2014 Fostering Leadership Conference Presentations

This is a summary with links to the presentations at 2014's Mountaineers' Leadership Conference (the first time this annual event was held).
Chris Williams Chris Williams
September 13, 2014

On September 13, 2014 The Mountaineers held a one-day conference to provide professional development for its activity leaders. With tremendous volunteer assistance, we were able to record most of the sessions, which are presented here. Many thanks to the speakers who volunteered their time to speak, and to the volunteers who gave their time to record.  We intend to update this site as videos are edited and uploaded. But for now, enjoy these presentations:

highly effective conservation efforts aimed at cleaning up Everest, removing over 5000 pounds of trash through an economic incentive program. He is the recipient of the David R. Brower Award for environmental achievement by the American Alpine Club and the Lowell Thomas Medal by The Explorers Club for his ongoing work addressing environmental issues.

 

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JOHN ROSKELLEY

John is a world-renowned climber and author from Spokane. He is the first American recipient of a Piolet d'Or for lifetime achievement with notable ascents of Dhaulagiri, K2 (by a new route), the northwest face of Nanda Devi, and he holds first ascents of GaurishankarGreat Trango Tower, and Uli Biaho Tower. He decided later in his career that those accomplishments were not enough for him and he then took up kayaking. He documented his 1200-mile journey along the entire length of the Columbia River in another book, Paddling the ColumbiaHe spoke about these achievements and their connection with volunteerism and the importance of helping others experience the outdoors with Mountaineers activity Leaders on September 13, 2014 in Seattle Washington.

 

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BREAKOUT SESSIONS

We had an amazing group of outdoor industry professionals. You can click on the links below to access their presentations while we continue to upload the videos!

"LEADERSHIP CAN BE LEARNED: THE NOLS LEADERSHIP MODEL." CHRIS AGNEW, DIRECTOR OF NOLS PACIFIC NORTHWEST

 

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Rejecting phrases such as "born leader" or "natural leader," NOLS believes all individuals can expand and improve their leadership capacity in the outdoors and beyond. Chris Agnew gave a highly-praised presentation to a packed audience on how NOLS, a leader in the outdoor industry and trainer of college students, NASA astronauts, and MBA students, frames leadership. You’ll learn about their 4-7-1 model identifying leadership roles and specific leadership skills combining to create each individual's signature style. New and veteran leaders will expand their vernacular to think about wilderness decisions and challenges. Originally hailing from an island in the Puget Sound, Chris Agnew has spent time teaching and as an administrator in traditional and outdoor education settings both domestically and internationally for almost 20 years.  Chris was senior faculty with NOLS teaching glacier mountaineering, hiking, rock climbing, and wilderness medicine for a decade. Today, Chris is the Director of NOLS Pacific Northwest overseeing operations in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, India, and ScandinaviaChris is passionate about broadening access to wilderness experiences, bridging formative outdoor experiences into individual's daily lives, and helping people expand their leadership capacity.  Chris lives with his wife and two young boys in the Skagit Valley. His wife is a proud graduate of a Bellingham Mountaineers Basic Climbing Course.

TWO SESSIONS: STEVE SWENSON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN ALPINE CLUB

Steve Swenson has been climbing for 46 years. With nearly 20 expeditions to mountains in South Asia, Steve has made ascents of the North Ridge of K2 and the North Ridge of Everest solo - both without supplementary oxygen. In 2012 he and his partners made the first ascent of Sasser Kangri II (7518 meters) – the second highest unclimbed mountain in the world for which they were awarded the prestigious Piolet d' Or. He is a past president of the American Alpine Club and lives with his wife, Ann Dalton in Seattle and has two grown sons, Lars and Jed. Before recently retiring, he worked as a consultant for 35 years to municipalities and counties on engineering, design, project management, utility finance, and policy making projects related to water and sanitation. He has written articles for Climbing, Rock and Ice, and Alpinist magazines as well as the American Alpine Journal. He contributed to the recent publication Rock, Paper, Fire - The Best of Mountain and Wilderness Writing.

"IMPLEMENTING CHANGE IN RESPONSE TO A CHANGING WORLD"

Steve shared the change management process he used to modernize the American Alpine Club while he was Board Chair. He then presented the process, the challenges and successes, and facilitated a discussion about how change works, and doesn’t work, in The Mountaineers.

 

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"THE CHANGING FACE OF THE NEW CLIMBER"

Like many of us, Steve Swenson learned to climb in the outdoors. With the advent of climbing gyms, he found new indoor training grounds to improve strength and technique. Today, Steve can be found in the alpine, at the crag, and in the gym. But climbing gyms are a game changer, and more and more young people are learning to climb indoors first and then transitioning those skills to outdoor climbing. Learn about the changing face of the new climber to begin the discussion about how to attract young gym climbers to The Mountaineers and help get them outside safely.

 

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"DECISION-MAKING IN THE WILDERNESS.” JOSH COLE – OUTWARD BOUND

Josh is the Washington Program Director for Northwest Outward Bound School, as well as a ski, alpine and rock guide for North Cascades Mountain Guides and North Cascades Heli -Skiing. He is a lead instructor for the Wilderness Medicine Training Center, and has spent more than 15 years in outdoor education and guiding. He has presented at numerous Wilderness Risk Management Conferences and has taught and consulted on risk management for numerous organizations. Josh has an MSc. in Geology and loves to talk about rocks in his spare time! Josh discussed risk management tools that mitigate compounding errors in group management. Most incidents in the wilderness are the result of small errors that compound to create a significant incident. Errors in judgment and decision making are significantly more likely in large groups, in groups with competing incentives, and in groups without clear leadership structure. He presented several discrete decision-making tools that allow leaders to better assess themselves, their participants and the risks of their activities so that they can create more robust and effective risk management plans.

 

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"THE LEGAL SYSTEM AND OUTDOOR LEADERSHIP: WAIVERS, LIABILITY, AND RISK.” ATTORNEY RUTH NIELSEN 

Ruth is Counsel for The Mountaineers. She is a seasoned and widely-respected attorney who is an expert in representing ski areas and outdoor recreation providers. Ruth provided an overview of the legal issues facing Leaders as well as best practices and emerging issues in the legal arena that can impact our activities. She also shared insights learned from the successful defense she mounted against a recent (but tragic and sad) $10,000,000 claim brought against The Mountaineers. 

 

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"PROMOTING DIVERSITY IN OUTDOOR RECREATION: CREATING A WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL COMMUNITIES." DR. HARTLEY BANACK - FACULTY OF EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA 

(Dr. Hartley led a well-received discussion and did not present materials to our Leaders. There is also no video because the session was primarily a discussion where most participants were not on microphones.)

Dr. Banack completed his doctoral studies at Simon Fraser University in education theory. Currently, he coordinates the Outdoor Environmental Education program with the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy in Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. He has largely concluded that “local outdoor education” is key to building a more diverse community of practice in the outdoor education field.  He is a wilderness guide himself, with experience leading people on multi-day canoe trips, was a senior administrator/Executive Director with various non-profit charities providing outdoor recreation opportunities, and he was also the president of the BC Camping Association for 7 years, where he emphasized reaching out to an expanding immigrant population. Through reflective activities, Hartleyfacilitated an interactive discussion about possible roles we can play in outreaching to a broader community.

“AMERICAN MOUNTAIN GUIDES ASSOCIATION – INFORMING CHANGE AT A TECHNICAL ORGANIZATION.” JASON MARTIN - DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS AND GUIDE, AMERICAN ALPINE INSTITUTE AND AMERICAN MOUNTAIN GUIDES ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBER.

Jason is a board member for the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA). In his role as Director of Operations at the American Alpine Institute (AAI) in Belligham, he supervises the guide staff, develops course curriculum, manages land use permits and oversees AAI's social network. He has guided in Red Rock Canyon, Joshua Tree National Park, the Cascades, the Sierra, the Alaska Range, in Canada's Coast Range and in the Andes of Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. Jason is also a playwright, film critic and outdoor adventure writer. He has authored 'Washington Ice: A Climbing Guide,' 'Fun Climbs Red Rocks: Topropes and Moderates,' and 'Rock Climbing: The AMGA Single Pitch Manual.' He is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide, LNT Master Educator and Rope Rescue Technician. Jason explained how the AMGA, a member-based technical organization, approaches changing both technical norms and curriculum through their organizational structure and by seeking out as many resources as possible when evaluating techniques and curriculum. He also shared some examples of these processes at AAI. 

 

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"PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION." ANDREW JAY, DIRECTOR OF SEWARD PARK AUDUBON SOCIETY

At The Mountaineers, we have a great mix of traditional courses and new, innovative programs. In this session, Andrew Jay led a discussion about how we recognize which programs work, which don’t and how to recognize areas needing improvement. He also discussed strategies for ensuring that new programs have a high probability for success. This is an ideal session for anyone interested in helping to create positive change in existing courses or starting a new course. Andrew has a Masters in Non-Profit Leadership from Seattle University and lives with his wife in Columbia City. He has been an instructor at Outward Bound USA and South Africa, a teacher at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and later as the National Director of YMCA Boys and Girls Outdoor Leadership Development (BOLD & GOLD). A Washington native, Andrew grew up in the San Juan Islands where he took his first Audubon class as a rowdy 11 yr old.  

 

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"INNOVATION IN COURSE DESIGN.” TAB WILKINS ANDJOHN OHLSON, THE MOUNTAINEERS

 

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Tab Wilkins and John Ohlson follow in the proud legacy of Mountaineers members who identified a need in the outdoor education community and then developed a course offering to meet it. In this session, they explained how they developed the "intense" courses for scrambling and climbing that allow students to condense months of study and practice into a single week (9 days in the case of basic climbing). Tab Wilkins has been a Mountaineer since 2000 and is active in scrambling, climbing and backcountry skiing as a participant and trip leader.  In 2011 he led the development of the Alpine Scrambling Intense class sponsored by the Seattle Alpine Scrambling Committee.  Previously he’s served the club as Seattle Branch Chair, Seattle Branch Board Member and President of the Mountaineers Board.  He works for the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST), a federal agency as consultant and advisor to a number of non-profit engineering consulting businesses who work with smaller manufactures and has created two leadership development programs for NIST. John Ohlson joined The Mountaineers in 1999 as a Basic Equivalent and did the Intermediate Course in one year.  He has had multiple responsibilities within the Seattle Climbing Committee as a Climb Leader and chairs of subcommittees.  He also chaired the Building Operations Committee, served as the Seattle Branch Safety Officer for several years and has been on the Board of Directors since 2009, including a term as Secretary. He was the author of the Freedom 8 chapter on safety and was heavily involved in the Magnuson program center renovation and construction of the center’s climbing walls. He negotiated agreements with the City for multiple Mountaineers projects, including representing The Mountaineers at City Council meetings.  With help from many people he started the nine-day Intense Basic Alpine Climbing Course in 2013. Prior to retirement, John had two careers, first as an Electrical Engineering Professor, and then as an engineering executive.

"ACCESSING PUBLIC LANDS AND OTHER CONSERVATION PRIORITIES." KATHERINE HOLLIS – THE MOUNTAINEERS

 

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As the Conservation and Responsible Recreation Manager, Katherine leads The Mountaineers’ initiatives to protect natural and recreational resources on  public lands and to educate and engage our members, and Washington's recreating public, on responsible recreation and conservation issues. From learning to climb as a college student in Vermont, to over a decade as an instructor and program manager with Outward Bound in Colorado, North Carolina and Patagonia, Katherine has lived and worked at the intersection of conservation and recreation. She has also pursued her love of the outdoors through other means, obtaining her masters in Sustainable International Development which included completing thesis work in the mountainous country of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. In this session, Katherine covered some of the current access issues our volunteers face, and well as introduced people to our recreation and conservation work as organizational members of the Outdoor Alliance.

"NEW WEBSITE, NEW OPPORTUNITIES." KRISTINA CIARI – THE MOUNTAINEERS

As the Membership and Marketing Manager for The Mountaineers, Kristina is responsible for energizing and engaging with The Mountaineers community. She manages the marketing and communications, including moderation of social media, website updates and emails, to provide greater marketing support for the organization and our volunteer leaders. With 10 years of marketing experience and a huge passion for outdoor recreation, Kristina’s presentation focused on how the new website has improved our marketing strategies and how you can make the most of our communication channels. She will provide an overview of Google Analytics – our website usage tracking program – and covered the different website options for increasing participation in your courses, activities, or events.

THE EVENT WAS A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS AND WE THANK EVERYONE FOR ATTENDING!


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