Outdoor Legends

out•door 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

Outdoor 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 Outdoor Legends. This networking portion will include dinner and drinks. From 7–9 p.m., a panel discussion with this year’s Outdoor Legends will offer these industry leaders a platform to showcase their stories and experiences.

2019 Outdoor Legend Lineup

  • 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

Event Information

Thursday, April 11, 2019 from 6–9 p.m.
The Apple Barn in Valle Crucis, North Carolina (on the campus of the Valle Crucis Conference Center)

Sponsored by Beech Mountain Resort with support by the Mast General Store and Highland Outfitters
Food provided by Reid's Catering
Drinks donated by Beech Mountain Brewery

Tickets (includes admission, food and beverage) are available to the public for $25 per person. Purchased tickets help sponsor attendance of Outdoor Recreation Management students.

Outdoor Legends

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)

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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

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Thank you to our sponsors!

Outdoor Legends sponsors


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