The NOLS Camp Dudley Leadership Expedition is a 21-day field-based backpacking and rock-climbing course, which will take place in the Wind River Range of the Northern Rockies near Lander, Wyoming. On the 14-day backpacking section of this expedition you’ll work hard traveling over rocky, steep terrain with all of your gear on your back, crossing rivers, and keeping yourself and others warm and well fed; but you will play hard as well. You may have opportunities to learn to fly-fish, identify wildflowers and wildlife, climb a peak, and take in the spectacular vistas of this mountain wilderness with your friends. You'll learn the skills you need to travel in the mountains long after your course ends.
For the rock-climbing portion of your course, you will remain in the Wind River Mountains and set up a base camp near the rock you will be climbing. During this time you will receive an introduction to top-rope belay techniques, rappelling, movement on rock, communication, and basic safety techniques. You will encourage your group members as they work through the challenges of reaching the top of a climb and stretch beyond your own personal limits as well.
This NOLS expedition will also have a focus on leadership training throughout—learning and practicing your own travel and camping skills, introducing you to leading an expedition, and taking on increasing levels of personal and team responsibilities for the technical and interpersonal aspects of the course. You will learn to travel competently in mountain terrain using map and compass skills, hazard evaluation, and route-finding techniques while working with and supporting your group members in achieving the goals of the course.
NOLS courses are challenging both physically and emotionally. Our best students are those who set out to have fun, are excited about learning, and are willing to be flexible with the inevitable surprises and challenges of an expedition. It is amazing how fast you get to know your expedition mates and how tightly these bonds hold through the days and weeks.
After your course, you might not remember those hard days of hiking, but you will remember your friends and how much fun you had learning outdoor skills, fly fishing, exploring and achieving—your summer adventure with NOLS is about to begin!