Mountaineer of the Week: Andy Casillas

Meet Andy, who always tries to leave trails better than he found them and hopes his donations provide a new generation the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and join in protecting it.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
December 15, 2023
Mountaineer of the Week: Andy Casillas

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

Name: Andy Casillas 
Hometown: Puyallup
Member since: 2010
Occupation: Retired Construction Project Manager
Favorite Activities:  Day hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, photography, and naturalist hikes


What first brought you to The Mountaineers?  

After moving here and seeing all of the mountains around me, especially Mt. Rainier, I wanted to be able to climb them, so signed up for the Basic Alpine Climbing class in 2010.

What’s your favorite Mountaineers memory? 

A recent favorite memory was hiking in Turkey on a Global Adventures trip. We were going along a pre-Roman pathway with ruins at every turn traversing the ridge of mountains paralleling the Mediterranean coast. It was a perfect spring day with wildflowers and sweet smells. We were overlooking the azure sea with Greek islands in the distance and felt a connection with the land and peoples.

How did you get started as a volunteer? 

I volunteered early on, especially at the Tacoma Branch when the building started its remodeling. Work took me out of the area for a few years and when I got back, other life issues kept me from doing much volunteering.

What inspires you to donate to the Mountaineers?  

I am really happy to see a focus on educating kids and young adults on the outdoors. I believe that people who get out into nature become more well-rounded and informed citizens, not to mention the physical and mental benefits. I hope that helping to provide a new generation with the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors will inspire them to pay it forward and protect and improve what we have now.

Lightning Round 

Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise. The start of a new day gives hope for new adventures and beginnings
Smile or game face? Smile, always a smile
What’s your favorite close-to-home outdoor activity? I day hike along the I-90 corridor as it gets me up on some mountainous terrain close to home
What's your 11th Essential? A Corona folding saw. I take it with me day hiking so I can do minor maintenance and leave a trail a little bit better than how I found it
Post-adventure meal of choice? An extra thick milkshake
What’s next on your bucket list? I enjoy trekking other parts of the world so I have been doing several Global Adventures