When summer arrives, many students usually go on vacations and enjoy their time of leisure. This does not apply to senior Ben Guerrero--he plans to travel to Washington state not to vacation, but to begin training as a mountaineer.
Ben has always had a thirst to explore new places and experience new things through outdoor hobbies. On his Instagram he documents his outdoor activities through pictures of his explorations and motivational quotes that seem to help him in his endeavors. Ben has hiked many of the mountain trails here in El Paso, but he also ventures out to Ruidoso. His favorite trail is the very first trail he was introduced to: Hueco Tanks.
Since Ben was little, his father would take him to Hueco Tanks to go camping, hiking, mountain biking, and skiing. Now that Ben is in high school, he still continues with the activities his father introduced him to.
His high school career is coming to a close, and Ben said he plans on pursuing a career that helps him travel to places in which he wishes to exercise his hobbies.
"I plan to pursue a career as a traveling nurse," Ben said. "That way I can continue to do all those things and climb mountains across the United States."
Ben tells of memories that revolve around his hobbies, and he said that one memorable story involves his saving his mother from a critical accident.
"There was the one time my mom said I saved her life," Ben said."I pulled her out of a steep incline because she did not have total control of her skis."
Ben also tells of a time he believes he was chased by a predator while biking.
"When I was mountain biking one time I could've sworn something was chasing me," Ben said. "As I raced down the mountain, I could've sworn I saw a wolf; I have never gone down a mountain that fast."
Ben has often invited friends on his adventures. When they hiked Hueco Tanks, they posted on social media about finding a mountain lion cub and following it to its mother.
His hobbies have contributed to learning a lot about life, such as how to get to the top of the mountain when times are hard. They have also contributed to who Ben is and have become a big part of his life. Ben said he has gained a lot of wisdom from his adventures.
"It has conditioned my mind to deal with fear and overcoming it," Ben said. "[Outdoor activities have] given me a great attitude even when things get tough, and taught me to never give up."
His friends support his hobbies as well, and enjoy seeing his explorations. Senior Ryan Barnhouse, friend of Guerrero, said that Ben has been enthusiastic to seek new experiences.
"Ben is the most passionate person I know when it comes to the outdoors," Barnhouse said. "Whenever he gets the chance to, he'll be going on some sort of adventure."
Senior Manny Dixon said that Ben always overcomes issues, no matter the circumstance.
"Ben is a man who can conquer all mountains, big or small," Dixon said.
Ben hopes to pursue his hobbies well into his life, and to keep climbing toward his goals. He will continue to work toward his biggest dream-- reaching the summit of Mount Everest.