ESIA is hosting the 8th annual Winter Adventure Series on select Thursday nights. Each week we highlight an inspiring person in our community with the intent to educate, motivate and inspire attendees to explore the Eastern Sierra. These speakers will be paired with a visual presentation, door prizes, and a beer from Mammoth Brewing Co. The Winter Adventure Series is supported by Mammoth Mountaineering, Stellar Brew, Footloose, Sage to Summit, Rolling Chef, Elixir, and more.
Check back for 2024 dates!
See Previous Speakers below!
FREE EVENT – April 20th // 6:00 p.m. “This Contested Land” – A Celebration of National Monuments
McKenzie Long: Writer, Climber, Graphic Designer
Our series will kick off with MCKENZIE LONG, a graphic designer and writer who lives in Mammoth Lakes, California. She is co-author of two climbing guidebooks, a cross-country Mountain Bike National Champion, and a climber with multiple ascents of El Capitan in Yosemite. In 2019 she was named the Terry Tempest Williams Fellow for Land and Justice at Mesa Refuge.
Come hear about her newest book, This Contested Land. “This land is your land. When it comes to national monuments, the sentiment could hardly be more fraught. Gold Butte in Nevada, Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks in New Mexico, Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine, Cascade–Siskiyou in Oregon and California: these are among the thirteen natural sites McKenzie Long visits in This Contested Land, an eye-opening exploration of the stories these national monuments tell, the passions they stir, and the controversies surrounding them today.”
Deanna Lynn Wulff: Executive Director and Founder of Unite the Parks
Deanna is the Executive Director and founder of Unite the Parks, a conservation organization working to protect the southern Sierra Nevada. One of their primary goals to preserve and restore the federal land between Yosemite and Kings Canyon by creating the Range of Light National Monument. It’s a big proposal and special area – big because it’s about 1.4 million acres (about twice as large as Yosemite) and special, because the proposed protected area is in the center of the longest interconnected wilderness in the lower 48. Wulff has been working on the proposal for about nine years and legislation was just introduced in 2022; she’s been a ranger, a river guide, a writer, and always a deep lover of nature.
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER!
March 9, 2023
Mikey Schaefer: Climber, Videographer, Photographer
Mikey has had a climbing career that spans 30 years, 6 continents and first ascents from Alaska to Patagonia. Along the way he has also managed to capture images of some of the greatest climbers of his generation and these images have landed on the cover of National Geographic Magazine twice. Though, he is probably best known for his work on Free Solo that garnered him an Emmy Award (and an invite to a party that Taylor Swift was also attending.) Mikey’s presentation will be a retrospective on his life as a climber and how he has managed to stay at it for so long
January 19, 2023 // 6:00 p.m. “Zabardast: A High-Altitude Travel Diary”
Zak Mills: Snowboarder, Explorer
Zak Mills has been backcountry snowboarding for about 10 years in the Eastern Sierra, Pacific Northwest, Canada, and Alaska, among other places. Snowboarding has changed the way he looks at the world and he is grateful for the impact that it’s had on his life. One of his favorite trips was a journey to the Karakoram in 2018 with a group of Frenchmen to ride a mountain called the Biacherai North Tower. He found a photograph of the mountain in an online trip report from some guys that had been on a guided ski trekking trip in the area several years before and Zak was deeply inspired by the aesthetics of the mountain.
Join us for the screening of Zabardast, an expedition about this journey into the Karakoram Range. The film is directed by Jérôme Tanon, and stars Thomas Delfino, Léo Taillefer, Zak Mills, Yannick Graziani, and Hélias Millerioux.
February 2, 2022 // 6:00pm “Mountain Lions Demystified ENCORE”
Phil Johnston: Mountain Lion Researcher, Professional Tracker, Outdoor Educator
Back by popular demand- Phil joins us again for the Winter Adventure Speaker Series! Phil Johnston is a professional wildlife tracker, mountain lion researcher, outdoor educator, and Environmental Scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife studying mountain lions and Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in the Eastern Sierra. He tracks mountain lions throughout California’s diverse ecosystems with the goal of contributing to our scientific understanding of mountain lion ecology and behavior, and provides specialized training on wildlife tracking and animal behavior.
February 9 // 6:00 p.m. “Legacy on the Muir”
Max Buschini: Filmmaker, Photographer, Climber
Max Buschini grew up in the East Bay Area and fell in love with filmmaking at five-years-old. After falling in love with rock climbing and the outdoors, he wanted to merge the two passions together. Since 2017 has been on a mission to capture high performance athletes in the vertical realm. After graduating with a Film Degree from University of Oregon, he moved to Yosemite National Park. There he dedicated himself to capturing elite climbers on iconic cliffs such as El Capitan.
He has worked with companies such as Arc’teryx, Patagonia, The North Face, Reel Rock, Coros, Edelrid, Scarpa and many others. Today, Max has completed multiple of his own adventure short films that have received high praises at multiple film festivals. Max’s love for the art of filmmaking is unmatched and is constantly yearning to tell stories about adventures in the mountains.
Join us for a screening of Max’s new film, Legacy on the Muir. “In 1965, legendary climbers TM Herbert and Yvon Chouinard climbed the Muir Wall on El Capitan while facing a brutal storm and not having a chance for a rescue. Fifty-five years later TM Herbert suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and struggles to remember his iconic climb. TM’s son, Tom Herbert, decides to attempt breaking the Muir Wall speed record to remember his father’s astounding legacy.”
January 20, 2022 “The Best Home Range in the World”
Tad McCrea: Alpine Explorer, Mountain Guide, Photographer
January 27, 2022 “Recovery Through Running”
Ryan Navales: Ultra-runner, President of Inyo Search and Rescue
Ryan found himself homeless in the middle of Downtown Los Angeles’s Skid Row after a decades long struggle with alcohol and drugs. Ryan was in and out of jail, rehabs, and unable to hold a job or provide for his young family. While homeless on Skid Row, he met a marathon-running LA Superior Court Judge and joined his running club. Unaware at the time of what was in store, he began training for what he thought would culminate in the upcoming LA Marathon, but 10 years later wound up being marathons on 5 continents, a 50 mile ultra, and a journey of a lifetime. Somewhere along the way he would find recovery, himself and discover his will to live was stronger than his fear of living sober.
February 3, 2022 “Mountain Lions Demystified”
Phil Johnston: Mountain Lion Researcher, Professional Tracker, Outdoor Educator
Phil Johnston is a professional wildlife tracker, mountain lion researcher, outdoor educator, and Environmental Scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife studying mountain lions and Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in the Eastern Sierra. He tracks mountain lions throughout California’s diverse ecosystems with the goal of contributing to our scientific understanding of mountain lion ecology and behavior, and provides specialized training on wildlife tracking and animal behavior.
CANCELED: February 10, 2022 “A Changing Homeland”
Ronda Kauk: Mono Lake Kutzadika Paiute
Ronda will be joined with her niece, Jazmyn, and they will tell us more about growing up in the Eastern Sierra and still being able to continue with their Native American traditions while living in this modern world. Having spent her whole life in this area and having stories of the past, Ronda will talk about how these changes to winter have affected her homelands. Ronda lives in Lee Vining, California.
February 17, 2022 “Alone in the Mountains” (Two Presenters: Brooke Maushund and Anika Ramey)
Brooke Maushund: Jill of All Trades, Master of Fun, Snow Nerd, Ski Patroller, Member of YOSAR
Missing the mountains after working in Central America and Africa on off-grid solar projects, Brooke moved to Yosemite “just for the summer” to become a big wall climber five years ago… and never left (at least seasonally). Always on the lookout for ways to spend more time moving through the mountains, she now spends her winters ski patrolling, starting to teach avalanche courses, and volunteering at Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center as a key observer. She still spends her summers in Yosemite, now on Yosemite Valley’s Search and Rescue team, recently becoming way too much of an aid climber.