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Taking a NOLS River Expedition

By Rob Motley on Jun 5, 2019
Photo by Austin Danicic

“It’s impossible to be bored running a rapid,”according to Fabio Oliveira.

He would know. Despite spending 289 weeks in the field as NOLS instructor, he’s never gotten tired of leading river expeditions. A long-time instructor from Brazil, Fabio has spent the last five years primarily teaching whitewater courses that are full of rapids, cheering, and giggling.

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Topics: Canoeing, whitewater, Skills, Kayaking, River, education, whitewater rafting, NOLS Expeditions

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

Inside Whitewater Expeditions in the Rockies

By Kate Dernocoeur on Apr 30, 2019
Photo by David Morgan

On June 8, 1869, John Wesley Powell and his expedition floated down the Green River through the Gates of Lodore—a narrow, towering cleft worn in the deep red rock of what is now western Colorado.

They were not the first to enter the canyon—Native Americans had lived in the area for thousands of years, and the early 1800s saw numerous explorations by trappers. But for Powell, it felt completely unknown.

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Topics: whitewater, Skills, whitewater rafting, Salmon River, whitewater canoeing, NOLS River Base, Vernal, Rafting

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: Becoming an Instructor, NOLS Teton Valley, whitewater rafting

Instructor Expedition: A Grand Canyon Trip with Friends

By NOLS Blog on Jan 16, 2017
A classic Grand Canyon view from the Nankoweap Granaries, Mile 53, Photo by Jane Koopman.

Ribeye steaks on day eleven? This was not a NOLS course. This was a descent of the Grand Canyon, made possible by the NOLS instructor development fund—the classic journey, with all the iced sodas you can drink and rapids that might keep an oarswoman awake at night.

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Topics: Skills, Instructor Development Fund, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), whitewater rafting, Stories, Rafting, Instructor Stories

Beyond Limits and Proud: LGBT & NOLS Wilderness Medicine Experience

By Emily Ambrose on Jun 9, 2016

I entered the Wilderness First Responder course nervous.

It was January, four months prior to my first season as a rafting guide on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon for AzRA Discovery. The WFR certification through NOLS Wilderness Medicine would grant me the final two certifications I needed.

I was nervous for a couple reasons: First, my medical knowledge was limited to watching Grey's Anatomy on TV prior to the course; second, I was unsure how I would be triggered or invalidated in my Queer identity through the nine-day course.

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Topics: diversity and inclusion, Wilderness First Responder, LGBTQ, whitewater rafting, Wilderness Medicine

What's in the Wilderness?

By NOLS Blog on Oct 21, 2015


Scouting a rapid. Photo by Kirk Rasmussen.
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Topics: Alumni, NOLS Rocky Mountain, wilderness, backcountry, whitewater rafting

Educator Expedition: Whitewater Challenges in Peru

By NOLS Blog on Sep 14, 2015

By Christian Martin, NOLS Instructor

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Topics: Educators Notebook, Becoming an Instructor, education, whitewater rafting

Right Place, Right Time, Right Education

By Justin Kleberg on Jun 23, 2015

Editor's note: Justin Kleberg uses the skill and expertise he gained from NOLS Wilderness Medicine in the unpredictable world of whitewater rafting. Article adapted from the Spring 2015 Leader.

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Topics: Alumni, backcountry, whitewater rafting, Wilderness Medicine