10 Essential Questions: Kathleen Neves

Meet Kathleen Neves, a long-distance backpacker who is a big fan of Gummi Bears and overcame her fear of seeing bears on trail thanks to the support of our Mountaineers community.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
February 04, 2022

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

Name: Kathleen Neves
Hometown: Shoreline, WA
Member Since: May 2016
Occupation: Content Creator and Backpacking Coach for Solo Female Backpackers
Favorite Activities: Hiking, backpacking, long-distance hiking, thru-hiking, car camping, snowshoeing, snowboarding and swimming in alpine lakes

10 ESSENTIALS QUESTIONS:

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THE MOUNTAINEERS?

I wanted to become more confident with my outdoor skills like navigation, snow travel, and winter camping so I started taking courses with The Mountaineers. I also attend the Banff Film Festival in Seattle hosted by The Mountaineers each year because it's my inspiration station for the upcoming backpacking season.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO GET OUTSIDE WITH US?

The Mountaineers community! I love getting to meet other like-minded people through the courses I take and the activities I participate in.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOUNTAINEERS MEMORY?

On a Mountaineers backpacking trip to Enchanted Valley last year, I got to practice my "bear aware" skills out in the field and finally overcome my fear of seeing bears out on trail. Being in a supportive group setting and getting pep talks from our group leader and members of our group really helped make what could have been a terrifying experience for me a very special one.

WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

I'm always inspired by seeing other solo female backpackers out on trail. My hope is to motivate and inspire other women to want to get out on trail for solo adventures of their own.

AS A DONOR AND VOLUNTEER-SUPPORTED ORGANIZATION, THE MOUNTAINEERS IS BASED ON COMMUNITY SUPPORT. HOW HAVE YOU PAID IT FORWARD, OR HOW HAVE YOU BENEFITED FROM SOMEONE ELSE PAYING IT FORWARD?

This year, I'm a co-mentor for the incoming B3 (Backpacking Building Blocks) class. I'm really excited to not only be a co-mentor for newbie backpackers, but I'm also looking forward to becoming a backpacking leader and start leading trips through The Mountaineers later this year.

WHAT DOES ADVENTURE MEAN TO YOU?

To me, adventure means getting outside, not only for fresh air and mountain views, but also to get out of my comfort zone by overcoming challenges and facing my own fears. Even when I'm scared, tired, hungry and dirty, there's still nowhere else I'd rather be than somewhere out on trail.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise
Smile or game face? Smile
What's your 11th Essential? Gummi Bears
What’s your happy place? Out on trail, especially if it's up on a ridgeline surrounded by incredible mountain views
Post-adventure meal of choice? A bacon cheeseburger with onion rings and a side of ranch with an iced cold root beer
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Splitboarding! I'm in the process of getting my AIARE 1 certification with The Mountaineers this year so I can go explore more of the backcountry during the winter.


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