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.

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
The mountains have been a part of Tad’s life for almost as long as he can remember. At first he’d find himself running around the western Sierra barefoot with a fly rod, but gradually he steered his attention to the vertical and technical world of climbing and mountaineering as a vehicle to experience the wonders of the natural world. He likes pre-dawn starts, cracked cuticles, unplanned bivies, zinc stained smiles and summit sunsets. For most of the last decade he has been chasing adventure from the windswept Pampas of Patagonia to the lung-busting high country of the Himalaya. When not seeking out the road less traveled, he lives in Bishop and works as a Mountain Guide specializing in high-end alpine terrain and full-scale, remote expeditions.
Some of Tad’s alpine accomplishments include:
-40+ New routes in the Sierra Nevada
-Over 50 expeditions to the greater ranges such as the Alaska Range, the Andes, the Himalaya and the Karakoram.
Join Tad as he presents on new routes and exploration in the Range of Light. He is convinced that the Sierra Nevada is the best “Home Range” in the United States.
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.

Ryan lives in Bishop,CA, his hometown, with his 16 year old daughter Isabella, where he enjoys his greatest passion, chasing her through life. He’s a school bus driver, wanna be rock climber and President of Inyo County’s Search and Rescue Team.
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.

Anika Ramey: Wilderness EMT, YOSAR Member, Ski Patroller

Anika is a climber, skier, and artist living on the Eastside of the Sierra. She spends her summer chasing free climbing in Yosemite and the high Sierra and her winters ski patrolling. She’s worked as a wilderness EMT since 2015 and lead high altitude expeditions abroad and in Alaska. She is happiest climbing alone in the mountains and hopes to inspire other women to find their strength and confidence through solo expeditions.
February 24 , 2022 “All Jokes Aside”
Eeland Stribling: Biologist, Outdoor Educator, Angler

Eeland Stribling is a biologist and outdoor educator from Denver Colorado. When he’s not fly-fishing around the world, he’s hanging with his dog. He graduated with a degree in Conservation and wildlife biology. He’s worked for Colorado parks and wildlife, Lincoln Hills Cares, The US Forest service, Butterfly Pavilion and Rocky Mountain National Park. He’s also a stand-up comedian.  Winner of the 2019 clean comedy competition at Comedy Works and several other comedy competitions. He’s performed on festivals and clubs across the country. And been featured on short films with Coors, Vimeo: Staff Picks, Telluride Film Festival, and Huckberry. Between wildlife, road rage and goofiness, you’ll live love and laugh with him.
March 3, 2022 
Vitaliy Musiyenko: RN, Author, Explorer
Ever since overcoming severe health issues and obesity, and since he found his passion in the outdoors, Vitaliy has been on a mission to explore the world and his own limitations as an athlete. Though he works full time as an ER nurse, he finds time and joy from going on international expeditions, scrambling, photographing, climbing bigwalls, putting up major first ascents, repeating classic trad climbs, trail running and simple pleasures such as becoming a small part of a vast landscape.
His love of the Sierra Nevada culminated with the biggest high altitude technical traverse in the Western Hemisphere and much more meaningful contribution to the local community – a three volume climbing guidebook to technical routes in the High Sierra.

Upcoming Events