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Explorer Spotlight: Jake Young

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Name: Jake Young | Age: 23 | Location: San Francisco, CA.

What’s your day job?
I work as an analyst at a Impact Venture Capital Firm. I honestly could have never seen myself working in venture capital, but made an exception for this firm. The firm specializes in investing in companies that have a social or environmental good. Essentially, you don't have to sacrifice financial gains for doing good. My background is in renewable energy and I often assess companies trying to enter the clean tech space. I just got back from a two and a half month road trip and I am still trying to figure out how to not go crazy sitting at a desk.

What are your favorite things to do outside?
My favorite things to do are hiking, mountain biking and climbing. Nothing is better than slaying some flowy single track or just trekking in the backcountry.

What first drew you to the outdoors?
The openness of the Black Hills National Forest. There was an almost infinite amount of adventure to be had in my home town from exploring ghost towns and abandoned mines to world class rock climbing in Spearfish Canyon.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure?
My favorite hometown adventure would have to be the Tinton Downhill Single Track. It is a beautiful trail that descends for almost seven miles into the town of Spearfish. It has stunning views and is the perfect way to kill an afternoon.

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?
My blaze orange Patagonia Puffy. I have had it for over five years now and it works like a charm.

What’s your favorite trail snack?
Jerky. I don't know if its possible, but I think that I have a a "salt" tooth. I crave anything and everything that is salty.

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?
Lord Huron for sure.

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/ or funniest?
I got lost in a Blizzard in New Zealand and didn't tell anyone where I was going. Its a much long story, but a Kia (alpine parrot) pretty much saved my life.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?
Definitely my girlfriend, Kira. We both moved out to California from the Midwest and share the same love for the outdoors. We are both completely obsessed with National Parks.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?
Right now, I would love to go back to New Zealand. I went there around two years ago and have been dreaming about going back ever since.

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?
I really want to learn how to backcountry ski this winter. It doesn't have to be anything extreme I would just love to get some exposure to it.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!
It is of a Kia, the world's only Alpine Parrot. While lost in a Blizzard, I followed the call of this guy. He happened to be taking cover near one of the trail markers, which eventually led me down the trail.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?
"It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here." - Edward Abbey

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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