Spring Dinner: Transformation in the Mountains with Leif Whittaker

Spring Dinner: Transformation in the Mountains with Leif Whittaker

Spring Dinner: Transformation in the Mountains with Leif Whittaker

Event Details

Mar 30, 2019 04:00 PM to
Mar 31, 2019 12:00 PM
North Cascades Environmental Learning Center
Institute staff
Triple Accommodations
Double Accommodations
Single Accommodations
Cost with no Lodging
Add it to your calendar

Celebrate the arrival of Spring with a special dinner in our lakeside dining hall on Diablo Lake, a fascinating presentation on mountaineering — from the icy slopes of Mount Everest to the volcanic summit of Mount Baker — and comfortable overnight accommodations at our Environmental Learning Center in North Cascades National Park.


For our annual Spring Dinner gathering over the weekend, our talented kitchen team will prepare a dinner with an emphasis on local ingredients from Skagit and Whatcom counties, while our bar will serve local microbrews and wine to compliment the palette of festive flavors.

After dinner, we'll enjoy an intimate evening presentation with local mountaineer and climbing ranger Leif Whittaker, author of My Old Man and the Mountain. This acclaimed memoir published by Mountaineers Books is an engaging and humorous story of what it was like to “grow up Whittaker” — the youngest son of Jim Whittaker and Dianne Roberts, in an extended family of accomplished climbers. He shares glimpses of his upbringing and how the pressure to climb started early on. Readers learn of his first adventures with family in the Olympic Mountains and on Mount Rainier; his battle with a serious back injury; and his efforts to stand apart from his father’s legacy and a chance encounter that leads to the opportunity to climb Everest, just like his father did.

Leif's story circles back around to the North Cascades as he becomes a backcountry climbing ranger on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, patrolling Mt. Baker and other iconic peaks in our backyard.


I couldn't imagine coming to North Cascades Institute without telling some stories from the wonderful Youth Leadership Adventures trips I have participated in," Leif adds. "Those experiences are always a highlight of my climbing ranger season. Being with the students and seeing their transformation reminds me of what is truly important about visiting our wild places. Can't wait to share some stories, photos, and thoughts!

— Leif Whittaker

Your reservation includes dinner Saturday evening and breakfast Sunday morning, overnight accommodations, Leif's interactive presentation and an optional naturalist-led outdoor excursion.

*Note: there are a very limited number of single-occupancy rooms available ($230/person) in order to make room for more guests for this special weekend. Call (360) 854-2599 to check availability.