An Interview with Kavita Kamani. She is a mom and also has now taken on more a mentored role, encouraging the our new climbing participants and volunteers.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to the PNW.
I came to PNW back in 2000 after Microsoft recruited me from India to join as a software engineer. I was very impressed with the beauty of PNW. It took me a while to start being outdoorsy. I did my first Seattle to Portland (STP) bike ride in 2015 and climbed Helens that year. After that I got into hiking mainly to find some peace. Since then I haven’t looked back. July of 2017 is when I started hiking regularly and 2018 was the year I signed on to climb Rainier.
2. How did you discover Asha? What inspired you to volunteer with Asha?
I signed up with my instructor at Pro Club for the climb to Rainier. Throughout training, I was always looking for company and I had a few friends with Asha program and they took me on a few hiking trips with them. In the end, I found a lot of like minded people, made some good friends with Asha group that I kept in touch with and because of the fun I had, just wanted to give back to Asha as a volunteer to lead some hikes, help some newbies discover joys of hiking and climbing.
3. Did you also do another climb with Miyar, our guiding partner before Rainier?
I knew that doing a another mountain before Rainier would be an awesome training hike. As such, I climbed Mt Baker with Miyar before my Rainier Climb.
4. What does Adventure mean to you?
I just love being outside. With the busy life that I have at and outside work, the time I spend in the mountains is just my “me” time, it is a time to recharge & rejuvenate myself. So to me the adventure is something that allows me to recharge myself, allows me to reconnect with nature and enjoy the incredible vistas out there. I love to set some hard goals, and work towards them. I am very risk averse but the sense of accomplishment you get after reaching your summit or getting to your destination is indescribable, very gratifying.
5. Do you have a favorite place to go outdoors in the PNW?
I will never forget the first time I saw an alpine sun rise above the horizon while climbing on Mt Baker.
6. As a working mom, how do you make time for hikes?
I am a big believer in ‘if you really really want something to happen, you will make it happen’. You have to give up something to make something else happen. I am blessed with a very supportive husband and an equally supportive mom. Over and above that, by planning most of my training hikes in the super early hours of the morning, I have been able to manage to find time. Ultimately, the rewards of accomplishing the goal are what drive me outdoors.
7. Which accomplishments would you like to share with Asha volunteers or hikers?
I have now climbed 4 of the 5 glaciated peaks in PNW – Mt St Helens, Mt Baker, Mt Adams and Mt Rainier. Glacier Peak is still left. As a volunteer lead, I have taken newcomers to Mt St Helens. While conditioning, I have climbed tri-fecta, Granite, Mailbox and Mt Si – all back-to-back in one day. No snow, no glaciers, just pure endurance.
8. Is there a goal or a mountain that you are still looking forward to?
Definitely, Glacier Peak and would love to do Kilimanjaro at some point. In addition, would love to do a couple of mountains from California like Mt Shasta and Mt Whitney. Hopefully we get to those over the next few years.
9. Any advice to our new climbing participants?
Mid-week conditioning routines are as important as the weekend hiking. The more you focus on mid-week conditioning routine, the more pleasant the weekend hikes are going to be and less recovery you will need. Whether you do interval training, strength training or some basic cardio during the middle of the week and then focus on your weekend hikes to increase endurance by carrying weight helps a lot.
Time for our Lightning Round
1. Snow or Rock: Snow
2. Your 11th essential that you always bring on all your hikes/climbs: Garmin Satellite Device
3. One outdoor activity you would like to excel at: Backcountry Skiing