Come explore the wilderness of the American Southwest on your Mountain Instructor Course. While the focus will be on fine-tuning your teaching and leadership skills, you’ll also have ample time to experience both the Gila Wilderness and the desert beauty of Cochise Stronghold. You and your coursemates will have outdoor experience already, so we’ll focus our time on going over the fundamentals of teaching the NOLS curriculum, both for backpacking and rock climbing. But we won’t be doing all the teaching—you’ll have the chance to present your own classes and fine-tune your own teaching techniques, as well.
The Southwest is an ideal place to launch your career in the field with NOLS. You’ll be hiking in the Gila, the place that inspired the American concept of wilderness and was protected by Congress 40 years before the Wilderness Act was passed. While hiking, you’ll learn all the components of successfully leading a NOLS backpacking course, from teaching navigation to risk management to group dynamics. The animal and plant life here is abundant, the history rich, and the landscape dynamic and awe-inspiring.
This course will also include 13 days of climbing at the renowned Cochise Stronghold in the Dragoon Mountains of Arizona. With numerous domes and slabs providing many options for multi-pitch climbing and some of the most amazing sunsets anywhere, Cochise is a perfect place for a rock climbing intensive. You’ll learn, demonstrate, and be evaluated on the NOLS climbing curriculum, from anchor building to rescue techniques. Students finish the Southwest IC prepared to work backcountry hiking courses, and those with the proper climbing backgrounds are often ready to work climbing courses as well.
Mountain Instructor Course Southwest
21 and Over
Scholarships are available. Information is included with the IC application.