Foothills Leader Spotlight: Karen Wallace and Nancy Temkin

Our volunteer instructors and activity leaders are the heart and soul of our branch. This month we celebrate Karen Wallace and Nancy Temkin.
Cheryl Talbert Cheryl Talbert
Foothills Branch Leader & Super Volunteer
October 06, 2017
Foothills Leader Spotlight: Karen Wallace and Nancy Temkin

Our branch wants to give a big shout out to Karen Wallace and Nancy Temkin, two fairly new hike leaders who have really gone the extra mile during 2017 to bring beginner hikers out on the trail and instill a love of outdoor adventure. Your hard work is huge asset to the Foothills community. Thank You!

Karen Wallace

When and how did you get  involved with The Mountaineers?

I had been hiking and scrambling for a couple years with my boyfriend. Last summer (2016), his father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Our adventures got put on hold while my boyfriend became the primary caregiver and took over operating the family business. I knew that I still wanted to get outside and play, but needed to find others with a similar mindset and skill set , so I started checking out The Mountaineers with a guest membership.

While deciding, I really wanted to summit Kaleetan Peak. I found an old friend to go with me. She didn't have much off-trail experience, but was a good sport, toughening out as best she could. As we approached the base of Kaleetan, a group of Mountaineers scramblers came up another side. They were super nice. They helped escort my friend to the top, ate lunch with us, and then helped escort her back down. Even the clouds that were looming the whole hike up finally cooperated and cleared out when we reached the summit . I officially joined The Mountaineers that week.

What have you enjoyed most about being a volunteer leader for The Mountaineers?

 I have enjoyed the people the most. It's been really fun engaging with everyone and learning their varied backgrounds, unique personalities, and super amazing past accomplishments.

What's your favorite place to take people in the PNW?

 My main volunteer focus has been helping the newer/slower hikers get outside. My goal is to provide an enjoyable experience and hopefully springboard them into more outdoor activities, so my answer is the very popular spot of… Rattlesnake Ledge. It's not a huge time commitment, has a nice trail, and the views are awesome! I have even taken my family members up there. Bonus: the hot fudge shakes at Scott’s Dairy Freeze in North Bend are a tasty post-hike treat!

Nancy Temkin


When and how did you get into the Mountaineers?

Before moving to Seattle in 1977, I lived in Boulder, CO and went hiking with friends most weekends. One time we decided to do a 13,900 peak. We borrowed ice axes, traversed the steep snowfield, and made it to the summit. On the way down, our more experienced friends taught us how to self-arrest (with the ‘runout’ being boulders). Then they said "When you move to Seattle, you ought to join The Mountaineers and really learn how to use these." So we did.

My first husband and I took the scramble class in '78 and Basic Climbing in '79. Then we had kids and 'getting out' transitioned into cheering on our kids form the soccer sidelines. Eventually, we dropped our membership.

Life went on. My husband passed away, and my kids grew up and left the house. The Mountaineers still weren't on my radar, but then I met Peter Hendrickson, who was taking the scrambling course.

As Peter got more involved with the Seattle Navigation Committee, I started volunteering as well and enjoyed working with the students and my fellow instructors. In Navigation, I enjoy being able to help students go from ‘I haven’t a clue and I’m nervous about it’ to ‘Wow, I got THAT close—amazing’ in a few hours.

When I started approaching retirement, I thought leading hikes might be fun. I took the Hike Leader Seminar, and months later was on the trail guiding Mountaineers. After that, I upped the ante and got involved with our Winter Conditioning Series. It's been a lot of fun leading hikes with Peter.

What have you enjoyed most about being a volunteer leader for the Mountaineers?

On hikes, I enjoy interacting with the group and helping newcomers feel comfortable going someplace they may not have gotten to on their own. Plus, it's a great way to try different hikes.

What's your  favorite place to take people in the PNW?

Our regular go-to hike is Chirico Trail to PooPoo Point. It is close, efficient, and often we get to watch paragliders during lunch. Lake Serene and Kamikaze (Tenerife) Falls are two new ones (for me) that I particularly liked.

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