Mountaineer of the Week: Donna Hahn

Meet Donna, who measures her conditioning hikes in mph and her naturalist hikes in hpm and hopes that her donations will ensure her grandchildren will be able to enjoy and protect the beautiful places she loves.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
November 03, 2023
Mountaineer of the Week: Donna Hahn

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

Name: Donna Hahn, she/her
Hometown: Marysville, WA
Member since: December 2014
Occupation: Self-employed with a mean boss
Volunteer since: 2018
Favorite Activities: Day hiking, backpacking, naturalist hiking, scrambling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, photography, and sailing.


What first brought you to the Mountaineers?

Someone recommended I look into Conditioning Hiking Series (CHS). From there, I quickly learned about the Naturalists. With CHS, I could hike fast and cover longer distances; with the Naturalists, I could hike slowly and learn about what I was seeing along the way. I measured CHS hikes in miles per hour, while I measured Naturalist hikes in hours per mile. Eventually I branched out into backpacking, scrambling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, photography, and sailing.

What’s your favorite Mountaineers memory?

That’s a hard question since I have so many wonderful memories. I guess one memory that stands out is a backpack in the Pasayten Wilderness. The autumn scenery was breathtaking – golden larches, crystal-clear reflections in the lakes, and magnificent stone mountaintops. What made it particularly memorable is that the temperatures dropped into the low teens. I found myself scraping ice off of my tent with a credit card.

How did you get started as a volunteer?

I started going on some Naturalists hikes. The leaders recognized that I had a passion for learning about plants and suggested I take steps to become a leader. Getting involved with the Naturalists is a slippery slope. Not only have I gone down the wildflower rabbit hole, I’ve been learning about mosses and lichens, birds, geology, marine ecosystems, and astrophotography.

What advice do you have for aspiring volunteers?

I’ve found Mountaineers members to be very supportive folk. If you have thoughts or questions about becoming a volunteer, just ask people who are volunteering in the area of your interest. When I started backpacking and wanted to get my pack weight down, a backpacking leader evaluated every piece of my gear and made suggestions. On a recent backpacking trip, an aspiring backpacking leader also wanted to get her pack weight down. I was able to pay it forward and help her with suggestions.

What inspires you to donate to the Mountaineers?

I love the outdoors and nature. I want to support an organization that promotes responsible outdoor recreation and conservation. I thank my lucky stars every day that I live in such a beautiful place and want my grandchildren to be able to enjoy, and protect, what I have seen and valued.

What impact do you hope to have in our community through your donations?

I’m hoping my donations will help keep the ship running smoothly. While The Mountaineers is blessed to have so many energetic and enthusiastic volunteers, it still takes funds to cover the expense of our wonderfully helpful staff and facilities.

Lightning Round

What’s your favorite close-to-home outdoor activity? Birding
What's your 11th Essential? Camera
Post-adventure meal of choice? Salmon, fully loaded baked potato, salad, and if I still have room, berry pie with ice cream
What’s next on your bucket list? Global Adventures trip to Slovenia and Croatia