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History Comes Alive for the 10th Mountain Division

By Molly Herber on 10/15/15 9:35 AM
Historical display of 10th Mountain Division artifacts. Photo by Eryn Pierce.

While many folks at NOLS know Paul Petzoldt as the founder of the outdoor school, he was a ripe 57 years old by the time he started the school in 1965. What did he do in the 57 years before arriving in Lander, Wyoming?

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, Lander, wilderness medicine, mountaineering, leadership

Waking Up in the Wilderness

By Carolyn Highland on 10/14/15 8:00 AM

I woke in the middle of the night to cold on my nose and a black strip of sky smattered with stars in my vision. It was all I could see, my sleeping bag cinched up around my face, laid out on the bare ground. I lay there unmoving, every cell of my body awake and aware of itself. It felt as though I’d been tapped on the shoulder, as though some massive universal force had tugged at me, whispering “you need to see this.”

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Topics: Alumni, Sea Kayaking, NOLS New Zealand, Live the Dream, mountaineering, wilderness

Who Moved My Wag Bag?!

By NOLS Blog on 9/30/15 8:00 AM

By Aloke Surin, a.k.a. “ADawg,” Pacific Northwest Outdoor Educator ‘02

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Topics: NOLS Pacific Northwest, Live the Dream, mountaineering, education, leadership

Remote and Unyielding

By Cole Medders on 9/16/15 8:58 AM
Standing at the top of Goose Neck Glacier. Photo by Kirk Rasmussen.
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Topics: NOLS Rocky Mountain, climbing, adventure, Live the Dream, mountaineering

Terrifying and Beautiful

By Alexa Rosenthall on 9/9/15 8:25 AM

I believe the best things in life are terrifying and beautiful. This was something I thought a lot about on my most recent trip into the mountains.

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Topics: climbing, NOLS Pacific Northwest, adventure, Educators Notebook, instructor, mountaineering, education, backcountry, leadership

Ascent to the White House [Interview]

By Molly Herber on 7/14/15 8:00 AM


Tyrhee and Rosemary at the White House as the Supreme Court's decision legalizing gay marriage is announced. Photo courtesy of Tyrhee Moore.
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Topics: Alumni, Expedition Denali, NOLS Alaska, Live the Dream, mountaineering, video, leadership

Educator Expedition: Entry Point to Mountaineering

By NOLS Blog on 7/8/15 8:00 AM

By: Anne Drew Potter, NOLS Instructor

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Topics: Alumni, climbing, NOLS Pacific Northwest, Educators Notebook, instructor, mountaineering, leadership

Peter Metcalf: Living Big

By Casey Adams on 6/10/15 2:00 AM
Peter poses in front of Gannett Peak during his NOLS course. Photo courtesy of Peter Metcalf.
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Topics: Alumni, leadership, NOLS Rocky Mountain, Live the Dream, mountaineering

Peter Metcalf: The Dawn

By Casey Adams on 6/9/15 2:00 AM

“It was the cool gray dawn, and there was a delicious sense of repose and peace in the deep pervading calm and silence of the woods. Not a leaf stirred; not a sound obtruded upon great Nature's meditation ... Gradually the cool dim gray of the morning whitened, and as gradually sounds multiplied and life manifested itself. The marvel of Nature shaking off sleep and going to work unfolded itself to the musing boy ... All Nature was wide awake and stirring, now; long lances of sunlight pierced down through the dense foliage far and near, and a few butterflies came fluttering upon the scene.”

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Topics: Alumni, leadership, NOLS Rocky Mountain, Live the Dream, mountaineering, backcountry

Announcing 50 Years Since First NOLS Course

By Molly Herber on 6/8/15 2:00 AM
The NOLS Rocky Mountain location today. Photo courtesy of NOLS.
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Topics: Alumni, Behind the Scenes, Lander, NOLS Rocky Mountain, mountaineering

Educator Expedition: The Good Life, Eleven Days on the Bugaboos–Rogers Pass Ski Traverse

By Willy Oppenheim on 5/4/15 12:00 AM

Our intrepid team. Left to right, Willy Oppenheim, Jake Perkinson, and Evan Miller.

Thanks to the generous support of the NOLS Instructor Development Fund (IDF), I recently had the privilege of completing an ambitious ski traverse in southeastern British Columbia along with two fellow NOLS instructors, Evan Miller and Jake Perkinson.

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Topics: skiing, NOLS Pacific Northwest, adventure, Educators Notebook, instructor, mountaineering, backcountry

NOLS Icon: Andy Carson on Instructing in the Early Days

By Mike Betz on 4/16/15 12:45 AM

NOLS is turning 50 this year, and with that big birthday on our horizon, we’re taking a look back and celebrating some of the incredible individuals that made NOLS the organization it is today.

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Topics: Alumni, Lander, NOLS Rocky Mountain, National Outdoor Leadership School, instructor, Live the Dream, mountaineering, backcountry

Educator Expedition: South Avellano Tower

By Jared_spaulding on 2/18/15 2:32 AM

The Numbers:

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Topics: NOLS Patagonia, climbing, Educators Notebook, mountaineering, instructors, education

NOLS Grad Nominated for 2015 Adventurer of the Year Award

By Michael Betz on 1/16/15 7:52 AM

“Now what do you think each one of those people who voted for you needs to learn?" “And what do you think you need to learn?"

These are two questions Kit DesLauriers was asked by her NOLS instructor when selected by her coursemates to lead a small group through a three-day backpacking journey in Alaska. Over 20 years later DesLauriers says, “Of course both of those questions were largely rhetorical but they remain relevant to this day.”

DesLauriers, a NOLS Semester in Alaska ’91 graduate, who currently resides in Jackson, Wyoming, is one of the most well-known ski mountaineers around the world and a nominee for the 2015 Adventures of the Year Award. This award is presented by National Geographic and selected by readers. It recognizes people who have helped make our year in adventure that much better. Through exploration, adventure sports, conservation, and humanitarianism DesLauriers has shown her dedication to her passion in life.

You can vote for DesLauriers every day until Jan. 31.

Andy Bardon photo

From early childhood, DesLauriers remembers having had a passion for the outdoors, whether it was hiking in the desert or canoeing down a river with her family. By the age of 19, DesLauriers was ready to take her adventure abroad and traveled to France to study at the University of Marseilles. Once October break came about, she took advantage of her location and traveled to Switzerland to backpack through the Alps.

“I realized that with some formal training to supplement my desire to see the world, I, too, could go to these far off places,” she said she realized while reading through some books at a local’s cabin. Little did she know, NOLS was going to give her this opportunity.

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Topics: Alumni, NOLS Alaska, Live the Dream, mountaineering

Must love long walks in the mountains …

By Casey Adams on 8/24/12 1:47 AM

NOLS is a diverse and fascinating community, something
reality TV star and NOLS grad Ames Brown can attest to.

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Topics: NOLS, Bachelorette, horsepacking, Tolerance for Adversity, Mexico, Himalaya, Ames Brown, love, Baja, sailing, National Outdoor Leadership School, curriculum, experiential learning, Live the Dream, mountaineering, Bachelor Pad, challenge, reality TV