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What Can Spring Learn from Winter? Lessons for the Transition

By Jonny Hepburn on Apr 2, 2020
Photo by Eric Page

Instructor Jonny Hepburn reflects on lessons learned in one season and how they apply to the next.

Evening light catches mountains shrouded in snow as we head south—spring slopes tinged with the hues of sunset. It's a time of seasonal transition. We're headed to the river now, saying goodbye to snowy mountain adventures till next year.

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Topics: whitewater, Skiing, Skills, Kayaking, winter, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), Instructor expedition, Stories, spring, Instructor Stories

How To Build a Winter Snow Shelter

By Erin Rooney Doland on Jan 13, 2020
Photo by Molly Hagbrand

Winter is in full swing in the northern hemisphere and snow camping is in the forecast. People who regularly camp in below-freezing temperatures and piles of snow know it has numerous advantages over warm-weather camping. That’s right, advantages.

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Topics: snow, Skiing, Camping, winter camping, Skills, winter, education, backcountry skiing, quizhee, snow camping

3 Mottos I Learned From My AMGA Ski Guide Training

By Jesse Quillian on Sep 18, 2019
Managing loose dry sluffs in "Mozambique." Photo by Mike Poborsky, Course Director.

In Spring 2019, NOLS instructor Jesse Quillian, also the field staffing director, participated in a 10-day AMGA Ski Guide Course based out of Jackson, WY, through the support of NOLS’ Pete Absolon Memorial Endowment and the Field Instructor Development Fund.

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Topics: Skiing, Skills, Becoming an Instructor, winter, backcountry skiing, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), Stories, Instructor Stories

Learning Expedition Behavior With Kids: Winter Edition

By Alyssa Walker on Feb 28, 2019
Photo by Alyssa Walker

Winter is ripe for lessons in expedition behavior (EB) for everyone, especially kids. The season compresses EB’s basic tenets of self-care, leadership, and positive attitudes in some of the harshest, least EB-friendly conditions.

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Topics: expedition behavior, winter, kids, parenting, Stories, Alumni Accomplishments

Everything You Need to Know About Winter Camping

By Rob Motley on Feb 8, 2019
Students during dawn patrol.Photo by Katie Oram

“Winter camping is a really unique and different experience. Only a small portion of people go expedition-style winter camping the way NOLS does,” explains Katie Oram, a veteran NOLS instructor.

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Topics: Skiing, Camping, Skills, Leave No Trace, winter, backcountry skiing, snowboarding, splitboarding

Case Study: Is That Frostbite?

By Tod Schimelpfenig on Jan 24, 2019

Rescuers practice giving patient care. Photo by Aron Gooch.
 

The Setting

You’ve been leading an outdoor skills course for young adults, most of it taught indoors or on day hikes. This weekend is the culminating overnight snowshoe trip where you plan to sleep in hollowed-out snow shelters, called quinzhees.

The snowshoe hike went according to plan and you and your group arrive at your planned campsite. Everyone appears weary, happy, and healthy. You note that it is much colder than any previous trip you’ve led, with temperatures hovering near 0°F (-18°C).

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Topics: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, Case Studies, winter, Wilderness Medicine, frostbite

Best of NOLS Instagram in 2018

By Caleb Walker on Dec 21, 2018

Your favorite photos of wilderness, friendship, and leadership from NOLS Instagram.

Find a little inspiration as you start dreaming of your adventures for 2019...

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Topics: NOLS Patagonia, NOLS Rocky Mountain, Events, NOLS Alaska, Backpacking, NOLS Pacific Northwest, Just for Fun, river crossing, Mountaineering, winter, tent, NOLS Three Peaks Ranch, photography

Leading in the Avalanche Safety and Education Industry

By Kim Freitas on Dec 19, 2018
Photo by Paul Rachele

Editor's note: Adapted from the Fall 2016 issue of The Leader.

When Jaime Musnicki was first introduced to skiing at age two, it led to a lifelong love of winter sports and an unexpected career path.

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Topics: Alumni, Avalanche, winter, inspiring women, women in leadership, Stories, Alumni Accomplishments, Leadership

Meeting the Experts: NOLS Winter Instructor Kate Koons

By Caleb Walker on Dec 18, 2018
Photo by Kate Koons

Kate Koons has a love affair with winter sports.

It began when she learned to ski as part of an after-school program in northern New Jersey.

"There was one lift and one Poma and many of my first memories revolved around trying to push my sister off the Poma lift, or not fall down while skiing the icy moguls to the bottom."

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Topics: winter camping, winter, NOLS Teton Valley, backcountry skiing, inspiring women, snowboarding, splitboarding, women in leadership, Stories, Instructor Stories, Leadership

Case Study: A Hard Fall While Skiing

By Tod Schimelpfenig on Nov 7, 2018


Photo by Brian Fabel.

Editor’s Note: This case study is based on an actual incident that NOLS Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness First Aid graduates responded to.

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Topics: Wilderness EMT, Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, Case Studies, winter, Wilderness Medicine

Case Study: Falling Through the Ice

By Tod Schimelpfenig on Jan 24, 2018

Editor’s Note: This case study is based on a real-life incident from the early 1980’s.

The Setting

You and three friends are on an early winter ski trip. To shorten the route, the group decides to cut across a lake, despite previously agreeing to avoid the lakes due to thin ice.

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Topics: First Aid, Case Studies, winter, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness Medicine, hypothermia

Quiz: Winter Injury and Illness

By NOLS on Nov 16, 2017
 
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Topics: First Aid, Wilderness First Aid, winter, Quizzes, Wilderness Medicine, hypothermia, frostbite

How To Keep Your Feet Warm

By Molly Herber on Dec 29, 2016

Taking care of your feet while camping is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

Here you’ll find advice from the pros—NOLS instructors, employees, even our wilderness medicine curriculum director Tod Schimelpfenig—on how to take care of your feet when they get cold.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, winter

Educator Expedition: Avalanche Training in the Tetons

By NOLS Blog on Mar 17, 2016

 

Digging an avalanche pit. Photo courtesy of Mandeep Nandal.
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Topics: Leadership Skills, Educators Notebook, Becoming an Instructor, winter, education, backcountry, NOLS Teton Valley, backcountry skiing, IDF, Instructor Development Fund (IDF)

Do You Know Your Winter Leave No Trace?

By Molly Herber on Dec 31, 2015
Photo by Lindsay Yost.

We know you’re a pro at cleaning up after yourself when it’s warm out, but do you know what to do when the temperatures drop?

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Topics: Leadership Skills, Expedition Prep, Risk Management, winter, backcountry