Olympia Adventure Speaker Series 2023-2024

The 2023-2024 Olympia Adventure Speaker Series takes place on the first Wednesday of each month from November 2023-March 2024. The speakers will share their adventures to all areas of the world and inspire you to chase your dreams.
Carolyn Burreson Carolyn Burreson
41-year member
October 20, 2023
Olympia Adventure Speaker Series 2023-2024
Photo by Ron Jones.

Mountaineers from all branches, their guests, and community members are invited to join the Olympia Mountaineers on the first Wednesday of each month from November 2023 through March  2024 for our much-loved Adventure Speaker Series! Olympia Mountaineers have hosted this amazing free event for 16 years. Join us at our evening socials featuring speakers who are guaranteed to inspire your next adventure.

Tami Asars - Fall Color Hikes | Nov 1

Fall is a spectacular time of year for hiking in the Pacific Northwest!  Join guidebook author Tami Asars as she walks us through some of her favorite autumn hikes and colorful scenic drives from her latest book, Fall Color Hikes: Washington. Pick up a personalized copy while you're here.

Tami is the author of Hiking the Wonderland TrailDay Hiking Mount Adams and Goat Rocks, Hiking the PCT: Washington, Day Hiking Mount Rainier , and Fall Color Hikes: Washington. She is also a contributor, photographer, and columnist for Washington Trails Magazine, Alaska Airlines Magazine, as well as a host of other publications and online hiking resources.

She has earned her Triple Crown of hiking by completing the three major US trails (Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, and the Appalachian Trail) as well as a range of others (Wonderland, West Coast, Colorado Trail, Arizona Trail, etc.). Additionally, she has served as a professional backpacking guide in Mount Rainier National Park and worked as an outdoor instructional guide, showing people of all skill levels the wonders of backpacking in the Pacific Northwest. For more information, or to drop her a line, please visit www.tamiasars.com.


Craig Romano - Day Hiking The Central Cascades | Dec 6 

Come take a slideshow hiking tour of Washington’s breathtaking Central Cascades with award winning guidebook author Craig Romano. Drawing from his newly-released  Day Hiking Central Cascades, 2nd Edition, Craig will introduce you to a diverse array of trails along the Stevens Pass US 2 corridor, the Icicle River Valley, the Lake Wenatchee area, Blewett Pass, Wenatchee foothills, lightly-hiked Entiat River Valley, and the Lake Chelan area, including the remote Stehekin Valley. Craig's new book will be available for purchase.

Craig hiked more than 2,000 miles researching this book, from easy nature trails to wilderness romps. This all new, completely revised and updated volume contains 136 hikes, including many that aren't found in any other guidebooks. Many of the hikes from the previous edition have been greatly expanded, providing even more hiking opportunities.

Craig is one of the most prolific trails writers in the Northwest, having penned more than two dozen books covering the region. His Columbia Highlands: Exploring Washington’s Last Frontier, was recognized in 2010 by Washington Secretary of State, Sam Reed, and State Librarian, Jan Walsh, as a Washington Reads book for its contribution to Washington’s cultural heritage. He has hiked more than 32,000 miles in Washington State alone.  He is also an avid runner and has completed more than 40 marathons and ultra runs including the White River 50 mile Adventure Run.


Donna Kreuger - Solo | Jan 3

Donna Kreuger retired in January 2022 and in June left from Olympia on an 11,500-mile solo trip, camping and exploring western Canada and Alaska. Her trip took her through the Canadian Rockies, north up the Cassiar Highway to the Dempster Highway, and through the Yukon and Northern Territories to the Arctic Ocean. From there, she crossed the Yukon River to connect to the Top of World Highway, entering Alaska through the northernmost land border crossing. Her travels included the Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Valdez, glacier kayak tours, the Kenai Peninsula and Lake Clark National Park for coastal brown bear tours, the Dalton Highway to Deadhorse (also known as the Ice Road Truckers road), and Denali National Park, before returning home on the Alcan Highway.

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Donna Kreuger joined The Mountaineers because she wanted to safely explore the Washington mountains and trails.  Her first Mountaineers experience was taking the Wilderness Skills course to gain a basic toolkit for her planned adventures.  That experience, and the volunteerism exhibited by the instructors, inspired her to become a volunteer hike leader.  

Donna graduated the Alpine Scrambling course, was a regular volunteer with the Wilderness Skills and Snowshoe courses, and continues to support the Navigation course and Adventure Speaker Series.  In 2015, she established the Olympia Branch Conditioning Hiking Series course and administered the course through 2021.  She has also acted as Co-Chair of the Hiking and Backpacking Committee from 2015-2021 and stepped back into that roll in January 2023. Her focus in the club has been to welcome new members through beginner hiking, backpacking, and snowshoe trips, and to assist and develop new leaders within the hiking group.   

Donna’s favorite saying is “I’m just a chubby little grandma and if I can do it, anyone can."  This attitude has carried her through the Scramble course,  long distance day hikes such as the 22-mile Seven Lakes Basin, High Divide, and 28-mile Enchanted Valley, and many other hikes each year that achieve up to 100,000 feet of vertical gain.


Marko Pavela - Great Northwest Climbing Road Trips | Feb 7

Recent graduates of the Olympia Intermediate Climbing course will share information about the Northwest's premier climbing destinations. The presenters will share route recommendations, logistical considerations, and inspirational photos for each area so that attendees can later plan trips to these fantastic crags.


The evening will also cover five destination-worthy climbing locations outside of Washington state, including Joshua Tree in California, Indian Creek in Utah, Smith Rock in Oregon, the City of Rocks in Idaho, and Squamish in British Columbia. Experienced and novice climbers alike won't want to miss this opportunity to discover their next favorite climbing destination.

Time will be reserved at the end for a Q&A.


Nigel Foster - Iceland by kayak | Mar 6

 In 1977, Nigel Foster and Geoff Hunter set off on a shoestring adventure to explore a country of just 222,000 people. Hear the story of the first circumnavigation of Iceland by kayak, and how such an expedition came about in the days before dry suits, cellphones, hand-held waterproof VHF radios, GPS, or the World Wide Web. That’s also before the home computer, and twenty years before Google came onto the scene. Anyone have an appetite for curried seagull?

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Nigel Foster is an English kayaker living in Seattle. He makes his living designing kayaks and equipment, writing, and giving kayaking lessons around the world. He has published more than a dozen books, the latest being Iceland by Kayak. Check him out on Wikipedia, and purchase a copy of his book during our event! 



  • Location - Friends Meeting House, 3201 Boston Harbor Road NE, Olympia, 98506
  • 6pm - Doors open.  Attendees are encouraged to mingle, check out the library, and learn more about membership, activities, and classes
  • 6:45pm - Branch announcements 
  • 7pm - Adventure Speaker Series begins. Arrive early for parking and seating


There is no fee for the Speaker Series, but please RSVP for each Speaker Series you plan to attend.


Reach out to Carolyn Burreson for more information.

Thank you for all your many years of support !

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