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Alyssa Rainbolt

Alyssa Rainbolt
Alyssa is a NOLS instructor and the former alumni relations coordinator and marketing rep for NOLS.

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Preparing for the Unexpected: Wilderness Risk Management Conference 2015

By Alyssa Rainbolt on Oct 22, 2015
Discussing risk at the 2015 WRMC. Photo by Kirk Rasmussen.


I sat down to breakfast at a table of folks including Outward Bound Vice President of Safety Mark Vermeal. Vermeal was sharing the story of his friend, who had neglected to tie a knot at the end of his rope while rock climbing. We at the table agreed that it was not an unfamiliar story: climber is comfortable at their home crag and doesn’t think to take the precaution of tying a knot at the end of the rope. Climber is injured; in this case, a broken arm. In other cases, outcomes may be far worse. It’s a common mistake that is highly avoidable, and one that should drive the need to shift the climber mentality.

“So, how do we do that?” Vermeal posed to the table.

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Topics: wilderness medicine, WRMC, risk management, Educators Notebook, NOLS Professional Training, leadership