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board members

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Victor "Flamingo" Hanson-Smith

President

Flamingo lives in Oakland, California. He started backpacking in his youth as an Eagle Scout, and went on to hike the PCT ('05-’06), CDT ('15-’16), and numerous high routes in the Sierra Nevada. On-trail hobbies include night sky photography, backcountry cuisine, and hosting wilderness tea parties. Off trail, he leads a team of scientists discovering new drugs for neurological disorders.

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Jeff "Mountain Man" Brownscheidle

Vice-President

Jeff Brownscheidle has his dad to thank for his love of wilderness adventure. Long before he was an engineer, a boyhood fascination with the world that exists where roads end and trails begin had taken root.

 

Better known as “Mountain Man” among hiking circles, he has completed over 10,000 miles of long-distance hiking on some of America’s greatest trails, all with a pair of his beloved Chacos underfoot.

While he’s had the privilege of hiking many long trails, and even completing the Triple Crown, he’s also a writer, engineer, Chaco Ambassador, and Certified Wilderness First Responder. When he’s not on the trail chronicling his adventures for 
StoneAndSky.net, he consults aspiring thru-hikers on how to make the most of their own time on trail.

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Lisa "Hummingbird" Slutsken

Secretary

Lisa hails from Vancouver, British Columbia where she is an educator, writer and textile artist. Her first long distance hikes were in Jasper and Banff National Parks in the Canadian Rockies. She's a proud section hiker and has hiked many sections of the PCT, the Great Divide Trail and Te Araroa in New Zealand.

Lisa is editor of The Gazette. She regularly does gear reviews for TheTrek.co and occasionally updates her personal blog westcoasthikergirl.com

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Sara "Socks" Kruglinski

Treasurer

Sara “Socks” Kruglinski has always loved being outside in nature and dreamed of hiking the PCT since first hearing about it in elementary school. She made her dream come true in 2018. That wasn’t enough so she went SOBO in 2019 just to make sure she hadn't miss anything the first time. As a NorCal local she has hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail with her dog Ace and many other Sierra/Tahoe trails.  Socks will talk your ears off for hours about lakes and trails in the area especially if they are dog friendly.

 

Her favorite trail is usually the one she is currently hiking as there is always something beautiful to discover just around the corner. Socks never hikes without hot sauce and usually carries at least two varieties just in case of emergency.  When not out hiking she can be found petting her dog Ace and creating art inspired by hiking outside on www.Sockstomistic.com 

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Kate "Drop-N-Roll" Hoch

Officer at Large

Kate "Drop-N-Roll" Hoch is a trailblazer in more ways than one. She has hiked some of the most challenging and scenic trails in the world, from the Appalachian Trail to the Pacific Crest Trail. She's also a two-time gold medalist at the ALDHA-West Hiker Olympics, a prestigious event that tests the skills and endurance of hikers from all over the globe. Kate is not one to brag about her achievements, but she does enjoy a bit of snark when it comes to her competitors. She once said, "The only thing harder than hiking these trails is listening to the excuses of those who can't keep up with me." Kate's always looking for new adventures and challenges, and she hopes to inspire others to follow their passions and dreams.

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Bill "Mr President" Tickner

Officer at Large

Bill “Mr. President” Tickner (Prez to most of his tramily) never imagined he’d identify as a long distance hiker. Career burnout inspired a series of long distance treks (Trans Zion in UT, Lost Coast and Waterwheel Canyon in CA) which eventually led Prez to pursue his Triple Crown. His careers in social work, education, and tech along with his lifelong LGBTQAI+ activism have shaped his perspective on the benefits of wilderness, hiking and the importance of making it more accessible and inclusive. Prez brings his skill set and passions to the work of ALDHA West in an effort to give back to this incredible hiker community that has supported him unconditionally throughout his life and taught him that literally anything is possible if we do it together.  

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Mike "Just Mike" McClure

Officer at Large

Mike lives in Michigan when he is not chasing his Triple Crown hiking dream. He started long distance hiking during COVID as a way to stay active outside. 2022 was a transition year when he retired after over 30 years in the technology industry to pursue hiking long trails. He completed the PCT in ‘22 and half the CDT in ‘23. In addition, he serves as an Advisor for Thru-r.com

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Jim "High Octane" Niedbalski

Officer at Large

Jim has been long distance hiking on and off since 1980, when at age 20, he hiked 600 miles on the AT. That began a lifelong pursuit of wilderness travel, leading to

the Triple Crown and other trails, as well as about 2,000 miles of canoeing on wilderness rivers in Quebec and Labrador.

A lifetime member of ALDHA, Jim served on its board for 11 years. He moved to Moscow, Idaho in 2022 to become student media manager at the University of Idaho.

Jim looks forward to working with the ALDHA-West board to promote and preserve the long distance hiking experience we all love, and continue to help educate and embrace new members of our community.

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Kylee "Tang" Drugan-Eppich

Officer at Large

Kylee began long-distance hiking in 2018 with a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, and was hooked. She hiked the Continental Divide Trail in 2022 and the Appalachian Trail in 2023, which completed her Triple Crown. When she is not hiking she’s likely racing ultra-marathons and running the trails in and around her home near Boulder, Colorado or working as an applied behavior analyst serving children and adolescents with autism and behavioral disorders.

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