This action-packed combo course is split between a mountaineering section and a whitewater canoeing section. You’ll start in forested areas by a road, move quickly up to the alpine, past snow line, and into glacier terrain, then descend all the way back down a river to the low-lying Boreal forest. The Yukon and Northwest Territories are so vast and remote that you will likely get to scout new travel routes and backcountry classrooms when you’re not exploring places already proven by past NOLS students. Your expedition will start in either the Coast Mountains or Ragged Range, both selected for their rugged terrain and excellent learning opportunities. Off-trail mountain travel will give you the chance to develop snow, ice, and rock climbing skills, as well as roped glacier travel and technical peak ascents. From there, you will descend to the rivers below to canoe, line or portage through Class I-III rapids. You’ll begin by learning basic paddling techniques and build your skills to encompass paddling and managing larger rapids, learning hydrology, river rescue, and more. Along the way, you’ll learn a great deal about natural history and regional wildlife like bears, caribou, wolves, and bald eagles. Summer weather in the far North is fickle. On any given day, temperatures may range from below freezing to sweltering. During your course, you’ll go from intense heat to biting cold. You’ll learn to live comfortably in rainstorms and sunshine. You'll also learn how to be a great leader and a positive team member in challenging conditions. Conclude your 35-day course with a wide range of technical skills, transferable leadership skills, and an understanding of a wide range of ecosystems.