NOLS Blog

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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!!!”

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Topics: self confidence, wilderness education, instructor, rock climbing, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), story, thank you, gratitude

Turnback Canyon: A NOLS instructor shares lessons from whitewater paddling the Alsek River

By Natalie Sands on Apr 9, 2019

I sit on a rocky shelf, studying the colours and rock formations of a mountain across the river that seems to stare back. The ridge below Bates Creek has bright orange scree that contrasts against the nearby grey and black rock, still scarred by the ancient glaciers lining this valley.

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Topics: whitewater, kayaking, Educators Notebook, Yukon, instructor, inspiring women, paddling, Instructor expedition

Instructor Expeditions of 2018

By NOLS on Mar 25, 2019

How do you become a better educator? There’s no one best answer, but continuing to be a learner yourself is certainly up there.

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Topics: whitewater, Training, kayaking, Educators Notebook, instructor, mountaineering, rock climbing, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), Instructor expedition

Educator Expedition: Family Time Rafting on the Middle Fork

By Will Stubblefield on Apr 17, 2017

We arrived at Velvet Falls, one of the first notable rapids of this family trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, instructor, NOLS Teton Valley, whitewater rafting

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

Thriving as Women Boaters on the Main Salmon River

By Liz Hardwick on May 24, 2016

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

The Ethics of Cheap: Why You Don't Need the Newest Gear

By Allie Maloney on Apr 22, 2016

If you’re new to backpacking and are getting ready for your first trip, to find the right gear you have a couple of options.

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Topics: gear, Expedition Prep, adventure, instructor, backcountry

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

By Hadley Warner on Apr 19, 2016

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 Apr 15, 2016

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 Apr 6, 2016

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 Mar 29, 2016
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: Avalanche Training in the Tetons

By NOLS Blog on Mar 17, 2016
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

Educator Expedition: Skiing Alaska’s Thompson Pass

By Kate Koons on Mar 10, 2016

 

The ladies. Photo by Kate Koons.

For years, I have seen the pictures, heard the stories, and dreamt of skiing in Alaska.

A number of former NOLS instructors have made their way to Alaska to guide, many of them under the guidance of Don Sharaf, who still works as a forecaster and guide for Valdez Heli Ski Guides. If you are guiding in Valdez, you’re pretty much at the top of your game.

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Topics: NOLS Alaska, Educators Notebook, instructor, education, backcountry, NOLS Teton Valley, backcountry skiing, Instructor Development Fund, leadership

Expedition Denali: Where Are They Now?

By Kim Freitas on Feb 24, 2016

 

Photo by Brad Christensen.
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Topics: Alumni, Behind the Scenes, Expedition Denali, instructor, mountaineering, education, backcountry, leadership