10 Essential Questions: Kimber Cross

Meet Kimber Cross, a 1-year member and Kindergarten teacher from Tacoma born without fingers on her right hand. As an adaptive climber she's had to modify the methods most use to climb, but she summits mountains all the same.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
February 23, 2018
10 Essential Questions: Kimber Cross
Photo courtesy of Kimber Cross.

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

Name: Kimber Cross
Hometown: Tacoma, WA
Member Since: January 2017
Occupation: Kindergarten teacher
Favorite Activities: Mountaineering, climbing, running, hiking, ultimate frisbee, and skiing

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

A close friend told me she signed up for the basic Alpine Course with the Tacoma branch and asked if I wanted to join her in getting the training to climb mountains. An hour later I was signed up for the course as well, not yet knowing we were in for a life changing experience! 

What motivates you to get outside with us?

I get outside with The Mountaineers because I've fallen in love with the way I feel on a summit. The training, the effort, and the pain have somehow all become fuel for my fiery passion for the mountains. I'm an adaptive climber, born without fingers on my right hand, so I've had to modify how I hold my ice axe, climb, belay, and soon ice climb. I've received nothing but support from fellow Mountaineers. I have found who I'm meant to be, strong & confident, on the mountains. That's pretty good motivation right there.

I'm continuing my training with The Mountaineers with the Intermediate Alpine Course because I have a passion for teaching these skills to newcomers, growing in my own skills and continuing to climb mountains.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

Standing on the summit of Rainier, taking in the 360 degree view and thinking about how quiet it was and how content I felt. Second to that was looking at my rope team and being so proud of how well we worked together to make the summit.

Who/What inspires you?

What inspires me is seeing other adaptive climbers succeed at the same passion I have, climbing and mountaineering. Seeing others overcome physical challenges and accomplish great climbing feats gives me so much motivation and reminds me I'm in an inclusive and provoking community with The Mountaineers and the climbing world.

What does adventure mean to you?

Adventure means fun! It also means experiencing surprise and hard work in the outdoors. Last summer I was on a team climbing mount Olympus and let me tell you, that 44 mile round trip was quite the adventure on many levels. We pushed ourselves and each physically, mentally, and emotionally each day and I just loved it. Those are my favorite kinds of adventures, when they change and grow you.

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise.
Smile or game face? Game face.
What's your 11th essential? My 11th essential is the summit treat! Always need to have a sweet treat to share with your team on a successful summit. Mine has to have chocolate in it. A really good brownie to celebrate being on top of the mountains is the best thing. They also taste better up there.
Post-adventure meal of choice? Most go with burgers and beer. I'm more of a tacos and hard cider fan.
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Easy ice climbing. I'm working on it!

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    Courtenay Schurman
    Courtenay Schurman says:
    Mar 01, 2018 06:36 AM

    Wonderful! Inspring!

    Courtenay Schurman
    Courtenay Schurman says:
    Mar 01, 2018 06:36 AM

    spell check failed me, INSPIRING

    daniel lyons
    daniel lyons says:
    Mar 01, 2018 08:50 AM

    Thanks for sharing. I have 2 fingers on my left hand - no thumb and have gotten by well using various homemade prosthetics to hold an axe, ski pole and keep both hands on the handlebars. I'm glad that you're able to get out and enjoy adventures!