10 Essential Questions: Louie Coglas

Meet Louie Coglas, a 30-year member and one of our Everett leaders, who still loves getting outside with us because this is where he made lifelong friends.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
June 10, 2016

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

Name: Louie Coglas
Hometown: Brier, WA
Member Since: April 1986
Occupation: Roofing Contractor
Favorite Activities: Climbing, trail running, sea kayaking

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

A leader in my Boy Scout troop was a Mountaineer. When he took us on backpacking trips, he taught us all the techniques he was learning in Mountaineers courses. I joined The Mountaineers in the mid-70's as a Jr. Mountaineer for a few years. I took the bus down to the club house on Pike (or maybe Pine) St. and was going to take the climbing course, but it was full. It would be another 14 years before I took the climbing course. One of the first activities I did when I joined in '86 was help with maintenance at Stevens Pass Ski Lodge. Then, in the summer of '89 I helped out with the Pilchuck Lookout restoration. I was hooked.

What motivates you to get outside with us?

This is where my friends are. For years I went out on my own hiking, scrambling, fishing and camping trips, dragging friends out with me once in awhile. But they went on to other lifestyles, so I started meeting people in The Mountaineers. So I guess I would say my motivation for getting outside these days is to be with others.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

I would have to say my favorite Mountaineers memory is the Everett Branch Basic Climbing Course. There is something about the basic climbing course - months of working with a group of folks to achieve the same goal under stressful conditions - that makes a imprint. I instructed in the Basic Course for years after because of that imprint - trying to recapture or keep the memory going. Intsructing quickly led to many more great memories.

Who/What inspires you?

When I was young, I remember watching Jim Whittaker summit Mt. Everest (I believe it was on National Geographic) and thinking that I wanted to be in the mountains. Although I kept up with what the Whittakers were doing - along with Willie Unsoeld and Jim Wickwire - they really didn't inspire me. It was the music and the filming that turned on the switch of inspiration. Now adays, I like watching films and reading books on expeditions where humans battle elements and come together to create a real life soap opera. Of coarse with tension, music, and 35 mm film it's even more dramatic.

What does adventure mean to you?

I believe adventure is created deep in our psyche from past memories of events that pushed our comfort levels. As a kid, I always wanted to wander away from home - either down the block, road and fishing trips with my parents, or meeting up with other kids to jump off cliffs into the ocean in San Diego. As an adult looking back, some of those had dangers I didn't know about. They were adventures in small doses. An adventure example these days: A solo trip to 3- Fingers, mid-week, no one else on the mountain. 12 miles of mountain biking, 14 miles of hiking and scrambling. Night alone in the lookout. Being by myself, pushed my comfort level to the max creating an adventure in my head, whereas if I had been with others it wold not have been an adventure.

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Starlight.
Smile or game face? Other: a look of contentment.
What's your 11th Essential?  The mantra "it's just another day of climbin'"
Post-adventure meal of choice? Hamburger, fries, and beer.
If you could be a rock star at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Climbing in Red Rocks.

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