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If an 11-mile hike to the top of Mount Cammerer is stepping out of your comfort zone, then I guess you could say I was really going for gold recently when I went on a hike with a guy I had never before spent any one-on-one time with. Getting to know someone new absolutely qualifies as stepping outside your comfort zone, too. Scrolling through someone’s Instagram profile is a pretty risk-free way to get to know someone (well, risk-free until you accidentally like a picture from a year ago), but if you really want to get to know someone, spend 3 hours in the car and 5 hours hiking with them. I’m not recommending this as the best way to get to know someone, I’m just telling you what happened. And instead of long breaks of awkward silence, I actually really got to know this guy. And I really enjoyed his company, which, if I’m being honest, I partly requested because I didn’t want to hike alone. In the dark. With bears. And we did see a bear.

At CLIMB Works, we feel like time spent doing things together in the outdoors is something special. It’s a way to make memories and share experiences that bring people out of their comfort zones and closer together. And our hike is evidence of that. We did probably spend too much time together but we enjoyed each other’s company and have a better friendship now because of it.

So invite someone that you’d like get to know to do something, whether it’s to go on an adventure, go on a walk or grab a cup of coffee. It might be uncomfortable at first, but I kind of think that’s the point, right?

Here are some photos from our hike to the Mount Cammerer Fire Tower (we wanted to make it by sunset so we ended up hiking back down in the dark):LH8A6116 LH8A6131 LH8A6196 LH8A6232 LH8A6237 LH8A6259-3 LH8A6273 LH8A6281 LH8A6296 LH8A6298 LH8A6309 LH8A6317