Leader Spotlight: Curtis Stock

Leader Spotlight is a monthly blog to showcase our incredible volunteer leadership at The Mountaineers. Meet this month's featured leader: Curtis Stock. He is a climb leader in Tacoma who has leveraged his experience with The Mountaineers to climb around the world!
Sara Ramsay Sara Ramsay
Education Manager
September 28, 2018

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Curtis Stock, a volunteer leader with the Tacoma Branch who encourages our members to give trip leadership a try. If your committee thinks you're ready, you probably are!

Name: Curtis Stock
Branch: Tacoma
Where do you live? Renton, WA
How long have you been a leader? 7 years (member since 1985)
What activities do you lead? Mostly basic and intermediate climbs, as well as some scrambles.

Leadership Questions

What inspired you to become a Leader for The Mountaineers?

My primary motivation to become a leader was to be able to set-up trips where I wanted to go that fit my schedule. As a participant, it was often difficult to get on the trips I wanted to do. As a leader, there is always room for me!

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

There are many favorites, but one recent trip successfully climbed both Mt. Olympus and Mt. Tom. We had a really good team and great weather. Everyone seemed to have a good time, which made the long approach worth it.

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

I think I have become more relaxed during trips; less concerned about getting to the summit and more focused on ensuring that everyone is being safe. The mountain will still be there tomorrow.

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

We train for things like leader falls, but much more common are potential injuries from things like party-induced rockfall. I got a cracked rib after being hit by a rock while descending Bonanza a while ago. Leaders need to think those things through and adjust their party size and ascent/descent techniques to minimize the risks.

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

Give trip leadership a try! In my experience, the committees are pretty conservative in approving trip leaders, so if they think you are ready, you probably are. Most of the individuals I have met on outings have been great to climb with. Almost every trip has been a fun and positive experience.

Is there aNYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I've been able to leverage my Mountaineers experiences to climb some bigger peaks outside the Pacific Northwest such as Aconcagua, Denali, and Elbrus. The skills you learn in The Mountaineers really prepares you for some bigger challenges, if that is what you want to do.

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!