BeWild Speaker Series - Introducing the 2021 Lineup

The Mountaineers are proud to present the BeWild Speaker Series again in 2021! Come to these talks to get inspired for your own adventures and connect with the people and places that make these trips possible.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
December 16, 2020

For eight years, we've hosted the BeWild Speaker Series to bring you stories of passion and adventure. We're excited to announce this year's lineup, which includes award winning authors, not your average thru-hiker, and a world class alpinist.

EVENT Info & Tickets

  • $12 Individual | $24 Household (2+ Attendees)
  • All events will be held virtually over Zoom
  • Presentation starts at 7pm

 2021 LINEUP 




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January 14, 2021

BerNADETTE mCDONALD |  Winter 8000: Climbing The World's Highest Mountains in the Coldest Season

The world of high altitude climbing is challenging in any season. In winter, the cold and the wind and the isolation take it to another, almost incomprehensible level. And yet, there are those who are passionate about climbing 8000-metre peaks in the coldest season.

These individuals savour the cold, they train for the conditions and they are motivated by the loneliness of the Himalayan peaks in winter.Men and women from Poland, Italy, Korea, the U.S. and around the world, have become known as the Ice Warriors. More resembling space travellers in their protective clothing and specialized equipment, their stories are epic, heroic and often tragic as they endure fierce winter storms, hurricane force winds and sweeping avalanches.

From Everest to Nanga Parbat, Bernadette McDonald's Winter 8000 talk will introduce the Ice Warriors and their adventures on the highest mountains on earth, in the coldest season.

Purchase Winter 8000 - Climbing The World's Highest Mountains In the Coldest Season from Mountaineers Books.

See Bernadette


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February 11, 2021

Due to a medical emergency, Chardonnay will not be speaking this evening and the virtual event has been cancelled.

All ticket holders may request a full refund or credit to the next BeWild by emailing Garrett Arnold at garretta@mountaineers.org from the email they used to purchase their ticket.


ElsYe "Chardonnay" Walker | Finding a Path to The Triple Crown

Elsye ‘Chardonnay’ Walker, became the first African American woman to complete the “Triple Crown of Hiking”– completing the 7,900 total miles along the Appalachian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide National Scenic Trails in 2018.

Born in Flint, Michigan, an army veteran, a self described 'free spirit' and wine enthusiast, Chardonnay is still not your average thru-hiker. Only picking up backpacking at 45 years old, she set out on her first overnight backpacking trip just months before she took the first steps on the PCT --1000 miles of which she hiked on a fractured ankle.

Join The Mountaineers and Chardonnay as she shares her story of life on the trail and her passion for adventure during her virtual presentation.

See Chardonnay  


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March 11, 2021

Barney Scout Mann | Journeys North: The Pacific Crest Trail

In 2007 Barney Mann and his wife Sandy undertook the adventure of a lifetime, setting out on the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Adopting the trail names “Scout” and “Frodo”, their lives became intertwined with four of their fellow hikers: Blazer, Nadine, Tony, and Dalton. Unbeknownst to them, the year was fated to hold extreme weather conditions in which only a third of PCT hikers finished.

A once-in-a-generation drought, severe winter storms, shattered bones, illnesses, and helicopter rescues strengthened the hikers’ bond as they made their way northward. Join us as Barney shares their compelling story, revealing the universality of our humanity and what it means to belong.

Purchase  Journey's North: The Pacific Crest Trail from Mountaineers Books.

See Scout


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May 13, 2021

Graham Zimmerman | Global Adventures of an Imperfect Advocate

Join The Mountaineers on Thursday, May 13 for a virtual presentation from outdoor athlete, creative, and climate activist Graham Zimmerman.

Graham will share stories from expeditions to remote corners of Alaska and Pakistan and the path that took him to some of the world's most remote places. He'll show us how these journeys led him climate advocacy including being the captain of the POW Climb program and making a congressional testimony on the importance of taking action on climate change policy.

In the end, Graham will provide suggestions for how outdoor-minded individuals and organizations can help protect the places we love for generations to come.

See Graham


BeWild_FBCover_Green.jpgAbout the BeWild Speaker Series
In its eighth year, The Mountaineers are proud to present the BeWild Speaker Series. Our goal is to put outdoor passion and adventure on stage. Come to any one of these talks - or all four - and we guarantee you'll leave inspired to seek adventure, connect with nature and work to protect wild places. 

2020 Speakers
2019 Speakers
2018 Speakers
2017-2014 Speakers