10 Essential Questions: Margot Tsakonas

Meet Margot Tsakonas, a 13-year member and 2016 Super Volunteer, who's inspired inspired by wild places- including the ones we never touch.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
February 24, 2017

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

Name: Margot Tsakonas
Hometown: Army Brat, settled in Maple Valley since ’94
Member Since: April 2004
Occupation: I'm retired - I volunteer and try to have fun for a living
Favorite Activities: Scrambling, backpacking, hiking, snowshoeing, the occasional glacier climb. I also volunteer outdoors (with this and another organization), and I am interested in conservation.

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

I started day hiking on my own - well into middle age - after a trip to New Zealand inspired me. I had never done any outdoor recreation so I consider myself a "late bloomer". After several years doing longer and more remote hikes, I wanted to find some hiking partners. I did not know that the Mountaineers even had hiking, I thought it was only climbing. I don't remember how I found out, but I did. Within a couple years I was scrambling, snowshoeing etc and a particular leader convinced me to take on various leadership roles. I have been actively involved since.

What motivates you to get outside with us?

Essentially it's the opportunity to do fun things with great people in gorgeous places. Sometimes that means being part of a trip, other times it might be leading one or helping newer participants. I often do "private" trips but invariably most or all of the people are Mountaineers.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

Even if I could remember them all, I would not be able to pick one. But I do remember the exhilaration of my first scrambling experiences in the mountains- the "freedom" as they say. And the sense of camaraderie.

Who/What inspires you?

I have been inspired over the years by several Mountaineer leaders and friends, of course. And by people I don't even know that I have met on trails. But what inspires me the most now are wild places - being and not being in them. Being in them for the quiet, the trees, the rocks, the water, the ferns, flowers and animals. Not being in them because there are places that I hope humans never touch and I am inspired to try to help protect them. 

What does adventure mean to you?

Certainly trying something new, going somewhere new, working thru something unpredicted or unexpected. But also adventure is experiencing the familiar places more deeply, seeing them from another viewpoint, or recognizing something you didn't even know was there. Sometimes it's a private experience, but often it's shared with someone. Maybe somebody shows you something new to appreciate about the place you are in. Maybe you find out something new about that person - or about yourself. It's all an adventure.

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise.
Smile or game face? Smile.
What's your happy place? Where the sun is shining and you can feel it.
Post-adventure meal of choice? Veggie burger and sweet potato fries.
If you could be a rock star at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be?  Backcountry skiing.

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