10 Essential Questions: Leah Schulz

Read about our member and volunteer Leah Schulz and what inspires her to give back.
Kristina Ciari Tursi Kristina Ciari Tursi
July 17, 2014
10 Essential Questions: Leah Schulz

For our member profile this month we spoke with Leah Schulz, a volunteer climb leader who found her voice in The Mountaineers and finds immense pleasure in giving others the same sense of achievement.

Name: Leah Schulz
Occupation: Franchise owner, loan originator and designated broker for Force Realty
Hometown: Bremerton, WA
Member since: 2006
Favorite Outdoor Activities: Hiking, rock and alpine climbing


10 Essential Questions

How did you come to be involved with The Mountaineers? I decided to make better choices in my life the year I experienced a major relationship change. I was becoming too one-dimensional – all about work. So, I called eight of my best friends from high school, who are still my best friends today, and asked them to remind me what I liked. One of my friends reminded me when I got a gift certificate to a local climbing gym. She said “You called me after going to the gym and never sounded so happy. You should check out rock climbing.” So I went online to research how to rock climb and came across mountaineers.org. I spent two and a half hours on the website, figured out prerequisites to the Basic climbing course and registered for first aid and navigation. First aid was a big deal to me because I’m afraid of blood, so you can imagine how proud I was to receive recognition for Most Passionate Caregiver at the end of the course. I went on to take Basic.

What motivates you to volunteer with us? I finished Basic with a profound sense of gratitude. I felt the need to give back because the experience reawakened my passion for life. When an organization does that, you want to give back. Now that I volunteer, I know I’m doing that for others. As a volunteer it’s not uncommon to receive a note from a student that says “Thank you so much. You changed my life.” When you volunteer you facilitate life-changing experiences.

Favorite Mountaineers Memory: Two memories are equally significant for me: Both took place during the summer following Basic. The first was on a Rainier summit attempt. Under foul weather conditions and in cold that –to this day – I have never experienced again, our team had to turn around. In spite of that, the challenging experience, dedicated volunteers, and team camaraderie renewed my love of life. The second is on a summit of Mt. Olympus. On that climb, it was so clear I could see the ocean and every peak to Canada when I stood on the summit. It was like a spiritual rebirth for me. These are two favorite memories because they are what inspire me to volunteer. I want people to have the opportunity to feel what I felt on those mountains.

Who/What inspires you? I’m inspired by people that are willing to take huge risks to stand for what they believe in.  My two biggest heroines are Col. Grethe Cammermeyer and Edie Windsor.

What does ‘Adventure’ mean to you? Going someplace you’ve never been before, or doing something you’ve never done before. 

Lightning round! 

Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise
Smile or game face? Game face
Superpower? Telekinesis
Post adventure meal of choice? Egg salad sandwich
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Rock climbing


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