The cross-bow draw is a difficult stroke that your NOLS instructors will be sure to help you master. Hess River
Photo: Roo Riley
An action-packed learning adventure, this semester begins and ends in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, and it takes place entirely in Canada’s subarctic, where remote, wild land stands unparalleled. For 76 days your expedition will explore the wilds of the Yukon with a backpack, canoe, and rope team, seeing few people along the way.
In fact, with a ratio of six caribou and one moose to every Yukon, you’re more likely to share this vast wilderness with animals than with humans. Along your route, you will fish, cross unnamed rivers, summit unnamed peaks, and explore the same areas as turn-of-the-century gold seekers.
After this semester, you’ll be a comfortable traveler in the backcountry with unmatched technical expeditionary skills in backpacking and whitewater canoeing, as well as glacier, snow, and ice mountaineering.
Get your feet wet with NOLS: Fording
rivers is sometimes the only way to get from point A to point B. Tributary of the Chilkat River
Photo: Pascal Beauvais
From our base in Whitehorse, you’ll embark on the first phase of your adventure: a backpacking section through the river valleys, alpine tundra, and boreal forests of the Yukon Territory.
You’ll move up remote mountain valleys, planning routes and choosing campsites. You’ll learn camping and travel skills pertaining to bear country—and a metric ton about being comfortable outdoors—while traveling through alpine meadows and tundra and bushwhacking through trees and over passes in all kinds of weather.
What you learn about mountain weather, leadership, and route finding on the backpacking section will prepare you to face the high glaciers on the mountaineering section. The Yukon’s mountains are an ideal classroom for learning technical mountaineering skills such as negotiating rocky mountain passes, icefalls, and glaciers.
You’ll climb stunning peaks while learning rope-team, crampon, and other techniques to move over snow, ice, and rock terrain.
The Yukon provides some of the best whitewater expeditioning in the world. For over three weeks, you’ll learn all the skills necessary to effectively paddle a variety of rivers, including assessing, running, lining, and portaging rapids; river rescue techniques; and river management and navigation.
As your technical maneuvers improve, you’ll be polishing your backcountry and leadership skills while you explore and live under the midnight sun.
“There is a special learning that takes place
in wilderness areas such as the Yukon. Such learning is not a part
of a traditionally structured, academic classroom. It can only be
found in the outdoors, in the wilderness beyond the rigid structure
Yukon Outdoor Educator Course
WHAT MAKES NOLS THE
focus on outdoor skills, leadership and environmental studies
will make you a leader. Read more reasons...