An interview with Angela Crampton

What outdoor activity is your passion?
My outdoor passion is having fun and challenging myself. The outdoors continues to help me learn about teamwork and myself by making hard decisions that can change dynamics of groups or safety.
I ski in the winter, mountaineer in the spring, hike, backpack, and climb in the summer and fall. If I had to choose only one, I'd say mountaineering. It can combine aspects of rock climbing and navigation, along with working as a team while creating lasting friendships and partners that you may have to rely on to save your life.
I'm not a big fan of exerting myself in hot weather and definitely prefer the challenges of walking up a mountain across varying terrain to get to a final objective.
Where I live, mountaineering can be a weekend trip away from the office. I haven't had my eyes on any big adventures internationally as it is harder to find enough partners to travel with all the gear.


How did you get involved in that activity, and how old were you when you started?
Growing up in Ohio and Pennsylvania, I had started rock climbing and backpacking but I knew I wanted to go West as soon as I could. I'd take climbing or backpacking trips but I wanted to live closer to the mountains, so I relocated to Washington in the fall of 2012. I attempted Mt. St. Helens that winter but had a panic attack and didn't finish, I was 29 years old and even reflected if mountaineering was right for me.
On a trip to Iceland, I heard about an organization called the Washington Alpine Club after talking about joining the Mountaineers. The spring of 2014, I found myself in a basic climbing and mountaineering class with 29 other students to learn how to travel through the Cascade mountains and volcanoes in my new backyard. Since 2014, I have returned as a volunteer to the organization to pay-it-forward to others and am on my second (and final) year as the co-chair for the class. Teaching other people technical skills helps you hone in and stay sharp.


What was the most epic trip you’ve ever taken?
I've been on a van trip in New Zealand, hiked in Patagonia, and backcountry skied in Kyrgyzstan, but nothing beats finally standing on Washington's Mount Rainier summit after four previous attempts!


What is the most important piece of gear in your pack? (other than AKU footwear, of course!)
My rain jacket, or hardshell. You never know when you'll be blasted with wind, snow or rain.


Where do you hope your AKUs will take you in the future?
As a mountaineer, I want to trek in Nepal. I don't have ambitious goals to climb an 8,000 meter peak, but I want to see other climbers and experience the local culture.


What AKU boots are you currently wearing?
Bellamont Suede