10 Essential Questions: Jacob Lopilato

Meet Jacob Lopilato, a 3-year member who hiked with 91 year old Bronka Sundstrom on Mt. Rainier and has seen first hand the power of the mountains to keep you feeling young.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
January 19, 2018

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

Name: Jacob Lopilato
Hometown: Born in Port Washington, NY; grew up in Cicero, IN and Cooperstown, NY
Member Since: January 2015
Occupation: Museum Admissions Manager
Favorite Activities: Scrambling, mountaineering, hiking, skateboarding (although it's been awhile!), and I also love hanging out on the couch at home with my cats and girlfriend, watching movies, and reading!

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

Like everyone else that moves to Seattle, I was immediately entranced by the sight of Mt. Rainier looming on the horizon. In 2013, I signed up for a fundraising climb with the American Lung Association: Climb For Clean Air program. After a successful fundraiser, I followed an unearthly fast RMI guide (Win Whittaker) into the summit crater with my climb team. A year later, while soloing the Wonderland Trail, I decided to attempt Pinnacle Peak. I had no idea what I was doing, but successfully reached the summit and knew that I wanted more! A fellow Climb For Clean Air volunteer (Kevin DeFields) was a member of the Tacoma branch and recommended that I look into The Mountaineers. I'm so glad that I did!

What motivates you to get outside with us?

Being out in the mountains always brings me some sort of inner peace as soon as I step out of the car. In my job, we can see up to 7,000 people pass through our doors daily. So, being in remote, naturally beautiful environments is a much needed respite from my 9 to 5. I have had the honor of hiking up on Rainier with 91 year old Bronka Sundstrom, and one of the biggest take-aways that I've gleaned is that if you keep at it, then you can enjoy these activities well into your golden years.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

I would say that my experience in the Basic Alpine Course, this past year, would be my favorite memory. Our SIG (Small Instruction Group) meshed together immediately, and still try to connect as often as we can. I am thankful to have been part of such a great, active group, and feel like I've made some lifetime friends as a result. Big shout out to all of The Mountaineers scramble and climb leads who have helped create countless amazing experiences and memories!

Who/What inspires you?

I am inspired by connecting with my friends on trips and hearing about what new and exciting places they have been since we last met. I am inspired every time I see the vastness of a mountain peak or range, no matter how many times I've seen it. I am inspired by the cool breeze that re-energizes me on a sweltering ascent. I am inspired by the moment I reach the summit and see the landscape open up before me. Conversely, I am inspired by the elusive peaks that turn me back and await my return.

What does adventure mean to you?

Exploring the places that excite your senses and nourishes your pounding heart with a natural, primal sustenance not found in your daily life.

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset.
Smile or game face? Game face.
What's your 11th essential? Monocular! Great for looking at routes and spying on distant peaks to add to the "to-do" list.
Post-adventure meal of choice? Coffee. Coffee. Hamburger. Coffee.
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? I'm okay just putting in the work. For me, the learning process is part of the fun. Finding out what works best for me and learning from my mistakes is essential to appreciating my successes.

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    Anita Elder
    Anita Elder says:
    Fri, Jan 19, 2018 9:02 AM

    Loved reading about you, Jacob!

    Hong Shen
    Hong Shen says:
    Sun, Jan 21, 2018 8:04 AM

    It was great to be on several trips with you, and loved reading about you, Jacob!