Durability is the Key to Success

We guide our clients on good days and bad, sometimes to the top, sometimes not. We learn every time we succeed and every time we fail, but most importantly, we always return to climb again.

In mountain guiding and in venture capital, durability is the key to success.

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James Dudley
Our Goal is to make Original Mistakes

We’ve learned a lot from the CMH guides over our years together in the field, and one of them is to disseminate information about mistakes throughout our organization and portfolio companies. That way, when we do make mistakes, they are Original Mistakes, not the same ones other people have already made.

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James DudleyCMH
A Note on Mountain Guide Pins

At the dawn of mountain guiding, late 1800s through the start of WWII, it wasn’t hard to identify the mountain guides — they were the guys that led the way to the top of the peak, often dragging an English client behind them.

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James Dudley
No Tasty Talk

Effective communication between a guide and client is fundamental to their relationship and to their shared success on the objective. The more challenging the terrain, the more important this communication becomes.

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James Dudley
Authentic Relationships

As mountain guides and venture capitalists, it is our job to form authentic relationships with our clients and entrepreneurs. All of the value in our business comes from the effort.

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James Dudley
Good VC vs . Bad VC

It is remarkable that everywhere you go climbing or skiing in the world, you can find an IFMGA-certified mountain guide to take you there. It’s also a testament to the power and consistency of the IFMGA standard that certified mountain guides around the world have the same set of skills and competencies.

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James Dudley
Slater's Law

Rob Slater was one of the strongest and most versatile climbers of my generation. An expert at big wall, aid climbing, his first ascent in 1984 of El Capitan’s Wyoming Sheep Ranch remains one of the neckiest leads ever on the Big Stone.

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James DudleyRob Slater
Don't Let the Perfect be the Enemy of the Good

Venture capitalists and mountain guides are perfectionists. We plan, and scheme, and study, and try to map out all the nuances to achieve the ideal result. Some of these we share with our entrepreneurs and clients because we need and value their input. Some we do not because the sausage-making would freak them out.

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James Dudley
Bouldering

All climbers like to boulder and most lifers would rather get a workout touching actual rock than climbing in a gym. Bouldering in my generation was an extension of being a rock climber; having a repertoire of hard local problems in your quiver was a requirement if you wanted to burn off the visitors.

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Stacked Blocks

Stacked blocks are an alpinist’s worst nightmare. You’ve come to a place where the only path forward is through a loose, vertical pile of giant boulders, held together by an unknown combination of ice, grit, and gravity.

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James Dudley
Safety First, Then Drinking

Mountain guides and venture capitalists love to share success with our partners. After struggling together for many years, it is a special moment when a VC and her entrepreneur celebrate the exit of their company. Within the context of their authentic relationship, this moment is both joyous and bittersweet.

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James Dudley