We had the good fortune of connecting with Joe Moerschbaecher and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Joe, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking plays a major role in my career as a professional mountain and adventure guide. One of the most important skills of an adventure guide is assessing risks and mitigating those risks through training, experience, study, decision making, and awareness. These skills allow us to take calculated risk in the adventure recreation field. Risk is part of our everyday life, but recognizing and assessing risk and creating an experience where the risk meets the participants level of experience creates an optimal or peak adventure experience.

I can see a lot of similarities on how I apply this conceptual idea to my daily life. If I find myself unengaged in a mental or physical activity, I find myself bored. If I find myself overly engaged in an activity for an extend amount of time, I will forget to meet my other necessities such as food and water and will see a quick decline in my mental and physical capacity and therefore create an elevated chance of risk or error.

Using risk assessment tools such as training, experience, study, decision making, and awareness help me to mitigate risk by adjusting the adventure to the environment, participant, the day, and the needs of the client in my professional career and myself in my personal life.

What should our readers know about your business?
In 2006 I started Pura Vida Adventures (Mountain Guide Service) and soon after discovered the sport of canyoneering. I quickly fell in love with the sport because of its multi disciplinary nature, which includes rappelling, ascending, swimming, hiking, climbing and scrambling. Although canyoneering was popular in the western states it was nearly obsolete east of the Mississippi. In the summer of 2007 we started to offer our first canyoneering experiences in North Carolina and became the first company to offer commercial canyoneering east of the Mississippi. Over the next few years I began taking classes with instructors from the western states where canyoneering was more prevalent and learned about the American Canyoneering Association later becoming a certified guide and an accredited training facility with the Association. Pura Vida Adventures canyoneering has trained thousands of people in the sport of canyoneering and rappelling over the last 15 years. Our company also continues to offer private white water rafting adventures, rock climbing, mountain biking and paddling programs.

We have created relationships with our guests over the years that have led to friendships. One of the most rewarding things I have had the opportunity to experience over the last two decades is to see the personal confidence and skills growth of both our guests as well as guides throughout the years. You are only as good as the team you have around you and I am truly surrounded by some incredible people.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would start the week by spending a couple days on the Art Loeb trail backpacking from Daniel Boone to Davidson River.
After finishing up the trail we would stop by the Hub and Pisgah Tavern for some beers and food. After a couple days on the trail it will be nice to have some front country food. Day 3 Would be a white water river trip with lunch on the river, location would be determined by water levels. Day 4 and 6 would be spent mountain biking in Pisgah and Dupont State Forest with climbing and canyoneering taking up days 5 and 7. We would grab beers from Ecusta Brewing Company and food from La Gordingo on Sat after riding bikes and Sunday food and beer would be at Noblebreu Brewery located at 185 Kingstreet for Sun. open jam. We would also grab a dinner from Jordan Street Cafe and Smoke On BBQ .

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

I would like to thank my mentor Robert Dye for his guidance, support, and friendship over the last 25 years of this adventurous life. Whether it was our fist expedition to Patagonia, assisting me in getting my first guiding position, or working as co instructors at Brevard College your advice and friendship has played a great role in allowing me to follow my dream. As a student of yours I always enjoyed hearing about your adventures exploring rivers all over the world. After 25 years I have stories and adventures to share from all over the world, but the Voice of the River Patagonia Expedition of 2001 was one of the greatest adventures and classes in leadership of my lifetime. Thank you

Website: www.pvadventures.com

Instagram: @pvadventures

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pvadventures

Youtube: @PVAdventures

Image Credits
Photos Courtesy of CapturingWNC Rappelling photo courtesy Lightraze Photography

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