Students during dawn patrol. Photo by Katie Oram.
Months later, I still find myself wondering what brought me there, and what I brought back.
Always it is like this: from the warmth of home, the mind moves towards cold and distant lands. From known to unknown, from comfort into fear, from one set of questions towards another at once more vast and elemental. From union into aloneness, and then back again—but never to stay.Read More
You’ve been leading an outdoor skills course for young adults, most of it taught indoors or on day hikes. This weekend is the culminating overnight snowshoe trip where you plan to sleep in hollowed-out snow shelters, called quinzhees.
The snowshoe hike went according to plan and you and your group arrive at your planned campsite. Everyone appears weary, happy, and healthy. You note that it is much colder than any previous trip you’ve led, with temperatures hovering near 0°F (-18°C).Read More
Photo by Mireille Brown.
In his 1997 Idaho Adventure Course evaluation, Jim Harris’ instructors noted that “map reading comes easily to Jim.”
He reflected on that skill recently, and how it felt like he "was given the keys to the castle. I could go anywhere on the planet" with it.
But at the time he had no idea it would lead him down a path where few maps exist to show the way forward.Read More
Your favorite photos of wilderness, friendship, and leadership from NOLS Instagram.
Find a little inspiration as you start dreaming of your adventures for 2019…Read More
Topics: NOLS Patagonia, NOLS Rocky Mountain, NOLS Alaska, Backpacking, NOLS Pacific Northwest, Live the Dream, river crossing, mountaineering, winter, tent, NOLS Three Peaks Ranch, photography, photos, story
While wilderness medicine is a constantly evolving field, some things stay the same—like people wondering whether it’s really ok to suck out snake venom, or the steps of the Patient Assessment System.
As 2018 wraps up, our team gathered this year’s most popular wilderness medicine topics from the NOLS Blog. Take a look to refresh your skills and get ready for whatever comes your way in 2019!Read More
Musnicki climbing on Mt. Moran in the Tetons. Photo by Paul Rachele.
Editor's note: Adapted from the Fall 2016 issue of The Leader.
When Jaime Musnicki was first introduced to skiing at age two, it led to a lifelong love of winter sports and an unexpected career path.Read More
Kate Koons takes a photo of her friends on an expedition in Alaska.
Kate Koons has a love affair with winter sports.
It began when she learned to ski as part of an after-school program in northern New Jersey.
"There was one lift and one Poma and many of my first memories revolved around trying to push my sister off the Poma lift, or not fall down while skiing the icy moguls to the bottom."
These days she is referred to as the "winter guru" around NOLS.Read More
As an outdoor educator and a student of wilderness medicine, I thought that I had a pretty good idea of what wilderness risk management was all about…preparedness! I thought, “I know how to do that”, and was looking forward to learning about how to do it better. Boy, was I wrong.
Going to the Wilderness Risk Management Conference really helped me gain a different perspective of risk management and provided me with an impactful educational experience.Read More
About four months ago I sat in one of my college’s campus cafés and procrastinated away my final few minutes before class. I was in the middle of a season of complete chaos, and was trying to find something that would re-energize and center me. I was scrolling through a bunch of NOLS blog posts when suddenly a strange thing happened:
As I read about tents being blown over at 3 a.m. by torrential rain, days of brutal heat and scarce food and blistering heels, I started to cry tears of joy.Read More
NOLS President John Gans announced on November 28 his plans to retire at the end of 2019. He is the fifth president in the school’s 53-year history and longest-serving leader. Gans has been a part of the school for 38 years and at the conclusion of 2019, he will have served as the school's executive director and president for 24 years. He started his NOLS journey as a scholarship student in 1979 on a Semester in Kenya, later serving as director of NOLS Alaska, admissions and marketing director, and operations director before assuming the role of president in October 1995.Read More
Photo courtesy of Kyle Courtaway.
I’m looking down the long dinner table at a rifugio (mountain hut) in the Dolomites with my childhood friends mixed with new NOLS friends. As I sit, I'm reflecting on what it took to get my friends here. We're happy, enjoying our time together in these Italian mountains.
Contrast that with a moment earlier that day: Our hiking group took a break and I spied one of my childhood friends lying prone on his back, giving me two thumbs up. But I was worrying that he was questioning his decision to go on this trip.Read More
The 911 call: A climber was stuck in a crack on a classic multi-pitch trad route at a well-known sandstone climbing area near Moab, Utah. The incident happened near the top of a large chimney, a crack wide enough to fit a climber’s entire body into. The climber was about 100 feet from the ground and 40 feet below the pitch anchor, the next opportunity to attach securely to the wall.
My wilderness rescue team, consisting of myself, another Wilderness EMT, and three Rope Rescue Technicians, were the ones to receive the call and respond to the incident.Read More