The Mountaineers


In Memoriam

With great sadness we share the news of the passing of Lisa Berntsen, a beloved member of The Mountaineers community - a former Mountaineer, Tacoma branch member, volunteer leader, and board member.

At the time of her death, Lisa Berntsen was on the ultimate adventure of her life, weaving together the things that held the most meaning to her: adventure, pushing limits, physical challenge, leading others, inspiring her husband and daughter—all  in the realm of the exquisite natural beauty of the Himalaya. This dream trip provided the foundation for what mattered most: living a life of purpose, and finding ways to give to others in order to make a transformational difference in the world.


A sudden and unexpected medical event while on a Mountaineers Global Adventures trip to Everest Base camp took her life. Lisa was 49 years old.


Lisa had a passion for adventure, and there was not a time in her life that did not include being outdoors skiing, hiking, climbing, and camping. Her curiosity and love of the natural world led her to her profession as an environmental scientist at GeoEngineers out of Tacoma, Washington. Her career involved permitting and preparing resource reports for utility clients. As a leader in her profession, she was deeply involved in creative ideas in the strategic planning process for her company as they looked beyond the present and into the future. Prior to joining GeoEngineers Lisa owned a consulting company for ten years.


She earned a bachelor of science degree in Biology, and a masters of science in Fisheries from the University of Washington. Her belief in creating a positive confluence between business and the environment led her to complete an MBA in Sustainability from Bainbridge Graduate Institute. Lisa served on The Mountaineers Board of Directors as the Vice President of Publishing for Mountaineers Books. At the time of her death, she was on the board of directors and treasurer ofBraided River, an affiliated nonprofit organization to Mountaineers Books focusing on innovative publications and programs to advance tangible conservation goals and preserve the wild places she cherished.

Lisa was an active participant and activity leader at The Mountaineers in the Tacoma branch. She led trips as a climb and scramble leader and had achieved several notable summits in Washington state and abroad.

We are all stunned by the loss of such a cherished and beloved member of our community. Lisa was a close friend and colleague to many of us and made deep and lasting contributions to The Mountaineers at every level of the organization.


She is survived by her husband Royce Poetter, daughter Alicia Stephens, mother Joann Berntsen, father Ron Berntsen and brother Mark Berntsen. Memorial services are pending. In lieu of flowers, Royce asked that donations be made to The Mountaineers in memory of Lisa. Contact Mary Hsue with questions


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$10,000 GOAL

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This campaign has ended.