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Learning to Say “Thank You:” The path to building community while climbing

By Andy Notopoulos on Sep 3, 2019
Photo by Alex Thomas

“Thank you!!!”

My words echoed into the misty air that hovered between the granite canyon walls where cracks, edges, and ledges wove together a treasure of rock climbs. I was amidst a rescue skills test of Single Pitch Instructor exam with the American Mountain Guides Association, with support from the NOLS Instructor Development Fund.

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Topics: wilderness education, climbing, skills, instructor, rock-climbing, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), gratitude, stories, instructor-stories

Winter & Spring 2020 Expeditions Now Online

By NOLS on Jun 11, 2019
Photo by Lisa Moen

Summer's here, and we want you to savor every single late-evening walk and early morning paddle.

But don't be fooled—fall and winter will arrive sooner than you think, and you don't want to be the person finishing out summer with nothing to look forward to until next year!

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Topics: sailing, events, climbing, skills, kayaking, rock-climbing, backcountry skiing, snowboarding, NOLS Expeditions, announcement, spring break, affinity

5 Things You Learn from Climbing (That Also Matter in Real Life)

By Molly Herber on Aug 19, 2016

Like with most sports, it's not just about getting to the top. Read on to see some of the best lessons you learn from rock climbing.

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Topics: leadership, Behind the Scenes, climbing, adventure, education

Educator Expedition: A Day in the Waddington Range

By Katie Oram on Jul 18, 2016

We arrived in Bluff Lake, British Columbia at 1:30AM from various places: Roger and I driving 30 hours from Wyoming, Jeremy flying in from California and Dane just finishing up class in Vancouver. We had been talking about it for a while now, applied for the funding from the Instructor Development Fund, but still it had just been this idea: a ski expedition to the Waddington Range in British Columbia, home to some very remote, high peaks and endless miles of glaciers with real hazards.

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Topics: leadership, NOLS Yukon, climbing, adventure, Educators Notebook, instructor, mountaineering, backcountry, IDF, Instructor Development Fund

The Backpacker’s Guide to Happy Feet

By Kim Freitas on Jul 14, 2016

If you like to adventure outdoors, you’ll know during backpacking trips that your feet are your primary mode of transportation. Spending extra effort to keep your feet happy and dry is well worth your time and attention. After all, your feet are essentially your “wheels” in the backcountry!

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Topics: Expedition Prep, climbing, backpacking, adventure, education, backcountry

Tips for Visiting 12 Iconic National Parks

By Molly Herber on Jul 8, 2016

We know you love to get down and dirty in the wilderness for weeks at a time—it's what you do.

Luckily, for the times in between when you have just one day to explore, our national parks have plenty of activities—and will spark your appetite for bigger trips in the future.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, climbing, backpacking, adventure, education

Educator Expedition: La Patagonia Desconocida - The Unknown Patagonia

By Marissa Bieger on Apr 25, 2016

… Perhaps when I say the word Patagonia, most of you will think of legendary places like el Chaltén or Torres del Paine, but here is the difference, my Patagonia is a land unknown to many and familiar to few. Yes, that is what I speak of, of that land that still has magical air to explore, that which hides in maps without information, mountains without name and routes that definitely do not exist.

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Topics: leadership, NOLS Patagonia, climbing, Educators Notebook, instructor, mountaineering, education

Go Camping—With Your Cat

By Molly Herber on Apr 1, 2016

We know you love your feline friend, your beclawed bestie, your clawsome companion, but you wish they could enjoy going to the wilderness as much as you do.

Now, when you head to the meowntains or coast for an advenpurr, you don’t have to leave them behind.

Introducing the newest NOLS course: Catpacking.

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Topics: climbing, backpacking, adventure, Live the Dream, backcountry, cat

Daily Gratitude: NOLS in the Frontcountry

By Scott Stewart on Mar 18, 2016

 NOLS taught me two of life’s most valuable lessons: humility and gratitude.

On my course, I couldn’t climb the 5.10 crack in Joshua Tree National Park, although my knuckles were bloodied and my fingertips were raw from the attempt. I couldn’t carry my equal share of weight after throwing out my back in the Wind River Range, burdening my teammates by adding more mass to their already 70-pound packs.

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Topics: leadership, NOLS Rocky Mountain, climbing, backpacking, Live the Dream, NOLS Southwest

Educator Expedition: Multi-pitch Climbing in Red Rocks

By NOLS Blog on Mar 18, 2016


Climbing the Birdland route. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Martin.
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Topics: climbing, Educators Notebook, instructor, NOLS Southwest, IDF, Instructor Development Fund

6 Ways to Get Ready for Your Next Expedition Now

By Molly Herber on Feb 2, 2016

It’s great to stay busy with outdoor activities during the winter, but winter is also a good time to rest and get your stoke up for your next expedition while sipping cocoa.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, climbing, cooking, risk-management, backpacking, education, backcountry

Fitness Guidelines to Get Expedition-Ready

By Molly Herber on Jan 29, 2016

NOLS courses are pretty rigorous.

Whether you’ll be paddling from camp to camp, hauling gear onto a glacier, or managing a rambunctious packhorse, you’re going to be pretty tired by the end of the day. 

But with a little planning and determination, you can prepare for the physical challenges of your course, or any extended backcountry trip, by following these fitness guidelines.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, climbing, backpacking, backcountry, fitness

Educator Expedition: Washington Climbing, Back to Where It Began 

By NOLS Blog on Jan 21, 2016


Photo by Mick Pearson, KAF Adventures.
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Topics: climbing, NOLS Pacific Northwest, Educators Notebook, instructor, education, backcountry

Educator Expedition: A November Trip to Red Rocks

By NOLS Blog on Jan 7, 2016


Ready to start climbing. Photo by Hadley Warner.
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Topics: leadership, climbing, Educators Notebook, instructor, education, Instructor Development Fund

Educator Expedition: Mountaineering in Ecuador

By NOLS Blog on Jan 4, 2016

By Travis Magaluk, NOLS instructor

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Topics: leadership, climbing, Educators Notebook, instructor, mountaineering