10 Essential Questions: Christopher Reed

Meet Christopher Reed, a 5-year member from Olympia who loves to do all of the things, and has created his own signature 'Haiku Hikes' to make special memories for everyone else too.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
September 15, 2017
10 Essential Questions: Christopher Reed
Photo courtesy of Christopher.

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

Name: Christopher Reed
Hometown: Olympia, WA
Member Since: January 2012
Occupation: Union SheetMetal Worker/Instructor
Favorite Activities: Sailing, camping, hiking, road biking, snowshoeing, avalanche safety/snow science, backpacking, mentoring/teaching, lawn mowing, over fire cooking, scuba diving, MOFA, winter camping, building snow caves, occasional weed pulling, inspiring youth, helping with navigation (on and off the water), scrambling, climbing, outdoor leadership.

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

I joined with my then girlfriend, and kept taking on more and more as the years went by. I used to be a member of a Submarine crew and often dreamed of climbing Rainier. I'm in the process of making that happen. The twist is, I want to start at sea level. I plan on walking from my house at the beach in Olympia and take a week or so and do it. Maybe a book in it as well....

What motivates you to get outside with us?

I think its the interactions with people that interests me most. I love to learn and The Mountaineers give a great platform for that. I learn something on every trip I'm on and every trip I lead. I learn something about myself, and that is ever evolving. How I teach fellow Mountaineers a new skill or tip for doing something, or how someone teaches me helps me to teach someone else. This transfers into my work environment as well. It's all connected. The passion to learn something and to pass it along to someone else, maybe with a tweak or a flavor of my own style to accompany it. That is what motivates me to get out and do something. Its a process, and I'm always working on it.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

There are a bunch and sometimes they run together. My recent one was a trip I lead to Wallace Falls with some new Mountaineers. I like to do what I call "Haiku Hikes". I give the group a theme or topic and ask them to make a Haiku for that topic, then at the midpoint or top we have a snack and read them aloud.

This group was water logged and a bit tired on a rainy Saturday. The response uplifted our spirits and was a great way to think about Waterfalls - that day's topic. You can't have them without rain. It comes full circle, the rain cycle, we are a part of it. The look on their faces back at the trailhead when I handed out prizes for the best Haiku was a cool memory. I get to know everyone on the way up and down and try to cater the prize to what they may need. If I'm talking about 10 Essentials and they maybe are missing one, chances are I have that as a prize. And maybe that item takes on a greater significance for them, and one day comes in handy. Then they have a great story to tell as well.

Who/What inspires you?

Christopher Van Tilburg inspires me to be better at keeping calm and doing the best thing for the patient and to not compound the casualty. Mountain Rescue Doctor, get it and read it. I am saving the final chapter I don't want the book to end, its that good.

Ed Vestures inspires me to reach for something that only I can reach for. An inner understanding of my limitations and what are my acceptable risks. The decision process, the things I bring to the table that don't need to be there, and how to recognize them and factor that into the equation. K2 Life and Death on the Worlds Most Dangerous Mountain, get it read it.

Brandon Mull inspires me to realize a world to which I cannot see but only imagine. We need more imagination, it is the start to just about everything. Pick any of his series, I'm currently waiting for the new book to Five Kingdoms. Moms and Dads: if you want to get your kids inspired about reading, here you go.

And finally, Robert Pirsig inspires me to be a better person and to help me understand what Quality really means. Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance, get it and read it, you may want to take notes. 

What does adventure mean to you?

Adventure is doing something you never have done before. Exploring the outside, exploring the inside (your limitations ) and having an idea of what it maybe and where it may go. But be open to the fact it may take you somewhere you may not have realized it would have.

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Other: I usually see both.
Smile or game face? Game face.
What's your 11th Essential? Communication.
Post-adventure meal of choice? Soup, bread, and water. Lots of water.
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Ice Climbing.

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    Chris Reed
    Chris Reed says:
    Sep 15, 2017 12:22 PM

    My happy place didn't make it to the list. It's doing hang board exercises outside my kitchen, while waiting for scones to come out of the oven. Tetley tea ( cream and sugar )
    It's great to be a part of something this big. Snowshoe season is just around the corner. Come out with Foothills this year!
    -Christopher Reed