Advisory Team

Advisory Team

Our Advisory Team consists of individuals that are experienced long-distance hikers and subject matter experts. They are here to help hikers learn and connect – by sharing their knowledge, leadership, and expertise with the community.

Founder of THRU-r and this article's author, Carol Coyne or "Cheer"

Cheer is an avid thru-hiker and completed her Triple Crown (PCT, CDT, AT) in 2023 on Mt. Katahdin. She founded THRU-r after experiencing post trail depression following her first long-distance hike. She wanted to keep the trail connection alive for herself and other experienced hikers, while also helping new hikers prepare for trail. 

When she’s not hiking or working on new THRU-r initiatives, Cheer works in corporate finance and also creates ceramic pieces inspired by trail for Dirtbag Ceramics.


Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiker and Trailside Fitness founder, Lee Welton

Lee Welton is a physical therapist assistant and personal trainer who specializes in long-distance hikers. He started Trailside Fitness in 2018 after thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and witnessing how many hikers were forced to end their hikes early due to avoidable injuries.

Lee works with his clients to reduce their injury risk and keep them healthy so they can stay on the trail until they are ready to come home. He also regularly contributes to Backpacker Magazine, where he writes fitness articles. In his free time he can be found exploring the trails in Southeast Idaho and Wyoming with his rescue dog and trusty fly rod. 


Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiker and Trailside Fitness founder, Lee Welton

Hannah is from the United Kingdom! She loves being in the mountains and you’ll often find her out hiking or camping on the weekends. Her thru-hikes started with the Coast to Coast and Pennine Way in the United Kingdom, and she has more recently completed the Pacific Crest Trail.

She works as a Clinical Psychologist and has a special interest in the benefits of being outdoors and walking for mental health. Hannah has been most recently involved in our “Exploring Post Trail Depression” meetup series.


Continental Divide Trail thru-hiker Mike McClure or "Just Mike"

Just Mike is 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 30+ years in the technology industry to pursue hiking long trails.

He completed the PCT in 2022 and half of the CDT in 2023. Just Mike plans to finish his Triple Crown on the AT in a few years, and currently serves as a Board Member for ALDHA West. When he is not on trail, he calls Michigan home.

THRU-r ambassador hiker Nomen

Based out of California, Nomen (short for “Nomenclature”) has hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail and Trans-Catalina Trail. Off the trail, he is an active service member in the US Coast Guard specializing in Search and Rescue.

He is also contributing research in the emergency management field with a unique perspective influenced by long-distance hiking and its community. In the future, Nomen plans to hike the JMT and PCT – but he’s sticking to many small but mighty trails until then!


Snow hiking safety expert Ned Tibbits of Mountain Education

Ned Tibbits is a wilderness skills instructor and the founder of Mountain Education. He’s a Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail thru-hiker and is an expert (specifically) on Sierra Nevada snow travel and safety.

Ned has been part of the Ski Patrol/Search & Rescue out of Lake Tahoe, has been an USFS Wilderness Ranger, a Wilderness EMT, and much more.  


Advisor Phillip Stinis

Phillip is an avid hiker, backpacker, mountaineer, traveler, and an all-around adventurer! Professionally he’s an Entrepreneur & Startup Business Consultant specializing in strategy, marketing, and operations.

Phillip currently is the Manager and Entrepreneur-In-Residence at the Cal State Fullerton Startup Incubator. You can catch him on LinkedIn here

A huge thank you to our sponsors and partners!

All of our sponsors play an integral role in connecting the long-distance hiking community by facilitating community growth, providing hiker education, and outfitting our teams.

More than an outdoor company. Nature wants to be explored. Gear up and get into it knowing that these products have been tested and chosen by those who count on serious protection on the trail all day long.

Thank you to SAWYER who is outfitting our ambassador team with trail gear.