10 Essential Questions: Joanna Maltbaek

Meet Joanna Maltbaek, a PhD student in immunology who loves climbing and has jumped straight into our community as a volunteer.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
November 15, 2019
10 Essential Questions: Joanna Maltbaek

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

Name: Joanna Maltbaek
Hometown: Mountain View, CA 
Member Since: October 2018
Occupation: PhD student in Immunology at UW. I’m a scientist!
Favorite Activities: Climbing, backpacking, surfing, running

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

I signed up for Basic Alpine Climbing in 2018 and plan to continue on with intermediate rock modules this year. I also volunteer at WFA as a mock patient and now serve on the Basic Climbing subcommittee. This year I ran admissions for the 2020 course.

What motivates you to Get outside with us? 

When I was growing up there were a lot of mountaineering and Krakauer books in my house, but based on their contents I kind of assumed mountaineering was reserved for wealthier older men. Imagine my surprise and delight when I moved to Seattle and realized that The Mountaineers offered “the people’s courses” in climbing, and that regular people like myself could learn these skills. I love meeting new people through The Mountaineers! In grad school it can be hard to meet people outside of science, so joining The Mountaineers has really enriched my community outside of school.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

Sumitting Sahale via the Quien Sabe glacier just in time for a fiery sunset over the North Cascades. It was my first climb where I didn’t feel a lot of anxiety during the ascent, and being a late season climb, it was really interesting to navigate across tons of open crevasses. Plus I was fortunate to be on the climb with some great friends from my SIG.

Who/What inspires you?

I’ve met so many badass women leaders who have motivated me to push my climbing to the next level (Atsuko Yamaguchi, Sherrie Trecker, Skye Stoury, Christine Kuebler, to name a few). I think about these leaders often and they have become important role models in my life.

What does adventure mean to you? 

Adventure means setting ambitious goals for yourself and pushing yourself towards fulfilling those goals. It also means being flexible about expectations for trips so that you can still enjoy yourself and be safe, no matter what the mountain throws at you.

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset

Smile or game face? Smile
What's your 11th essential? Gummy Bears 
Post-adventure meal of choice? Definitely the veggie burrito from El Camion #sponsorme
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? It’s a tie between leading trad routes and backcountry skiing.

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