Leader Spotlight: Rodica Manole

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: Rodica Manole
Sara Ramsay Sara Ramsay
Education Manager
October 27, 2017

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Rodica Manole, a volunteer with the Everett Branch who encourages her fellow women to step into leadership roles because you’re more ready than you think you are.

Name: Rodica Manole
Branch: Everett
Where do you live? Redmond, WA
How long have you been a leader? 2.5 years (member since 2010)
What activities do you lead? Alpine Scrambles, Mount Baker Snow 2 Field Trip (Everett Basic Climbing Course), Self-Rescue Class (Everett Intermediate Climbing Course)

Leadership Questions

What inspired you to become a Leader for The Mountaineers?

The amazingly skilled, patient, and dedicated volunteers I learned from and who I have taught with over the years. Helping others in a meaningful way can change people's lives, and it can bring joy to their lives. It is hard to describe the excitement and sense of achievement I get to experience when a student summits their first peak or resolves a complicated rescue scenario.

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

It is hard to make a call for a "favorite", but I will certainly not forget this year's Snow 2 Mount Baker Field Trip. I ran this field trip for the Everett Branch's Basic Climbing Course for the first time. Taking a group of 40+ students out in a real glaciated environment to safely practice glacier travel and crevasse rescue techniques for two days mandated a solid master plan, which could not be successfully executed without the help of 27 amazing instructors. Those are good quality people, and I am thankful to for their dedication and time that they invested to teach future safe climbers.

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

I am slowly moving towards adjusting my style and methods based on activity type, group composition, and destination. 

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

I have not experienced a close call or near miss, but I will not forget the angry weather "show" I got to experience on my mentored lead glacier climb with four basic students and my mentor on Mount Adams / Mazama Glacier back in June of this year. We were not expecting a perfect weather window, but we were also not expecting rain and 50 mph gusts all night long, challenging our gear and our plans. It was no epic experience, and we packed up camp as soon as we got day light and hiked out, but it was a great learning experience for all of us: mother nature made her own rules and we had to be flexible and capable to make the right trip plan adjustments on the fly for a safe alpine experience without a summit.

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

For women questioning their readiness to become a leader: you will never think you are totally ready for it due to the confidence factor. Step-up and take over an actual role - it is the only way you can realize and show your full potential as leader with The Mountaineers. "...do the thing you think you cannot do".

Anything else we should know about you?

Getting out and staying active is a real necessity for me. It is not happening very often, but if I am not getting out for two weekends in a row, it can be a problem for my well-being - pushing me to literally climb the walls, to paraphrase my husband.

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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Mark Glidden
Mark Glidden says:
Mon, Oct 30, 2017 12:47 PM

Way to go Rodica!!!

Barbara Wiper
Barbara Wiper says:
Sat, Nov 4, 2017 12:49 PM

Congrats, Rodica! I love this: "...do the thing you think you cannot do". I think the reason I have grown to love mountaineering so much is for this very thing. Being pushed to do what you didn't think you could!