10 Essential Questions: Anya Zolotarova

Meet Anya Zolotarova, a Ukranian who got engaged on a mountain-top, kick-starting her love for exploring in the Pacific Northwest.
Kristina Ciari Kristina Ciari
January 15, 2016

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

Name: Anya Zolotarova
Hometown: Lvov, Ukraine
Member Since: September 2014
Occupation: Sourcing Specialist at REI
Favorite Activities: I love rock climbing, backpacking, snowshoeing, or just having a nice picnic in the park (nobody said that being outdoors means to work hard in order to enjoy it :)

10 Essential Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

My then-boyfriend and I took a trip to Peru in June 2014, and did Salkantay trek from Cusco to Machu Picchu, and at the top of the ridge he proposed. We loved the trip and wondered why we haven't explored mountains in our area. So once we got back, we did just that, starting with Mt. Adams. One of my coworkers did Adams a few weeks prior to us, and gave us some beta along with a tip about joining Basic mountaineering class. It didn't take much to convince us.

What motivates you to get outside with us?

The incredible amount of knowledge and experience that Mountaineers leaders and members have is unsurpassed, and getting outside, meeting them, spending time getting to know them, is just a pleasure. I've never met so many genuinely nice and incredibly patient people willing to share their knowledge and make sure you are safe in the mountains.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

There is no one memory that stands out, but many-many incredibly early starts that show the most stunning sunrises and scenery that you can't see unless you are there. Shuksan basic trip with our SIG was a great one, in particular.

Who/What inspires you?

My grandpa, who was the first person to take me outdoors, hiking, cross-country skiing, ice skating and gardening (I was never a fan of digging in the dirt, but loved being away from the city, and eating fresh fruits and berries from the source).

What does adventure mean to you?

Pushing yourself to and beyond the comfort zone (of waking up at 3-4 am on a weekend after long work week; of going to a new country without doing much research). It's always amazing to discover how much stronger you are, and how much more vivid memories are when created outdoors.

Lightning Round

Sunrise or sunset? Other: Both are special in it's own way.
Smile or game face? Smile. I can't keep a serious face to save my life. 
Desired Superpower? Teleportation. I love to travel to remote places, it would be great to just be there instantly.
Post-adventure meal of choice? Meat! Any sorts of meat: burgers, steaks, sausages. I don't discriminate.
If you could be a rock star at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Heli Snowboarding.

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