10 Essential Questions: Heidi Mathisen

Meet Heidi Mathisen, a legacy Mountaineer who celebrated her first birthday at our Snoqualmie Lodge and goes to the outdoors to recharge and feel happy.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
July 14, 2017
10 Essential Questions: Heidi Mathisen
Photo by Christy Pelland.

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

Name: Heidi Mathisen
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Member Since: February 2012
Occupation: World Bank Economist, Boeing Marketer, UW Business School Leadership Developer
Favorite Activities: Getting kids outside, skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, kayaking, sailing, traveling the world, and crabbing in the San Juans

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

I was literally born into The Mountaineers. My parents joined The Mountaineers when they moved from Norway to Seattle after WWII. I celebrated my first birthday at the Snoqualmie Mountaineers Lodge and learned to ski there in the years that followed. But then I left Seattle for many years and lived around the country and around the world. I became a member of The Mountaineers on my own in 2012 at the urging of Mountaineers friends.

What motivates you to get outside with us?

There are many beautiful places in the world, but nothing compares with our Pacific Northwest playground for year-round outdoor fun. We have riches from the coasts to our mountaintops and everywhere in between. I love it all - at any time of year. The outdoors is where I recharge and am most happy.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

It was definitely Type 2 fun. When my son moved back to Seattle after living on the East coast, I talked him into taking The Mountaineers Navigation course with me. The dry, warm topo class at the Mountaineers Program Center was great; the freezing, wet field trip wasn’t quite as much fun. But I had this moment when we were in the woods finding our way back using compass bearings; my son was on top of one log sighting and I was on top of another nearby and all those years of having outdoor adventures together as a family came back. I was cold and wet and feeling completely blissful all at once. Seeing my son, and also his sister, embrace the love my husband and I have for the outdoors and its joys and challenges makes me one happy camper. And now I get to teach navigation to a new generation of kids with The Mountaineers and SheJumps in the Wild Skills program - all while wearing a purple tutu!

Editor's Note: To learn more about our partnership with SheJumps and the Wild Skills program, read this magazine piece by Wild Skills Director Christy Pelland.


Who/What inspires you?

A few years ago I was chaperoning a Garfield High School POST 84 camping trip to Lopez Island. I was on the beach with a couple of girls who told me that they had never been outdoors before. They asked me to teach them how to start a fire. So I talked them through it and they were able to get the fire going. I was then called to help take some other kids out kayaking. When I came back to the beach later, the girls I had helped with the fire came running. The fire had gone out they said, but they had started it again ALL ON THEIR OWN! They were so very, very excited to have been able to do that. The sense of accomplishment you get from doing something you have never been able to do before, and perhaps think that you can’t do, is a powerful thing. My hope is that the feeling of competence will transfer to other challenges that people, especially young people, come up against. The more capable we feel the better we can face those the obstacles, large and small, that life throws at us.

What does adventure mean to you?

To me, there are many types of adventure. One is getting out of a train in New Delhi and being bombarded by the heat, the sounds, the smells, the voices of a new place, and the challenge of figuring out how to manage in an unknown environment. A different type of adventure is seeing what is around the next bend when hiking or kayaking or skiing and thrilling to whatever is there. It is all about enjoying the journey and all that you experience along the way.

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise.
Smile or game face? Smile.
What's your 11th essential? No question there - a camera.
What's your happy place? On a mountain top in winter and on the water in summer.
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Backcountry Skiing.

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    Lucinda Hauser
    Lucinda Hauser says:
    Jul 18, 2017 03:40 PM

    Heidi, So nice to "run into" you again...this time via the group's website.