10 Essential Questions: Chris Spanton

Meet Chris Spanton, a Washington native who rediscovered the outdoors after time abroad. Today, he feels lucky to have our club to support his passion and continue our "incredible legacy" of volunteerism.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
April 15, 2016
10 Essential Questions: Chris Spanton

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

Name: Chris Spanton
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Member Since: April 2015
Occupation: IT Manager.
Favorite Activities: Rock climbing, scrambling, surfing, and cycling

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

I grew up in Seattle and have been active in the outdoors since I was very young. As a Boy Scout I had my first opportunities to go beyond the hiking and car-camping my family had done for many years, and take my first backpacking trips and learn to rock climb. It wasn't until years later, after having lived overseas in Australia, that I realized how lucky I was to have the Cascades in my back yard.

One day after moving back to Seattle, I was cycling on the Burke-Gilman trail when I rode past The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center, and wondered what it was all about. Little did I know how much that moment would change my life! That day I found the website, signed-up for a membership, and registered for the Alpine Scramble course.

What motivates you to get outside with us?

As a Seattle native, I grew up in the shadow of the mountains surrounding us. Looking back, I realize I took for granted how incredibly lucky I was to be raised here. I'm deeply passionate about exploring our mountains, and love sharing my passion with everyone around me. Whether its volunteering with the Mountaineers youth programs, joining Alpine Scramble trips, or taking courses to continue expanding my knowledge and experience, I feel so lucky to have an organization like The Mountaineers that supports my passion and helps give it a voice.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

My first experience with The Mountaineers was taking the Alpine Scramble course. I signed up for the ASI class (now known as CASC - Compressed Alpine Scramble) not knowing exactly what was involved. That weekend we stayed at The Mountaineers Baker Lodge and learned the "ins and outs" of alpine scrambling. During this formative weekend, I also experienced first-hand the passion of Mountaineers volunteers. In addition to committing to myself that I would return to pay-forward the time and energy these amazing people shared with me, I also met an incredible group of students who shared my passion for the mountains.

Today, some of my closest friends were students in that ASI class, and I'm now fulfilling that promise to myself by volunteering as an Alpine Scramble Course instructor.

Who/What inspires you?

Over 100 years of Mountaineers history, and what likely amounts to millions of hours of volunteer time, inspire me to do my small part to continue this incredible legacy. The mountains, our mountains, give me mental and physical strength, and healing from all that ails me. In my short time with the Mountaineers, I've already had too many people impact my life to start naming them here. They know who they are. I know that my passion and inspiration is a direct result of theirs!

What does adventure mean to you?

Life is an adventure, and the older I get the more I realize that the journey is indeed far more important than the destination. I've been lucky enough to experience this in many forms: from surfing some of the world's greatest breaks, spending weeks backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail, SCUBA diving in the South China Sea, exploring the jungles of Malaysia, and climbing our Cascade peaks. I - like most of us - have both loved and lost. All of it is an adventure that leaves me excited to see what comes next.

Lightning Round

Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise.
Smile or game face? Smile.
What's your happy place? A rock wall. 
Post-adventure meal of choice? Milkshakes! 
If you could be a rock star at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Alpine climbing.

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