In Loving Memory: Announcing the Liesl Waldhausen Basic Alpine Climbing Scholarship

We are grateful to announce the creation of the Liesl Waldhausen Basic Alpine Climbing Scholarship. Learn more about this scholarship and how you can get involved.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
July 29, 2019

When longtime Mountaineers member John Waldhausen reflects back on his time as a basic alpine climbing student, he can’t help but smile. Memories of field trips with his Small Instruction Group (SIG) at Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and the Tooth come rushing back to him. As a working professional, John took the course hoping to learn to climb mountains safely in his limited spare time. By the time it ended, he’d made long-lasting connections with our community of adventurers - some that he continues to climb with nearly 10 years later. 

Time outside had often been  a family affair for John too. John’s children grew up hiking and exploring, and as adults, the whole family enjoyed challenging themselves on harder scrambles and climbs. In September 2016, John and his daughter Liesl climbed Red Mountain together, and spent much of the descent discussing The Mountaineers Basic Alpine Climbing Course. Liesl was so excited about the idea that she applied as soon as she got home.

Tragically, Liesl unexpectedly passed away before the course began. John and his wife Julie wanted to do something to celebrate the memory of Liesl and her warm, adventurous spirit. Ultimately, they decided to give the gift of the mountains through the Liesl Waldhausen Basic Alpine Climbing Scholarship. Through this gift, one basic alpine climbing student facing financial hardships will receive a full scholarship for the class, where they’ll to learn to climb, grow their community, and deepen their connection to the outdoors.

“We hope to help foster an appreciation of the outdoors and an understanding of why preservation of our wild spaces are so important to people in general, but especially in young people. We’re honored to offer this opportunity to a student who may not otherwise be able to take the course without financial support.” 

PHOTO OF JOHN WALDHAUSEN, COURTESY OF JOHN WALDHAUSEN.

The Liesl Waldhausen Basic Alpine Climbing Scholarship will be available to basic alpine climbing applicants in all branches starting in Fall 2019. Any student who qualifies for financial aid is eligible to receive the award. You can read more about how and when to apply for scholarships on our scholarship page. More information about the Liesl Waldhausen Basic Alpine Climbing Scholarship will be available on our scholarship page in September 2019.

Last year, donors like John and Julie made it possible for The Mountaineers to offer scholarships to 121 students to help fulfill their dreams to climb, sea kayak, sail, and more. In total, more than $30,000 was awarded to offset the cost of courses, memberships, and clinics. As our organization endeavors to be more equitable and inclusive, we remain committed to ensuring that all people have opportunities to grow their skills and strengthen their connections to the outdoors, regardless of their ability to pay. 

If you are interested in learning more about scholarships, we encourage you to read the information on our scholarship page. Considering a gift in support of students? You can do so at our donation page by indicating ‘scholarships’ in the notes section. Additional questions or inquiries can be emailed to Amber Carrigan, Development Director, at amberc@mountaineers.org.

Photo courtesy of John Waldhausen

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