Justin Walsh is a climber, mountaineer and entrepreneur who has extensive ties to the White Mountains community and who has successfully summited some of the world’s most iconic peaks, including Mt. Rainier, Chimborazo, the Matterhorn and Denali. He joined Burgeon in June of 2019 as their first Employee.
THE MOUNTAINS ARE CALLING
Originally from the small central Massachusetts town of Harvard, Walsh caught the outdoor bug in his early 20s. He started with hikes up Crow Hill in nearby Leominster State Forest, moved on to Mt. Monadnock in southern New Hampshire and soon after found his way up to the White Mountains. Eventually Walsh tried to climb Mt. Washington in the winter, but while that attempt failed, the experience sparked a passion for mountaineering that has continued to grow over the ensuing decade.
Immediately following the Washington attempt, Walsh and his two roommates began preparing for an ascent of Mt. Rainier. Living in Boston at the time, Walsh took training courses with local guides, practiced climbing wherever and however he could, and even simulated glacial experiences on his roof. The work ultimately paid off, as Walsh successfully summited Mt. Rainier in July of 2011.
From there Walsh traveled the world in pursuit of greater mountaineering feats. He climbed the Matterhorn in Switzerland (14,692 feet), Pico de Orizaba in Mexico (18,491 feet), Chimborazo (20,549 feet) and Cotopaxi (19,347 feet) in Ecuador, and others.
He also had one particularly noteworthy adventure in Patagonia where he and his brother summited a remote and rarely climbed peak called Cerro Eléctrico. The peak had no trail, no cell service and no advance information, meaning Walsh and his brother had to rely solely on their own navigation and mountaineering skills to reach the top.
But the pinnacle of his climbing career, Walsh said, was his climb up Denali in Alaska (20,310 feet) in May of 2018.
“It was two weeks on this frozen mountain pushing to really high elevation, over 20,000 feet, which we’d only been to one time before in Ecuador,” Walsh said. “Spending two weeks on a mountain like that is just such a wildly different experience than climbing a mountain over a couple days.”
ONWARD AND UPWARD
As his passion for the outdoors developed, Walsh decided to move from the city to the White Mountains, settling down in North Woodstock in 2014. Since then he has become thoroughly engaged in the community, helping found local businesses including The Notch Hostel and Notch Properties, where he invests in residential and commercial real estate. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Western White Mountains Chamber of Commerce and volunteers for a number of local outdoor organizations and has worked as a guide helping lead hikers and climbers on trips around the area.
It was through a combination of these efforts that Walsh first came into contact with Burgeon Outdoor founder Rudy Glocker. The two initially connected on a guided tour, and after staying in touch for more than a year, Walsh began working as Glocker’s real estate agent to help find Burgeon Outdoor a home in Lincoln. Walsh continued to get more involved from there, and now he serves as both the firm’s operations manager as well as one of its main brand ambassadors.
“As I learned more and more about it, I think it was about the time I realized he was looking in Lincoln, N.H., and he was going to make stuff here I was like ‘this could be really great,’” Walsh said. “It seemed like it would be a great experience for me and a great company.”
In June of 2019, Walsh officially joined Burgeon Outdoor as their first employee and immediately got to work building out their new studio and hiring the talented stitchers that would become Burgeon’s most important asset. His responsibilities not only include operations, but encompass sales, design, branding and more. You’ll find him at the Burgeon studio most days of the week.
“Justin is an indispensable part of the Burgeon team. His efforts have forged Burgeon into what it is today. When we need to renovate our space, Justin does the work. In the early days he even put down the floor and painted the ductwork. When we need connections in the community, he makes the introductions.
“He deals directly with our customers who give him glowing reviews—not only for his knowledge, but his patience and willingness to work with them and answer questions. He serves as our fit model for men’s products, he is a brand ambassador, he does our graphic design work, he takes product shots, and manages our social media platforms. He literally does it all.
“In our short time as a company, he has literally ‘saved the day’ more times than I can count. Justin has had a positive impact on every facet of our business and I will always be eternally grateful for his efforts, his ideas, and his belief in our mission. I look forward to working with him for years to come.” -- Burgeon Founder Rudy Glocker