Foothills Volunteer Spotlight: Brian Talbert

Our Foothills volunteers and activity leaders are the heart and soul of our branch. This month we celebrate Brian Talbert.
Lori Heath Lori Heath
Foothills Communications Volunteer
April 08, 2022

Meet Brian Talbert, a Foothills backpacking leader and a mentor for the Foothills Backpacking Building Blocks course. As an active member of the Foothills Hiking and Backpacking Committee, Brian manages leadership development and certification for the committee.

What brought you to the Pacific Northwest and when did you come?

I lived in Maryland all my life before relocating to the PNW in 2013. I honestly never thought I would leave the familiar hills of Maryland, which I love very much. But a career opportunity presented itself and I decided to embrace the change. I’ll always consider Maryland home, but I’ve come to love the PNW just as much.

What attracted you to The Mountaineers?

At first, I was just looking for a resource for more information about local areas to hike and explore. Then I discovered the amazing programming that The Mountaineers offers. All the courses I have taken have been amazing, with fantastic support, and a welcoming community. I don’t think there is a greater value in outdoor education and leadership.

What have been your favorite volunteer memories with The Mountaineers?

I love seeing folks light up and get excited about discovering the joy of the outdoor experience, facing their fears, achieving goals, or simply bathing in nature. As a volunteer I am privileged to have the opportunity to be a part of their journey and it warms my heart every time.

What are your favorite activities and places in the PNW backcountry?

I am enjoying picking up new skills, like snowshoeing, and am looking forward to taking on scrambling in the future, but my passions are hiking and backpacking. Some of my favorite hikes are the ones that take me to beautiful wildflower meadows and alpine lakes. And as an east coaster who learned the binary nature of deciduous and conifer trees, any hike that involves golden larches is a delight. We are all fortunate here in the PNW to be surrounded by amazing landscapes in every direction. I can’t pick a favorite any more than I can pick my favorite child. These places are all so varied and different, but even the wildfire-stricken forests of the Pasayten Wilderness show up beautifully with the emergence of fireweed as a reminder of the enduring strength of nature. I love each of these places and so I think simply, the PNW is my favorite place!