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The Hurrier I Go: What This Winter Taught Me about Patience in the Mountains

By Navarana Smith on Apr 6, 2020
Photo by Michelle Yarham

Editor’s Note: On NOLS expeditions, students learn tolerance for adversity and uncertainty in the field. Today, people around the world are facing profound adversity and uncertainty in their home communities. We chose to share this reflection written by instructor Navarana Smith—prior to today’s global health crisis—in hopes that it will resonate and inspire readers to look forward with hope.

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Topics: Skiing, Skills, nols instructor, Stories, Instructor Stories, Covid-19

Jimmy Chin’s Journey from NOLS to the Oscars

By Brooke Ortel on Feb 3, 2020
Photo courtesy of National Geographic

It’s Oscar season once again—a great reason to celebrate Jimmy Chin, co-producer of the top documentary feature film of 2019. Not only is Jimmy a world-renowned skier, climber, and film-maker, he’s also a NOLS alum, former instructor, and current Board member. Years before he stepped into the international spotlight, Jimmy started his journey with NOLS.

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Topics: NOLS Grad, nols instructor, Rock Climbing, NOLS Alum, parenting, Free Solo, leaders of color, Stories, Alumni Accomplishments

USNA Midshipman Turned NOLS Instructor

By Mike Titzer on May 16, 2019
Photo by Nick Valentine

It was the second week of our course, and our hiking group of US Naval Academy Midshipmen sat on the side of an Alaskan mountain overlooking a giant herd of caribou.

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Topics: Leadership Skills, nols instructor, Alaska, military, service academy, US Naval Academy, Stories, Instructor Stories, Leadership

5 Things I Learned from Going on a Paddling Expedition with My Spouse

By Ashley Drake on May 13, 2019

Going on an expedition is one thing—going with your spouse can be something else entirely. NOLS Instructor and Custom Education Account Manager Ashley Drake shares how, with intentional planning and plenty of good humor, adventuring with your spouse can be some of your best time spent outdoors.

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Topics: Skills, River, nols instructor, Becoming an Instructor, inspiring women, whitewater rafting, NOLS Expeditions, Stories, Rafting, Instructor Stories

Growing Confidence through Solo Canoeing

By Rumi Kodama on Jun 14, 2017
Photo courtesy of Rumi Kodama

Editor’s note: Instructor Rumi Kodama takes us inside the connection between person and paddle as she develops her whitewater canoeing skills.

Knowing and understanding a canoe stroke goes much deeper than the movement of the paddle. It’s all about the interplay between the paddle, the canoe, and the movement of the water.

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Topics: Canoeing, whitewater, Skills, nols instructor, inspiring women, whitewater canoeing, women in leadership, Stories, Instructor Stories

4 Ways You Can Always Be Learning

By Molly Herber on Mar 16, 2017
Photo by Kate Collins.

At the start of a 10-day rock climbing seminar for NOLS instructors, I didn't know what to expect. It was my first seminar, and I worried that I wouldn't know as much as everyone else and would always be working to catch up. But once I got to NOLS Southwest and started meeting my coursemates, I quickly realized that wasn’t the case.

It’s true that we all represented different skill levels, but every one of us wanted to learn and grow.

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Topics: Skills, nols instructor, Becoming an Instructor, Rock Climbing, Stories, Instructor Stories