Tag Archives: Holly Walker

Speaker Series – Group Dynamics in the Wild

While adventures amidst rugged, remote landscapes are often pursued to get away from civilization’s petty concerns, rarely does one fully elude them. Unless travelling solo, the human element is inescapable.

Those who have spent time on major expeditions will tell you that group dynamics can make or break a trip just as easily as Mother Nature. The emotional rollercoaster of a true adventure, from the euphoria of the summit to the boredom of a tent-bound week, can forge both the strongest bonds and the deepest disdains.

The Whistler Museum’s next Speaker Series event will delve headfirst into this messy world of human relationships in the wild. We are fortunate to host two accomplished local adventurers who will share stories from some of their wildest ski-mountaineering expeditions, drawing from these experiences to spark a conversation about leadership and group dynamics.


Bridget McClarty working on her tree pose in the Coast Mountains.

Originally from Kitimat, BC, Bridget McClarty’s many adventures include radio-collaring elephants in Botswana, instructing SCUBA diving in the Philippines, and most recently, teaching high school students in Pemberton. Her talk will focus on the leadership lessons she learned while on a month-long ski traverse of the Coast Mountains from Whistler to the Homathko Valley.

Blackcomb Mountain ski patroller Holly Walker has travelled the world as a skier for more than a decade, first as a competitor on the Freeride World Tour, then as a ski-mountaineer in such exotic locales as the Himalayas, Southern Alps, and Mexico. Her presentation will focus on trips to Alaska’s Tordrillo Mountains and Tajikistan’s Pamirs, exploring some of the finer points of backcountry partner selection.


Holly Walker earning her turns on Alaska’s Tordrillo Mountains.

Expect spectacular photos from some of the world’s wildest mountain ranges, compelling and occasionally hilarious stories from their adventures and misadventures, and an informative conversation about group dynamics that might even come in handy next time you plan on heading into the wilderness and need to find someone to tag along.

Additionally, both speakers will be able to provide a female’s perspective on the generally male- dominated culture of mountain expeditions, especially relevant just a week after International Women’s Day.



When: Tuesday March 15; Doors at 6pm, show 7pm-9pm
Where: Whistler Museum (4333 Main Street, beside the Library)
Who: Everyone!
Cost: $10 regular price, $5 for museum members and W-B Club Shred.

There will be complimentary tea and coffee (generously provided by the Whistler Roasting Company), and a cash bar serving beer and wine.

We expect this event to sell out, so make sure to get your tickets early. To purchase tickets top by the museum or call us at 604.932.2019.


Speaker Series: Winterstoke

On March 14th, Whistler Museum is hosting a Speaker Series as part of the Winterstoke Backcountry Ski Festival. Organized by international mountain guide and frequent backcountry snowboarder Ross Berg, Winterstoke offers two days of backcountry skills clinics with topics spanning from ski touring essentials to big mountain skiing—crucial and prominent themes throughout Whistler’s history.

Our presenters for the evening are backcountry specialist JD Hare and ski mountaineer Holly Walker.

Having lived in Australia, U.S.A. and France, Holly Walker moved to Whistler at the age of 23. A former competitor on the Freeride World Tour, she switched her focus from freeskiing competition to ski mountaineering in 2011.

Traveling the world in search of abundant pow and remarkable culture, Holly has climbed and skied in the Andes, Alaska Range, European Alps, Cascades, Himalayas, Pamirs and Tordillos. She is sponsored by Mammut, K2, Clif Bar, Smith Optics, Mons Royale and POW gloves.

On top of her mountaineering success, she has had her photographs and stories published in a multitude of magazines, catalogues and websites. Although this may seem like a dream, Holly has had her share of trauma, having suffered a severe stroke, broken a leg, and witnessed the death of a fellow competitor.

Originally from Toronto, Ontario, JD turned to Whistler as a place to call home. At the age of 18, he nearly became the youngest person to ever summit Mt. Logan, but turned back achingly close to the summit, exercising the discipline that would serve him well throughout his career.

JD is a backcountry specialist in the traditional sense, descending peaks all over the world, including mountains deep in BC’s Coast Range. He is also an excellent technical skier with progressive skills and style.

JD Hare skinning with Mount Waddington in the background. Photograph by Jim Martinello, courtesy of JD Hare.

JD Hare skinning with Mount Waddington in the background. Photograph by Jim Martinello, courtesy of JD Hare.

When JD moved to Whistler he delved deep into his passion for the backcountry, making several impressive first descents in the region in his early twenties. From there, he strayed from normality and embarked on spontaneous and unforgettable trips to the high mountains of Central Asia. Trips to Europe and Japan followed, as well as a string of traumatic injuries, before he settled in to raise a family and begin farming his land in Pemberton.

In recent years, sneaking away from the farm, JD has pioneered some exceptionally steep and committed descents in BC’s Coast Mountains, from the Tantalus to the Waddington Ranges, maturing into a bona fide extreme skier.

We are ecstatic to have Holly and JD speak of their epic adventures of ups and downs. Tickets are $7 ($5 for museum members) and are available for purchase at the Whistler Museum. Doors are at 6pm, and the presentations begin at 7pm. There will be a cash bar, and complimentary tea and coffee. Hope to see you there for some brilliant tales from the backcountry.