon Chouinard’s dictionary

Posted by Ken Campbell September 4, 2010 1 Comment 1014 views

Yvon Chouinard is the founder of and guiding light behind Patagonia, the wildly successful and unconventional outdoor gear and clothing company, based in Ventura, California. One of the early rock jocks in Yosemite (and elsewhere), he used his metal-smithing abilities to create rock climbing protection – chocks, pitons and the like – for the other climbers who were beginning to push the edges of their growing sport. He’s a legend now, but back then he was just another dirtbag (his word, used here and elsewhere with the greatest respect.)

He writes in his memoir, Let My People Go Surfing, that adventure comes in different degrees of truth. “Real adventure,” he says, “is defined best as a journey from which you may not come back alive – and certainly not as the same person.”

I was thumbing through the ads in the back of Sea Kayaker magazine the other day, which consist mostly of come-ons for kayaking classes and tours in beautiful wild destinations, pretty pictures of happy people and the inevitable call to “adventure.”

I don’t think Yvon and those folks in the back of the magazine are talking about the same thing.

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