Our Instructors

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Watercolor Painting: Nikki Frumkin, @DrawntoHighPlaces

My work is inspired by time spent hiking, climbing and mountaineering in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I am drawn to rugged, remote and wild places. My paper and watercolors come with me on my human powered adventures, small paper tucked into my pocket on big adventures or enormous sheets strapped to the outside of my pack like a sail. I am often painting from summits, ridges or alpine lakes. There is magic in painting in these wild places, in capturing the light, energy and movement of a place.


Art is powerful in its ability to connect people to the natural world and to each other. My work combines pattern, vibrant color, and energetic lines in an effort to to capture and share the feeling of being in the mountains. The feeling that drives us to keep seeking out experiences in the mountains. That inspires pride and connection to our wild places. That inspires action to take care of them.


My paintings have been exhibited in shows across the country. I also create art and design work within the climbing and outdoor industry.

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Watercolor Painting: Claire Giordano, @ClairesWanderings

Claire is a painter and writer exploring how art can forge connections between people, place, and science. Her work is grounded in firsthand outdoor experiences and painting outside on-site during hiking, backpacking, and climbing trips. In her workshops Claire strives to share how the fun, versatile, and unpredictable nature of watercolor can be a tool for capturing both how a place looks as well as how it feels to experience it.


Her work has been featured in Alpinist magazine, by the REI Journal and Force of Nature publication, Stay Wild Magazine, She Explores, and the Waymaking anthology of women’s stories. In addition to commercial work for local outdoor companies like REI, Claire collaborates with scientists to blend art and data and was recently an artist in residence at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest.


You are most likely to find Claire perched beside a trail or in her studio, a paintbrush in one hand and a chocolate bar in the other. To learn more about her work check out her website at www.claireswanderings.com and her Instagram at www.instagram.com/claireswanderings.

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Adventure Story Telling: Angel Mathis

Angel Mathis is the Lead Adventure Instigator of Boldly Went, a traveling adventure storytelling live show and weekly podcast that’s been downloaded more than 100,000 times. She loves creating inclusive spaces that provide equal access for outdoorists of all kinds to tell their most inspiring, intriguing, and impactful adventure stories.  


Angel is an accomplished adventurer herself, running across Spain on the el Camino de Santiago, running the Cascade Crest 100 miler, then getting so inspired to quit her full-time job as a Nurse Practitioner to go live outside for 5 months and hike the Pacific Crest Trail. That led to hundreds of other tiny and big life choices that have made her discover that it is possible to make adventure a lifestyle. She wants other people to feel empowered to find their inner dirtbag too, which is why she and her husband worked together to publish the book, The Dirtbag’s Guide to Life: Eternal Truth for Hiker Trash, Ski Bums, and Vagabonds.

Map & Compass/Orienteering Instructor Julie Cassata

Map & compass: Julie Cassata

Julie is passionate about getting outdoors. She loves relating maps to her surroundings, and using a compass to figure out where she is and where she's heading. She actually does this as sport; it's called orienteering. You can find her frequently at Cascade Orienteering Club events, and she recently traveled internationally to compete in a world championship.


Being comfortable with, and adept at using map and compass are important to being confident and safe in the backcountry. This skill has helped Julie move confidently through the wilderness for thousands of miles. She has thru-hiked both the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail, completed multiple 100-mile footraces and 24-hour navigation races. 


Aside from technical skills, having a fun and upbeat approach also helps keep Julie safe in the mountains, and contributes to her infectious enthusiasm for sharing map and compass skills. Julie feels the most alive when out on adventure, which is palpable in her exuberant PCT Happy Dance Video

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Landscape & Nature Photography: Kelly Selzler kellyselzlerphotography.com

Unlike many photographers, I didn't always have a passion for photography. Instead of me finding photography, it found me. I stumbled upon the work of Art Wolfe in the Seattle REI store 17 years ago. His images were so incredible and compelling, it left me awestruck. At that moment, I realized that was what I wanted to do. That's when my dream of pursuing photography began. Life's obstacles didn't allow it until 3 years ago and I've been fortunate enough to pursue what I love.


I am so fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest where there are mountains, rainforests, waterfalls, the ocean, and the Puget Sound nearby. I cannot imagine a more magical place for photography. I hope you enjoy my work and can find a connection with each image. Our earth is astoundingly beautiful and my goal is to capture that beauty as often as I can. 


Kelly's work has been featured in gallery shows and she is a landscape photography instructor with Washington Outdoor Women. You can find Kelly's work here: www.kellyselzlerphotography.com 

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Backpacking 101: Anastasia Allison

Anastasia Allison is a former park ranger and police officer turned full-time entrepreneur after a near fatal car accident became the catalyst for her to pursue her dream of living an adventure-inspired life. A life long classically trained violinist, Anastasia is the violinist for a nationally acclaimed duo called The Musical Mountaineers. Together with her partner Rose Freeman, they carry a violin and a piano (keyboard) into the backcountry for unannounced sunrise concerts.

 
Inspired by her obsession for the wilderness and her passion for Leave No Trace ethics, Anastasia is also the inventor and founder of a company called Kula Cloth™, which is the very first of its kind - an antimicrobial pee cloth for anybody who squats when they pee. Since the company launched in July 2018, Kula Cloths™ have been shipped to every state and all over the world. The Kula Cloth™ has been featured by Backpacker Magazine, Outside Magazine, The Dyrt, Treehugger.com, Adventure Journal, the She Explores Podcast, and by the Washington Trails Association Magazine

 
In addition to her career as an entrepreneur, Anastasia is also  a Wilderness First Responder and has been a volunteer backpacking instructor with Washington Outdoor Women for nearly 10 years. She is the Seattle Trail Scout and Gear Tester for Backpacker Magazine, and she hosts the Inspired Adventurepreneur Podcast on iTunes. Anastasia also has a private coaching practice for aspiring adventurepreneurs and runs a group coaching program called 'Stuck to Summit'.

She lives near Seattle with her husband Aaron, who plays the ukulele, and their two cats, Niko and Cinder. When they aren't performing music together, they try to spend as much time as possible in the backcountry in a tent. 

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Self Defense for Outdoor Women: Wendi Barker, Tiger Marshall Arts

Wendi Barker has been studying the martial arts for 21 years. She is a fifth-degree black belt in Uechi-ryu karate and has run her own karate school on Whidbey Island for the last 14 years. She was awarded the Ruby Award from the Soroptimist of Washington, for the multiple women’s self-defense seminars that she has run for them. She also taught a self-defense class for them for three years at their Island Girls Camp.  A mother, grandmother and artist she loves sharing her passion of empowering women to be the best they can be!

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Self Defense for Outdoor Women: Chelsey Schultz

Chelsey Schultz has been practicing Uechi-Ryu Karate with Sensei Wendi Barker of Tiger Martial Arts since she was 14-years-old, and has recently achieved her 3rd-degree black belt. Upon graduating university, Chelsey became a nomad. She lived in Asia for over a year and has been to 23 different countries in the past three years. Chelsey has taken her love of self-defense on the road with her by practicing different martial arts in her travels and creating a travel safety blog called The Ninja Gypsy. Currently, she works as a travel writer. She published her first travel book called 'Inspired: The Stories of Nine Solo Female Travelers' last year. 

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Music: Rose Freeman

Rose Freeman delights in the timeless art of music both as a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music and as the pianist of The Musical Mountaineers.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Pedagogy from Whitworth University and has taught piano for the last ten years.  She is an active member of Washington State Music Teachers Association, Snohomish County Music Teachers Association Chapter President, WSMTA Certification Chair, member of the Everett Mountaineers, and pianist of The Musical Mountaineers.  


Rose embraces the opportunity to teach the art of piano music to 40 students from her home studio in Bothell.  Her goal is to equip her students to practice productively with healthy technique, perform confidently, explore creative expression, develop a rounded musical education, and express their unique voice in the timeless language of music.  Rose accompanied her husband, Tyler Freeman, through his masters degree in vocal performance at Eastern University and discovered the joy of being a collaborative pianist.  


Last year, Rose embarked on a new adventure to carry her Yamaha keyboard to the summit of local peaks such as Granite Mountain, Mount Dickerman, and Mailbox Peak to perform concerts at sunrise with Anastasia Allison.  Her least favorite part of musical mountaineering is when the music blows away!

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The Musical Mountaineers

Anastasia Allison, violin, and Rose Freeman, piano, met in 2017 through a serendipitous series of events that began with Anastasia almost dying in a car accident and Rose moving back to the Seattle area.  After her accident, Anastasia had a vision that she needed to play her violin on the summit of a mountain.  Rose had been drawing sketches of pianos in the mountains for most of her life. Unaware of their soon-to-be-magical friendship, Anastasia hosted an Instagram contest to give away a book about hiking.  Rose was the only person who entered to win!  They quickly discovered their mutual love of music and the mountains and hatched a plan to make their dream a reality.


Anastasia and Rose never intended to 'become' The Musical Mountaineers - instead, the duo was born organically when they began sharing their simple videos of their unannounced sunrise serenades. Since their first concert, The Musical Mountaineers have been featured both locally and nationally and have performed at Benaroya Hall for the Washington National Park Fund Benefit Concert. They are excitedly looking forward to performing at the WNPF Concert again on October 23, 2019.  


“When we climb mountains with our instruments, we transcend the fears and excuses and put our mission first: to bring more good into the world, to inspire others to follow their heart and blaze their own trail. Everybody can find their own version of performing music on a mountain - what would that look like if we each brought our own unique gift into the world? How beautiful could that be?” -Anastasia Allison