10 Essential Questions: Stevie Russell

Meet Stevie Russell, a 26-year Mountaineers member and retired trial attorney, and learn why he loves the mentors he's met in our programs.
Kristina Ciari Tursi Kristina Ciari Tursi
May 01, 2015
10 Essential Questions: Stevie Russell

For our member profile this week we talked to Stevie Russell, a 26-year member and 2014 Super Volunteer.  He shared his favorite Mountaineers memory and why he continues to volunteer with us.

Name: Stevie Russell
Hometown: Greensboro, GA
Member Since: 1989
Occupation: Retired Trial Attorney
Favorite Activities: Mountaineering (climbing, scrambling, backcountry snowshoeing, off-trail backpacking), downhill skiing, hiking, some kayaking.


10 Essential Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

I had climbed a couple of peaks in the San Juan sub-range of the Rockies (SW Colorado/Weminuche Wilderness) with a younger sister and her friends (a private trip, but led by Sierra Club veterans), and that included coming down late (after dark) and alone off a 14,000+ foot peak (Aeolus). Which motivated me to learn a little more about this new sport. So I took the scramble course in 1990 and the climbing course in 1991.

 What motivates you to Volunteer?

The students: watching trepidation turn to confidence, awkwardness turn to skill, and risk turn to reward.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

Watching my friend (and fellow former scramble chair) Glen Ferguson pull of a perfectly executed mid-air maneuver and nail an ice ax arrest about ten steep feet above a yawning schrund on Roosevelt Peak.

Who/What inspires you?

I've been fortunate to have excellent mentors in almost every aspect of my life, including Ron Sheats in the Mountaineers. I'm inspired by beauty in all its forms, including those sun-filled snow-laced days "on top of the world, ma!"

What does adventure mean to you?

Indulging the desire to explore new places or the nostalgia of revisiting and re-inventing "old" ones while exercising the skill, judgment, and discretion that only comes with experience and repetition. Allowing oneself to surrender to the measured risks of nature while respecting the life, friends, and family that await me at home enough to return to them safe and sound.


Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset.
Smile or game face? Smile.
Superpower? Levitation.
Post-adventure meal of choice? Burger (plain, well-done) and fries. Throw in a milkshake and a beer, maybe a margarita! 
If you could be a rock star at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be?  Entertaining my fellow instructors and students at the Seattle Scramble Experience FT BBQ, held annually at Beverly CG in the sunny eastside Teanaway River country.

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