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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

Spring Break 2020: Get Ready for Adventure

By NOLS on Oct 1, 2019
Photo by Molly Hagbrand

Make your spring break an adventure. Forget the crowded ski resorts or touristy beach vacation—it’s time to do something different.

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Topics: Skills, Baja Sea Kayaking, Kayaking, Rock Climbing, education, backcountry skiing, NOLS Expeditions, Announcements, spring break

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!!!”

My words echoed into the misty air that hovered between the granite canyon walls where cracks, edges, and ledges wove together a treasure of rock climbs. I was amidst a rescue skills test of Single Pitch Instructor exam with the American Mountain Guides Association, with support from the NOLS Instructor Development Fund.

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Topics: wilderness education, climbing, Skills, Becoming an Instructor, Rock Climbing, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), gratitude, Stories, Instructor Stories

Winter & Spring 2020 Expeditions Now Online

By NOLS on Jun 11, 2019
Photo by Lisa Moen

Summer's here, and we want you to savor every single late-evening walk and early morning paddle.

But don't be fooled—fall and winter will arrive sooner than you think, and you don't want to be the person finishing out summer with nothing to look forward to until next year!

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Topics: Sailing, Events, climbing, Skills, Kayaking, Rock Climbing, backcountry skiing, snowboarding, NOLS Expeditions, Announcements, spring break, affinity

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.

In 2018, NOLS instructors took their professional training to the heights of Washington and Alaska, to rivers around the world, and to the hills of Wyoming, on both wilderness expeditions and frontcountry trainings.

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Topics: whitewater, Training, Kayaking, Becoming an Instructor, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, education, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), Instructor expedition, Stories, Instructor Stories

Real-Life Scenario: Stuck on a Climbing Route

By Jake Blackwelder on Nov 26, 2018

The rescue team. Photo courtesy of Jake Blackwelder.
 

The 911 call: A climber was stuck in a crack on a classic multi-pitch trad route at a well-known sandstone climbing area near Moab, Utah. The incident happened near the top of a large chimney, a crack wide enough to fit a climber’s entire body into. The climber was about 100 feet from the ground and 40 feet below the pitch anchor, the next opportunity to attach securely to the wall.

My wilderness rescue team, consisting of myself, another Wilderness EMT, and three Rope Rescue Technicians, were the ones to receive the call and respond to the incident.

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Topics: rock rescue, First Aid, Rock Climbing, scenario, Wilderness Medicine

55 and Climbing

By Liz Johnson on Dec 11, 2017

“You’re cruising, Alex. I can hardly keep up with you!” I called up to my climbing coursemate as I belayed her.

“I’m trying a new technique,” she yelled back. “It’s called ‘Keep Going!’”

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Topics: Rock Climbing, all-women, inspiring women, women in leadership, Stories

Tolerance for Adversity and Uncertainty in the Southern Andes

By Brett Carroll on May 31, 2017
Photo by Brett Carroll

I grimaced slightly as I rolled onto my side, stretching the sunburnt skin on my back and shoulders. After the mild pain subsided I couldn’t help but laugh at this new source of discomfort, and its stark contrast to the bite of the frigid wind in Frey and the raw chill of the fog in Los Arenales.

We were nearing the end of a monthlong climbing trip in the southern Andes of Argentina and Chile to hone our skills as climbers and instructors. The trip had featured weeks of challenging weather.

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Topics: tolerance for adversity and uncertainty, Tolerance for Adversity, NOLS Patagonia, Skills, Rock Climbing, 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

International Climbers' Festival 2015

By Cole Medders on Jul 15, 2015

Climbing hard, crushing routes, cries of determination, and the domination of rock describe the events that transpire at the International Climbers' Festival year after year. Lander, Wyoming has hosted the ICF for over five years and draws some of the world's strongest athletes to push their limits on world class rock. But hold up ... wait ... we are not all 4% body fat, rock pulverizing superheroes, so what is it about this festival of climbing that draws hundreds of participants every year? What was happening off the wall when you and your fellow climbers were giving your tendons that much-needed break? Explore what made the 2015 ICF so unique off the rock and dive into a community of climbers from across the globe!

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Topics: Lander, Rock Climbing