10 Essential Questions: Patrick Mullaney

Read about Patrick Mullaney, a dedicated volunteer and member who is passionate about protecting wild areas and ensuring public access.
Kristina Ciari Tursi Kristina Ciari Tursi
December 17, 2014
10 Essential Questions: Patrick Mullaney

For our member profile this month we spoke to Patrick Mullaney, a climber, skier, and Land Use Attorney about who inspires him and why he volunteers with The Mountaineers.

Name: Patrick Mullaney
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 1993
Occupation: Land Use Attorney
Favorite Activities: Mountaineering, backcountry skiing, scuba diving

10 Essential Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?
I was invited by friends to climb Mt. Shuksan. I had never climbed before, and I survived the experience more by luck than by skill. Although I had an ice ax in my hand, I had no idea what to do with it, and the exposure was daunting. Despite the harrowing moments, the climb was an amazing experience — surrounded by incredible beauty. After I got down, I immediately wanted to go back to the mountains, but in a confident and competent manner. Someone suggested The Mountaineers, so I signed up.


What motivates you to volunteer with us?
As a land use lawyer, I have also enjoyed working with The Mountaineers on access and conservation issues. The Mountaineers staff and volunteers play a vital role in protecting wild areas and ensuring public access. It has been a great pleasure to assist in some of those efforts, and to see how the Club has made a lasting and positive difference in helping to preserve wild areas for future generations to enjoy.


Favorite Mountaineers memory?
I led a basic climb of Mt. Daniels via the Lynch Glacier. Instead of the usual overnight, I told everyone to pack light, and we did the climb car-to-car in 12 hours. It was a beautiful day, and I was very happy that we climbed in such good style. Another good memory was receiving several emails from students after a climb of Kangaroo Temple thanking me for showing them that you can be proficient but also relax and have fun.


Who/What inspires you?
I have always admired the climber, Walter Bonatti. He once said, “A climber is not a crazy man. He is not trying to get himself killed. He knows what life is worth. He is in love with living.”


What does adventure mean to you?
Adventure means learning more about yourself and the world in the company of good friends. I have met my closest friends in The Mountaineers — they have held my life in their hands a thousand times and saved it more than once. To know people on that level, while laughing and struggling together in the outdoors, is a gift that few people experience.


Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset fading to a star-filled sky.
Superpower? Hopefully, aging gracefully.
Smile or game face? Smile. Life’s too short not to laugh.
Post-adventure meal of choice? Pasta and red wine
If you could be a rock star at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Rock climbing

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