Noble Hotel: Where Rails End and Trails Begin, by Ethan Meers
Ill 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.
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
systems 39 existing national parks.
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 Washingtons 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.
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.
Room - Snowmobiles: A Blessing or a Curse for Wyomings 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.
Side of Medicine - Getting Ready: WEMT Students Learn from the
Best, By Kerry Brophy
Mark Crawfords 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 cant
work unless theres some noise in the background.
horses and sage, a summer at Three Peaks Ranch
By Danielle Naples
My alarm says its 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 Ive 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.
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
- Alumni Filmmakers, By Kerry Brophy
This issues 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.
South Fork Lodge, By Kacy White
Mark Rockefellers inspiring journeys to Wyoming as a boy
made him fall in love with the West and its wild places. Rockefeller,
whos 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 thats served
as a foundation for his many conservation efforts in the state.
PNW Alumni and Friends Chapter, by Dan Dundon, PNW Chapter
The NOLS PNW Alumni and Friends Chapter has been active now for
three years and has taken a unique approach to its organization
Hakai Fundraising Kayak Trip, By Natalie Kaplan, Alumni Relations
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
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."
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 Jacobs Chair formation
in Southeastern Utah. While this may have been a normal start
for a NOLS course, it was not your typical astronaut training.
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, weve loaded up our camping
gear and are generally headed west and northwest. We are wandering
aimlessly, but not without purpose.
Connected In the Big Apple: An Update on NOLS NYC, By Liz
McGregor (JSP91), 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
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 againbut this time he runs. And if he cant
fit in a run, either doubling back or scouting, he does pull-ups
on tree branches, or rowing exercises with a make-shift pulley
Professional Training Institute of NOLS Launches Adventure Racing
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 wildernesswith 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
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...
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...
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.
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, thats
easynearly 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?
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.
Start Non-profits Around the World, By Alicia Giuffrida
When Amy Manhart had her first wilderness adventure experience,
she noticed something she didnt 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
in an Uncommon Place, By Rich Brame
Accompanied by a diesel generators 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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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)
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.
Room Expedition Behavior: The Foundation of NOLS Leadership,
by John Kanengieter, NOLS Professional Training
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.
The Leader is the school's alumni newspaper, published three times a year. Circulation is 48,000. NOLS graduates living in the United States receive a free subscription to The Leader for life or until they move and we do not receive a forwarding address. Please tell us if your address changes.