Foothills Leader Spotlight: Chris Ensor & Gerry Haugen

Our volunteer instructors and activity leaders are the heart and soul of our branch. This month we celebrate Chris Ensor from Hiking & and Backpacking and Gerry Haugen from Backcountry Skiing.
Steve LeBrun Steve LeBrun
Foothills Branch Chair
December 05, 2016

Our branch wants to give a big shout out to Chris Ensor and Gerry Haugen! Your hard work is huge asset to the Foothills community. Thank You!

hiking & Backpacking & Nordic Skiing

Chris Ensor

Chris Ensor came to the Pacific Northwest 20 years ago after meeting an American from Kent on a ski vacation in Chamonix, France. He was lucky enough to be able to retire when he reached 62, just over 6 years ago. One of his retirement goals was to spend more time in the outdoors: hiking in the summer and Nordic skiing in the winter. He looked at joining several clubs; then, settled on The Mountaineers because they offered the best way to get out with others as well as training opportunities and other perks.

 Chris has been a Mountaineers member for almost 7 years and became a hike leader early in 2011. Then, with ski season approaching, he was encouraged to register as a Nordic ski leader. He led his first ski trip in January 2012 and has been active as a leader in both areas ever since.  Chris began leading for the Foothills branch last year and he coordinates the branch's weekday hike activities. He enjoys the interest, support, and appreciation he receives for his volunteer efforts as well as feeling part of a larger team.

Chris explores his favorite places through multiday trips along the I-90 corridor. His favorite destinations are Mt. Rainier, the North Cascades, and the Methow Valley. For him, the main components of a perfect trip include some fine views, a picturesque lake or two along the way, and most important of all: good company. 

Backcountry skiing

Gerry Haugen

Gerry has poured his time and energy into Foothills Backcountry Skiing for about 25 years. He helps people discover the beauty of backcountry travel and teaches them how to do it safely.

Several years ago, Gerry became an AIARE level one instructor. He now serves as the co-leader of the avalanche program and is integral to making the program a success.

Year after year, Gerry can be found lugging a huge pack up the hill for the SSM overnight. Last year, some heard Gerry utter, “This is my last year.” But lo and behold after some time passed, the committee got an email saying he was ready to renew his AIARE credentials and press on for who knows how many more winters. Needless to say, his continued participation is great news for our branch!


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