10 Essential Questions: Rhys Hansen

Meet Rhys Hansen, a 29-year member (!!) and Stevens Lodge local who loves connecting with folks from around the Sound and is inspired by their dad, who first introduced them to the outdoors.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
June 16, 2017
10 Essential Questions: Rhys Hansen
Photo courtesy of Rhys.

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

Name: Rhys Hansen
Hometown: Snohomish, WA
Member Since: Since birth in August 1987
Occupation: Marketing & Produce Manager
Favorite Activities: Downhill skiing, snowshoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, day hiking

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

My family have been members continuously since 1946 when my grandfather joined. I grew up going to Steven's Lodge during the season and helping out at work parties every fall as soon as I was old enough to carry wood from one pile to another. Now I am proud to serve on the Operations Committee there.

What motivates you to get outside with us?

I love connecting with folks from around the Sound that I wouldn't otherwise meet. It boosts my confidence in outdoor situations that The Mountaineers puts such an emphasis on training and safety - I know when heading out with Mountaineers that I am in good company! I'm also  so happy to see The Mountaineers talking about identity and access in the outdoors. I am often the only LGBTQ person in group adventures-it matters more than you would think! So glad to see this conversation happening!

Editor's Note: Rhys runs an organization called Wild Abundance Expeditions, putting on retreats and camps for fat women and trans people to explore their limits outdoors in a safe and supportive setting. They're on hiatus right now, but check back soon for more events next year. Wild Abundance Expeditions also frequently partner swith Portland-based Fat Girls Hiking, which focuses on getting fat, queer, POC, and other marginalized communities. Check them out as well.


What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

So many to choose from! Right now I have just gotten into Snowshoeing, and I loved going up to Grace Lakes this winter on a bright and Sunny Day! The trail is steep and steady, but deserted so you can take your time and enjoy the serenity of the trees and stillness. Cleanses me from the hustle of the work week!

Who/What inspires you?

My Dad! He has been such an excellent model for the importance of volunteering and stewardship. He cultivated a love for the outdoors in my life and I could not be more grateful.

What does adventure mean to you?

Stretching myself to the edge of my comfort zone. I like adventuring when I get to try a new skill. Being in the wilderness is learning how to breathe again when life makes you forget.

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise.
Smile or game face? Smile.
What's your 11th essential? Portable hammock.
What's your happy place? On the lake with my paddleboard and my fiance.
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Sea Kayaking.

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