Born a Mountaineer: Luna Turner — The AWE Summit Scholarship Foundation

Luna, one of our 2024 Summit Scholarship recipients, has been dreaming of adventures since she was little. But for Luna, an expedition to Mount Baker is more than just a fun activity (which we have no doubt it will be). This opportunity aligns deeply with Luna’s passion for the great outdoors and her unwavering commitment to women’s rights, especially in the outdoors. 

The commitment that Luna has toward the great outdoors is unparalleled. She’s had various goals, from hiking every Sunday to now, immersing herself in the mountaineering community in preparation for Mount Baker. What we love most about her story is that Luna focuses on living in the moment, something so clearly evident in her story below from a hike with her Aunt and brother. She knows that every moment is an opportunity, and even if you fail or tumble down a mountainside, there are things to learn, and yes, your love for the outdoors can grow, too.

Luna recognizes that she has a lot to learn about mountaineering and the climbing community, which is why she is headed into her Mount Baker expedition with eyes wide open. As Luna shares,

“I recognize a gap in my knowledge within this community, and I am excited about the opportunity to gain more understanding and knowledge. I’m looking forward to this experience as a way to expand my dreams and expectations and to uncover a world of new possibilities.” 

With new opportunities on the horizon, we took a moment to get to know Luna a little better, and we hope you do, too. Keep on scrolling to read more about her role model and one of her most vivid outdoor memories. We have no doubt you’ll be smiling and thinking of your next adventure. 

Can you describe how you felt when you found out you had won? When I discovered I was one of the lucky few who had won, I was so excited. I found out when I was at work, and my coworkers kept asking why I seemed so happy. All I could think about was what an amazing opportunity this is.

What do you do to fill up your days? A basic day for me includes school, work, volleyball, and other activities like clubs and volunteering. In my free time, I really enjoy camping, spending time with friends, and hiking.

How did you get started in adventuring? Ever since I was little, I’ve been a very active person. I always enjoyed doing sports and things out of my comfort zone. So, I wouldn’t say I necessarily had a start in adventuring. It’s just always been a part of my life.

What barriers have you faced in mountaineering? Sadly, I haven’t had much of an opportunity to really immerse myself in that mountaineering experience. If I had a barrier, I would say lack of resources, which is another reason why I’m so grateful to be on this journey.

Tell us about a time in the outdoors that solidified your love and desire for mountaineering. One vivid memory that always reminds me of my deep connection with the outdoors is when my Aunt took my brother and me on a hike. Although it was only a 4-mile hike and not particularly challenging for adults, for a young kid like me, it felt like an endless journey. The steep mountain made the journey down tricky, and my brother and I decided to race down, I ended up tumbling down the mountainside. It was a painful experience – my butt was sore from the fall. But through the embarrassment, all I wanted to do was to get back up and try again. That moment taught me that it was okay to fail sometimes, and my love for the outdoors grew that day. 

Tell us about a person that inspires you. Someone who continually inspires me is my sibling, Leo. I know that without Leo in my life I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Or let alone have the confidence to even apply to something like this. They constantly push themselves beyond their comfort zone, engaging in activities that surprise and impress me. I remember first meeting Leo when I was around 11 years old after my dad met their mom, and since then, we have been inseparable. Leo never allows obstacles to hinder their dreams, and their fearless attitude towards the unknown future is something I deeply admire. Their confidence, compassion, and sense of fun are qualities I aspire to have. Juggling multiple jobs to support themselves while also attending school, Leo’s dedication and determination are truly inspiring. I eagerly look forward to growing up alongside them, learning, and experiencing life together. 

Tell us about your biggest mountaineering ambition or dream! I’m someone who enjoys living in the present moment. Just a few months ago, my primary focus was on hiking a mountain every Sunday. However, my current biggest goal has shifted towards immersing myself in the mountaineering community. I recognize a gap in my knowledge within this community, and I am excited about the opportunity to gain more understanding and knowledge. I’m looking forward to this experience as a way to expand my dreams and expectations and uncover a world of new possibilities.

What do you hope to learn during your experience as a Summit Scholarship recipient? As a summit scholarship recipient, I hope to learn more about this community that I haven’t been a part of in the past. I hope to gain knowledge of mountaineering and climbing as a whole and just push my limits to a higher standard than before.  

Luna – we cannot wait to learn, climb, and share in the joy of the great outdoors together. You have a home here in the mountaineering community and we cannot wait to have you join AWExpedition’s team on Mount Baker this summer. To follow along with Luna’s journey, head to our expedition partner AWExpedition’s Instagram or Facebook.

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