Leader Spotlight: Carlanna Livingstone

Leader Spotlight is a monthly blog to showcase our incredible volunteer leadership at The Mountaineers. Meet this month's featured leader: Carlanna Livingstone. She became a hike leader three months after joining The Mountaineers and wants you to know that “if I can do this, you can do this!”
Sara Ramsay Sara Ramsay
Volunteer Development Manager
November 29, 2019
Leader Spotlight: Carlanna Livingstone

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Carlanna Livingstone, a hike leader with the Tacoma Branch who loves fire lookouts and hiking with her dog Raven.

Name: Carlanna Livingstone
Branch: Tacoma
Where do you live? Bonney Lake, WA
How long have you been a leader? A little over a year.
What activities do you lead? Day Hikes

Leadership Questions

What inspired you to lead trips for The Mountaineers?

After joining The Mountaineers, I discovered that in order to ensure I could bring my dog Raven on Mountaineers hikes, I would need to become a hike leader. Raven is such a joy to be around and I love the fact that I can continue to hike with her as well as meet new people and discover new places.

What is the best, favorite, or most memorable trip you've led for The Mountaineers?

Every trip has been great for one reason or another. Some awesome trips include sharing my love of fire lookouts with someone that has never visited one, meeting new friends and reconnecting with old friends through The Mountaineers, sharing a trail I've loved for years with a new hiker, waiting out fog on a peak and being rewarded with gorgeous views of Mt. Rainier, mentoring a new hike leader and watching them soar, and hiking a new trail with a new group of people and experiencing it together for the first time.

How has your leadership style evolved as you've gained experience?

I have become more relaxed in my leadership style. As long as safety isn't a concern and I am comfortable with the abilities of the group, I'm ok with people hiking at different paces and meeting up with the group at trail junctions and water crossings (as long as they stay in groups of three). I am also more willing to try new hikes and destinations vs. sticking to only trails I'm familiar with.

Any learning experiences you can share, such as take-aways from a close call or a near miss?

Fortunately, I haven't had any close calls or near misses but I always try to be aware of our surroundings and point out obstacles or potential hazards, i.e. "these rocks are slippery" or "plant your feet and watch your step through here." I appreciate it when other hikers are alert and aware and keep the group informed of any hazards they see in order to keep the group safe.

What advice do you have for aspiring leaders in The Mountaineers community?

Everyone has something to offer to the community. Your leadership style is probably different than mine, and we need all types of people to lead. In order to have a robust program, we need a large group of diverse volunteer leaders. I became a hike leader 3 months after joining The Mountaineers - if I can do this, you can do this! The Mountaineers offers lots of resources like First Aid and Navigation courses, New Hike Leader classes, Mentors, Co-Leads, etc. to make sure you are comfortable leading. We're here to help you be successful!


  • My name is Carlanna - pronounced "Carl" (my dad's grandfather) and "Anna" (my mom's grandmother). Rhymes with Banana. (I hate bananas - go figure!)
  • I started hiking when my son was very young and continued to hike and backpack with him all the way through him becoming an Eagle Scout.
  • I love Fire Lookouts.
  • I have lived in Washington my entire life and can't imagine living anywhere else, we are so blessed with this beautiful state.
Lightning Round

What's your go-to place for a post-trip meal? Wapiti Woolies
What's your favorite close-to-home adventure? Greenwater Lakes
Who is your Mountaineers hero? Barbara Folmer
What "luxury item" do you bring on most trips? Sit pad and thermos with hot lunch.
What's next on your bucket list? MORE Fire Lookouts!

is there Someone that you'd like to see in the spotlight?

Send an email to Sara Ramsay to make a recommendation for one of our upcoming Leader Spotlights!