Mountaineer of the Week: Alexander Halaszyn

Meet Alexander, a multi-talented adventurer who is inspired by the stories fellow Mountaineers share, the struggles alpine mountaineering provides, and eating pizza with friends.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
July 22, 2022

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members. For our member profile this week we talked to...

Name: Alexander Halaszyn
Hometown: At this point, I'm about 75% PNW and 25% Minnesotan
Member Since: May, 2019
Occupation: Aerospace Engineering
Favorite Activities: Mountaineering, xc skiing, downhill skiing, backpacking, hammock-camping, rock climbing, trail running, cooking and eating camp food, pushing my bare feet into sun-warmed sand on a cool Pacific beach afternoon

10 ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS: 

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THE MOUNTAINEERS?

Following a guided climb of Mount Rainier, I told myself I wanted to build the skills and community to accomplish this feat without a guide. I discovered The Mountaineers through the Freedom of the Hills (recommended to me by some dude on Craigslist!), and subsequently applied and was accepted into the 2020/2021/2022 Basic Alpine Climbing course.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO GET OUTSIDE WITH US?

During my 2-year long, pandemic-extended Basic Alpine Climbing course, many of us in my Small Instructional Group (SIG) really bonded and continued to go on excursions together before the program got back on its feet. These enduring friendships have motivated countless hikes, climbs, outings to the climbing gym, and BBQs. I really enjoy the people of this community, and that motivates me to continue getting out with my fellow Mountaineers.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOUNTAINEERS MEMORY?

I have a lot of memories climbing with my SIG that I'm very fond of, including goofing off in camp on the Ingraham Glacier during our 3-day climb of Rainier's DC Route... and rock climbing near Leavenworth on a perfect late-spring afternoon.

WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

I find a lot of stoke and inspiration in the stories told by the great Mountaineers and story-tellers Rick Ridgeway, Ed Viesturs, and David Roberts, and have read many of their books.

And, perhaps this is unoriginal of me to say, but I find inspiration in the mountains themselves. I've been through a lot of loss and a lot of transition this past half-decade... mountaineering accesses a competition within myself to see what I'm made of. How far can I go? How strong can I become? The mountains inspire me in their stoic disregard for all suffering and striving. What can I make out of myself in the face of such indifference? What else can we do but make meaning out of the struggle, enjoy the endorphins our bodies reward us with, and eat pizza while surrounded by friends?

AS A DONOR AND VOLUNTEER-SUPPORTED ORGANIZATION, THE MOUNTAINEERS IS BASED ON COMMUNITY SUPPORT. HOW HAVE YOU PAID IT FORWARD, OR HOW HAVE YOU BENEFITED FROM SOMEONE ELSE PAYING IT FORWARD?

I further the work of The Mountaineers by helping out with Karl Themer's newest gaggle of students organizing conditioning hikes, and helping out with practice nights and field trips as needed.

WHAT DOES ADVENTURE MEAN TO YOU?

Getting outside of my comfort zone, reaching further, climbing higher, and pushing the limits. Adventure means I come away having learned something new about myself, my friends, and my surroundings.


LIGHTNING ROUND!

Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise
Smile or game face? Other: totally goofy!
What's your 11th Essential? An extra base layer to change into at turn-around time. I'm a sweaty dude. This recommendation revolutionized my comfort level on the descent.
What’s your happy place? New development: XC skate skiing with my GF! Absolutely astounding happiness cruising through the fresh alpine air.
Post-adventure meal of choice? Pizza and beeeeer
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Mars Colonist. I mean, seriously, think of all those unclimbed peaks to bag??! And space travel counts as outdoor, yeah?


Have you had a memorable experience with The Mountaineers you'd like to share, or know someone who should share their story? Submit your info for a chance to be featured!