10 Essential Questions: Jan Deveny

Read about Jan Deveny, a retired police chief and long-term Mountaineer, on what being in the mountains means to him, and how he designed our Cascades Classic Peak Pin.
Kristina Ciari Kristina Ciari
February 13, 2015

For our member profile this month we spoke to Jan Deveny, a climber, skier, hiker, and retired Polic Chief, about why he joined The Mountaineers and how the community here has inspired him to give back. 

Name: Jan Deveny
Hometown:  Leavenworth, WA
Member Since: 1982
Occupation: Police Chief, Retired
Favorite Activities: Climbing, Skiing, Hiking 

10 Essential Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

I had already climbed Mount Rainier twice when I joined the Mountaineers. Over time I completed the Scramble course, Basic course, Intermediate course, Nordic Skiing course and became a climb leader and a scramble leader.  I led trips for about 20 years.

What motivates you to get outside with us with us?

I love being in the mountains; anytime. I have loved the mountains since I was a boy. Being in the alpine (above the tree line) is my favorite. And Mountaineers' activities are well organized and safe. Lessons take place in the outdoor classroom with experienced volunteer instructors.

Favorite Mountaineers memory?

When the Cascade Classics pin was announced by the club, my best climbing buddy, Jim Jung, and I talked it over and decided to go for it. We had already done about half of them.

 It took years. Some of the summits took three attempts. My final summit was Mount Redoubt. Near the top, you literally walk through a hole in the rock before you get to the summit. As you step through the “keyhole”, the exposure is breathtaking. There are good footholds and handholds the rest of the way, but the exposure put me on edge. Sitting on the top and feeling the satisfaction of having completed a goal that took years was my best moment.

When we went to the Climber’s Reunion to receive our pins, we were given a certificate and told the pins were still being designed. After a few years of waiting, we decided to design a pin ourselves. We used the old Mountaineer logo of a gold ice ax on a green background, in a diamond shape, with the word “Classics” in the middle. We submitted the design to the Climbing Committee and it was approved and we finally got our pins.

Who/What inspires you?

Just being in the mountains is inspiring, but Cebe Wallace kept me going during some of the low moments in the Intermediate Course. I marvel at how many climbs he has led.

What does adventure mean to you?

Getting outside your comfort zone, facing your fears and going on.


Lightning Round

Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise.
Superpower? I am confident on really steep snow.
Smile or game face? Smile.
Post-adventure meal of choice? Burger, fries, and a beer.
If you could be a rock star at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Downhill skiing.



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