10 Essential Questions: Amrit Panda

Meet Amrit Panda, a 2-year member from India who finds adventure in revisiting things that made you uncomfortable in the past and whose happy place is on a mountain (of course)!
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
June 28, 2019

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

Name: Amrit Panda
Hometown: Bhawanipatna, India
Member Since: December 2017
Occupation: Computer Architect
Favorite Activities: Mountaineering, hiking, climbing

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

I had just moved to the greater Seattle area in Fall '17 with some basic hiking and backpacking experience in Arizona, California, and Utah. I was catching up with old college friends who have been here longer and on the mention of the desire to transition to technical climbing, one of them, Aditya Sankar, strongly recommended The Mountaineers. I remember spending the rest of the night exploring The Mountaineers' website and losing sleep amidst the excitement. I signed up for the 2018 Alpine Scrambling Course and since then it's hard to imagine a week without getting involved with the club.

What motivates you to get outside with us?

For me, it's the people - leaders, instructors, participants, volunteers in all roles. There is so much to learn from each individual that it keeps me engaged regardless of the number of trips I've shared with each of them. I've met extraordinary people within the club and made some great friends and mentors. I also find the desire to teach and see students grow among leaders and instructors very motivating.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

I've so many fond memories to cherish in this short time that choosing one is hard. If I were to single out one, the scramble rock field trip on Mt. Erie would probably be up there. I was in a group led by Steve Russell and it was a super fun day with loads to learn and experience. I was amazed at how honed navigational skills can be - opting for alternate approaches that also gave the group the opportunity to sample a wide range of terrain. This is the trip where I finally started trusting my boots and it really boosted my confidence. All the participants in the group were outstanding, not only in skills but more importantly in spirits and it brought me immense joy to witness the transition in everyone by the end of the field trip.

Who/What inspires you?

The positive energy when on a mountain and fellow Mountaineers with that accomplished look after a hard-earned summit and/or cracking a crux move.

What does adventure mean to you?

Adventure, to me, is spicing up any activity with some unknown. It's the desire and willingness to step out of the 'usual' way and explore new opportunities. Adventure is also revisiting things that have made you uncomfortable in the past with an open mind and heart to learn.

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise.
Smile or game face? Smile.
What's your happy place? On a mountain of course! 
Post-adventure meal of choice? Ramen 
If you could be a rock star at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Freediving.
Photo of Amrit Panda on the summit of Colchuck Peak. Photo by Eric Skokaj.

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    Ananth Maniam
    Ananth Maniam says:
    Sat, Jun 29, 2019 11:11 AM

    Great guy!! Thanks for being a part of all our mountain adventures and bringing all the positive energy