Winter Outdoor Educator

Credit: Matt Burke

Winter Outdoor Educator

Bring your passion for outdoor education to winter

Feel the cold in your lungs as you glide on fresh snow. Fall asleep in a snow shelter you built yourself and wake up and start cooking breakfast in a snow kitchen. On this course, you’ll learn how make the mountains in the winter a classroom where you can teach leadership and outdoor skills.

This course has plenty for educators at any level to learn. You’ll start with several days of training on a Recreational Level I Avalanche clinic that’s endorsed by the American Avalanche Association. You’ll also be snowboarding or skiing with instructors at Grand Targhee Resort. Then, you’ll head to the wilderness, where you’ll find miles of fresh snow for skiing and splitboarding. During the day, you’ll put your skills to work as you explore the mountains and focus on learning risk management and managing groups. At night you’ll sleep in a snow shelter and cook your meals in snow kitchens. You’ll gain experience instructing by teaching your own classes and being coached by your instructors and groupmates. Every day will give you opportunities to become a more competent winter camper and teacher.

You’ll have plenty of time to explore, but this course focuses on more than that. It’s your chance to grow as an educator through hands-on learning by experience. All of this will prepare you for a lifetime of teaching and exploring the mountains in the winter.



2019 Dates

Jan. 15 – Feb. 4, 2019

Tuition: $3,050


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Equipment Deposit



21 days

Minimum Age

18 yrs.

Academic Credit

4 College Credits
  • 2 Risk Management
  • 2 Outdoor Educator

1 High School Credits

  • 0.50 Leadership
  • 0.50 Physical Education
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Recreational Level 1 Avalanche


Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics


Driggs, Idaho

Fly in/out

Idaho Falls, Idaho or Jackson, Wyoming

Skills learned



Additional Details

Prerequisites: Moderate to expert skiing or snowboarding ability

Designed for those currently working in or planning to enter the field of outdoor education.

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What Our Grads Say

“I still find myself returning to the wonderful moments of my NOLS course—sitting under a bare tree on a frozen slope and just listening to the snow; laughing and floating down a thousand feet of fresh powder; watching the sun slowly light up the Tetons as breakfast simmers on the Whisperlite. As I prepare for another season as an outdoor educator, as a teacher and trainer, I find myself drawing on all the things I learned and observed at NOLS. I have new ways to frame my lessons. I have a wonderful framework to teach outdoor leadership for our new guides. Most of all, I have so many new ideas and perspectives on ways I can continue to improve as an educator and a leader.”

— David M., NOLS Winter Outdoor Educator grad

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