10 Essential Questions: Amanda Konenkamp

Meet Amanda Konenkamp, a self-professed gym rat who went from never going on a hike to leading ice climbing!
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
February 21, 2020

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members. For our member profile this week we talked to...

Name: Amanda Konenkamp
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Member Since: April 2016
Occupation: Data Engineer
Favorite Activities: Climbing, hiking, backpacking, winter scrambling. I'm also a self-professed gym rat who loves indoor climbing and Crossfit.

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

When I moved to Seattle from the south in 2015 I had never even been on a hike. I’ve sometimes joked that, while living in the south, I was outdoorsy in that I liked to drink on patios. My first few outdoor experiences involved complete meltdowns, I had never known the level of self-reliance that comes with being in the backcountry. I struggled but I was completely hooked and for once had the chance to focus on what my body could do, and not what it looked like. In 2017 I took the Basic Alpine Course to gain more skills and meet more people who wanted to share the experience!

What motivates you to Get outside with us? 

With The Mountaineers there is always something new to learn and always a way to give back. When I moved to the PNW I had never heard of ice climbing, but through The Mountaineers I learned to lead it! Through volunteering I’ve been able to lend my voice and perspective. You do not have to hike the fastest or climb the hardest to belong here. If climbing 5.4 sport for the rest of your life brings you joy and pushes you in a way that feels comfortable, I’m all for it. Getting outside is so personal and that’s the message I want to send.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

My first glacier climb of Eldorado with my SIG in 2017. There wasn’t even space for me on that trip but I was going through a rough patch and my Siglings rallied to get the leader to let me join. I had never stepped foot on a glacier before and summitting felt like I had accomplished something so beyond what I had ever dreamed possible for myself AND I had this incredible group of people with me for support!

Who/What inspires you?

Jim Nelson - Summit Or Plummet - and every volunteer that gives their time, energy and passion to this organization. Making the outdoors accessible to all is what it is all about!

What does adventure mean to you? 

For me, it's new experiences with my favorite people. The connection and vulnerability that comes with stepping outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens.

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise

Smile or game face? Smile
What's your 11th essential? My dog! I adopted Meringue a year and a half ago from an organization that rescues dogs from Korean meat factories. She's my ultimate trail companion and always packs it out!
Post-adventure meal of choice? A hamburger and lots of fries.
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Pushing the grade on sport climbing and conquering my pesky lead head!

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    Sean Henderson
    Sean Henderson says:
    Fri, Feb 7, 2020 10:23 AM

    I'll never forget that sled/grill!