|The Skills You'll Learn |
(summer and fall) Map reading, route-finding, cooking and Leave No Trace practices will become second nature as you travel through Wyoming's Wind River or Absaroka ranges. Advanced topics covered on this section will include fly fishing, baking, off-trail navigation, GPS use and environmental ethics.
(fall only) The rugged glacier-carved Wind River Range is the ideal environment for learning wilderness mountaineering. The rock climbing, belaying and rappelling skills you'll learn on this section will enable you to challenge yourself on technical peak ascents while honing other fundamental backcountry skills.
Skiing & Snowboarding
(fall and spring) The Rocky Mountains' harsh and beautiful winter environment will create some of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of your semester. After breaking trail from camp to camp, you'll “dig in,” building a snow shelter for you and your peers to live in. Much time will also be devoted to practicing the telemark turn or your snowboarding technique on backcountry slopes, and assessing snow and avalanche conditions.
This fast-paced section takes place in the West's most famous climbing areas, from Nevada's Red Rocks, to Idaho's City of Rocks, to the Needles in South Dakota, and many others in between. It begins with a foundation of skills such as bouldering, belaying, rappelling, knots and climbing techniques. We'll emphasize advanced topics such as anchor construction, direct aid, belay escapes and gear selection. If you're ready, there will be opportunities to lead climb.
This multi-day expedition through Utah's scenic river canyons will introduce you to the fun and excitement of whitewater. Whether in a kayak, a canoe, an oar raft or a paddle raft, you'll learn to read the water, scout rapids, and execute maneuvers such as eddy-turns, peel-outs and ferries. Depending on your craft, advanced skills such as surfing, playboating, raft captaining and solo canoeing will be taught and practiced on this hands-on section.
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(fall and spring) From NOLS' Three Peaks Ranch at the base of the Wind River Range, you'll learn and practice the skills needed to enjoy an extended horsepacking expedition. Four days at the ranch encompasses saddling, riding, packing and getting to know your horses; then you'll embark on a two-week trip exploring Wyoming's wilderness on horseback.
(fall and spring) Developing and expanding your own leadership style and environmental studies are the focus of this section, which culminates in a multi-day, student-led expedition. You'll travel through the unmistakable red rock canyons of Southern Utah where you'll study Anasazi rock art and ruins, desert ecology, canyoneering, and land-use politics.
(fall and spring) Imagine yourself rappelling down pour-offs and negotiating deep canyon pools as you and your course mates explore Utah's stunning canyon country. Here you'll learn technical skills and climbing techniques like hauling and lowering and how to build anchors to successfully navigate narrow slot canyons—all while developing your leadership skills.
Wilderness First Aid (WFA)
(fall and spring) This 16-hour section, specific to wilderness emergencies, is offered by the Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) of NOLS. The course is the approved certification for the American Camping Association, the United States Forest Service, and many other governmental agencies and outdoor programs.
Wilderness First Responder(WFR)
(optional fall and spring) Offered by WMI of NOLS, this 80-hour section is for outdoor professionals and will give you the tools to make critical medical and evacuation decisions in remote settings.