A Letter from Peter & Nancy: An Act of Love Towards All Our Children

As Mountaineers, we connect people to place and foster lifelong connections to the outdoors. Love is at the heart of why we’re motivated to protect wild places, and we believe that members and donors like us will be the solution to challenges ahead.
Peter Hendrickson Peter Hendrickson
VP Branches, Mountaineers Board of Directors
December 21, 2020
A Letter from Peter & Nancy: An Act of Love Towards All Our Children

As the year comes to a close, we’ve been reflecting on how grateful we are for the support we receive through The Mountaineers, and as volunteer leaders, we’re committed to the health, safety, and strength of the organization. Though both of us discovered The Mountaineers in different ways, it is a place where we found each other and a community to share our lives with. Here’s a glimpse into the paths that led us to The Mountaineers:


By my calendar, I found The Mountaineers weeks before my wife Nancy, though I had quite a journey to get here. As a kid, my dad and I were heavily involved with the Scouts and he delighted me with stories of adventure to the Greenland ice cap on a secret USAF expedition and other outdoor tales. I led numerous trips as a boy scout, and as a young man I left home to embark on a 3-year trek that took me to the mountains of Japan and Nepal. As the rising sun painted Everest awake on a chilly morning above Kathmandu, the hook was set.

After a series of life’s twists and turns, I took a new job in Everett to be closer to my kids. I came across a booth promoting The Mountaineers at a street fair and that day I joined the club through the Everett Branch. I loved the MOFA, Navigation, and Scramble courses. The late Mike Sweeny suggested I teach scramble and Lynn Graf invited me to join the Seattle Navigation Committee.


Before moving to Seattle in 1977, I lived in Boulder, Colorado. On one of my first climbs, my late husband and I borrowed ice axes and traversed the steep snowfield to the summit of Mount McHenry. On the way down, our more experienced friends taught us how to self-arrest. They said, “When you move to Seattle, you ought to join The Mountaineers and really learn how to use these.” So we did. As soon as we arrived, we took the Scrambling Course and Basic Climbing. 

As our children grew, “getting out” transitioned into cheering from the soccer sidelines and our membership inadvertently lapsed. Eventually the kids left the house and during this time, I met Peter. His enthusiasm lured me back into The Mountaineers and I started volunteering. 

In Navigation, I enjoy helping the students go from “I haven’t a clue and I’m nervous about it” to “Wow, I got THAT close!” in a few hours. 

Peter & Nancy

Today, our collective seven kids have their own careers, but we work around visits with the dozen grandkids to teach wilderness navigation, lead weekly urban night hikes, and lead 20-30 backcountry day hikes each year. Our involvement in The Mountaineers community has brought so much joy to our lives. 

Thanks to some strategic personal planning, our financial health has improved since the early days with kids. We’re fortunate to have the ability to offer more than time and talent, and because The Mountaineers is the center of our social life, we’ve chosen them as our most significant charity, particularly during this tough year.

A lot has changed this year, but what hasn’t changed is our organization’s commitment to keeping the outdoors accessible. We were relieved to see the Conservation and Advocacy program continue in the face of accelerated climate change. The impact on our farms and agriculture, our beloved waterways, and our iconic mountains touches us each where we live and recreate. We need to become an even stronger voice for our planet.

The Board of Directors has approved a fiscally-conservative budget for the coming year, assuming program revenues will continue to be down 40% due to challenges from COVID-19. With program revenues impacted in this way, now more than ever we need your help.

Make your year-end gift today

We give to The Mountaineers because we believe that working together and supporting our outdoor community is an act of love towards all our children and grandchildren. We choose to give unrestricted funds so that the dollars can go where they’re needed most. Our organization is healthiest when all branches and programs are supported.

For the grandkids: ours, yours, and others, we lovingly give our time, talent, and treasure under sunny and not-so-sunny skies.

With gratitude,

Peter and Nancy Signatures.jpg

Peter and Nancy, 15-Year members
Peak Society, Summit Society

Peter sits on the Board of Directors as VP of Branches and Nancy serves as Foothills Hiking Co-Chair and Walking the Wild Chair.

Join us in an effort to preserve public lands for generations to come with your year-end gift today. There are 10 days left to make a tax-deductible gift in 2020. So far, Mountaineers members have contributed $80,000 toward our $100,000 December goal, including the $22,000 raised for scholarships during #GivingTuesday. Will you help us reach the finish line? 

If you would like to make a gift of securities, notify us of a gift from your donor advised fund, or have any other questions, please reach out to development@mountaineers.org or call (206) 521-6006.

The Mountaineers® is a 501(c)(3) organization supported through earned revenue and elevated through charitable contributions, tax ID:27-3009280, 7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115.


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