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High School Credit
“You really get to know people out here on such a deeply personal level that you start to understand what type of leadership they respond to and its not just your kind of leadership.”
There’s nothing quite like seeing the remote wilderness on your own two feet, carrying all your own gear on your back while gaining the tools necessary to become a great leader in the backcountry and at home.
Backpacking courses often hike three out of every four days. You’ll travel in small hiking groups so you have more opportunities to lead, make decisions, and map read as you move through beautiful wilderness. Hiking days begin early when you light your stove, cook and enjoy breakfast, and then organize and pack your pack.
You’re usually hiking by mid-morning. Lunch on the trail might be bread you baked the day before, or a trail mix of nuts and dried fruits. You may stop for a short class on natural history, or to learn how to cross a river, travel through boulders or snow, or move over a high pass. When you arrive at your new camp location, you'll first spend time choosing a Leave No Trace site and organizing camp, then you’ll prepare a well-deserved dinner. If the day was long, a short evening meeting may wrap up the day. If the hike was short, there may be a class or discussion.
Mountaineering at NOLS features glacier travel, pristine alpine lakes, astounding views and the teamwork and technical skills you need to get to the highest points in the world.
NOLS sea kayak courses travel to some of the world's greatest locations for ocean paddling, from Alaska's famous Prince William Sound and the unique coastal desert ecosystem of Mexico's Gulf of California to the remote fjords of Patagonian Chile. You'll practice basic and advanced strokes and rescue techniques while traveling in a variety of water conditions.
“The knowledge that I can now plan and execute a successful and fulfilling personal trip using the skills I learned in both paddling and mountain travel section is both rewarding and exciting.”
Patagonia is a remote wilderness of isolated mountain valleys, ragged icy peaks, turbulent rivers, and island archipelagos. This is a land that demands exploration, and you will experience firsthand its dramatic landscape.
NOLS Patagonia, in the Aysen Region of Chile, is a working farm of several hundred acres near the city of Coyhaique. We do all of the planning and logistics to make your expedition into the wilderness an educational experience that lasts a lifetime.
NOLS is an important contributor to the outdoor community in this region as well, offering specialized courses for Chilean educators and students, teaching No Deje Rastro (Leave No Trace), outdoor skills, and leadership. The hallmarks of a NOLS Patagonia course are remoteness, fickle weather, and exploration.
Patagonia has mountains that have never been climbed and valleys populated by pobladores (subsistence ranchers). The conditions in this part of the world are extreme, but they are perfect for honing your outdoor skills and leadership competence.