10 Essential Questions: Nate Brown

Meet Nate Brown, a veteran who discovered Washington when stationed at Base Lewis-McChord and fell in love with mountaineering (and all the snacks that go with it)!
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
November 08, 2019

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

Name: Nate Brown
Hometown: Maryville, Illinois 
Member Since: September 2014
Occupation: Full-time student at UW 
Favorite Activities: Hiking, snacking, backcountry skiing, mountaineering, kayaking, and more snacking.

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

I didn’t grow up around the mountains, but after I got stationed at Fort Lewis here in Washington, I was so intrigued with the incredible mountain skylines surrounding the area. I started hiking in them and it didn’t take long before I started to wonder how I could get to the top of taller ones like the volcanoes. A friend recommended that I check out The Mountaineers branch in Olympia, so I signed up for the Basic Climbing Course and the rest is history!

What motivates you to Get outside with us? 

The startling sound of the 1am alpine start alarm.
The silence of the high alpine.
The shaking quadriceps on the rest-step train.
The feeling of absolute strength. 
The cold breath crystalizing in front of me.
The first sunlight warming the spirit. 
Being alone with my thoughts.
Sharing summits with good people.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

Probably reaching the summit of Colonial Peak in the North Cascades during my basic climbing course. This was the 3rd summit of the trip (after both Snowfield and Neve Peak) and while I was no stranger to that feeling of complete exhaustion, I had never experienced it with the absolute joy that comes from spending a day climbing mountains with a great group of people. A certain masochist part of me had always enjoyed the suffering aspect, sure… but combining it with the feeling of accomplishment by standing on the summit was so powerful, and I knew I had tapped into something that would become a lifelong passion, all thanks to The Mountaineers. And a fun fact: my pack weight is typically 50% camera gear, 30% snacks, and 20% everything else. It's all about those priorities.

Who/What inspires you?

Pretty much anybody! I think everyone has something that makes them inspiring, and I love finding whatever that thing is. It can be anything from my friend Doug who is constantly volunteering his free time to teach new Mountaineers students, to my friend Liz who still makes time to hike with both an infant and a 2 year old, to Jeremy who manages to get out and hike every now and then, despite a lot of really bad injuries. Inspiration is all around us if we care to find it!

What does adventure mean to you? 

Adventure can be a lot of things! Anything from a nice day hike to a multi-day sufferfest. But regardless of what it is, some adventures are great, while others can be just awful. But the important part is to always have a trusted crew of people, a backup/bailout plan, and a positive attitude (in the army we used to say that false motivation was better than no motivation!). If you have those three things, even those awful adventures can be looked back on fondly over a beer later on. 

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise 

Smile or game face? Other: Duck face
What's your 11th essential? My camera, of course!
Post-adventure meal of choice? Veggie burger, fries, and cider... Or tacos and margaritas... Or pizza... Just give me calories please!
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Canyoneering! I haven’t done that yet, but I want to and it looks SO cool.

Editor's Note: Last year the Seattle Branch launched a brand new canyoning committee. CHECK IT OUT!

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    Syed 'Fes' Naqvi
    Syed 'Fes' Naqvi says:
    Fri, Nov 8, 2019 10:45 AM

    I speak from experience when I say that Nate is just awesome! He's one of the most approachable individuals I've ever met and loves sharing his love of the outdoors with others.

    Ron Jarvis
    Ron Jarvis says:
    Mon, Nov 11, 2019 7:55 AM

    Nate - Thank you for your service to our country.