Jesse CunninghamName / Age / Location
Jesse Cunningham / 39 / Ellensburg, WA
What is your core sport(s)?
Alpine climbing, hiking, anything that gets me into the mountains.
What other sports do you participate in or sort of fun do you enjoy?
Backcountry and cross-country skiing, cycling and an occasional trail run. I also enjoy landscape and adventure photography, gardening, and exploring the world with my son, Cedar.
When/what was your first memorable "outdoor" experience?
I grew up playing in the woods behind my house, building forts and climbing trees, so being outdoors was part of my life from an early age. My family day-hiked a lot and I remember always wanting to run ahead to see to see what was around the next corner. It wasn't until I was in college that I began to discover climbing, backpacking and skiing.
What is your most epic outdoor adventure to date?
In the classic sense of the word, my through-hike of the Appalachian Trail after finishing college was my longest, most epic journey. I have had relatively few true epics in the slang sense of the word, which either means a) I've been really lucky b) I make good decisions or c) I don't push myself hard enough. “All of the above” may actually be the best answer. I did spend an unplanned bivy on the descent after climbing the E. Ridge Direct of Forbidden Peak in the North Cascades. Two friends and I spent the night shivering under a single space blanket, sitting on a ledge the size of a school bus seat, with a spectacular view of the Boston Glacier hundreds of feet below. I had two broken toes. As a team we had ½ liter of water, 2 Monster Cookies, some bad jokes and a healthy dose of youthful optimism. We didn't sleep much but watching the moon rise over the glacier, and the beautiful sunrise the next morning, more than made up for any discomfort we might have experienced.
There are so many. Right now it is homemade pesto made with garlic and basil from our garden. I have been making huge batches to freeze and enjoy all winter.
What is currently playing in your iPod or cassette deck…because cassettes are coming back, you know?
I go through phases where I am really into 1-3 bands at a time and listen to them a lot. The National, Built to Spill and Rainer Maria have been on heavy rotation recently.
If I could do anything, I would most likely…
Manipulate time and have endless energy so that I could pursue all of my interests to the fullest.
How do you take your coffee?
In my ice cream. I'm not a coffee drinker, makes me too jittery. I do enjoy a good cup of chai or green tea when I am looking for a hot drink with a little bit of a caffeine kick.
What is your "go-to" Deuter product?
Our Kid Comfort III is along for nearly every adventure these days. Sometimes my wife even lets me carry it.
Do you like the nightlife? Do you like to boogie?
I like to stay up late because the house is quiet and it is my time to relax and get things done. I don't go out much but do enjoy the occasional rock show. I dance a lot in the kitchen with my son, Cedar. Sometimes I even boogie in public when all of the right ingredients are mixed in the proper proportions. There is usually beer and 80s pop and/or 90s hiphop/dance music involved.