10 Essential Questions: Sean Albert

Meet Sean Albert, a 7-year member from Maine who recently completed the Bulger list. He also invented his own special post-adventure meal, and he'll be speaking at an upcoming Beta & Brews event!
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
October 21, 2016
10 Essential Questions: Sean Albert
Photo courtesy of Sean.

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

Name: Sean Albert
Hometown: Woolwich, Maine
Member Since: November 2009
Occupation: Artist
Favorite Activities: Mountaineering, climbing, scrambling, back-country camping and skiing, peak-bagging, and just plain rambling about in the alpine with my two and four legged friends.

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

I grew up in rural Maine, so as a kid I spent most of my free time in the outdoors year round. My wife and I moved to Seattle in 2000 from the East Coast and we hiked and camped during the less rainy months of the year. I eventually started exploring the I-90 corridor, but had no formal training with off trail travel or using an ice axe.

On a scramble in November 2009 I ran into a local guide book author and she suggested checking out The Mountaineers, which I knew nothing about. I had been interested in learning more about mountaineering and technical climbing so I stopped by the Seattle Clubhouse to see about joining the club and available climbing courses. Unfortunately, I just missed the enrollment dates and the Basic Alpine Climbing course was full. The friendly staff member at the front desk suggested signing up for the Alpine Scramble course as it was a great way to transition into the climbing course, which it was. I then went on to take the Intermediate Alpine Climbing course and have since become a Climb Leader with the Seattle Branch.

What motivates you to get outside with us?

Because being outside is WAY better than being inside! In all seriousness, I feel really lucky to have found such a large stable of dedicated and excited volunteers who love being outside just as much as I do. The Mountaineers provides a supportive learning environment to challenge oneself physically and/or mentally while doing super fun outdoor activities. To me those are the most satisfying life experiences, you can't buy them with all the money in the world, and they're even more precious when shared with friends.

Editor's Note: 

With the support of his wife Patty, some close friends, and a "bunch of Mountaineers", Sean became the 55th person to climb the Bulger list this summer. Here's what he had to say about the experience:

A 5 1/2 year adventure to climb the top 100 peaks in Washington. I was slightly obsessed with completing the goal and worked very hard to do so, but in the end it was the journey not the 100th peak that ended up being far more rewarding and important me.

Sean will be speaking about this Bulger experience at the Seattle Climbing Committee's Beta & Brews event on Nov 17. RSVP today.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

There are so many it's hard to choose... I fondly remember a Basic Glacier climb of Sahale I led a few years ago. We had early season conditions and it was debatable if we'd be able to traverse the heavily corniced ridge between Boston and Sahale, plus climb the short step to the summit. After some stimulating group discussions we decided to give it a try. I could see some in the party were pretty overwhelmed mentally by the challenge, but everyone made it to the top successfully. It was apparent that those in the party who had their doubts were the most satisfied by their individual accomplishment. We've all had that feeling, for me, seeing it happen was just as satisfying as experiencing it!

Who/What inspires you?

The extremely intelligent, dedicated, enthusiastic and loyal volunteers who make the Mountaineers so special. They organize and run courses, lead bunches of climbs or scrambles, and mentor the next wave of inspirational volunteers.

What does adventure mean to you?

Adventure is stepping outside of my comfort zone physically and/or mentally while managing risk. Spending time in the mountains exposes all of us to risks. Managing them safely while still be challenged can make those experiences life changing. A great adventure outside can make what I perceived as large hurdles in day-to-day life seem insignificant. Adventure focuses my priorities.

Lightning Round

Sunrise or sunset? A perfect day in the mountains is being able to experience both on the same day.
Smile or game face? Both, the latter leads to the former.
What's your happy place? Above treeline with friends and our pooch.
What's your post-adventure meal of choice? It's been dubbed the Albert/Eiselt meal. Two people split chicken fried rice and a cheeseburger and french fries from Mondo in Marblemount. Stopping at Mondo is just part of being in the North Cascades for me.
If you could be a rock star at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Squirrel suit flying.

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