Leader Spotlight: Bill Borom

Leader Spotlight is a monthly blog to showcase our incredible volunteer leadership at The Mountaineers. It is a platform for our leaders to share tips and tricks, favorite memories and inspiration for new and rising leaders. Meet this month's featured leader: Bill Borom.
Sara Ramsay Sara Ramsay
Education Manager
September 28, 2017

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Bill Borom, a 5-year leader whose involvement in a wide variety of club activities has continued to spark his sense of adventure and expand his pool of friends to adventure with!

Name: Bill Borom
Branch: Foothills
Where do you live? Issaquah, WA
How long have you been a leader? 5 years (member since 2012)
What activities do you lead? Hiking, backpacking, scrambling, and snowshoeing

Leadership Questions

What inspired you to become a Leader for The Mountaineers?

I am very appreciative of the trip leaders and course instructors who gave their time for me, and I thought that becoming a leader was the right thing to do. I wanted to give back! Additionally, I like to see new or prospective members have a positive experience with The Mountaineers. If I can facilitate this development, all the better! Being a leader for The Mountaineers also expands my pool of people to get outside with, and last if not least, it can be a whole lot of fun!

What is the favorite trip that you've led for The Mountaineers?

I don't have a favorite trip, but this is one I think of fondly. In 2013, I led a multi-day backpack in Olympic National Park for the Foothills B3 program. It was the Grand Loop, which is 46 miles long, has 13,000 feet of elevation gain, and crosses four high passes. We did the trip in five days - with no rain! - and once we were away from the main trail head areas, we only saw about eight other people for the entire trip. The Olympics, WOW!

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

As I gain confidence and experience as a trip leader across various activities, I find that I am more relaxed. It's a lot easier now for me to let the group plan and make decisions, allowing our adventure to ebb and flow as circumstances chance. This allows others to grow into leadership and build confidence as a member of The Mountaineers.

Are there any learning experiences you can share with us, such as take-aways from a close call or a near miss?

Don't walk below someone else when crossing a talus slope! I nearly learned this the hard way. A half an inch was the only space between my left hand and a boulder that had been dislodged above me. It would have totally been my fault for being in the wrong place during that crossing!

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

Be active. Get involved. Learn from others. Ask questions of those who have been doing this for years - their experience and knowledge is invaluable. I would recommend starting off by leading easy hikes. This allows new leaders some time and space to learn about themselves and their leadership style - and to discover what they don't know, but should.

Anything else we should know about you?

My spouse is convinced that I only get involved in activities that have the high potential for a trip to the emergency room. Her opinion, of course, is based on 30 years of marriage and numerous trips to the hospital. Other potential "ER activities" that I've been involved in - but that have taken a backseat to mountaineering - include road cycling, track racing, and long-distance triathlon events. The newest addition, to fill in any empty spaces in my life and to prevent me from working around the house, is sailing. I took the Basic Sailing Course this year with The Mountaineers. The sailing course skippers are great, and working as "crew" for a sailboat race is way too much fun. I had to promise my wife that I would not buy a sailboat. In retrospect, this may have been a mistake.

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!