Meet Philip Henderson and Steve Swenson at the 2023 Gala

We can’t wait to see you in only a few short months for our annual fundraising Gala! Tickets are available now and we are on track to sell out this year, so be sure to claim your seat today!
Hana Wilder Hana Wilder
Donor Event & Partnerships Manager
January 30, 2023
Meet Philip Henderson and Steve Swenson at the 2023 Gala
Artwork by Sharisse Steber, from Rise and Roar (Mountaineers Books, 2021).

April 1 will be a night to remember. Once a year, we gather together to raise funds allowing us to elevate the way our community transforms lives through outdoor education and conservation. We exchange stories, raise our glasses, and are reminded of the tremendous contributions of our community’s most inspiring individuals.

Register to attend

Special Guests

This year we are thrilled to welcome Philip Henderson as our keynote speaker and honor Steve Swenson with The Mountaineers Lifetime Achievement Award. Please join us as we hear from these two incredible individuals who have gone above and beyond to enact positive change for our broader community and the natural world.

2023 Keynote Speaker: Philip Henderson

Philip Henderson Headshot v2.jpg Photo by Greg Mionske.

Philip has been making history as a groundbreaking adventurer, climber, mountaineer, and outdoor educator for nearly 30 years. Through his passion for outdoor recreation and education, Philip has climbed and skied around the world, and taught mountain skills to guides and porters in Nepal, Kenya, Tanzania, and Chile. In 2012, Philip was a member and team leader of the North Face/National Geographic Everest Education Expedition, and in 2013 he became one of only a few African Americans to summit Denali. He also led an all-African American ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2018 and served as Expedition Leader of the successful Full Circle Everest Expedition, which saw the first all-Black American team summit Mt. Everest in 2022. 

With nearly three decades as an outdoor educator, including more than 20 years as an instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Philip has made a substantial impact on the outdoor community. As a volunteer, he’s dedicated countless hours to help youth around the country experience the power of nature. Philip was recognized by Outdoor Afro in 2020 with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the outdoor community.

Want to hear more of Philip’s adventures? You will have the chance to bid on a seat at an intimate dinner party with him and Lifetime Achievement Honoree Steve Swenson during the live auction! Register for the event today to secure access to our live auction.

2023 Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree: Steve Swenson 

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Photo by Mark Richey.

Steve has been climbing for more than 55 years and is known for big mountain expeditions to the Karakoram Range. He led the second successful American expedition to K2 and made a solo ascent of the North Ridge of Everest, both of which were accomplished without supplemental oxygen. In 2012 he and his partners made the first ascent of Sasser Kangri II (7,518 meters), the second highest unclimbed mountain in the world, a feat for which they were awarded the prestigious Piolet d’Or. Steve and his partners – including Graham Zimmerman – were awarded a second Piolet d’Or in 2020 for their successful first ascent of Link Sar (7,041 meters) in 2019. Steve is one of only a few people to receive a Piolet d’Or, let alone two, an award considered mountaineering's highest honor.

In addition to his book Karakoram: Climbing Through the Kashmir Conflict, published by Mountaineers Books, Steve has been published by Alpinist, Climbing, and Rock & Ice magazines, the Banff Center, and the American Alpine Journal. Steve has a rich history and deep commitment to The Mountaineers and our extended community. In the past 12 years, he he has served on The Mountaineers Board of Directors and Governance Committee, founded and dedicated endless volunteer hours to supporting our Alpine Ambassadors Program, supported our mission as a Peak Society donor and was involved in the publication of our tenth edition of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills. Steve also served as president of the American Alpine Club from 2009 to 2012.

Interested in honing your ice climbing skills with a world-renown ice expert? During the live auction you will have an opportunity to bid on a week of ice climbing for you and a friend with Steve in Canmore, Alberta

We hope you’ll join us to honor Philip and Steve’s immense contributions to the outdoor community and to support The Mountaineers efforts to lead innovation in outdoor education, engage a vibrant community of outdoor enthusiasts, and advocate on behalf of the natural world. 

Claim your seat today!

For more information about the event, please visit our 2023 Gala website. We can’t wait to see you there!

Questions & Virtual Viewing

Unable to attend in person? Join us virtually

If you would like to receive benefits as a Gala Sponsor, need assistance registering, or have any additional questions, please contact Hana Wilder at or call 206-521-6020. 

Thank you to our Sponsors:

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