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Expedition Denali Wins Outdoor Inspiration Award

Expedition Denali: Inspiring Diversity in the Outdoors earned the Outdoor Inspiration Award for its work to inspire youth, particularly youth of color, to get outside, get active and become stewards of our wild places.

The Outdoor Inspiration Awards recognize individuals, groups and companies whose efforts are above and beyond in inspiring others to enjoy, participate in and support outdoor activities. Expedition Denali won the group award, in the company of individual award recipient Timmy O’Neill and company awardee Timbuk2.

Organized by NOLS, Expedition Denali is the first African American team to attempt to summit the tallest peak in North America—Denali. Though they had to turn back just 1,000 feet from the summit due to a lightning storm, the team made history and is inspiring a generation of youth to reach their own great heights in the outdoors.

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Expedition Denali on the mountain. Hudson Henry photo

“The class of 2014 Outdoor Inspiration Award winners truly have a love for exploring the outdoors and use their passion to impact and change people’s lives,” said Kenji Haroutunian, Emerald Expo Outdoor group vice president and OR show director.

Two members of Expedition Denali, Rosemary Saal and Scott Briscoe, were present to accept the award on behalf of the entire team.

“Last fall we shared our story with about 3,000 youth, and this spring we’re on par to share that with an additional 6,000,” said Briscoe upon accepting the award. “We’re going to schools, community centers, churches, colleges, and talking about our climb and trying to inspire and get more people in the outdoors and diversify the outside.”

This tour of the nation will inspire youth of color to connect with America’s wild places and take on outdoor pursuits they never imagined possible by sharing the story of their historic attempt on North America’s tallest peak. Their story will have an even broader reach upon the completion of a film about the expedition by Distill Productions, LLC. Watch the latest teaser of the film below.

 

 

 

Permalink | Posted by Casey Adams on Jan 28, 2014 in the following categories: Alaska, Alumni, In The News, Instructor News, On The Net

Imagine your 2014 summer

Summer is here!

Well, at least the 2014 summer NOLS course catalog is here, and that's even better, because you still have time to plan the perfect summer with NOLS.

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We have boxes and boxes and boxes of the summer catalog here at NOLS Headquarters, so request one here. If you'd prefer a paperless version, we've got you covered, too. Download the iPad version of the 2014 summer catalog here.

Permalink | Posted by Casey Adams on Jan 16, 2014 in the following categories: Alaska, Alumni, Amazon, Australia, Curriculum, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, India, Instructor News, Leadership, Mexico, New Zealand, Northeast, On The Net, Pacific Northwest, Patagonia, Professional Training, Rocky Mountain, Scandinavia, Southwest, Teton Valley, Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus, Yukon

The 12 Days of NOLS

We’ve found the perfect way to get you into the holiday spirit and fight the cold snap with a hearty laugh. Watch NOLS Creative’s newest (and possibly goofiest) release, “The 12 Days of NOLS,” a NOLS variation on the classic tune, to get a taste of the NOLS experience or reminisce about your course! Written with extensive input from the peanut gallery, shot and edited in less than 12 hours, and brought to you with only mild shame, we now ask you to watch the video and sing along.

On the first day of my course Paul Petzoldt gave to me ...

 

Windpants with a reinforced knee

Two trekking poles

Three Peaks Ranch

4-7-1

Five pounds of cheese

Six dudes belaying

Seven miles a' shwackin’

Eight malt balls missing

Nine quickdraws clipping

Ten backpacks bulging

Eleven toasty hot drinks

Twelve students mapping

 Happy Holidays from NOLS

Permalink | Posted by Casey Adams on Dec 10, 2013 in the following categories: Alaska, Alumni, Amazon, Australia, Books, Curriculum, India, Instructor News, Leadership, Mexico, New Zealand, Northeast, On The Net, Pacific Northwest, Patagonia, Professional Training, Rocky Mountain, Scandinavia, Southwest, Teton Valley, Wilderness Medicine Institute, Yukon

Wilderness medicine in South America and Africa: Dispatch from WMI Instructor, Mike Moxness

I am a registered nurse living in Anchorage, Alaska. I spent much of my career in the emergency room. I got my Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) from NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) back in 1999 in preparation for a tour of duty up with the mountaineering patrol on Denali in 2000. I started teaching for WMI in 2001, mostly WEMTs with a few Wilderness First Responder (WFR) courses up here in Alaska.
Mike Moxness
Mike Moxness and Daniel DeKay, WMI Instructors, and Matt Medich, WFR, in northwest Nicaragua 2011
About 5 years ago, I started signing on to medical teams going to developing nations, and once I started, there was no looking back. I've worked in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Uganda and Kenya on multiple occasions. I am typically a member of a small expatriate team sent in to support local medical staff during emergencies. My last two trips have been to Uganda at refugee camps along the border with Congo. In January, I'll be back in Honduras, teaching at a rural hospital.
My work has been with Medical Teams International, located in Portland, Oregon, and MEDICO, located in Austin, Texas. There are quite a few good outfits out there, but these two have been good fits for me. I've also been seconded to World Concern (on the Somalia border) and worked in multi-organizational teams with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Humedica.
Mike Moxness
Kenya-Somalia border in 2012
The wilderness medicine model is extremely useful in these assignments where resources are few and problems are many. Wilderness medicine is a context of practice: improvised or inadequate gear, inconsistent or non-existent communication with outside support, challenging environments for patient and caregiver, and independent risk-benefit decision-making. 

Permalink | Posted by Leslie van Barselaar on Oct 15, 2013 in the following categories: Alumni, Instructor News, Wilderness Medicine Institute

Water World - Lynn Petzold's 9 Favorite Backcountry Locales

NOLS Senior Field Instructor and Professional Training Account Manager, Lynn Petzold is no stranger to stunning and captivating backcountry locales. Working NOLS courses in Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, British Columbia, and the U.S. and living in Bolivia and Spain has given her access to so many beautiful spots, it came as a real surprise when she agreed to whittle down her favorite spots to just nine. While she has experienced some of these places as an instructor on NOLS courses, there are a few that she has pursued on her own accord. Here they are, in no particular order...

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~ Lynn Petzold ~

1) Baja coast from San Felipe to La Paz (Sea of Cortez, Baja, Mexico)

"This coastline holds a special place in my heart. I started paddling here in 1993 and since then, I've witnessed changes like development of the area and a decline in the fisheries that used to thrive along the coast. I've enjoyed reconnecting with the local Mexicans every couple of years."

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El Nido - Photo by Lynn Petzold

"While I was paddling at sunrise one morning along the southern end of San Basilio, I encountered these formations just off the coast. There was something really captivating about the contrast between these sharp protrustions and the serene, white beaches just behind me. This area holds some great memories!"

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Bahia San Basilio - Photo by Lynn Petzold

2) El Pulpito (Sea of Cortez, Baja, Mexico)

"2009 was a great year for paddling down in Baja! There was a point at which we were able to get really close to these caverns at El Pulpito. This is a north facing wall coming straight out of the ocean near San Nicolas. When there are high winds (which is typically the case in winter) and a built up sea, this is an area that you want to steer clear of. We were lucky enough to hit it just right. Being able to get close to these features was pretty special."

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El Pulpito - Photo by Lynn Petzold

3) Laguna San Ignacio (Baja, Mexico)

"I've visited San Ignacio several times. These particular photos were taken during a NOLS Alumni Trip in 2008. We were there to witness part of the annual Gray Whale migration. The Baja Pennisula is the final stop along their journey from the Chuckchi Sea (which is just north of the Bering Strait)."

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Photo by Lynn Petzold

 

Lynn touching a whale
Lynn, making contact

4) Deer Isle Archipelago (Maine)

"Deer Isle is one of my favorite spots to paddle on the Atlantic coast. This photo was from a NOLS Alumni Trip in 2008. I'm a member of the Maine Island Trail Association, which is an organization that promotes stewardship of this Archipelago. They also provide information to members regarding camping spots, since many of the islands are privately owned."

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Photo by Doug Lowry

5) Rangitata River (South Island, New Zealand)

"Rangitata River is a unique spot on the South Island of New Zealand. I lived in nearby Christchurch for a year in 1995 and on the weekends, we'd escape to the river to go rafting. It is a little more remote and off the beaten path, a favorite spot for locals. Paddling with local Kiwis made it that much more special. Their fun-loving, adventureous spirit was infectious."

Rangitata gorge
Photo by Lynn Petzold

"Headwaters of the Rangitata River above the gorge. This is a salmon fishery and generally a beautiful, serene spot."

Above gorge
Photo by Lynn Petzold

6) Eastern side of Knight Island (Prince William Sound, Alaska)

"Knight Island might be my favorite spot in Prince William Sound. This area is special, simply because its fairly remote and partially protected from the ocean. This area is great for humpback whale and orca watching!"

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Looking out toward Knight Island - Photo by Doug Lowry

 7) Harriman Fjord (Prince William Sound, Alaska)

"In 2011, I was working a STEP course in Prince William Sound. Harriman Fjord is located at the southern end of the Chugach Range, and the surrounding terrain feels immense. Between the rain, fog, and tide-water glaciers, it seems as though you're stepping...or paddling...back in time. This location brings back many memories and is my current desktop background!"

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Harriman Fjord - Photo by Lynn Petzold

8) Lofoten Islands (Norway)

"In the summer of 2001, I went to Norway on a personal trip to paddle with one of my students, a Semester in Patagonia grad and native Norwegian. I was attracted to explore this area after hearing about it from my friend Lena Conlan, a NOLS/WMI Instructor and co-owner of a guiding company, Crossing Latitudes, which operates in this area."

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Lofoten Islands - Photo by Lena Conlan

9) Coastline from Bella Bella to Port Hardy (British Columbia, Canada) 

"Part of the Inside Passage, this coastline provides 'world class' paddling. Between the Pacific swell, the lush, old growth forests, and spectacular islands along the coast, this place is surrounded by beauty."

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Photo by Lynn Petzold

"Sunsets here are pretty special as well!"

KIC 2010 336
Photo by Lynn Petzold

What's next on Lynn's list?

Bahamas by Mary Nicol
Exuma's, Bahamas - Photo by Mary Nicol




 

Permalink | Posted by NOLS on Sep 12, 2013 in the following categories: Alumni, Instructor News, On The Net

NOLS Rocky Mountain makes ‘back to school’ more fun

NOLS Rocky Mountain brought extra adventure to Lander Valley High School freshman orientation in this week.

NOLS facilitated two days of climbing for rising freshmen "to coalesce the incoming freshman class, experience problem solving through challenge and uncertainty, and provide a shared experience going into their four-year experience of high school," said NOLS Rocky Mountain Special Projects Manager Brian Fabel.

Over 70 students participated at no cost to them or to Lander Valley High School.

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Kyle Duba photo

The program was documented by local news source County 10.

Permalink | Posted by Casey Adams on Aug 15, 2013 in the following categories: In The News, Instructor News, On The Net, Rocky Mountain

NOLS to Play Major Roles at Cowboy Tough Adventure Race

Starting Thursday morning in southeastern Wyoming is the Cameco and City of Casper Cowboy Tough Expedition Race. As part of the Rev3 Adventure Race Series, this point-to-point race, starting in Cheyenne and ending in Casper is also a national qualifying race for the North American Adventure Racing Series (NAARS). Teams of two or four people will race through a series of outdoor disciplines including trekking, biking, river travel, rappelling as well as other challenging activities.

NOLS is a major sponsor of the event, providing support in multiple ways. As the racers depart from Cheyenne, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute will join the medical crew, bringing the experience of three of WMI’s own WEMTs. Jared Steinman, the NOLS social media coordinator, Travis Welch, WMI’s program and retail store manager, and Greg Flemming, a WMI instructor will all use their training to provide medical attention as needed for the racer. In addition to being there to treat race-related illnesses and injuries, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute will provide most of the medical gear.

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Brad Christensen photo

A section of the adventure race will be orienteering. NOLS’ own Casey Pikla and Kelly Carlin will manage and oversee this portion as adventure racers go to and from each checkpoint. There are mandatory checkpoints as well as optional checkpoints for time bonuses. Once the race is over, Pikla and Carlin will continue to help by breaking down the orienteering section of the race.

On the other side of the race, NOLS’ own Katie Everson, admission office and Adam Swisher, instructor and curriculum and publications manager, will participate in Cowboy Tough. Everson, with a background in marathons and swimming and Adam, with a history of long -distance adventure races will be strong competitors as Team Wyo.

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Team Wyo prepares for the race with a long bike ride.

NOLS will also set up an information booth at the finish line in Casper, Wyo. The booth will host backcountry cooking demonstrations and knot tying lessons. Anyone in Casper for the race is encouraged to stop by the NOLS table for information and demonstrations.

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David Anderson photo

“NOLS has been taking people into Wyoming’s backcountry for over 45 years. We’re excited to support an organization and race whose goal is to showcase and raise awareness to Wyoming’s recreational opportunities and wild places,” said Steinman.

While Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks garner most of the natural world attention of Wyoming, it’s important to remind visitors that the entire state is full of natural beauty from the sagebrush plains of the high mountain desert to the craggy peaks of Wind River Mountain Range and into each lush river valley surrounded and contrasted by the arid red rock canyon landscape. 

Permalink | Posted by Mike Casella on Jul 17, 2013 in the following categories: Alumni, In The News, Instructor News, Wilderness Medicine Institute

Team Wyo, NOLS, and Cowboy Tough

The starting gun for the Cowboy Tough Race, a three day adventure race beginning in Cheyenne, Wyo. and finishing in Casper, Wyo., will go off next Thursday, July 18. This race will highlight some of Wyoming's wildest and most beautiful locations. NOLS is helping in the organization, as well as comprising Team Wyo!

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Join NOLS in helping make this race possible by volunteering next week. Learn more and sign up here.


Follow Team Wyo's training so far on their blog. We're so proud that both of these athletes are NOLS grads and current employees, and we can't wait to cheer Adam and Katie on next week.

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Permalink | Posted by Casey Adams on Jul 9, 2013 in the following categories: Alumni, Instructor News

NOLS gets Cowboy Tough

A lot of people at NOLS are planning for the first Cowboy Tough adventure race in Wyoming. NOLS is sponsoring and designing the ropes section and a trekking and orienteering section of the race. But there are two more people at NOLS gearing up for the race: Team Wyo competitors Katie Everson and Adam Swisher.

The two-person team brings the experience of many NOLS courses, some as students and some as an instructor, the in-town roles of an admissions officer and curriculum publications manager, and a variety of endurance racing.

Everson,a marathon and half marathon runner and NOLS Pacific Northwest Semester graduate jumped at the chance to compete in the first Cowboy Tough race shortly after moving to  378031_10151030918275512_1306652249_nLander, Wyo. for a job at NOLS Headquarters. Her teammate, Adam, is an instructor with a few adventure races under his belt. Together, they’re training for a top finish, though they recognize just finishing will be a challenge.

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This weekend, they will spend a day biking and hiking outside of Lander. They have a few days planned this summer for multi-day training, preparing themselves for pushing through the point of fatigue together.

After building their endurance through the spring, Swisher and Everson will turn their focus to the more technical aspects of the race like navigation and taking on the relatively new skills to both of them: whitewater kickboarding and canoeing.

We’ll keep you updated on their training and their goals as July 18 approaches. In the meantime, wish Team Wyo speed and perseverence as they prepare!

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Permalink | Posted by Casey Adams on May 15, 2013 in the following categories: Alumni, Instructor News, Pacific Northwest

Congratulations, Liza!

 NOLS’ own Liza Howard is yet again making impressive impacts on the world. The NOLS instructor, ultra marathoner and coach, and mother has been named to the Team Red, White and Blue (RWB) Advisory Board. The nonprofit organization’s mission is “to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.”

Howard joins this mission with such advisory board members as retired General Frank Kearny and the co-host of “the View” Elisabeth Hasselbeck. The “proud Army brat,” according to her Team RWB bio, will provide guidance, resources, and oversight to drive Team RWB’s mission nationwide. She will bring her dedication, passion, and expertise in 100-mile and 50-mile races and her experience teaching leadership skills to NOLS students to the table to benefit America’s veterans.

Congratulations, Liza!

Permalink | Posted by Casey Adams on Feb 18, 2013 in the following categories: In The News, Instructor News

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