Mountaineer of the Week: Finlay Rebbeck

Meet Finlay, an orienteering aficionado who loves navigating his way through the woods with the sounds of dry leaves crunching beneath his feet.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
December 01, 2023
Mountaineer of the Week: Finlay Rebbeck
Finlay competing at an orienteering event. Photo by Cheng-Gang Wang.

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

Name Finlay Rebbeck
Branch Seattle 
What Mountaineers Youth Programs do you participate in? Summer Camps


How did you (or your family) first get involved with The Mountaineers?

My mother loved The Mountaineers Trekking in Nepal book when she taught in a remote Himalayan village when she was 18. She joined The Mountaineers as soon as she moved to the US before I was born, did lots of courses, and made some great friends. We went to see one friend from her Basic Climbing group along with her kids in Chamonix this summer! She was also on The Mountaineers Board. I got involved as soon as I was old enough – first as a camper at Kitsap Forest Adventure Camp and then in Seattle Summer Camps! Now my granny is a keen member of the Retired Rovers since coming to join us in Seattle a few years ago.

What is your favorite Mountaineers memory?

My favorite Mountaineers memory was when my parents won a birthday party at the climbing wall at the Gala auction. For my fifth birthday we set everything up in Goodman Hall and then went down to the South Plaza with all the guests. The instructors told us all of the adapted rules and we climbed on the outdoor walls. There was a hilarious moment when my cousin got all the way to the top of the wall but then got stuck and had to be rescued by one of the instructors self-belaying. It was one of the best birthday parties I’ve ever had, and friends still remind me about it!

What is your favorite outdoor activity to do and why?

Orienteering (a sport where you run with a map and compass, and is a bit like a scavenger hunt) because I’ve always had a love of maps. I love running on my own through the woods, with just the sounds of dry leaves crunching under my feet.

My love of orienteering is closely connected to The Mountaineers. The first time I ever orienteered was at Magnuson Park after summer camp two years ago. I told the counselors about it, including two junior counselors who I know to this day. This summer it was really fun to reconnect with those same counselors at camp and update them on my progress. I had just gotten back from a huge international orienteering festival in the UK (Scottish 6 Days), with 3,000 competitors, where I surprised myself by winning my age category!

What things do you like to do when you’re not at Mountaineers Youth Programs?

My favorite thing to do in the world is orienteering. I’m a keen Nordic and alpine skier, and just started roller skiing. I also love sailing, especially when I get to help navigate with charts! Closer to home I love playing ultimate frisbee, soccer, and the viola.


Sunrise or sunset? Sunset
Gummy candy or chocolate? Chocolate
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Flying
What's your favorite season? Winter. You can play in the snow, ski, and it's orienteering season! 
Favorite post-activity meal? Mod Pizza 


Mountaineers come in all shapes and sizes, varying widely in age, outdoor experience, and length of time involved in The Mountaineers. Part of what makes our community so unique is the broad diversity of our membership, and we hope these weekly features highlight who we are and why our community plays an important part in feeling belonging in the outdoors. We are always seeking self-nominations for our Mountaineer of the Week, and we invite you to share your story. Trust us, we want to hear from you!


Want to nominate a friend? Email Skye Michel to make a recommendation.

This article originally appeared in our winter 2024 issue of Mountaineer magazine. To view the original article in magazine form and read more stories from our publication, visit our magazine archive.