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