10 Essential Questions: Jake Huddleston

Meet Jake Huddleston, a canyoning leader who is inspired by his mentors and always has a song stuck in his head.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
June 03, 2022

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

Name: Jake Huddleston
Hometown: Portland, OR
Member Since: July 2018
Occupation: Cinema Camera Technician 
Favorite Activities: Canyoning, backpacking, off-trail exploring

10 ESSENTIALS QUESTIONS

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THE MOUNTAINEERS?

I got involved with The Mountaineers through a canyoning skills practice session back in 2017. My friend (and Mountaineers leader and staff member) Becca Polglase had attended a practice session I hosted in Portland earlier that year, and when I was invited to join for one at The Mountaineers in Seattle, I decided to make the trip up, and am very glad I did. Over a year later, I moved to Seattle and was invited to be a part of the canyoning committee. It's been a fantastic experience ever since.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO GET OUTSIDE WITH US?

I love getting outside with The Mountaineers because I've been continuously impressed with the organization's ability to combine education, trips, community, and passionate volunteers. The result is a fantastic and welcoming environment for all types of people.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOUNTAINEERS MEMORY?

So many to choose from. A great memory from this past year was getting together with a group of canyoneers over 4th of July weekend in the Olympics, running canyon trips two days in a row and camping out in the evening with great food and company. Hard to beat experiences like that.

WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

I find inspiration both as a student and as a teacher. As a student, I'm inspired by people willing to share their knowledge and passion for the outdoors. I’m also inspired by newer people getting into the outdoors, and how much they love trying something new and getting better at it.

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 did not have much volunteer experience before I joined The Mountaineers. I have had the privilege to spend many hours in the canyoning program as a trip leader, instructor, practice session organizer, and curriculum developer. I have also been mentored by great people and have debated and discussed many aspects of canyoning, which in turn results in an even better, ever-evolving program. I have greatly enjoyed every minute of it, and I think that reflects both The Mountaineers ethos as well as the fantastic group of people in this community.

WHAT DOES ADVENTURE MEAN TO YOU?

To me, adventure means getting outside and exploring this beautiful world we live in, even if you are not completely sure about how things will go. No one can be certain of any outcome, no matter how familiar you are with an activity, route, or group of people. There are always unknowns and risks involved. Yet we get out and do them anyway, because we know the reward is worth it.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise
Smile or game face? Smile
What's your 11th Essential? One specific song stuck in my head all day. Is it really a real adventure without this?
What’s your happy place? On a rope in a waterfall somewhere
Post-adventure meal of choice? We have this great bacon and veggie pasta we like to make after big trips. Mmmm...
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Cliff jumping


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