10 Essential Questions: Ruthie Wessendorf

Meet Ruthie Wessendorf, a basic intensive student who joined to become a strong, safe and knowledgeable climber.
Kristina Ciari Kristina Ciari
September 04, 2015

For our member profile this week we talked to ...

Name: Ruthie Wessendorf
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Member Since: March 2015
Occupation: Traveler
Favorite Activities: My passion is climbing in all its forms: Mountaineering, Sport, Bouldering, Scrambling if it involves a rock big or small, I'M THERE. I also adore time in the wilderness backpacking and hiking.

10 Essential Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

I have a good friend who introduced me to the Basic Intensive Course and began researching the details of the program. The moment I heard about it I was hooked! I wanted to learn as much as possible about mountaineering and climbing as possible. My goals were (and still are) to be a strong, safe and knowledgeable climber so that I can do this for as long as possible.

What motivates you to get outside with us?

The Mountaineers really stand for a lot of the passions that I hold so close to my heart. The spirit of volunteerism and passion to protect our outdoor playgrounds is part of everything we do. I feel lucky to have learned what I have so far from such experienced climbers who have spent decades in the mountains and I keep their advice and guidance before me as reminders on every climb.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

During one of our crevasse rescue practices at Mount Baker one of my climbing partners was pretending to be a fallen climber. He yelled "Hurry up! I'm freezing down here!" My response (instead of supportive and reassuring) was "Take it like a man! If you want to be a mountaineer you're going to have to get used to being cold!" I looked over at our instructor and he was bent over laughing! We all broke out into laughter! I cherish the moments we had together truly enjoying the learning process. We were having fun every single day and that's how I feel climbing should be.

Who/What inspires you?

I'm inspired by the Instructors/Leaders we get to associate with. They are so passionate about climbing and their stoke is what I admire the most. I'm also inspired by climbers like Yvon Chouinard who want to do more then just be in these beautiful, majestic places. Yvon strives to protect what he loves so much and I want to use my life in the same way.

What does adventure mean to you?

Adventure is when I'm challenged. I find that the mental struggle involved in pushing yourself on a mountain is far more valuable than the physical summit. I fell in love with climbing because of the mind set needed: one of determination, focus and visualization. The summit is the goal but the journey to the summit is really where I've felt growth and an impact on who I am. I'll climb till my body gives out but even when it does I'll still day dream about mountains. “Who wouldn’t be a mountaineer! Up here all the world’s prizes seem nothing.” - John Muir

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Both! They are both awe inspiring!
Smile or game face? Both! Game face for safety/smile because I'm in my very favorite places.
Superpower? I CARE about people, the environment, wildlife, our world in general and I see this as a superpower because it motivates me to want to take action in my little corner of the universe.
Post-adventure meal of choice? French Fries with LOTS and LOTS of ketchup! :)
If you could be a rock star at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be?  Ice Climbing!

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