Leader Spotlight: Alina Badus

Leader Spotlight is a monthly blog to showcase our incredible volunteer leadership at The Mountaineers. Meet this month's featured leader: Alina Badus. She is an active volunteer with the Seattle hiking, snowshoeing, and climbing programs who believes there's no single way to be an effective leader.
Sara Ramsay Sara Ramsay
Volunteer Development Manager
February 28, 2021

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Alina Badus, a volunteer leader with the Seattle Branch who loves seeing trips come together from start to finish, and whose bucket list includes climbing Mount Rainier!

Name: Alina Badus
Branch: Seattle
Where do you live? Seattle, WA
How long have you been a leader? 3 years (member since 2016)
What activities do you lead? Hiking, snowshoeing, and climbing.

Leadership Questions

What inspired you to lead trips for The Mountaineers?

Before moving to Seattle, I enjoyed volunteering and leading trips for the Green Mountain Club in New England, so it seemed natural to volunteer for The Mountaineers. I enjoy getting outside, of course, and I love seeing a trip come together from an initial idea to working through all the details, meeting new people, and then enjoying time together outdoors. I have a lot of respect and admiration for the mentors I met through the club - they inspire me every day and I have learned so much! I can only hope to help pay it forward. Also, I cannot seem to resist a call for volunteers.

What is the best, favorite, or most memorable trip you've had with the club?

We had a fantastic overnight snowshoe trip to the MTTA Yurt this past February, right before the pandemic, where everything worked out so beautifully. I was able to book the entire Yurt for our group. The snow and weather were gorgeous, everyone brought group treats to share (still one of the best meals I've had in the outdoors!), and the Yurt was so warm and cozy. A couple of us went out to bag a peak while others relaxed and then we all went out at night to look at the stars. It was the right mix of adventure and relaxation, all Type 1 fun!

How has your leadership style evolved as you've gained experience?

I have become a lot more relaxed about routes and group dynamics, while still making sure everyone is together and hopefully having fun. I have also streamlined my trip preparation and research process.

It's often said: "Good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement." Any learning experiences you can share to help our community build their good judgement?

Don't try to jump a crevasse at 2am on little sleep when you could walk around it. Even if you can make it, perhaps your second on the rope cannot... and then what?

What advice do you have for aspiring leaders in The Mountaineers community?

Learn as much as you can from leaders that you like, and find some trusted mentors... but then go out and be yourself. There is no single way to be an effective leader. Also, just get out and do it! The stereotypical image of an outdoor leader in the PNW still seems to be a tall, middle-aged white man with a beard, and I think it's important to challenge that image and make space for more perspectives and personalities.

Lightning Round

What's your go-to place for a post-trip meal? Pioneer Coffee in Cle Elum
How about your best trail snack? Trader Joe's baked cheese with truffles!
Who is your Mountaineers hero? Sue Shih
What "luxury item" do you bring on most trips? I am an obsessive minimalist, so... nothing.
What's next on your bucket list? Rainier, so I can be taken seriously as a climber.

is there Someone that you'd like to see in the spotlight?

Send an email to Sara Ramsay to make a recommendation for one of our upcoming Leader Spotlights!