BeWild with Kai Lightner - Feb 20

Join us on February 20, 2018 to hear Kai Lightner's presentation "Climbing with Resilience". Kai started climbing at age 6 and sent his first 5.14a at 13, and he's still as humble as he is accomplished.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
January 24, 2018
BeWild with Kai Lightner - Feb 20


The Mountaineers are proud to present the BeWild Speaker Series, putting passion and adventure on the stage! This year, we're presenting adventurers who've 'found' themselves in the outdoors. Come to these talks to unlock inspiration to seek adventure, connect with nature, and work to protect the wild places we cherish.

Event Tickets & Info

 2018 LINEUP 

February 20 | Kai Lightner


Climbing With Resilience

Kai Lightner is a rock climbing phenom, whose passion for the sport started at the age of 6. Since then, he has earned 12 National Championship Titles and is a five-time youth world championship medalist. Outside of competitions, Kai has managed to excel on rock as well, sending many routes in the 5.14 spectrum, including his first 5.14a route at age 13, and his first 5.14d route only two years later. All of these accomplishments were achieved with his mom Connie Lightner by his side, whose unending support has enabled Kai to chase his vertical dreams.

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Presented by:

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March 20 | Joe Riis


Capture the Present: Photographing the Primordial Yellowstone Migrations

Joe Riis, a wildlife biologist turned wildlife photojournalist and filmmaker, is known for his pioneering documentation of animal migrations in the West. He is a Photography Fellow at National Geographic as well as the Wyoming Migration Initiative. Since 2009, he has worked on natural history photography assignments for National Geographic on five continents. His photographs have been exhibited widely, and are included in private and public collections worldwide. His new book, Yellowstone Migrations, from Braided River, the conservation imprint of Mountaineers Books, is the first book to feature his images exclusively.

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Presented By:

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With support from the George B. Storer Foundation.


May 22 | Eli Boschetto, Shawnté Salabert, Tami Asars, Philip Kramer


Section Hiking the PCT: An Epic Adventure at Your Own Pace

Tami Asars is a three-generation Washingtonian who calls the North Cascades home. Tami is an avid hiker and backpacker, and author of Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Washington, and two other titles from Mountaineers Books. Tami grew up in western Washington playing in the North Cascades. She teaches classes on backpacking basics, lightweight backpacking, and more.

Eli Boschetto, in addition to being the author of Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Oregon, also founded the website PCT: Oregon to supplement his guide and offer even more resources for PCT hikers. He is currently working on two new Oregon guidebooks, Urban Trails: Portland and Day Hiking: Mount Hood. Eli lives with his wife Mitzi in Portland.

Philip Kramer is a Seattle-based adventure and travel photographer. Born in Olympia, WA, and raised in nearby Montesano, WA, he began photographing rural landscapes around his home as a teenager. He is the author of the brand new guide, Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California.

Shawnté Salabert is a freelance writer with a taste for wild spaces. Her work has appeared in Backpacker, Alpinist, Outside Online, Adventure Journal, Modern Hiker, REI Co-op Journal, Land+People, and other outlets. Her debut book is Hiking The Pacific Crest Trail: Southern California.

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June 19 | Heather Hansen

Wildfire: On the Front Lines with Wildland Fire Fighters

Heather Hansen is an award-winning journalist whose newest book, Wildfire: On the Front Lines with Station 8 from Mountaineers Books, March 2018, takes a look at wildfires through the eyes of the firefighters. Spending 18 months with Boulder, CO wildland firefighters, Hansen learned what it takes to be a member of this elite group and how citizens can help turn around the destructive trends in wildfires.

Tickets coming soon!

September 20 | Andrew Mclean

Ski Mountaineer

Andrew's interest in steep skiing has expanded into over 20 ski mountaineering expeditions with a few highlights being to Baffin Island, Iran, Antarctica and many to his current favorite area, the Wrangell-St.Elias Range of Alaska. Somewhere along the way, Andrew got into kite skiing, spent a year as an avalanche forecaster and also helped bring skimo racing to the United States. As of 2015, Andrew's skiing interests are focused on expeditions and preserving the environment we play in, as well as doing some guiding and introducing his two little girls to the sport.

Tickets coming soon!

Presented by Black Diamond:


THANK YOU To our Sponsors

The Mountaineers is deeply grateful for  our presenting and supporting sponsors of our 2018 BeWild Speaker Series, particularly our presenting sponsors adidas outdoor , Black Diamond, and Braided River. We’re also thankful for our supporting sponsors Petzl, Uncruise Adventures, Carter Subaru, and the George B. Storer Foundation.  Without your generous support, this exciting series would not be possible.

Past Presenters

January 23 | Lowell Skoog


Living Northwest History: Reflections on the past and future of northwest Mountaineering

The Pacific Northwest has a rich heritage of mountain exploration, activism, literature, and art. Lowell Skoog was introduced to this heritage as a Seattle youngster more than 50 years ago. In this multimedia presentation, Lowell will discuss how the threads of history continue to weave through the Northwest outdoor community to create a present that is just as rich and inspiring as our storied past.

As a skier, climber, flyer, writer and photographer, Lowell has been a participant and keen observer of Northwest mountaineering since the 1960s. He is the creator of the Alpenglow Gallery and founder of the Northwest Mountaineering Journal, websites that celebrate local mountain culture. He was a key member of the team that launched the Washington State Ski and Snowboard Museum in 2015. For over a decade he has been a member and is now chairman of the Mountaineers History and Library committee, a group of volunteers that works to preserve and share our living history.