10 Essential Questions: Jamie McKee

Meet Jamie McKee, a 7-year member who loves skiing and climbing and the "squad" mentality of The Mountaineers where everyone is invested in making things better.... even when it comes to chores!
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
July 21, 2017

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

Name: Jamie McKee
Hometown: Spokane, WA
Member Since: April 2010
Occupation: Research Associate II
Favorite Activities: Skiing/snowboarding, cycling, hiking, camping, and climbing

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

I started climbing outdoors with my husband and we wanted to climb with experienced people. That's how we found The Mountaineers! We started with a Mountaineers First Aid course, then we found Stevens Lodge and the great community there in the winter.

What motivates you to get outside with us?

I love the fresh air and adventure. I'm a microbiologist and going on hikes is super stimulating for me because I get excited to share my knowledge of different plants and animals with my friends and family. When we go skiing or climbing, I get the chance for adrenaline rushes. I love going fast and finding jumps skiing, and then the natural rush of heights and lead climbing makes you face your fears, and tests your bodies ability to focus on really technical skills that keeps you safe. It's interesting to experience the variability of each outing, skiing or climbing, and how your mind and body react. The outdoors lets you focus your mind, it can make you feel isolated. Bringing you to the reality of, we live in a big world, and we are just a part of how it all works. I get the chance to remember there are larger things outside of myself that matter more. The outdoors is super grounding for me, and also very stimulating and endorphin heavy at the same time.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

There have been multiple times at The Mountaineers' Stevens Lodge that are very memorable. The atmosphere that we have been able to create over the last few years is amazing. Waxing sessions downstairs involve both our more youthful members to our older and wiser members. We blend together seamlessly and the relationships that are built are very inspirational. All those sessions also turn into making plans for skiing with each other the next day, and now its truly a squad that accepts everyone willing to shred as hard as the person next to them. There have been dishing washing sessions, where the music sets the mood and you have a full on dance party during dishes and they get done in the most efficient manner. There is a joy and happiness from doing chores!! Imagine that! Everyone is invested in making the lodge a better place, I love it. It's about the community and not the individual and it happens organically. 

Who/What inspires you?

Being around like minded individuals inspires me. People who can motivate others in a positive way, which naturally cultivates the same positive atmosphere. My husband Adam is one of those people who can easily invite a new person into the Lodge family and make them feel like they have been there forever. He is also motivated and adventurous and has introduced me to so many activities that I wasn't exposed to growing up. He inspires me to pick up new activities and invest time to learn and master them alongside one another. Everything I do today is because he introduced them to me and encouraged and supported my growth through each activity.

What does adventure mean to you?

Adventure to me is anything that involves the unknown. Whether it is exploring a river on a hike, taking a new bike route, road tripping to the coast, or ski touring. Anything that can cause uncertainty, an adrenaline rush, and general nerves means an adventure. That might sound terrible, but those are all the emotions you might go through when trying anything new, and in the end the endorphin rush and adrenaline or excitement of the adventure makes it all worth it. Adventure is like the best addiction.

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise.
Smile or game face? Smile.
What's your 11th essential? My flip flops, nothing better then my bare feet in flips at the end of the day of a long hike, wandering around the camp site, a bike ride, or day of skiing.
Post-adventure meal of choice? Pizza and wine!
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Backcountry ski touring and snow-camping!

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