10 Essential Questions: Paul Bongaarts

Meet Paul Bongaarts, a climb leader who also volunteers with Seattle Mountain Rescue, from New York who loves finding opportunities to share amazing outdoor experiences with good friends.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
December 16, 2016

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

Name: Paul Bongaarts
Hometown: New York, NY
Member Since: August 2011
Occupation: Head of Technology Economics and Strategy at T-Mobile USA
Favorite Activities: Loading the dishwasher correctly, alpine rock climbing, and ice climbing

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

I did a guided climb of Mt. Baker, and of course, I was hooked on the mountains after that. As it turned out, one of the women on the trip was raving about how great the Mountaineers community was for learning climbing. I didn't waste any time and applied to the basic alpine course that same year!

What motivates you to get outside with us?

Simply having the opportunity to share amazing outdoor experiences with good friends. With volunteering, it is watching others learn and grow. It feels great to continue the tradition of passing knowledge to the next group of students who will someday be outdoor leaders themselves.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

I was climbing the West Ridge of Mt. Stuart and doing my first ever "no tent" bivy. Sleeping on a climb is often a challenge for me, so not surprisingly halfway through the night I woke up. When I cracked my eyes to peer into the darkness, I will never forget the sky that night. So vivid, and more stars than I could ever imagine!

Who/What inspires you?

It is wonderful to be part of volunteer communities where there is such a great depth of talent and dedication to serving others. Both the Mountaineers and Seattle Mountain Rescue are filled with amazing people who continue to inspire me all the time.

From a professional and leadership standpoint, Simon Sinek is an amazing speaker and his talks are a consistent source of inspiration. 

What does adventure mean to you?

I really prefer to plan everything down to the last detail, so adventure for me often involves simply coping with the unexpected. My main climbing partner is a bit more spontaneous than I am, so with her it is always a fun adventure!

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset?  Sunset.
Smile or game face? Smile.
What's your 11th Essential? Stoke! And Fritos...
Post-adventure meal of choice? Burger with blue cheese crumbles and crispy bacon.
If you could be a rock star at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be?  Leading hard water ice!

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