10 Essential Questions: Nick Block

Meet Nick Block, a 3-year member and Super Volunteer who loves breakfast for dinner and is currently an expert at "falling downhill through trees on skis".
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
June 01, 2018

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

Name: Nick Block
Hometown: Fairbanks, AK
Member Since: March 2015
Occupation: UX Design and Marketing
Favorite Activities: Alpine rock and mountaineering is definitely my favorite, but I also really enjoy skiing. This year was my first season touring, and it has been lots of fun! I was recently on a Mountaineers trip to Canmore to increase my skills on water ice climbing, and I think I'm hooked now! I really enjoy trying new outdoor sports. Someday, I would like to have dabbled in a bit of everything.

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

After spending my childhood in Alaska, I grew to love the outdoors and everything it offers. I remember living in Portland in 2011 when a good friend of mine climbed Rainier with a guide service. I had always thought about climbing, but never thought it was something I could do. Inspired by my friend, I joined a charity climb of Rainier in 2012, and I was hooked! I knew climbing was for me. After that, I dove into gym and sport climbing, and spent a week on Mt. Shuksan with a guide service learning skills. I had seen The Mountaineers and owned Freedom, but I was painfully just out of reach of joining the organization while in Oregon. In 2015, I moved to Seattle. That same month I went to a Meet The Mountaineers event and learned about Intense Basic. I joined the 2015 class, and the rest is history.

What motivates you to get outside with us?

Being a part of The Mountaineers has allowed me to meet tons of new people with similar interests and goals. Since I joined the club, I've been forming connections and friendships that I know will last a lifetime, and I'm just getting started. A sense of community and commonality is something that can be hard to find, especially in an increasingly digital world, and The Mountaineers offers those things. No matter who you are, what your background is, or where you came from, we all share a passion for the outdoors. We are all connected by this love of wild places, and that is what motivates me to get outside with The Mountaineers.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

During my basic year, another student and I needed one climb to graduate. We did an October climb of Chair Peak via the NE Buttress. The weather was finicky, as it always is in October in the PNW. The climb went great, the route was a ton of fun, but a rainstorm rolled in as we were rappelling. We ended up getting hailed on for the last few rappels and it was a bit interesting! The climb was very fun, and our leader made sure we stayed safe, despite the turn in weather. Funnily enough, that climb is really when I fell in love with alpine rock, bad weather and all.

Runner Up: That time when my partner (who shall not be named) blue bagged on pitch 6 of the SW Rib on SEWS. Not only was it a great day on a fun route that I had been looking to climb for a long time, it was pretty funny as well.

Who/What inspires you?

I'm inspired by the people chasing their dreams and pushing their own individual limits. If that means the Mount Si trail or a new route on an obscure rock face in Canada, we all have a limit that can be pushed. I am constantly in awe of those who dare to do what might seem impossible, even if it only seems impossible to themselves.

What does adventure mean to you?

To me, adventure means just getting out there and having fun, even in the face of uncertainty and doubt. I never thought I would be able to climb mountains and rocks. I’m still surprised everyday at how much I have grown, and how much more I have to learn. Adventure is a good teacher.

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset summits!
Smile or game face? Smile. 
What's your 11th essential? Ear plugs, a buff or hood to cover my eyes, and a good book to read on overnight trips. There's nothing like a 7pm bedtime and a snoring tent mate to make for a sleepless night.
What's your post-adventure meal of choice? Hard to find, but definitely breakfast! I'll take eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns please.
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Backcountry skiing. Currently I am rockstar at "falling downhill through trees on skis".

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