Katherine Jondro

Pic by: @theoriginaldon17

Why do you #ChooseAdventure?

To #ChooseAdventure is honestly second nature to me at this point. It’s not really a choice as much as a craving or instinct, a lifestyle that affects everything in my world. My life revolves around the outdoors, but I choose to spend most of my weekdays working as an engineer in the military-tech industry. Once the weekend rolls around though, it’s all about being outdoors and exploring the mountains- that’s where I am truly home.

Adventure makes you feel...

In my 25 years, I haven’t been able to find anything that can match the feeling of being in the wild. To adventure is to take yourself out of your norm, eliminate any distractions from your self-awareness, and take the time to connect with the natural world around you. I could easily ramble on about the incredible highs and happiness that adventures and exploring bring me, but to cut it short I will leave you with my word of the day: PURE. Being out, tackling a new challenge, pushing myself further and harder, and appreciating the natural world for all of its beauty leaves me feeling pure in all aspects. Pure fear, pure pain, pure joy, pure gratitude, pure confidence- nature does magical things to you when you remove all of the noise and qualms of everyday life and just live in the now.

Favorite type of adventure?

I LOVE to get out into the wilderness, disconnect, and be totally free of wires and worries. Any free time that I find goes towards getting as far into the mountains as possible as I try to remove myself from those everyday stressors and that nagging self-doubt that can set in when I’m in my work grind. I have recently gotten into longer ski tours and winter camping up into Washington ranges, and hope to start increasing my reach up into Canada and over into Montana and Wyoming next year. A lot of my favorite adventures are more type-B fun, where I push both my mind and my body out of my comfort zone to accomplish something new, followed by a roaring fire, a little whiskey, and good friends sharing the stoke and planning for the next day.

Favorite adventure to date?

In 2012, I traveled with my entire family down to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands for some trekking, cruising, and island-hopping. While not the most technical or intense trip, to experience the sheer beauty of the Machu Picchu mountains, combined with the incredibly diverse ecosystems on each Ecuadorian island was enough to make this a top adventure in my books. This paired with the fact that I got the chance to share each moment with my amazing, rambunctious, loving family makes this 2012 trip rank number 1. Hiking, four-wheeling, mountain biking, donkey-riding, snorkeling, trail running and so much laughing: it may have been a little on the touristy side compared to most of my travels, but I wouldn’t have changed it for anything. Now to head back down there and spice things up with climbing and mountaineering- who’s in!?

What is your next adventure planned?

My next big adventure is up to BC in May to spend a week at the Selkirk Lodge with She Jumps and a group of incredibly rad ladies, where we will be working on our ski mountaineering skills and touring around the beautiful Selkirk Range. I have been wanting to make this trek for some time now, and I cannot express just how excited I am to finally be heading up north to ski some legendary mountains! This will be my first lodge trip, and I don’t expect it to be my last!

Your ultimate adventure bucket list is?

My bucket list is continuously shifting and ever-expanding, but my top items are currently:
Japan Pow trip to Niseko and the backcountry/sidecountry out there
Roadtrip through Iceland
New Zealand for skiing, backpacking, and (most importantly) mountain biking
British Columbia
Skiing/touring (almost able to check this one off!)
Mountain Biking
Summer ski camp with Ingrid Backstrom down in South America
Kite boarding in Hood River, OR
Surfing on the Oregon Coast and Costa Rica
Ski Haines, Alaska
Hut trip up to the Chic Chocs in Quebec, Canada

Eventually retire and move up to rural BC (Jumbo, Revelstoke, Banff, Nelson, Squamish or one of those cool places) so I can ski and bike for the rest of my glorious life

The person/people who inspire me most to take an adventure...

Cliché, and not technically a person, but Mother Nature is constantly my biggest inspiration. Every day, Mt. Hood and Mt. Saint Helens loom over me in the city, just asking for me to come out and play! Ever since moving to Oregon two years ago, I have been constantly turning to the diverse landscapes and terrain to get my daily inspirations. Not to take anything away from my beautiful home state of Vermont, but you can’t deny that everything is way BIGGER out here. Just driving to work every morning, I get to see volcanoes, forests, desert, and crazy rivers and falls- all within 10 minutes of my city home!

Of course the community that I have built around me also pushes me that much further, and I love to keep up with how my friends and peers are pushing both themselves and their sports to new levels. I have a great support group around me, and that in itself is incredibly inspiring. To know that these rad humans would follow me on any adventure, as long as it meant they could experience the outdoors for just one more day, means so much to me- I do my best to return the favor any chance I get. By building these relationships, finding my adventure buddies, learning to trust those around me, and being able to rely on other people’s strengths instead of my weaknesses, I have found my ‘Fountain of Inspiration”. A place where, no matter the time of day or the weather outside, I can confidently reach in and pull out the next adventure.

Adventure item you can't live without?

I never go anywhere without my helmet! Due to my long history of head injuries, I am a huge advocate for head safety and you will never see me sending it without some sort of protection on my dome. Be it mountaineering, skiing, biking, climbing, or just commuting to work, I make sure to have the best helmet for each occasion and never feel ‘full-send’ without one.

On more of the pleasure side, I love to bring my camera with me everywhere I go. I have a DSLR for the days when I can pack a bit heavier, and my POV (Sony Action Cam) for those lighter tours into the backcountry. I haven’t always been very good at documenting my adventures, but I am quickly realizing just how great pictures and videos are for remembering the moments that make me the happiest. Years down the road, when I’m old and grumpy, I want to be able to look back at my footage and remember what I used to do and what I was able to accomplish when I put my mind to it.

How can people follow your adventures?

IG: @kjondr0