Top 10 Mountaineers of Instagram: Inspiration for 2020

Every year we curate our Top 10 Mountaineers of Instagram. These members capturing their adventures to inspire others to get outside. Follow them for inspiration in 2020.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
January 01, 2020
Top 10 Mountaineers of Instagram: Inspiration for 2020

Now more than ever, outdoor enthusiasts can learn about great places to play through social media. Finding new trails, discovering new paddles, and reaching new summits is easier than ever you connect with a community celebrating adventure through photos, videos, and stories on Instagram. Because we think the outdoors are worth sharing, we've picked a few Mountaineers whose Instagrams might just inspire you to get outside in the new year. 

We launched our Mountaineers Instagram in November 2014, and created a Mountaineers hashtag that we felt captured the essence of who we are and where we play. In the past five years, this space has become a new place for our community to coalesce and collaborate. Today, more than 110,000 photos have been shared using #OurPNW, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to share in your  personal connections to the outdoors.

To celebrate our ever-growing digital community, we chose our favorite inspirational Mountaineers for 2020. Whether you are looking to add to your bucket list or want to expand your connections to the outdoors, these Mountaineers of Instagram have you covered: 

Thomas Bancroft: @GTBANCROFT

thomas bancroft.jpgThomas quickly integrated himself into The Mountaineers. A member since 2017, and a 2019 Super Volunteer and Key Leader, Thomas has a lengthy background in supporting our outdoor spaces. He's served as Chief Scientist for the National Audubon and the Vice President of the Research Department at The Wilderness Society. He is also an active member of The Mountaineers Naturalist Committee, serving as chair and co-leading our Introduction the Natural World course and helping to train volunteer leaders, among other things. He also serves on committees for Global Adventures, Seattle Photography, Walking the Wild, and Seattle Branch Leadership. 


claire gatenby.jpgClaire has been a member of The Mountaineers since 2016, and is currently a student in the Seattle Branch’s intermediate program. “I moved to Seattle from Australia in 2016. Having grown up camping in the outback and hiking in Tasmania I had little experience in snow travel. I signed up for the Scrambling course in 2017 and quickly became hooked. I've since completed Basic Climbing through modules and have become a hike leader. I use my Instagram as a collection of my outdoor adventures to share with all my friends and family back home. I also hope that by sharing my adventures I can inspire others (especially other women) to enjoy nature and give mountaineering a try. I love the community The Mountaineers has introduced me to and all the skills I've learned. Next year I want to do more climbing, leading, and mentoring.”


rikki hinz.jpeg

Rikki has been a Mountaineers member since 2013. She's a soon-to-be graduate of the Everett Intermediate Climbing Course, and is currently a climb leader and fire lookout crew leader with the Everett Branch. "I enjoy instructing for basic and intermediate, and leading basic climbs for the branch. My new volunteer focus will be as the incoming leading on rock course leader this upcoming season. I love supporting students as they challenge themselves and realize their potential. It is what keeps me coming back as a volunteer! As a peakbagger and scree skier, I have recently come to admit I am a Bulger chaser. I do it for my magnum opus which is to, "know thyself." In my weekday life I am an Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant, where I get to flex my reflective muscle and fulfill my passions related to mental health, social justice, healing, and relationships."



Matthew joined The Mountaineers in 2018 after moving to Seattle from Colorado. “I quickly became involved with The Mountaineers, specifically the photography committee.  I am actively working towards becoming a trip leader so I can lead photography-oriented outings and help people take greater control over their camera equipment. My love for recreating in the outdoors is what initially led me to photography, and now I have found a new depth of fulfillment, for my life lived outdoors, through sharing my photography with others.”

janette powell: @JANETTEPOWELL

janette powell.jpg

A relative newcomer to The Mountaineers, Janette dove right in. "Every weekend in the PNW I have the greatest problem in the world: what great outdoor activity will I do? It's such a magnificent dilemma to have! You will likely find me hiking, backpacking, kayaking, paddle boarding, snowshoeing or snowboarding, typically with my camera. I love it most when I'm rendered speechless by this beautiful place. I joined The
Mountaineers to learn, to expand my playground, and along the way I’ve gathered friends and experiences irreplaceable and un-imagined."

Mushtaque Silat: @KOHGASHTA

mushtaque silat.jpg

Looking for more challenging terrain to explore in the PNW, Mushtaque's friends recommend The Mountaineers. "One of them told me that maybe I should look into The Mountaineers and their scrambling course. I signed up and my outdoor life literally changed overnight. I took the scrambling class in 2015 and glacier travel class and in 2016. I love the organization and people so much that I decided to volunteer as an instructor for the scrambling and navigation courses. I've been doing that since 2016 in addition to participating scrambling trips. The Mountaineers have taught me so much about how to be a safe and responsible consumer of the outdoors. I love to take that knowledge and teach it to others both through The Mountaineers as well as on private trips."

Andrew Tangsombatvisit: @ATANGSOM

andy tangsom.JPG

After joining the Everett Branch at the recommendation of his boss, Andrew become a dedicated volunteer over the past few years.  "Exploring the PNW's wild spaces has been fulfilling in such a way that I continued my outdoor education through AIARE, Basic Climbing, and Intermediate Climbing courses.  I am the Everett Branch’s Scrambling Chair and I volunteer with all the courses I have taken. I love The Mountaineers community and enjoy giving back and watching my students grow. My goal is to continue to develop a welcoming community for everyone and take care of our wild spaces.”   


heidi walker.jpg

A longtime Mountaineer, Heidi is a dedicated volunteer with the Seattle Branch. “I loved going out on the relaxed photo trips, exploring places I hadn't photographed before, and meeting people who loved seeing the world through the lens as much as I did. It made my social awkwardness not so awkward. It wasn't long before I was helping in the classes and leading trips and hikes. You can find me on the trail - camera in hand laughing with my Mountaineers buddies.”


karen wallace.jpg

Look no further than Karen Wallace's Instagram for some of the best summit selfies this side of the Mississippi. “The year 2019 has been my favorite so far for adventuring outside with The Mountaineers. It was my third year leading hikes, first year leading scrambles, and the first year I got to experience climbing around stunningly beautiful crevasses on glaciers. My 11th essential is a GoPro mounted on a selfie stick just in case no one else is around to capture our joyful group moments atop summits, next to pristine alpine lakes, and in other locations less traveled. My favorite activity is scrambling, and my passion is getting people outside to infuse a sense of fun, adventuring where inspiration becomes the key factor for living an active lifestyle and where motivation is needed less.”

brent williams: @WILLITHEWANDERER

Brent Photo 2.jpg

"I have enjoyed the outdoors for as long as I can remember, but it became especially important to me as a useful coping mechanism for dealing with work stress early in my career. I found hiking especially therapeutic as it really helped center me. During those early days, I also found a passion for sharing pictures of what I see and do while outdoors. I think about the folks who are not able to do such things and I want to share with them what I think makes the outdoors so special. Currently I am active with The Mountaineers with the intermediate climbing course, and as a glacier, rock, hike, ski, and stewardship leader."

Looking for more inspiration?

Be sure to check out the featured Mountaineers of 2019. Want to be featured next year? Add a comment with a link to your handle (if you're a member!) and we'll add you to our running tally for next year's top 10 list. Remember to use our #OurPNW tag on Instagram every day for a chance to be featured on The Mountaineers feed (whether you're a member or not).

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Brendan Moore-Penaskovic
Brendan Moore-Penaskovic says:
Jan 02, 2020 10:20 PM

Brendan Moore-Penaskovic, I'm a member : )

Tom Eng
Tom Eng says:
Jan 03, 2020 12:56 PM

I'm a member! Tom Eng

Joanna Maltbaek
Joanna Maltbaek says:
Jan 05, 2020 03:42 PM

I prefer to keep my instagram private, though I'd like to nominate my very talented friend and fellow climber @davidtryan :)

Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes says:
Feb 27, 2020 03:45 PM

Andrew Hughes, Member too!