BeWild: Andrew Mclean, Skiing the 'Alaska Family' - Sept 20

Join us on September 20, 2018 to hear Andrew Mclean's stories from ski mountaineering the Alaska Family of peaks Father Denali, Mother Sultanan, and child Mt. Hunter.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
July 16, 2018
BeWild: Andrew Mclean, Skiing the 'Alaska Family' - Sept 20

Join us September 20, 2018 to hear from Andrew Mclean, the first person to summit and ski the 'Alaska Family' of peaks Father Denali, Mother Sultanan, and child Mt. Hunter.

September 20 | Andrew Mclean


Skiing The Alaska Family

Andrew Mclean is a Black Diamond athlete, proud father, skimo racer, and the first person to ski all three peaks in the 'Alaska Family': Father Denali, Mother Sultana (Foraker), and child Mt. Hunter. Join us on September 20, 2018 to hear his stories of backcountry mountaineering!


Andrew's interest in steep skiing has spanned more than 20 ski mountaineering expeditions, including to Baffin Island, Iran, and Antarctica. 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. Still, his favorite area remains the Wrangell-St.Elias Range of Alaska. For the last few years, Andrew's skiing interests have refocused toward guiding and introducing his two little girls to the sport he loves, while working toward conservation for the environment where we play. 

Andrew McLean worked as a Product Designer for Black Diamond Equipment where he designed the Hotwire Carabiner, Single Stem Camalots and his favorite product, the Whippet Self Arrest Pole. He is currently a Ski Ambassador, Mountain Guide, and father of two little girls.

The event will be moderated by local Seattle author, mountain guide and adventurer, Charlotte Austin. When she's not writing, Charlotte works for International Mountain Guides, where she leads climbing, mountaineering, and hiking expeditions around the world. She is also a Wilderness EMT, Leave No Trace trainer, and holds a Level 2 certification with the American Institute for Avalanche Training and Education.

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Presented by Black Diamond:



    The Mountaineers are proud to present the BeWild Speaker Series, putting passion and adventure on the stage! Come to these talks to unlock inspiration to seek adventure, connect with nature, and work to protect the wild places we cherish.

    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.

    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.

    Presented by:

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    March 20 | Joe Riis


    Joe Riis: Photographing the Primordial Yellowstone Migrations

    Join us March 20, 2018 to experience the images, video, and stories of National Geographic photojournalist Joe Riis as he takes us on an epic visual journey of recently discovered wild animal migrations in Yellowstone’s expansive landscape—within, and outside, the protection of the park. 

    A book signing will follow of Yellowstone Migrations, published by Braided River, the conservation imprint of Mountaineers Books.

    Joe Riis is a wildlife biologist turned photojournalist and filmmaker on the cutting edge of explorations of heretofore unknown animal migrations in Yellowstone’s expansive landscapes—within, and outside, the protection of the park. He is a Photography Fellow at the National Geographic Society and has worked on assignment in five continents. His first book Yellowstone Migrations was recently published by Braided River, the conservation imprint of Mountaineers Books. His images have been used extensively to support maintaining wild, free, and open wildlife corridors. In 2015, he was the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Learn more at

    Presented By:

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    With support from the George B. Storer Foundation.




    Join us May 22 to welcome four guidebook authors for a discussion about section hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. From the northern Canadian border to the southern tip of California, Tami AsarsEli BoschettoPhilip Kramer, and Shawnté Salabert each scouted out the trail for your next adventure in our Mountaineers Books’ Hiking The Pacific Crest Trail section guides.

    During the panel discussion, these authors will share their love for wild places and discuss the challenges, the rewards, and the future of section hiking the 2,650-mile PCT. Brian Lewis, a Foothills Branch long distance backpacking instructor, will moderate the conversation. We’ve saved 30 minutes at the end for an open question and answer session to get you answers to your burning PCT questions. Stay after for a book signing! Whether you’re an aspiring thru-hiker, passionate PCT section hiker, or just someone who loves to get outdoors, we hope you’ll join us to find your own outdoor inspiration!

    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.

    June 19 | Heather Hansen


    Wildfire: On the Front Lines with Wildland Fire Fighters

    This June we welcome the Heather Hansen, the author of Wildfire: On the Front Lines with Station 8  published by Mountaineers Books. With a more complex wildfire environment, wildfires in the West continue to get larger, more destructive and costlier. Today’s fire management strategies are more aggressive and sophisticated than ever as we combat longer wildfire seasons. So why are an unacceptably high numbers of lives and homes lost and ecosystems damaged?

    Heather will take us on a journey through her experience embedding with Boulder, CO wildland firefighters as well as her research on wildfire science, history, and policy. Along the way, we’ll learn how the way we live, work and play in western landscapes has drastically changed in recent years and what actions are needed to adapt to this new reality. For anyone who cares about public lands in the West, this talk is not to be missed.

    Heather Hansen is an award-winning reporter, specializing in environmental and travel journalism. Her work has appeared in Men’s Journal, National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, Outside, and other publications. Her book, Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears: 100 Years of the National Park Service, published by Mountaineers Books, won the Colorado Authors’ League General Nonfiction award and was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. Heather lives in Boulder.