Mountaineer of the Week: Jason Naranjo

Meet Jason, a Stevens Lodge volunteer inspired by Mountaineers who create and maintain both physical and social spaces where people can learn, grow, and explore.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
March 07, 2024
Mountaineer of the Week: Jason Naranjo
Jason (middle) and friends enjoying the snow at Stevens Lodge. All photos by Jason Naranjo.

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

Name Jason Naranjo
Hometown Grants Pass, OR
Member Since 2018
Occupation Associate Teaching Professor, Special Education & Disability Studies, UW Bothell, UW Seattle
Favorite Activities Alpine skiing, mountain biking, and hiking

10 Essential Questions:

What first brought you to The Mountaineers?

Community, and the opportunity to teach and learn with others.

What is your favorite Mountaineers memory?

The collection of memories that I have with The Mountaineers are centered around Stevens Lodge. In 2018, I began volunteer ski instructing at Stevens Pass with the Outdoors for All Foundation. Once, after a full day of coaching and free skiing, fellow instructors asked me if I'd like to go night skiing with them and enjoy the plentiful snow that had been falling all day. I told them I needed to drive back to Seattle, as I did not have a place to stay on the mountain. They said, "Come and stay at Stevens Lodge with us!" From the moment I walked through the door at Stevens Lodge, I felt at home. Stevens Lodge is a place where community happens and people play, laugh, and work hard together. The memories I have and continue to create there are those of belonging and joy.

Jason Naranjo (2) (1).jpgJason on a trip to New Mexico visiting ancestral homelands.

Who/What inspires you?

The pandemic took a toll on all of us; however, it also provided a unique opportunity for growth and transformation. During the pandemic, I became more involved with Stevens Lodge as the Co-Chair of Facilities and Capital Projects. Continuing the work that had been started by other volunteers, I helped to organize and complete major improvements at the lodge. These included designing and remodeling the bathrooms, upgrading both plumbing and electrical systems, and decreasing our reliance on fossil fuel by 75% through the installation of an all-electric heating and cooling system. Through these projects, I came to learn more about the history of the lodge and the countless hours and resources that have been invested by generations of Mountaineers before me. I also had the opportunity to grow deep friendships and be mentored by fellow member, Jeff Bowman. I am inspired by the Stevens Lodge community, both past and present, and the dedication of Mountaineers who give collectively to create and maintain both physical and social spaces where people can learn, grow, and explore.

What does adventure mean to you?

Adventure to me means moving from the known to the unknown and creating a new path, a new way of being, and a new story.

Lightning round

Sunrise or sunset? Sunset
Smile or game face? Smile!
What's your 11th Essential? Gratitude
What's your happy place? Any wild place outside
Post-adventure meal of choice? Coffee and pastry
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Any activity that would allow me to move through the landscape or water with sustained, fluid movement

Stevens Lodge in winter. Photo by Jason Naranjo..jpgStevens Lodge nestled in the snow. 


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