Summit 2016

The 2016 Summit took place on July 15-17, 2016, at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. Click the links below for more information.


Keynote Speaker | Friday Night Speaker | Clinicians | Schedule | Sponsors | Photos

Schedule of Events

There are 3-4 classes offered each session. Classrooms will be announced at registration.

Friday, July 15


Registration/Check-in at Birch Hall


Trail Magic: The Grandma Gatewood Story - Shelly Huskey
Galapagos Island - Judy Young (AKA Gray Jay)
Hiking the Long Trails of the U.K. - Susan Turner (AKA Hammock Hanger)
(Classes are held in Killian Hall)




Evening Program Featuring Lisa Holliday, the Earth Tones and Special Guest Stacey Kozel

Saturday, July 16


Wordless Walk, led by Carla Robertson (meet in front of Birch Hall Dormitory)




Sitting Silence - start your day with beautiful music and centering, hosted by Lisa Holliday (Killian Hall)


Sense & Nonsense for a Radiant Walk - Regina Reiter
Finding Your Way Using a Map and Compass- Vera Hurst
Hike Strong, Hike Long – Rebecca Maglischo




Tales from the Other Side: Stories About Hiking the AT - Terri Sanders (AKA Bumpkin)
Eat Well on the Trail - Fran Boyd
Hike Strong, Hike Long – Rebecca Maglischo




Increasing Your Bad-Ass Hiking Status (When You Don't Consider Yourself a Bad-Ass) - Carla Robertson (AKA Zipper)
Hiking the Inca Trail - Anna "Mud Butt" Huthmaker
Leave No Trace - Kathy Rioux
Nature As Soul's Mirror - Michele Zehr




One Step At A Time: Breast Cancer Survivor Climbs Mountains to Raise Money - Iris Lancaster & Diane Matsumoto
Planning a Camino Hike - Deborah Berman & Dawn Epildauer
Sketching on the Trail - Carol Pivarnik
How Will You Hike the AT? - Leanna Joyner




Hiking The 48 in New Hampshire - Karen Washington
Slackpacking the AT to Fine Wine and Accommodations - Carol Steiner
Perks of the Master Naturalist Movement- Nature wants YOU!- Karen Mulder
Hanging Out with Hammocker!- Susan Turner aka Hammock Hanger & Jules Burroughs


Group Photo (Location to be announced)




Awards Ceremony and Keynote Speaker
TransformATion: Get Ready to Feel Inspired
Michele Zehr (AKA Certain)

Sunday, July 17




Morning Groove - Leanna Joyner (AKA Moonrise)


Sitting Silence - start your day with beautiful music and centering, hosted by Lisa Holliday (Killian Hall)


Increasing Your Bad-Ass Hiking Status When You Don't Consider Yourself a Bad-Ass - Carla Robertson (AKA Zipper)
Leading with Love and Finding Your Tribe - Lisa Holliday
Map Reading & Compass - Vera Hurst
Hiking the west Highland Way - Judy Young aka Gray Jay




Final Presentation- Tick Talk Pat Moxley
Women's Wisdom-advice and tales from women for women, including the famous Peeing, Pooping and Periods in the Woods

Class Descriptions

Eat Well on the Trail – Fran Boyd

Enjoy easy to prepare, satisfying meals on your next adventure. Join me to learn about planning delicious, simple backpacking menus using fresh and packaged foods. Learn about fast meal preparation at camp, going stove-less on occasion, and get resources and tips to inspire you to create your own unique backpacking meals.

Finding Your Way Using Map and Compass- Vera Hurst

Increase your outdoor knowledge and find your way in the deepest wilderness. This fun class will have you using a compass and a map like a pro.

Five Surprising Essentials for Planning a Fulfilling Walk of Any Length - Regina Reiter

Planning covers a long list of details, but when we look closely, they fit into five basic categories for both your Outer Journey AND your Inner Journey. Plan walks that fit YOUR body, YOUR life, and your heartsinging purpose. The clinic includes Regina's popular Meet the Mountains technique for climbing mountains with ease.

The Galapagos Islands - Judy Young

The Galapagos Islands are home to amazing and unique species of plants and animals. They were formed from volcanic activity, and their differing environments are due to the ocean currents and trade winds. Some species, including the Giant Tortoise, were near extinction. But through conservation efforts, they are making a comeback.

Hanging Out with the Hammockers - Susan Turner & Jules Burroughs

Hammocking has taken the world by storm and everwhere you look there and ‘hangs’ happening! Hammock Hanger is well known to the online hammock community and Jules Burroughs is the Trail Dames go-to for all hammock issues!!! They will both host this forum where hammock lovers can share their set-ups, tips and tricks. “Once you get off the ground, you will never want to go back!!”

Hike Strong, Hike Long - Rebecca Maglischo

Hiking is a lot more than just a little walk in the woods! Whether you are dayhiking, slackpacking, or backpacking, you are asking a lot from your body. It's important to have a proper base of movement, flexibility, and strength to help you feel good and go farther. In this informative session, we'll cover injury prevention for common complaints (knees, ankles, low back) and take a hands on approach to some simple flexibility and strength exercises to keep you on the trail!

Hiking the Inca Trail - Anna Huthmaker

This session combines the stories of the four day trek on the Inca Trail that ends at Machu Picchu, with gorgeous slides celebrating the amazing Peruvian landscape. This is one for the dreamers!

Hiking the Long Trails of the U.K. - Susan Turner

Ever thought about hiking internationally? How to plan. What would be needed gear wise. Where to sleep; tent, hostel, B&B? Currency to bring, cash, cards, exchange rates. There are lots of questions and it can feel like a daunting adventure, but it really doesn't need to be. I will walk you through the process, as well as share some of the trails I have walked with you.

Hiking the NH48 - Karen Washington

Simple concept, right? Climb all of the mountains over 4000ft. in New Hampshire. But this is New England. Our rough, rocky mountains test every limit and tolerance. Plus, there is our weather reputation. And while hikers can be the most wonderful people in the world, some tend to be, well, particular. Like hundreds of other hikers, these mountains have saved me and provided a respite from everyday stresses. Come hear the reasons why I hike and strive to reach even higher goals.

Hiking the West Highland way in Scotland - Judy Young

The West Highland Way in Scotland, is a 90 mile hike from near Glasgow to Fort William. It travels through beautiful Mountains and Moors, and along some ancient Roman roads. Also included is a trip to Isle of Skye, and Orkney Isle.

How Will You Hike the A.T.? - Leanna Joyner

Your personal approach to hiking the A.T. should be different than the next gal!. Join us for an informative workshop on all aspects of planning for a 2,000-mile hike on the A.T. -- from the essential gear to the ins and outs of A.T. culture. Bring your big dreams and questions to learn from experienced hikers. You’ll be more confident as put your best foot forward to reach your goals on the A.T.

Increasing Your Badass Hiking Status (When You Don't Consider Yourself a Badass) - Carla Robertson

Do you wonder if you have what it takes to be a long distance hiker? Do you wonder if you could do it alone? Would you like to be more comfortable taking regular trips to the woods? Do you wish someone would simplify all the gear jargon and all the things it seems you're supposed to know before you head out on a long journey? Join Carla to access your inner badass, even if you don't think you have one. Carla will share her journey to hiking badassery along with plenty of tips and inspiration to help you access your own badass and enjoy backpacking even more.

Leading with Love: Compassionately meeting our judgements, fears and stories on the trail - Lisa Holliday

I found my time as a head Dame with Trail Dames and this tribe of women to be far more than just a hiking experience. When I opened to it as a path to personal development, my inner and outer growth as a woman soared! In this clinic I'll share with you the transformative techniques I discovered to meet and transform the judgments, fears and limiting beliefs we all rumble with, not only on the trail, but in the rest of life.

Leave No Trace - Kathy Rioux

An Awareness Workshop of Leave No Trace Principles - discussing the guidelines for making ethical choices to reduce the recreational impacts of outdoor activities, in order to preserve outdoor spaces for future generations.

Morning Groove - Leanna Joyner

Start your morning with a shot in the arm of confidence and joy. This mind-body dance class is simple and easy! (Don't take our word for it, experience it for yourself.) Set to different genres of music, it offers a way to establish holistic health for the mind, body, heart and soul. It's great exercise while having delicious fun!

Nature as Soul Mirror - Michele Zehr

In this workshop, we will venture outside for a self-guided allurement walk, holding some guiding questions, as we open ourselves to what Mother Nature wants to reflect back to us about our inner strengths and beauty as women who embody "the sacred." We will return and sit in Council (Sacred Circle) together and share what we have discovered. The intention of this workshop is to encourage a re-membering of the lessons and knowledge that are always available to us when we re-connect with the Earth. (This workshop is also supportive of those with physical disabilities).

One Step at a Time - Iris Lancaster & Diane Matsumoto

This presentation celebrates women ofgrace and power who have faced an internal mountain-breast cancer-andhave gone on to scale formidable peaks. It reinforces the healing powers of nature and the similarities of facing both the challenges of fighting cancer and climbing mountains. Climbing mountains—like dealing with breast cancer—is done one step at a time with the help of family and friends. This presentation includes the wonders and magic of climbing mountains, the angels met along the way, and the character it builds and creates. There will be a 20 minute video on Climb Against the Odds, Denali. Photos of various climbs, question and answers and of course a call to action!

Perks of the Master Naturalist Movement: Nature Wants YOU! - Karen Mulder, Ph.D

Ever wondered how to get a grip on identifying birds, flora, insects, or trees while you hike? In this clinic, learn a few tips on how to use identification keys with actual samples, get a list of guides that professionals in the field recommend, and find out how being a Master Naturalist might give you a deeper sense of connection during your forays into nature. Since the 1970s, throughout the nation, Master Naturalist chapters have inspired educational programs and enlightenment about all things in nature, taught by specialists and talented, passionate individuals who care about our natural resources. Anyone can apply. Last year in Virginia alone, Master Naturalists provided 40,000 volunteer hours as citizen scientists and educators or trail docents, and immeasurable support to all sorts of campaigns: overseeing comebacks in populations of bluebirds, bees and butterflies; teaching about creating pollinator gardens or ecologically responsible greenscapes; keeping an eye on invasive species; and monitoring the health of our water sources.

Sketching on the Trail - Carole Pivarnik

Virginia artist Carole Pivarnik introduces the uses, benefits, and practical considerations of sketching on your hikes. Even those who "can't draw a straight line" will discover that documenting and illustrating their adventures is easier and more fun than they may think. Carole will discuss sketch kit options, what to sketch, quick sketching techniques, and how to create interesting sketchbook pages. Various sizes of sketch kits will be shown and discussed. Carole will wrap up with a demo of her sketching process. A list of useful resources for sketchers will be provided for those who may wish to learn more or find supplies.

Slackpacking the Appalachian Trail Downhill to Fine Wine and Accommodations in Georgia, North Carolina, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Carol B. Steiner

Do you want to hike the Appalachian Trail, but don’t see yourself carrying a backpack with all the gear and food you need to thru-hike or section hike the A.T.? You like hot showers and comfy beds in the evening. Come with Carol as she slackpacks the A.T., enjoying the sights, sounds, and feel of the Appalachian Mountains during the day and comfy accommodations and fine dining in the evening. Carol will help you get ready for day hiking, select day hikes that are right for you, plan the logistics of day hiking, and find nearby lodging, restaurants, and fun places to visit. Carol will also share her stories, pictures and tips she learned slackpacking over 700 miles of the A.T. with her husband, Jim.

The Sense and Nonsense of Radiant Walking - Regina Reiter

Along with the gear and food that goes into preparing for a hike, it also helps to clear our emotional pathway as well as we get ready to go on a walk. In this session you will experience two gateways to prepare your unique pathway to radiant fulfillment. Regina will guide you to awaken your five senses and then create your own Energy Color Wheel that you can take home with you. From this awakened place you will explore your life’s Big Dream and identify practical next steps to have it come true. This is a lively, heart-centered, experiential workshop!

Tales From the Other Side: Stories about Hiking the A.T. - Terri Sanders, aka Bumpkin

Join Bumpkin for tales both hilarious and heartwarming as she shares stories of her multi-year hike on the A.T. if we are lucky, she will throw in a bit of Camino, too!!

Tick Talk - Patty Moxley

Knowledge is power, and this presentation on tick prevention and tick-borne illnesses is chock full of important info for all outdoors women. Please plan on participating in a stimulating and interactive discussion on Lyme disease. With over 300,000 reported cases annually, (and multiplying rapidly), Lyme is the fastest growing vector-borne illness in the United States. Because many Lyme symptoms mimic other diseases, symptoms are often dismissed, mis-diagnosed, or underdiagnosed, leaving victims with chronic, disabling, or life threatening illnesses. Prevention options will be presented to help strengthen our defenses!

"Trail Magic: The Grandma Gatewood Story" (Film) - Shelly Huskey

Grandma Emma Gatewood was the first woman to solo thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 1955 at the age of 67 after raising 11 children and surviving domestic abuse! Before she died in 1973 she had hiked the AT several times, completed hikes in Oregon, Vermont and Pennsylvania. She was a charter member of the Buckeye Trail Association. Eden Valley and FilmAffects have teamed up to tell her story. For more information about the film, click here.

Tribes: Creating A Balanced and Connected Tribal Life - Lisa Holliday

Trail Dames is a Tribe. A tribe that was critical in changing my life. In this clinic will talk about what tribes are, and why they're important. We will explore what tribes we currently have in our lives, and what we can do to create an even more balanced, creative and vibrant life through healthy connections to our tribal networks.

Walking to Santiago, a Pilgrimage in Spain - Deborah Berman & Dawn Eipeldauer

If you have plans to walk the Camino, or even if you have only just begun to think about the possibility, in this clinic, Deborah will present a wealth of resources and a detailed discussion about practical matters regarding the unique adventure of hiking through the countryside and villages of rural Spain. Also, if anyone is interested in the idea of walking all or part of the Camino as a group, Deborah is available to assist with organization of the logistics of such a venture.

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