10 Essential Questions: Andrea Shadrach

Meet Andrea Shadrach, a 2-year member who loves hiking near water, considers herself a "student at heart," and has taken every navigation course we offer!
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
March 04, 2022

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

Name: Andrea Shadrach
Hometown: Freeman's Village, Antigua & Barbuda
Member Since: February 2020
Occupation: School and clinical psychologist
Favorite Activities: Hiking is Mother Nature's therapy for me. I need to get out on the trails at least once a week, and I'm definitely hiking two or more times a week if the weather is favorable and I have a hiking buddy.

10 ESSENTIALS QUESTIONS

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THE MOUNTAINEERS?

I first heard about The Mountaineers through a meetup group, Women's Hiking Connections 40 & Up. I later went for a hike with Julie Cauthorn, who was also a Mountaineers member. I was impressed with her speed, which she credited to the Conditioning Hiking Series (CHS). I was determined to join The Mountaineers so that I could also improve my hiking pace with this CHS group.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO GET OUTSIDE WITH US?

I'm forever a student at heart, so the myriad of opportunities to learn from outdoor enthusiasts who are passionate about their sport is very appealing to me. I have been able to indulge my passion for learning and personal growth in a variety of courses, including taking every single navigation course offered by The Mountaineers. I’ve also stayed involved as an instructor and leader because navigation is a skill you have to keep using.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOUNTAINEERS MEMORY?

My Enchantments thru-hike will always be a favorite memory. I remember saying repeatedly, "This is what Heaven must look like!" Climbing up Aasgard Pass was long and hard! I was really thankful for the knowledge and training I had learned in my Alpine Scrambling Course. Looking back at Colchuck Lake made that arduous climb bearable.

WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

My first hike was on Mother’s Day in 2018. I had on sneakers and my daughter's old backpack with my raincoat, a water bottle, and snacks. The hike leader, Rosemary Sutton, started chatting with me about hiking gear and the essentials I needed to have in my pack. I knew zilch about hiking safely and was a little flabbergasted at what was required. I didn't show up with The 10 Essentials on the next trip either, but over time, I gradually acquired most of the essentials. In fact, I didn't purchase a headlamp and compass until I joined The Mountaineers.

Rosemary is my inspiration. When I grow up, I want to be just like her! She is in her 70s and leads an easy hike almost every Sunday, encouraging and supporting a small group of women with her words of wisdom. I'm grateful every day that I met her at Lord Hills Park for my first hike. We hike together to this day, and I'm still learning from her.

AS A DONOR AND VOLUNTEER-SUPPORTED ORGANIZATION, THE MOUNTAINEERS IS BASED ON COMMUNITY SUPPORT. HOW HAVE YOU PAID IT FORWARD, OR HOW HAVE YOU BENEFITED FROM SOMEONE ELSE PAYING IT FORWARD?

I'm a beneficiary of Mountaineers scholarships, with which I was able to apply to WFA and scrambling. I'm now paying if forward. I've instructed with Wilderness Navigation and will be an Assistant Instructor for the upcoming Staying Found Course. I recently earned my Hike Leader badge and will be co-leading CHS hikes. I've also agreed to instruct with Map & Compass and will be pursuing my Backpacking Leader badge this spring.

WHAT DOES ADVENTURE MEAN TO YOU?

I'm not particularly adventurous, because I'm innately risk-averse. Being on a new trail or a new mountain is always an adventure for me. But I'll take a deep breath and try almost anything once. Although I’m terrified of heights, I’ve climbed mountains with an ice axe!

LIGHTNING ROUND

Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise
Smile or game face? Smile
What's your 11th Essential? An audio book or podcast
What’s your happy place? Being near water - the ocean, a river, a lake, or a waterfall
Post-adventure meal of choice? Protein! I'm always craving a salad topped with chicken or fish after a long hike
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Hiking


This article originally appeared in our Spring 2022 issue of  Mountaineer Magazine. To view the original article in magazine form and read more stories from our publication, visit our magazine archive.


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