10 Questions with Kate Strube

Kate and her father in Grand Teton National Park
Kate and her father in Grand Teton National Park

Kate has built a top-notch resume on how to prepare for a lengthy hike by clocking in hundreds of miles on several trails scattered throughout Southeast Missouri, and as far as Grand Teton National Park.  An eye for detail, Kate is your go-to girl whenever you need advice on women’s apparel, hiking tips, and hiking gear! As our newly appointed Marketing intern, stay tuned for her publications on RootsRated.com. There  you can find reviews on her favorite local areas, where she does what she enjoys most, hiking and backpacking! She has worked for the company over a year (anniversary was in July) and has quickly grown into one of our best.  Here’s a quick way for you to learn a little more about our avid hiker and awesome outfitter, Kate Strube.

 

(1) Describe what you do at Alpine Shop and when you first started. (Or at least what you like to tell the people you meet at cocktail parties.)

I’m an Outfitter for the Kirkwood store since July 2012! I also took on the role of Area Coordinator for the Women’s, Children’s and Accessories section. I help people find what they need, lend an opinion or two, and keep the product looking pretty!

(2) Identify where you are from. Provide some background on a favorite thing to do or a place to visit in your hometown.

I’m from St. Louis….Glendale to be exact. Don’t blink when driving through Glendale, you’ll probably miss it. However, we do have awesome ice cream socials and jazz festivals. My favorite thing to do in St. Louis is find interesting, local places, preferably those that serve coffee or food. If you haven’t tried Boogaloo’s in Maplewood (delicious Cajun food) or Coffee Cartel in the Central West End, you should, they’re awesome local eateries/hang out places.

(3) What are some of the current outdoor sports/activities you enjoy? What got you started (or how did you get started) doing outdoor activities?

Hiking! I’m addicted to the trails. I’ve always loved being outside, but this past year I began exploring Missouri, searching for longer and longer hikes outside the St. Louis area. This summer, I hiked about 140 miles of various trails in Missouri, mostly in the South-Eastern section of the state. Missouri may not have impressive mountain ranges, but we have absolutely stunning varieties of remote forest and lots of wildlife! I also kayak, and I recently tried my hand at climbing for the first time!

I got started with outdoor activities at a young age. My parents encouraged me to be outside as much as possible, and most of our family vacations involved outdoor activities like white-water rafting or trips to the mountains. My grandpa lived in Arizona for most of my childhood, and I know that visiting him every year is the reason why I love the mountains so much today.

(4) Where is your favorite place to “Get Outside Yourself?” Describe why.

In Missouri? Rockwood Reservation. Peaceful and beautiful. (Try the Lime Kiln Trail for a quick morning hike, there’s a neat cave spring at the end of the trail) and Hawn State Park in St. Genevieve, MO–stunning pine forest! Most recently I traveled to The Grand Tetons which has quickly become my favorite place to “Get Outside” myself.

(5) What is an outdoor adventure you want to go on some day? Describe why.

I would love, love, love to be able to hike a substantial section of Pacific Crest Trail! The PCT runs from near the border of the United States and Mexico all the way up to British Columbia, Canada, through the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountain ranges. I’ve never been to the Northwestern part of the U.S, and I think this would be the best way to visit! Plus, I might actually find Bigfoot.

(6) Name and describe your favorite outdoor gear, product or brand. (If possible, provide link to said products on Alpine Shop’s website.)

Hmm-mm…..tough. Probably Arc’teryx, because they pay incredible attention to detail (seams on the INSIDE of the clothing, rather than the outside (to extend the life of the product; protect from wear and tear on seams), waterproof zippers, hybrid jackets: composed of two types of Gor-tex (lighter fabric on the body for easier compression/packability AND heavier, performance weight Gor-tex on areas of high abrasion like the shoulders). When I first looked at Arc’teryx products, I was really intimidated by the price-point, but I’ve since learned why they cost more: smarter design. Because I work in the Women’s section of the store, I mostly pay attention to the Arc’teryx clothing, but I’ve checked out their packs as well, which are also top of the line. My favorite Arc’teryx product is the Atom LT Hoody. This jacket is super lightweight and compressible. It’s insulated with Coreloft in the body, arms, and hood, and has athletic Power Stretch panels along the side for increased range of motion and breathability. It doesn’t hurt that it comes in awesome colors 🙂
ALSO: check out the video on Arc’teryx’s website called “How to Compress an Arc’teryx Atom Jacket”…basically, you can get the entire jacket into it’s own sleeve, and then “snap” it out and impress all your friends with how nifty and compressible your jacket is!

(7) What’s your favorite thing about Alpine Shop? (The people you work with. The customers. Being around cool stuff. Seeing the latest gear. A certain department. Other. You tell us.)

Oh goodness, I love pretty much everything about being at Alpine Shop, but probably the people I work with make it the best. I have fun at work and I learn something new every single day I’m there from the awesome people I get to be around.

(8) Describe why outdoor activity is so important to you.

Mental clarity. Being outside is the best remedy for stress. I always feel happier when I’m outside–and as my Dad always says, “the woods take your troubles away.” Like most people, I have a tendency to get caught up in all the craziness of life and become really stressed out. When I get the chance to be outside all day on a hike, I feel calmer and more clear-headed. And, I love that every time I get outside, I’m surprised and rewarded by something interesting!

(9) What’s one activity that you enjoy that has nothing to do with the outdoors?

Drawing! Sketching, colored pencil, and painting are my favorite mediums.

(10) Provide any personal family information you wish to share. (Kids, married, professional hot dog eating champion, more. Note, this is optional.)

Well….I come from a family of four: mom, dad, sister and me! My sis and I are 13 months apart in age. My dad is a professor of psychology, and my mom is an English teacher and a jewelry designer. I have an awesome family, I love them dearly.

 

katebio

 

 

10 Questions with Russ Tamm

The Alpine Shop is full of awesome people who help make this place the best it can be! Russ Tamm has been gracing the floor of the Kirkwood location for almost four years and he will soon be leaving us for his home state of Washington! Here’s a quick way to meet him and join us in giving him a warm farewell.

(1) Nickname – If you go by one / prefer one / wish you had one
Russellmania!

(2) Describe what you do at Alpine Shop. (Or at least what you like to tell the people you meet at cocktail parties.)
I do a little bit of everything here! I’m currently working as our training manager, coordinating both vendor and in house clinics on new product and general outfitting. I love hiking, kayaking, and snowboarding. If folks are getting geared up for outdoor adventures, I can usually get them pointed in the right direction. If you need a pack fit, wanna get the lowdown on down sleeping bags (har har) or are trying to figure out the right board or skis for you, I’d love to help out! I’m also one of the Shop’s ACA certified kayaking instructors, so summer time means I get to go play on the water.

(3) Identify where you are from. Provide some background on a favorite thing to do or a place to visit in your hometown.
Seattle, Wash. The mountains and ocean (and coffee!) are the things I love the most about the Pacific Northwest. I always take at least one trip back in the winter to snowboard at Stevens Pass or Crystal Mountain. Kayaking the San Juan Islands is an incredible adventure, definitely worth the trip. I also try to work in a trip to my favorite college hangout, Cafe Solstice in the U-district, for blueberry cream cheese coffee cake and the world’s best straight espresso!

(4) What are some of the current outdoor sports/activites you enjoy? What got you started (or how did you get started) doing outdoor activities?
My parents had me out of the house as much as possible when I was a kid! I loved reading about and practicing survival techniques and native american woodcraft. In high school, I got my Eagle Award and was involved in search and rescue ground team ops with the Civil Air Patrol.

(5) Where is your favorite place to “Get Outside Yourself?” Describe why.
I love paddling the Meramec and Missouri Rivers for quiet beauty and fun with friends. Johnson’s Shut-Ins for easy family camping and cool fun in the summer. Hidden Valley Ski Resort gives us a chance to go skiing and snowboarding right in our back yard. Love to catch midnight sessions after work with a mob from the shop!

I’m probably the most “me” hiking and camping in Olympic National Park, Wash. Wandering mossy damp forests of evergreen, canoeing the glassy waters of Lake Ozette, or hiking the kelp littered coastline to booming breakers and the cries of gulls.

(6) What is an outdoor adventure you want to go on some day? Describe why.
Week-long sea kayaking tour through the San Juan Islands in Washington’s Puget Sound! Beautiful protected inlets, challenging open water, and quaint laid back island communities. The San Juans sit in a triangle between Seattle, Victoria, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Harbour seals, orca whales, and bonfires on the rugged coast make paddling in the Pacific Northwest pure magic.

That or heli snowboarding in Alaska. Maximum gnar.

(7) Name and describe your favorite outdoor gear, product or brand. (If possible, provide link to said products on Alpine Shop’s website.)
Marmot, Arc’teryx, Wilderness Systems, Burton, and Lib Tech are some of my favorite brands at the shop. These guys are pros when it comes to making stuff that works great, and looks cool while doing it! Here are some of my personal favorites:

Marmot Aura 2P Tent. Expertly constructed, great in wind and rain, and still fairly lightweight. Roomy vestibule space and double entry make this tent a no-brainer for 3 season backpacking.

Arc’teryx S220LT Climbing Harness. This harness offers simplicity, light weight, and crazy comfort that belies its minimalist design.

Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145. This versatile kayak has the carrying capacity to take you on touring daytrips and overnighters, for casual paddling or an expedition! Easy to handle and predictable, but will also perform more advanced techniques.

Burton Barracuda Snowboard. Amazing powder and free ride board, with one of the best graphics I’ve seen in a while.

(8) What’s your favorite thing about Alpine Shop? (The people you work with. The customers. Being around cool stuff. Seeing the latest gear. A certain department. Other. You tell us.)
I love hearing about and helping folks get ready for awesome adventures! We have a great community of people who love the outdoors here at the Alpine Shop and it’s truly a privilege to be a part of it. Going to work inspires me to learn more every day, and to get myself back out there!

(9) Describe why outdoor activity is so important to you.
Mind, Body, and Spirit. They are one. The outdoors refuel me wholly.
What’s one activity that you enjoy that has nothing to do with the outdoors?
Playing and listening to music! Guitar, banjo, penny whistle. Anything I can make some noise with.
Provide any personal family information you wish to share.

(10) Kids, married, professional hot dog eating champion, etc? What else should people know about you?
I have an amazing wife and two great little girls. We’re learning how to be an outdoorsy team! We also have a pug. He’s pretty lame in the wild. I just completed my Masters of Divinity at Covenant Seminary here in St Louis. I enjoy seeing the outdoors open people’s eyes to bigger things. I’d like to bring those two loves together, inspiring people to find meaning, purpose, and hope in this often crazy world.

My daughters out on the water!
My daughters out on the water!