10 Essential Questions: Lucia Cantu

Meet Lucia Cantu, a 5-year member and US Army Officer, who finds inspiration in the determination of other Mountaineers who give her the courage to breakdown personal barriers.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
March 01, 2017

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

Name: Lucia Cantu
Hometown: Calexico, California
Member Since: November 2012
Occupation: US Army Officer, Logistics
Favorite Activities: Mountaineering, Hiking, Snowshoeing, Backpacking, Kayaking and Volunteering

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

Following my exhausting journey from Germany, I finally arrived here at Joint Base Lewis McChord to begin in-processing. After settling into temporary lodging, a friendly acquaintance happened to mention The Mountaineers and their extensive outdoor activities. I instantly knew that I wanted to be a part of this amazing organization. Although my knowledge of mountaineering was very limited, my excitement and enthusiasm fueled the desire to learn more. I was unfamiliar with foundational information such as the 10 Essentials, and I knew that I required formal mountaineering training. The Mountaineers afforded me the opportunity to connect with other outdoor supporters and adventurers to explore and fine tune my skills in this sport. Today,  I'm having an awesome time learning and sharing mountaineer knowledge with outdoor enthusiasts.

What motivates you to get outside with us?

The Mountaineers have an undeniable passion for exploring, commitment to safety, and respect for nature that transforms a sporting activity into a welcoming community. The Mountaineers embody the spirit of comradery while enjoying outdoor activities. There is never a dull moment with the Mountaineers, due to numerous sporting activities including hiking, scrambling, kayaking, and volunteering. The Mountaineers are well known in the area for their commitment to promote outdoor proficiency education, while providing a supportive and fun learning environment. Safety and teamwork are key elements in each course and outdoor activity. Members of The Mountaineers are more than just a name on a roster. We are a family that is committed to the development of our skills in mountaineering.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

There are so many awesome memories to choose from, but I affectionately remember my self-rescue sea kayaking exam. This was a true “buckle your seatbelt” experience. The weather was windy and cold, which made it quite challenging. I utilized every ounce of my training with The Mountaineers to successfully pass this exam.

Another awesome memory was the uphill on my back self-arrest technique, which was executed during my Snow II Tacoma Alpine Scramble Field trip - Castle-Pinnacle. One of my attempts resulted in a downward descent. I almost went all the way downhill! Everyone stared in awe as this episode played out. Again, I had to concentrate and rely on what Allan Maas taught me during practice to successfully apply the self-arrest.

These two memories are so important to me, because they share a common denominator: Mountaineers volunteer instructors taught me to be knowledgeable and confident in my training. This gave me the ability to successfully react to challenging and stressful situations.

Who/What inspires you?

The accomplishments of others, as they adventure through challenges in the mountains and conquer new skills, inspire me to do my best as a mountaineer. The determination of my comrades gives me the courage to breakdown personal barriers and succeed in mountaineering activities. It gives me personal satisfaction and a sense of shared accomplishment to take this journey with my fellow mountaineers.

What does adventure mean to you?

True adventure embodies the personal challenge of reaching outside your comfort zone with the security of a safety net, and The Mountaineers provide the appropriate safety net through support and proper training. It is amazing how everyday life and work challenges seem more accomplishable after climbing a peak.

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Other: Both are miraculous and breathtaking!
Smile or game face? Other: A genuine smile!
What's your happy place? On top of the mountain / peak, enjoying the view!
What's your 11th Essential? Without a doubt, a Personal Locator Beacon is essential for those who like to spend time in the backcountry. It is excellent for personal safety and mandatory for easy location by rescue teams if needed. 
If you could be a rock star at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be?  Ice Climbing! I would like to do it some day!!

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