10 Essential Questions: Steve Smith

Meet Steve Smith, a one year member and our Adult Education Manager who's been connected to The Mountaineers community indirectly for over 20 years. You may know him from an infamous incident on Aasgard Pass, but what you don't know about is his deep passion for deep frying.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
May 18, 2018
10 Essential Questions: Steve Smith
Photo by Tamara Walker

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

Name: Steve Smith
Hometown: Richmond, VA
Member Since: May 2017
Occupation: Mountaineers Adult Education Manager
Favorite Activities: Wildlife Photography, Sea Kayaking, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Hiking, Bird-Watching, Deep Frying (!)

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

As a Pacific Northwest climber, I've known about or been indirectly connected to people who are Mountaineers ever since moving here in the early 1990's. I became more directly involved The Mountaineers in 2016 as a member of the Climbing Education Advisory Committee, which led to the creation of the Progressive Climbing Education initiative, which led to the creation of a really great job that I couldn't resist applying for... so now, I work full time at The Mountaineers as one of the two Adult Education Managers. Amazing, how a volunteer role led to a wonderful full time position!

What motivates you to get outside with us?

Well, it's not just my pleasure -- it's my job!!!

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

Fred Beckey was known for looking forward to his next climb more than he was interested in looking back at the previous one(s). In his spirit, I'll say that my favorite Mountaineers memory is the one that I will make perhaps tomorrow or the next day! Having said that, I have had many memorable days in my short tenure at The Mountaineers, including crevasses on Mt Baker, rock ridges in the Stuart Range, lodges in the Nooksack and Skykomish drainages, and frozen cold mornings in the Canadian Rockies. Not to mention a very memorable eclipse!

Who/What inspires you?

I am inspired by my colleagues and the hard-working volunteers who make our programs and community happen. My first class that I assisted with was an Intense Basic Climbing Class, and I was moved to see multiple people taking a week off of work, using their vacation time, to teach others how to climb.

What does adventure mean to you?

Adventure means a series of daring explorations from a secure base. It includes coffee (by definition) and creates opportunity for success and defeat that leads to character.

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset.
Smile or game face? My smile IS my game  face. 
What's your 11th essential? Coffee. This is actually the 1st Essential.
Whats your happy place? Paddling to Lime Kiln State Park, San Juan Island -- or, climbing to the summit of Mt Fury in the North Cascades. What do they have in common? Very little.
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Probably sailing. Seems like a long learning curve with limited opportunity to learn it unless you have access to a boat!
Editor's Note: Steve bravely shared his personal story of a close call ON Aasgard Pass so that we could all learn and benefit from his experience. If you haven't already, we encourage you to check out his blog about the incident, or listen to this podcast where he discusses the HARROWING ordeal. 

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