10 Essential Questions: Army Reserve Soldier Carrie Kavanaugh

Meet Carrie Kavanaugh, a 20-year army reserve Soldier and volunteer climb leader with our Tacoma Branch. She's dedicated her life to serving and caring for others in her communities.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
November 11, 2016
10 Essential Questions: Army Reserve Soldier Carrie Kavanaugh
Soldier Kavanaugh. Carrie at Camp Muir with her partner James. Carrie in front of Primus Peak during Basic in 2012. Courtesy of Carrie Kavanaugh.

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members. For our special member profile this week we talked to Army Reserve Soldier Carrie Kavanaugh...

Name: Carrie Kavanaugh
Hometown: Beaver City, Nebraska
Member Since: January 2012
Occupation: Dental Hygenist, and 20-year Soldier the Army Reserves serving, training, and caring for other Soldiers.
Favorite Activities: Alpine climbing, traveling, trail running, eating, cooking, yoga, and rock and ice climbing.

10 Essential Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

I climbed Mt Rainier with a guide friend, then thought I should learn the skills to be able to do it myself. I joined Basic Climbing the next year, in 2012. I enrolled in Intermediate after that, and also took the AIARE I course. My experience in the military helped me get through the Basic and Intermediate because I’d already learned how to be disciplined, making it easy to embrace the "program" of learning. Now, nearly 5-years later, I'm a climb leader and trail run leader.

What motivates you to get outside with us?

Knowing that my friends in The Mountaineers have the same skill set as I do makes me feel safe and confident in going out on adventures with the Mounties. Everyone is typically super positive and motivated to be out together.

For both Mountaineering and the Army Reserves, I love the camaraderie aspect. We are all working together and sharing common interests. 

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

Navigating our way off of Glacier Peak after a sudden thunderstorm/snowstorm! Four of us were trying for the summit late in the season. We knew the weather might not be awesome, but the weather forecast didn’t call for anything too bad. We were about 1,000 feet from the summit when we turned around because the crevasses were not navigable. About an hour from our camp, the weather started to turn bad. I also realized I had lost my GPS (it’s still up there if anyone finds one)! We managed to finish eating dinner when a huge thunder and lightening storm rolled in. We hunkered down for a long night, and hiked out the next day in a whiteout. We were 'lost' then 'found' multiple times. But we worked together, following our gut instincts and using our skills as Mountaineers, to make our way home.

Who/What inspires you?

I'm inspired by the beauty in nature and ordinary people doing amazing things. Most of the Soldiers I've worked with have major combat experience. It's humbling. I'm grateful to them, and happy to serve in the role of providing for and caring for other Soldiers to help give back to this community.

Because nature is so inspiring, I try to incorporate elements of the outdoors into the training I lead as well. The majority of my 20-year career in the reserves has been in medical support and training. The last four years, I've helped with the ROTC summer camp teaching things like first aid, navigation, IEDs, etc. Whenever I can, I get us outside for training.

What does adventure mean to you?

Moving out of my comfort zone, seeing new things, pushing myself physically and mentally, and sharing those experiences with motivating and inspiring people.

Lightning Round

Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise.
Smile or game face? Smile.
What's your happy place? High above the trees with a view.
Post-adventure meal of choice? North Bend Bar and Grill!
If you could be a rock star at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Himalayan Mountaineering.

Are you a Veteran?

Thank you for your service. We'd love to share your story. Please contact us. 

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