Mountain Legends

moun•tain leg•end (n.) 

  1. An admirable individual who has contributed significantly to the High Country outdoors through education, service, scholarship, or development
  2. Someone who has made a lifelong dedication to sharing their passion and improving the outdoor community for all

Mountain Legends is hosted by the Outdoor Recreation Management program at Lees-McRae College. The event is split into two portions. From 6–7 p.m., attendees will have the opportunity to network with both current and past Mountain Legends. This networking portion will include dinner and drinks. From 7–9 p.m., a panel discussion with this year’s Mountain Legends will offer these industry leaders a platform to showcase their stories and experiences.

Event Informationmountain-legend-logo-for-web.png

Thursday, April 18 from 6–9 p.m.

LP on Main
171 Main St E
Banner Elk, NC 28604

Sponsored by Beech Mountain Resort, Challenge Design Innovations, and Granite Insurance.

Tickets (includes admission, food, and beverage) are available to the public for $75 per person. Purchased tickets help sponsor attendance of Outdoor Recreation Management students.


Outdoor Legends

Past Legends


    2024 Legends

    • Bunny Johns
    • Doc Klein
    • Skip Sickler
    • Paul Wolf

    2023 Legends

    • Mike Fischesser

      Outward Bound, Alpine Towers, Beanstalk, The American Adventure Service Corps

    • Jim Gravely

      North Carolina Outward Bound, Pecos River, Alpine Towers, Beanstalk Designs, Beanstalk Builders, Bonzai Designs, Cornerstone Designs, Challenge Design Innovations, Phoenix Experiential Designs, Signature Research, Western Piedmont Community College, JG Construction, Association for Challenge Course Technology, Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association, Friends of the Mountain to Sea Trail

    • Jude Bevan

      Appalachian State University's Camp Broadstone, American Camp Association

    • Jim Cottrell

      French-Swiss Ski College, Appalachian State University, United States Military, International Special Olympics, American Association of Physical Education Recreation and Dance, Professional Ski Instructors of America, National Ski Patrol, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America


    2019 Legends

    • Nina Fischesser
      Lees-McRae College May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, North Carolina Outward Bound School, National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, Wildlife Rehabilitators of North Carolina
    • John Huie
      North Carolina Outward Bound School, Environmental Leadership Center of Warren Wilson College, John Huie & Associates
    • Goose Kearse
      Misty Mountain Threadworks, The Access Fund, The High Country Conservancy
    • KB Medford
      Nantahala Outdoor Center, American Canoe Association, US Whitewater Racing Team, World Age Group Olympic Championship, World Half Ironman Championships

    Read more

    2018 Legends

    • Gil Adams
      National Ski Patrol, Southern Division of NSP, North Carolina Ski Areas Association, National Ski Areas Association, Beech Mountain Town Council, League of American Bicyclists

    • Bob Benner
      Western Piedmont Community College, American Canoe Association, Friends Of Mountains-To- Sea Trail, North Carolina Outward Bound School

    • Jerry Cantwell
      Appalachian State University, Mountain Alliance, North Carolina Outward Bound School

    • Randy Johnson
      Appalachian Mountain Club, U.S. Forest Service, Grandfather Mountain (Attraction and State Park Advisory Committee), Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Society of American Travel Writers, North American Snowsports Journalists Association, North American Travel Journalists Association, American Society of Magazine Editors, National Ski Patrol (Nordic), Professional Ski Instructors of America (Nordic)

    • Lisa Loveday
      Avery County Schools Experiential Education Program, Kaplan/Mitchell Conference and Retreat Center at Ramah Darom, North Carolina Outward Bound School, Alpine Towers, Int., Live and Learn Consulting

    Read more

    2017 Legends

    • Aram Attarian
      North Carolina State University, North Carolina Outward Bound School

    • Jeep Barrett
      North Carolina Outward Bound School, Alpine Towers International, Phoenix Experiential Designs

    • Tex Teixeira
      Camp Woodson Wilderness Challenge Program, Association of Experiential Education (AEE), North Carolina Outward Bound School

    • Dee Thomas
      Lees-McRae College, Catalyst Sports, North Carolina Outward Bound School, Beech Mountain Adaptive Ski Program

    • Jim Wall
      Challenge Design Innovations, Association of Challenge Course Technology (ACCT), Georgia College and State University

    • Tom Zartman
      Phoenix Experiential Designs, Association of Challenge Course Technology (ACCT)

    Read more

Thank you to our sponsors!




Contact Associate Professor of Outdoor Recreation Management Katie Wall to learn more about the event.