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Educator Expedition: Assistant Overnight Guide Course - Learning the Ways of the Ocean

By Genevieve Bartlam on 7/22/16 9:55 AM

Where did you go for your trip and how long was it?

For this 9 day course we explored two different areas around Vancouver Island off of the west coast of British Columbia. We spent the first 3 days working on skills base camped on the south part of Gabriola Island, one of the Southern Gulf Islands then drove across Vancouver Island to the west coast and spent the next 5 days in Clayquot Sound just north of Tofino.

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Topics: Sea Kayaking, NOLS Pacific Northwest, Educators Notebook, education, leadership

Why Yellowstone and Other Parks Come to the WRMC

By Cassi Smith on 7/21/16 10:47 AM

We recently caught up with the operations manager for Yellowstone Association Institute, John Harmer. Yellowstone Association explains, “Since 1976, its programs have introduced thousands of students to the park’s natural wonders. Programs range from one day to three weeks in length.”

Perhaps you will see similarities to your own program and discover how the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) can help you.

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Topics: WRMC, Educators Notebook

Educator Expedition: Paddling at the South Pacific Sea Kayak Symposium

By Jonny Hepburn on 7/21/16 10:46 AM

Southern Chile offers world class sea kayaking. In northern Patagonia, where NOLS is based, the Pacific Coast of South America fragments into a network of islands and fjords that offer some of the most remote, challenging, and beautiful paddling in the world. I had the chance to spend almost five months travelling and working for NOLS in Chile this past winter, and was grateful to receive an IDF grant to attend the South Pacific Sea Kayak Symposium in December.

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Topics: NOLS Patagonia, Sea Kayaking, Educators Notebook, instructors, education, IDF, Instructor Development Fund, leadership

Educator Expedition: A Day in the Waddington Range

By Katie Oram on 7/18/16 10:29 AM

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

Why Conservation Crews Benefit from the WRMC

By Cassi Smith on 7/18/16 10:27 AM

We recently caught up with Sean Damitz, Department Director of the Utah Conservation Corps. The UCC is nationally recognized for creating sustainable communities and conserving the natural heritage of the Intermountain West. Perhaps you will see similarities to your own program and discover how the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) can help you.

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Topics: WRMC, Educators Notebook

Thriving as Women Boaters on the Main Salmon River

By Liz Hardwick on 5/24/16 9:53 AM

NOLS instructor Liz Hardwick writes about learning new tricks on a familiar river.

Jen pokes me awake as I am drifting off, trying to sleep before the moon gets up above the canyon walls. “Do you think I can run Vinegar in a solo boat?” she asks.

We’re camped on the Main Salmon River, all white sandy beaches, steep dry mountains and fun, fun rapids. This is the night before we get off the river and Vinegar is downstream of us, the last big rapid and one of the most challenging ones on the river.

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Topics: NOLS Rocky Mountain, canoe, adventure, Educators Notebook, instructor, instructors, education, NOLS Teton Valley, IDF, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), leadership

Educator Expedition: La Patagonia Desconocida - The Unknown Patagonia

By Marissa Bieger on 4/25/16 7:33 AM

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

Educator Expedition: Winter Exploring

By Ethan Wolston on 4/22/16 2:23 PM

Three winters ago I cut my old Never Summer snowboard in half and made a splitboard from the pieces. It was a fun project and the beginning of a new adventure exploring the winter backcountry around my home.

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Topics: adventure, Educators Notebook, instructors, education, backcountry, NOLS Teton Valley, backcountry skiing, splitboarding

Keep Calm and Medic On: How a WEMT Course Can Transform Your Backcountry Experience

By Hadley Warner on 4/19/16 8:05 AM

I had been considering taking a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) course for almost three years, but something always came up to prevent it. In October of last year the idea finally became a reality and I found myself driving up a winding dirt road to the picturesque Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus on a sunny fall afternoon. The course offered by WMI combines urban and wilderness medicine while preparing participants to sit for the National Registry exam. I was not sure what the next 25 days had in store for me, but I knew the course would serve me well in the future.

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Topics: wilderness medicine, WMI, Educators Notebook, instructor, education, WEMT, leadership, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute

Educator Training: AIARE Avalanche 1 Course

By Miles Turner on 4/15/16 12:15 PM

After taking the December NOLS Winter Training Trip, an introduction to backcountry winter travel and camping, I became passionate about learning everything that goes into backcountry skiing and the decision-making surrounding this wonderful sport. For those of us who grew up skiing the slush and ice of East Coast resorts, the feeling of skiing deep untracked powder in the backcountry out west is truly incredible.

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Topics: Educators Notebook, instructor, education, backcountry, NOLS Teton Valley, backcountry skiing, splitboarding

Educator Expedition: Golden Gate Sea Kayaking

By Mike Dooley on 4/6/16 5:05 AM

NOLS instructor Mike Dooley talks about lessons from a sea kayaking leader training course in San Francisco Bay.

Where did you go for your trip and how long was it?

In February 2016 I was a participant on a British Canoe Union (BCU) 5-Star Sea Kayak Leader Training. The three-day course was located at Golden Gate, the entrance to San Francisco Bay.

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Topics: Sea Kayaking, NOLS Alaska, Educators Notebook, instructor, education, IDF, Instructor Development Fund (IDF)

Educator Expedition: Kiwi Boot Camp

By NOLS Blog on 3/29/16 4:04 PM
A short paddle on the Landsborough River before the rains came: Aaron Reimer, Amy Christeson, Ben Weigl, Dulkara Martig (pictured left to right). Photo courtesy of Amy Christeson.
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Topics: NOLS Alaska, NOLS New Zealand, Educators Notebook, instructor, education, IDF, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), leadership, packrafting

Educator Expedition: Multi-pitch Climbing in Red Rocks

By NOLS Blog on 3/18/16 2:04 PM
Climbing the Birdland route. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Martin.
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Topics: climbing, Educators Notebook, instructors, NOLS Southwest, IDF, Instructor Development Fund

Educator Expedition: Avalanche Training in the Tetons

By NOLS Blog on 3/17/16 7:56 AM
Digging an avalanche pit. Photo courtesy of Mandeep Nandal.
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Topics: Educators Notebook, instructor, instructors, winter, education, backcountry, NOLS Teton Valley, backcountry skiing, IDF, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), leadership

Risk Management in the Outdoors: Beyond the NOLS Course

By Logan Claytor on 3/16/16 9:23 AM
 
Photo by Cass Colman. 

At NOLS, we believe in the value of spending time in wild places. We also know there is risk involved in what we do. We strive to practice and teach thoughtful risk management that emphasizes the health and well-being of our students and staff, and have for over 50 years.

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Topics: WRMC, risk management, Educators Notebook, leadership, Wilderness Risk Management Conference