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The Leader

2002 Archives

Fall 2002

The Historic Noble Hotel: Where Rails End and Trails Begin, by Ethan Meers
I’ll never forget my first impression of the Noble Hotel. Though I would ultimately come to view this building, where NOLS Rocky Mountain students and staff stay before and after their adventures in the mountains, as a launching pad of sorts, in my first eight hours there I was struck mainly by its curious charm.

Message From the Director - Remembering Wilderness
T he Canadian government recently announced plans to create five new marine conservation areas, and 10 new national parks. This landmark declaration would nearly double the total area of national parks in Canada. It would add 39,000 acres to the Canadian park system’s 39 existing national parks.

Man Versus Mountain, By Brooks Tucker
Our journey began in earnest on the well-maintained switchbacks that carve their way through dense forest at the base of Mount Baker, in Washington’s North Cascades Range. Two hours later, laboring under the weight of our 60-pound packs, we left the treeline and traced our way up through mist and alpine flora on a steep, rarely used trail.

Expedition Updates, By Emy Noel, NOLS Intern
Worldy women! For three weeks beginning in March, a team of four NOLS women instructors skied the little-explored Russian backcountry. Melis Coady, Aubrey Knapp, Molly Loomis and Keri Meagher navigated the valleys, peaks and hidden hot springs of Nalychevo Nature Park outside of Kamchatka.

Issue Room - Snowmobiles: A Blessing or a Curse for Wyoming’s National Parks? By Bridget Lyons
As the first snow falls here in Wyoming and a gubernatorial election approaches, snowmobiles are back in the news. Everyone seems to have an opinion about “sleds,” and recent events in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks have brought the variety and intensity of these opinions to light.

Wild Side of Medicine - Getting Ready: WEMT Students Learn from the Best, By Kerry Brophy
Mark Crawford’s office at the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS in Lander, Wyo. sits amidst packets of syringes, medical textbooks, anatomical models and backboards. As an action movie blares on a TV screen near his desk, Mark admits, “I can’t work unless there’s some noise in the background. ”

Sweat, horses and sage, a summer at Three Peaks Ranch
By Danielle Naples
My alarm says it’s 5 in the morning, but it is moonlight, not sunlight, that is streaming through my bedroom window. I quickly dress in jeans, a capilene top under a button down shirt, boots, and of course, my cowboy hat. Making sure I’ve grabbed my sunglasses and pocketknife, I leave the Steele House and follow the smell of pancakes to the cookhouse. Marlow has prepared a full breakfast to help us begin our day.

Three Peaks Ranch, By Glenn Goodrich, Ranch Manager
Homesteaded in 1888 by members of the Steele Family, Three Peaks has stood as a working ranch ever since. The original building is recognized by the Wyoming State Historical Registry as the longest continually occupied dwelling in Sublette County. NOLS purchased the ranch in the early 70s. The ranch is named for Raid, Ambush and Geike, three prominent peaks that can be seen from the property.

Alumni Trailblazers - Alumni Filmmakers, By Kerry Brophy
This issue’s trailblazer series proves that the skills you learn on a NOLS course really can take you anywhere — from the top of Denali to the set of an Emmy-winning HBO series.

Rockefeller’s South Fork Lodge, By Kacy White
Mark Rockefeller’s inspiring journeys to Wyoming as a boy made him fall in love with the West and its wild places. Rockefeller, who’s family has a ranch near Jackson, took a NOLS Adventure course in 1981. His course, in addition to all the time he spent on the ranch, gave him a respect for Wyoming that’s served as a foundation for his many conservation efforts in the state.

The PNW Alumni and Friends Chapter, by Dan Dundon, PNW Chapter Member
The NOLS PNW Alumni and Friends Chapter has been active now for three years and has taken a unique approach to its organization and programs.

PNW Hakai Fundraising Kayak Trip, By Natalie Kaplan, Alumni Relations Manager
This year's PNW fundraising event was the Chapter's premier 2002 event. In August we flew a group of 14 NOLS Pacific Northwest contributors four hours north by floatplane to a beautiful and remote section of British Columbia's outer islands called the Hakai.

NOLS 37th Anniversary Awards
NOLS celebrated its 37th anniversary the weekend of October 12, 2002 in Lander, Wyo. Along with its annual board of trustees events and meetings, the NOLS community gathered for its annual awards ceremony to celebrate and recognize outstanding achievements among staff and alumni in the past year.

The Real World, By Casey Kanode
Today was my last day on my NOLS Idaho Backpacking and River course. I sit this evening not only on the bank of the Salmon River in the middle of Frank Church Wilderness, but also on the verge of my next stage in life. It's called "The Real World."

Summer 2002

NOLS in Space, By John Grunsfeld
On a clear late-October morning in the fall of 2001, we departed Gravel Crossing and slowly descended into White Canyon. Splashing through the cool water, our team of seven plus two NOLS instructors began our circumnavigation of the Jacob’s Chair formation in Southeastern Utah. While this may have been a normal start for a NOLS course, it was not your typical astronaut training.

Defining a New Home for the Summer, By John Gans
As I write this Leader introduction, I am a day away from departing on a two-and-a-half-month sabbatical with my family. The theme of our time is not grandiose, we’ve loaded up our camping gear and are generally headed west and northwest. We are wandering aimlessly, but not without purpose.

Staying Connected In the Big Apple: An Update on NOLS NYC, By Liz McGregor (JSP’91), NOLS NYC Chapter Co-Chair
For many New Yorkers, the idea of kayaking on the Hudson, fly-fishing in Central Park or being on belay off Broadway is as unusual and unlikely a thought as passing a polar bear on 5th Avenue. For NOLS New Yorkers, those ideas are standard fare.

On the Run: NOLS Instructor Takes Skills To Adventure Racing, By Kerry Brophy
When NOLS instructor Darran Wells arrives in camp at the end of a long hiking day, he sometimes turns around and does the route all over again—but this time he runs. And if he can’t fit in a run, either doubling back or scouting, he does pull-ups on tree branches, or rowing exercises with a make-shift pulley system.

The Professional Training Institute of NOLS Launches Adventure Racing Program
The world of multi-sport adventure racing has hit a surge in the U.S. in recent years, with thousands of people pushing their limits in the wilderness—with or without adequate training. As the leading teacher of wilderness skills and leadership, NOLS figures that if people are traveling in the backcountry and having to take care of themselves and others, we should be the ones training them.

Patient Assessment: The Key to Making Critical Wilderness Medicine Decisions, By Tod Schimelpfenig, WMI Curriculum Director
It's been months since you completed your Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course when you encounter two people off to the side of an Absaroka Wilderness trail. One of these folks says that the other person, who is apparently asleep, isn't feeling well. You offer to help and switch into WFR mode...

Bears Keep Out! Grappling with Food Storage Issues in the Rocky Mountains, By Worth Allen, NOLS Intern
The 80 NOLS courses that head into the Rocky Mountains this summer will have plenty to learn, including how to share their wilderness classroom with bears. During the past few years, as grizzly bear reintroduction programs have enjoyed tremendous support in the greater Yellowstone area, the bears have been creeping southward, attempting to reclaim parts of their original range...

The Women's Initiative at NOLS
Women at NOLS in 1966 were few-and-far-between but today account for nearly a third of all instructors. While the growth is measurable, the school would like to see that number increase significantly.

On Eating a Lifetime of Oatmeal and Racing for the Most NOLS Field Weeks, By Worth Allen, NOLS Intern
Imagine spending a month living in the wilderness. OK, that’s easy—nearly all NOLS grads have done that. So, imagine living outdoors for a year. Still think that you could do it? How about living outdoors for nine years?

It's Not Rocket Science: Astronaut Jeff Ashby Navigates Utah's Canyonlands, By Kerry Brophy
The mountains were not the last frontier for astronaut and Colorado-native Jeff Ashby, who has taken two NOLS NASA Leadership Expeditions. Most participants on his NOLS trainings were more comfortable with rocket science than, say, cooking macs and cheese over a Whisperlite, but Ashby, an avid skier who has worked on search and rescue teams in Colorado, knew what to expect.

Alumni Start Non-profits Around the World, By Alicia Giuffrida
When Amy Manhart had her first wilderness adventure experience, she noticed something she didn’t like. “Everyone slipped right into traditional gender roles,” she recalls. “The women did the cooking and the dishes, the men read the maps and did the route-finding.” Later, when working with a group of younger adventurers, she noticed that everyone shared tasks equally. “I started to think about when and why that shift took place.”

Common Ground in an Uncommon Place, By Rich Brame
Accompanied by a diesel generator’s roar, the overhead string of flickering incandescent lights rudely pushed away the dark. My groggy mind registered that I was laying in a squeaky-new, NATO sleeping bag (it was rated to zero degrees Fahrenheit, but only to about 100 decibels) on a musty Oriental rug on the floor of a garage-sized rectangular tent. I was 120 kilometers southwest of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It was 3:30 a.m. and my NOLS workday had just begun.

Spring 2002

In Mind / In Country: The Life of an Expedition Journal, by Worth Allen.
What is the purpose of keeping an expedition journal? Perhaps journals allow us to remember a trip's happenings and details, things that would gradually fade from our memory without a journal to remind us. The words on the pages, simply black and white descriptions to everyone else, recreate vivid, live images in our minds.

Message From the Executive Director: The Education That Lasts a Lifetime, by John Gans.
A strong hint of spring is in the Lander, Wyoming air today. NOLS staff are taking off for "lunch break" runs in shorts and t-shirts. Given it is late February, I know this is just a tease of summer, but that tease is a reminder of end of school year's past, graduations and approaching summer-our busiest season at NOLS.

NOLS Responds To the Unknown, by Kerry Brophy
On a day in September, NOLS students were planning the morning's route through Wyoming's Wind River Range, settling down for a cup of mate in Patagonia, or, on the other side of the globe, crawling into their tents for the night in the Himalayas. It was just another day on NOLS courses around the world-the days dictated by the terrain, the weather and the group. Meanwhile, in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania, the unimaginable was happening.

Alumni Profile: Bush Helzberg, by Smith Maddrey.
Experiences abroad have toughened the spirit of Bush Helzberg. His NOLS course-a 1991 Semester in Kenya-taught him innumerable life lessons and was a catalyst for future edifying experiences abroad. Over years of travel, his exposure to famine, death and scant living conditions made him realize what was important in his life, preparing him well for the tragic events on September 11, 2001.

Weathering the World, by Matt Lloyd
It's early Tuesday morning on my NOLS Instructor Course. Clear. Stars out. Three o'clock and I cannot sleep. I decide to sit up, switch on my headlamp and write.

The Wilderness Classroom: College Credit at NOLS, by Kerry Brophy.
In the NOLS wilderness classroom, students don't fall asleep at their desks-they're too busy living and learning in a dynamic environment where academic and life lessons pop up around every corner. Instead of studying a textbook, they get inches away from a 900-year-old petroglyph left by the Mimbres culture in the American Southwest...

Issue Room: Roadless Initiative, by Worth Allen
Seeing how few major tracts of expansive, undisturbed wilderness remained in our nation prompted former President Clinton to create the landmark Roadless Initiative shortly before leaving office last January.

Education Toolbox New Wind Chill Index Implemented, by Matt Wendling.
Anyone who's spent a gusty day hiking in the mountains knows that wind means colder temperatures. The sensation of wind chill is nothing new. Recent studies, however, have shed new light on the subject.

New Books by NOLS Authors, Reviews by Matt Wendling.
Looking For Alaska,Peter Jenkins; Fire, Sebastian Junger; Rowing to Lattitude, Jill Fredston; Chapters, Candace Olsen; Rivers of Life: Southwest Alaska, Peter Hampton (Review by Marco Johnson)

Wild Side of Medicine Aha! Take a Bite Out of Pain, by Buck Tilton.
The young man, age 23, approaching you along the swirling edge of the Green River, looks like something from The Twilight Zone, a dimension in which normal human anatomy has been altered. His right cheek is swollen to an astounding roundness, pulling his lips into a grimace, almost shutting his right eye.

Training Room Expedition Behavior: The Foundation of NOLS Leadership, by John Kanengieter, NOLS Professional Training Institute Director.
I think back to an expedition that I was a member of in the Western Garhwal of the Indian Himalaya. Besides myself, five other NOLS instructors were scouting a new program for NOLS and as a side trip, we turned our focus to make an alpine style attempt of Panwali Dwar, a once climbed peak in the Nanda Devi Sanctuary.

2001 Archives

Fall 2001

  • The Greatest Team on Everest, by Kerry Brophy.
    They called themselves the greatest team which ever climbed on Everest. Sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind, they were 13 American climbers from different parts of the country, with different backgrounds but one, singular goal: to join the first blind climber, Erik Weihenmayer, on the top of the world.

  • A Solid Foundation: NOLS Cuts Ribbon on New International Headquarters, by Kerry Brophy.
    NOLS, an organization that operates primarily outside under the shelter of tents or the open sky, can now add the construction of a major facility to its achievements in wilderness education.

  • NOLS Gave Me A Second Life, by Wanja Njuguna-Githinji.
    It was two a.m. We had set camp at Simba Turn, not too far away from the Gregory Glacier on our way to the top of Mt Kenya. My feet were freezing, my bladder was full, and I was sure I had heard something like the roar of a lion and I was not about to take a chance of being eaten alive.

  • Arctic Canoe Odyssey, by Jack Buchanan
    Last summer, Sam Moulton, Mike Wolfe, Brook Yeomans, and Luke Manger-Lynch embarked on an expedition that took them from Reindeer Lake in northern Saskatchewan to the Arctic Ocean. Their route was 1,600 miles long and took them 87 days. Their objectives were to complete the lengthy route in only one season and to raise money for scholarship funds for Camp Manito-wish.

  • Land of Neighbors: A Patagonia Journey on Horseback, by Nancy Pfeiffer.
    W e must have been a perplexing sight. Twenty foreigners, an entire NOLS course, each with a huge backpack, were stacked up on one side of the rain-swollen river. Our food supply was out of reach on the other bank.

  • NOLS Grad Heads Up Western Pennsylvania Field Institute, by Pip Coe.
    NOLS grad Mike Schiller recently started the Western Pennsylvania Field Institute (WPFI), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness and appreciation for the environment.

  • Put Your Policy Where Your Packs Are, by Jennifer Lamb, NOLS Public Policy Director.
    I attended my first instructor briefing at the Rocky Mountain Branch last week - part of my training as NOLS' new Public Policy Director. I sat at the table with branch folks and veteran instructors, ten days into my new job, learning about all the things that go into making a NOLS climbing camp happen... When I gave a brief explanation of my position at NOLS, I sensed a hint of confusion.

  • Wild Side of Medicine: What Happens When You Go Higher, by Buck Tilton.
    Camped at the base of Gannett Peak, tomorrow's ascent into the clouds taking up most of your thoughts, you're brought back to earth by a student with a complaint.

  • The Patagonia Land Trust, by Liz Rumsey.
    The goal of this article was to introduce the NOLS community to an organization dedicated to saving wilderness in Patagonia. My progress on it was interrupted by the attacks on September 11th. Several distracted days later, I returned to the task but found myself wondering, 'who cares?' Over the last several weeks, I have been reminded why I do.

  • Mesilau-Low's Gully Expedition, by Jack Buchanan.
    As reported in last spring's Leader, Brent Raymond, a NOLS instructor, coordinated an expedition to Malaysian Borneo. The goal of this expedition was to explore the unique climbing opportunities of the Mt. Kinabalu region.

  • Product Review: Wigwam Comfort Hikers, by Pip Coe, NOLS Alumni Relations Manager.

  • Leadership; NOLS Style, by John Kanengieter, NOLS Professional Training Institute (PTI) Director.
    At the heart of the NOLS education is the understanding of what it means to be a leader.

  • NOLS is the Inter-National Outdoor Leadership School, by Bruce Palmer, NOLS Director of Admission and Marketing.
    Curso de No Deje Rastro en Chile, El Curso para Educores Mexicanos, Curso de Montanismo para Chilenos - not every NOLS course is listed in the catalog of courses published here in the United States.

Summer 2001

Spring 2001

  • Summer On Ice, by Alexander Colhoun.
    I arrived in October on a Starlifter, a huge Navy cargo plane with skis for landing gear...I was bundled in heavy layers of polar-weight clothing. The cold was so deep it took my breath away... This place was unlike anything I'd ever known. I admit I was a little scared.

  • Scholarship Students Speak, by Kerry Brophy.
    A young girl in a Washington, DC public school is helping her fifth-grade class develop a wetland habitat and wildlife sanctuary...

  • NOLS Raises $8 Million for Scholarships, Outreach, by Susan Brame.
    NOLS completed its $8 million endowment campaign in December 2000. "Our message and our mission are timeless," says executive director John Gans...

  • Product Review: The Tikka Headlamp from Petzl®, by Kacy White.

  • Expedition to Borneo, by Alice Bond.
    NOLS instructor Brent Raymond and his North American team have just begun a two-month expedition on Mt. Kinabalu (13,455 ft.), the highest point in Southeast Asia.

  • Fitz Roy Massif Enchainment, by Jack Buchanan.
    In February, two NOLS instructors, Dave Anderson and Andrew Chapman, embarked on a climbing expedition to the Fitz Roy region of Patagonia.

  • I Don't Like Spiders, Part I, by Buck Tilton.
    "I don't like spiders and snakes," goes the old Jim Stafford song, a sentiment echoed by multitudes of humans from Alabama to Zimbabwe.

  • Alumni Profile: Bruce Jacobsen, by Tom Reed.
    In 1975, at age 15, Bruce Jacobsen set out on his first NOLS expedition, an adventure course in the Beartooth Mountains...25 years later, he and his wife, Gretchen, made a contribution to NOLS and the Campaign for Leadership of notable proportions.

  • Book Review: Voices of the West, by Alice Bond.

  • Mountain Sense, by Tom Reed.
    When I was 20, I split my head open on a sharp rock on the shoulder of Maroon Peak in Colorado's Elk Mountains. It was one of the stupidest things I'd ever done and I did it to myself...

2000 Archives

Fall 2000

  • The Forbidden Climb, by Brady Robison.
    We had heard that there were great rock towers to be climbed in the Kondus, so we were excited at being the first westerners in 18 years to get a chance to climb there.

  • A Life On the Mend, by Kerry Brophy.
    This story spins out into a strange web of coincidences, beginning with a terrible accident, a young man saving another's life, and a string of events that linked them together again.

  • National Outdoor Leadership School teams up with DuPont Cordura, by Matt Lloyd.
    The longstanding relationship the National Outdoor Leadership School has with DuPont recently paid off in a significant donation to the NOLS scholarship program by DuPont Cordura.

  • Product Review: The Stretch Triolet Jacket from Patagonia®, by Marco Johnson.

  • Put this under your tree, by Tom Reed.
    This summer and fall, five things have made my life in the woods just a little bit easier, a little more fun and a little more comfortable. So, if your Aunt Edna asks you want you want for Christmas....

  • Chris Boswell: Alumni Profile, by Tom Reed.
    Today, Boswell is a member of the Wyoming State Legislature... One of only 17 Democrats in a Republican-dominated 60-member House, Boswell goes back to some of the early lessons he learned at NOLS almost daily.

  • Wild Side of Medicine: The Belly Goes Bad, by Buck Tilton.
    The Dirty Devil: remote, magnificent in its sculpted majesty, its hollow cathedrals of soaring sandstone. Too bad the woman, age 22, your responsibility, distracts your contemplation with complaints of "a really bad stomachache."

  • Training Room: Leadership Habits: Do's and Don'ts-Part II, by John Kanengieter and John Gookin.
    In this article..., we look at the common faux pas of leadership that so often can send a group into a downward spiral of development and teamwork.

  • Staff awards 2000.
    Six employees were honored by NOLS this year for their dedication to the school's mission.

  • Mountains, Fast Cars and Philanthropy, by Susan Brame.
    What does a NOLS mountaineering course have in common with endurance racecar driving? At first glance, maybe not much, but NOLS alumni, former trustee, and trusted advisor, Duncan Dayton sees obvious parallels.

  • From the Hills of Africa to the Steppes of Wyoming, by Mara Apple.
    As have most of the people who have come into contact with Charles Ojaji and his friend, Albert Mitugo, part of the growing pool of NOLS instructors from other countries, I have just learned a lesson about perspective.

  • Book Review: NOLS Wilderness First Aid and NOLS Wilderness Mountaineering.

Summer 2000, Special 35th Anniversary Edition

  • Mate, Amigo?: Reflections on working for NOLS in Chile, by Richard Morse.
    A chipped and battered, steaming cup is handed to me. The long bombilla - an incongruously ornate straw - beckons. I close my hands around the tiny tin cup, warming my fingers.

  • Product Review: Say goodbye to the black goo!!!!!!!!, by Dave Glenn.
    Snowpeak and Optimus Nova stoves.

  • NOLS in the News.
    Excerpts from an article in Investors Business Daily featuring NOLS.

  • Solo in Zion, by Camilla Barnes-Kelly.
    Zion is a spectacular series of canyons and sandstone formations located in southwestern Utah. I had been there before. I was patiently waiting to return.

  • Wild Side of Medicine: Chest pain? Difficulty breathing? Evacuate!, by Buck Tilton.
    It is a wilderness course, and you're happy to be a NOLS instructor, but not happy in the least about the young man, tall and thin, who is becoming more and more desperate for air.

  • Training Room: Leadership Do's and Don'ts, Part I, by John Kanengieter and John Gookin
    A look at some of the simple and positive leadership traits that help you accomplish group goals.

  • Scholarship program reaches out to local communities, by Molly Absolon.
    The idea of the committee was to get alumni volunteers to both help raise money for scholarships, and participate in the recruitment and selection of recipients.

  • International headquarters facilities project in full swing, by Eric Keller.
    The NOLS International Headquarters has developed a solution to maximize administrative efficiency, minimize in town operation costs, become even more environmentally responsible, and remain a positive contributor to the Lander community.

  • Coe leads alumniland.
    As Pip Coe begins her new position as alumni relations manager, she has high expectations.

  • NOLS 35th Anniversary

    • Letter from the Executive Director, by John Gans.
      Thirty-five years ago a group of young people arrived in Lander, Wyoming, to embark on the first NOLS course.

    • NOLS 1960's: Randy Cerf, by Tom Reed.
      Dear All, I have run away... I'm not doing this because of your treatment of me, but rather so I could escape the city before I became attatched to it and for the adventure.

    • NOLS 1970's: Redemption, by Kate Dernocoeur.
      My history with NOLS goes so far back that I don't recall the names of most of my fellow students or instructors.... But I had so much fun on the two-week Wind River winter course in December, 1973 that I came back for more.

    • NOLS 1980's: Cliff Sharples, by Tom Reed.
      Cliff attributes much of his success to things that he first learned when, at 18, he enrolled as a student on a spring semester in the Rockies at NOLS.

    • NOLS 1990's: Allen Macomber, by Katie Raymond.
      When Allen Macomber's son convinced him to take a NOLS course in the summer of 1989, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. Eleven years later, he is a NOLS parent, an alumni, an instructor, and most notably, chairman of the board.

    • NOLS Timeline.
      Highlights of NOLS' history from its founding on March 23, 1965, to the present.

    • NOLS Equipment Timeline, thanks to Don Webber and Kevin McGowan.
      From wool everything to plastic boots.

Winter 2000

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