Meet Ambassador Katie Bartel: Mountaineer, Climber, Backpacker and Sourdough Perfecter

What made you want to be an Ambassador? And how many trips have you done?

I am lucky to be both an AdventureWomen staff member and Ambassador. Actually, I applied to become an Ambassador first. The two sort of melded together, and the rest was history.  I wanted to become an Ambassador because I love leading hikes and backpacking trips in the White Mountains of New Hampshire for my local hiking club; I love meeting new people while sharing and imparting a sense of adventure; and I love traveling the world and having adventures.

I have done 4 trips: Rogue River Rafting, Montana Ski Clinic, Oman, and Canadian Rockies. Don’t ask me my favorite!

What is your second love, after travel?

Mountains! I’ll do anything in the mountains, from mountaineering to climbing to hiking and backpacking. I have an ever-growing bucket list of summits and treks and climbs. There is just not enough time!

Favorite destination?

I’ve been to a lot of places in the world, but the Grand Tetons in Wyoming remain my favorite. Perhaps it was because it was my first time out west, my first time seeing “real” mountains, my first time planning and executing my own backpacking trip. Whatever it was, the Tetons are a stunning and special place.

What sound do you love?

There is something so special about the lone call of a mourning dove. It takes me back to childhood in Wisconsin. It’s soothing, calming, and a bit heartrending. I also love the cello for similar reasons.

What’s the craziest or most out-of-character thing you’ve done?

Ironically, I think the most out-of-character thing I tried to do was fit inside the quintessential “box” – house, marriage, kids. I learned the hard way that that wasn’t me. How many different lives do we get to live in one lifetime? I think, if we are lucky, we get to reinvent ourselves a few times. It doesn’t mean it’s easy, though.

Describe your life in one word?

If-this-then-that. It counts as one word if it’s hyphenated, right? Sometimes I feel like I am constantly weighing my options, from the big decisions down to the daily minutiae, which are usually related to public transit!

You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t get rid of it. What would you do with it?

Perhaps I could involve it in my hypothetical, future bread-baking business. A delivery elephant? We might not be so efficient, but that could provide the unique angle I would need to stand out from everyone else perfecting their sourdough these days!

What’s something that you’ve tried, that you’ll never, ever try again.

Food: olives. Activity: skateboarding.

Would you rather be able to breathe underwater or have the agility of a cat?

As an aspiring climber, I should say the agility of a cat! But I think being able to breathe underwater would impart a sense of freedom, especially if one’s arms and legs were as efficient as fins and a tail. So I guess I want to be a fish?