WTA's Trailblazer app was conceived of, built and maintained by a team of incredibly generous volunteers. With it, you can explore thousands of Washington's trails and the latest trip reports from your fellow hikers without being tethered to your computer.
Meet your volunteer developers
The app developers and designers who put in hundreds of hours of work on the latest version of the WTA app are hikers like you. Here's your chance to meet them.
Greg Benjamin is a software engineer and outdoor enthusiast. He transplanted to Seattle by bicycle in 2012 and has maintained Trailblazer for Android since 2018. He enjoys long adventure runs in the Cascades, loves Saucony trail shoes and his Outdoor Research Ferrosi hoodie, and is a firm believer in the nutritional value of cold pizza and Payday bars in the backcountry.
Mike joined the app team as an iOS developer in 2014, when Apple made a major change to their UI and we needed an iOS pro to help Trailblazer follow suit. His design and development experience has been informing our app updates ever since.
Aside from a few short years in California, Mike's a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest. He grew up camping and hiking, and he and his wife are passing those traditions on to their two daughters (with help from their dogs Ginger and Murphy). Mike's also a climber and avid cyclist. Whether he's climbing or camping, he relies on apples and Payday candy bars to refuel and enjoys a good burger and an ice cold beer at the end of the day.
Elena is a Software Quality Assurance Engineer. A collector of beautiful hikes with lookouts, she loves the nature of Washington State and the exploratory spirit of Washingtonians. Her favorite hikes are Tolmie Peak Lookout, High Rock Lookout, and Mount Pilchuck.
Kristen is a User Experience Designer whose passion for good design and the outdoors led her to volunteer for WTA. She specializes in digital design for nonprofit and government organizations. When not working in design software, you can find her at a local park with her dog, in the garden, or on one of Washington's many beautiful trails. A few of her favorite hikes include Oyster Dome, Maple Pass Loop, and Beckler Peak on a snowy day.
Matt volunteered to enhance the WTA Android app and bring new features to all the hikers who rely on WTA. He is a professional mobile application developer who works in the Seattle area. As a relative newcomer to the State of Washington, Matt is just beginning to explore the bountiful recreation opportunities Washington has to offer, but he already has a few favorite hikes including Cascade Pass/Sahale Arm and Lake Serene/Bridal Veil Falls. He’s also excited about mountaineering opportunities in the Cascades. He summited Mount Baker in the spring of 2015 and Mount Rainier in August 2015. On many weekends and evenings you’ll find Matt exploring new hikes with his wife and 4 children.
Melissa is a professional visual and UX designer who strives to make her design do some social good. Here is her approach to design: "My favorite thing about design is that it has the power to make people happy. That is why I care deeply about making things beautiful and memorable for the person it was intended for. I love when design is able to successfully inform, create great experiences, and inspire audiences all at the same time. That is something I hope to achieve with all of my work." Her design contributions to the WTA app have helped inspire thousands of hikers to get outside and connect to trails.
Bipin George Mathew
Bipin, who acted as WTA's app development project manager, is a mobile engineer, photographer, UX-er and traveler. He's also a dedicated member of WTA. He and his wife used the WTA website to plan their hikes, and was looking to find a way to give back to the hiking community that went beyond membership.
A special thanks to all of the other developers and designers who have contributed time, passion and hiking field experience to Trailblazer's development and updates, including: Jesse Snyder, Lev Novik, Omeed Chandra, Joe Kramer, Mike Knecht and Jerry Wang.