Leader Spotlight: Rena Chinn

Leader Spotlight is a monthly blog to showcase our incredible volunteer leadership at The Mountaineers. Meet this month's featured leader: Rena Chinn. She is 12-year member who believes that climbing can empower people to face challenges in all areas of their lives.
Sara Ramsay Sara Ramsay
Education Manager
October 29, 2018
Leader Spotlight: Rena Chinn

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Rena Chinn, a volunteer leader with the Seattle Branch who encourages others leaders to develop a clear sense of their capabilities and limitations, and to lead within the scope of their skill base.

Name: Rena Chinn
Branch: Seattle
Where do you live? Bellevue, WA
How long have you been a leader? 12 years (member since 2007)
What activities do you lead? Climbing, Hiking, and Scrambling

Leadership Questions

What inspired you to become a Leader for The Mountaineers?

I first became a hike leader because I wanted company on weekdays while doing conditioning hikes. I enjoy encouraging people new to the outdoors and to climbing.

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

I led a Carne-Maude high traverse as an overnight scramble in larch season. Gorgeous! But if you are talking destinations, I have led the Tooth most frequently because it's just good rock and good fun without too much effort.

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

I have become more flexible and willing to delegate tasks.

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

The longer you have been climbing, the more you hear of accidents outdoors. So I am very aware of the energy level of my team, and how small mistakes can build on each other. I took the WFR class last year and usually carry a PLB now.

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

Attunement to your team and environment is as important as your climbing ability. You do not need to be the best or fastest, but develop a clear sense of your capabilities and limitations, and lead within the scope of your skill base.


I love The Mountaineers for providing a supportive community to learn and take risks. I believe climbing can empower people to face challenges in all areas of their lives.


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!

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Ian Dickson
Ian Dickson says:
Oct 29, 2018 09:27 AM

Rena! You rock.

Alina Badus
Alina Badus says:
Oct 30, 2018 04:57 PM

Rena is awesome! Nice to see her featured here.