Kendall Kaminski: Aiming for the Summit

Updated: Dec 7, 2018

At 24, Kendall Kaminski's spirit is fueled by outdoor adventures and summit views. Kendall’s life is fullest when he’s with good-natured people and surrounded by mountains that awe.

Born and raised on Bainbridge Island, Washington, Kendall’s foundational love of nature is clear. He grew up wakeboarding on boats skirting around the Puget Sound, romping around the Grand Forest, and embedding the Seattle skyline view from Manitou Beach into his mind.

After high school, Kendall attended Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, Nevada, and graduated with a degree in entrepreneurship. He still lives on the north shore of Lake Tahoe and can often be found driving boats at the local marina or zooming by on a snowmobile, aiming for the backcountry.

After college graduation, Kendall started working at the North Tahoe Marina on the gas dock. That summer, he enjoyed a fun crew of coworkers, and appreciated the quality of standards that the marina upheld for customer service and sustainability. Kendall works best when he can develop relationships with people, be outside, and handle valued elements of a business (like beautifully crafted boats). After that summer, management told him there wasn’t a full-time position available, so Kendall started saving up for his long-lasting dream: a month-long, midwinter ski trip.

The following winter, Kendall, his girlfriend, Molly, and his friend, Zach, loaded up his truck with skis, snowboards, snowmobiles, and lots (lots!) of puffy jackets. This was not your average ski trip. He drove 5,500 miles in 31 days. Kendall snowmobiled and snowboarded in backcountry powder from Idaho to Washington to Canada.

Kendall's biggest challenges included harsh driving conditions and physical pain. These hurdles were more than worth the struggle for Kendall because it pushed him to be stronger mentally and physically. Imagine: You’re exhausted, navigating new terrain, and ultimately, the only one who can decide to retreat or stick to your goal. This trip was one of his favorites because the travels took him further into new territory than ever before, pushing his abilities to greater heights. Kendall loves channeling John Muir: exploring new places in the wilderness with few others around. Being so far out from everyone else resonates deeply with him.

Kendall now works at the marina as a service writer, which really means utility man (he does it all). He's constantly in communication with customers, writes and reviews repair orders, buys and receives parts, and manages inventory. He is also tasked with researching projects on increased efficiency and organizational systems, as well as studying new and upcoming sustainability tech to keep the marina up to date. His favorite part of the job? Boat deliveries and pickups. He most enjoys handling things of value, quality, and taste. Summarizing the best part of his job: he gets paid to boat more than customers pay to go boating.

Kendall's side project: Soul Rider, a movement encouraging others to do what makes them happy, what feeds their soul. Right now, the project consists of a close-knit group of friends who work out of a garage during their spare time. They create shirts and stickers branded with Soul Rider aimed at growing the recognition of athletes who love what they do, especially those who encourage others to do the same. They hope to one day have a retail space in Incline that supports local athletes. The group consistently aims to spend more time with wise people who have sound advice to offer. They search out positivity and naturally create quality connections with locals.

In the next year, Kendall hopes to hike the Tahoe Rim Trail, which is 165 miles connecting the highest peaks around the basin. It should take about two weeks. He has always wanted to explore the outside edges of Tahoe, and overcome another physical and mental goal. He wants to do more backpacking and spend as much time out in nature as possible.

Concluding words? “Huge Seattle sports fan. Please bring the Sonics back. Mic drop.”