NOLS: National Outdoor Leadership School Home Request a CatalogContact Us


Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management in NOLS Patagonia

Jerry Rizzo
, Director of Leadership Programs at Cornell's Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, reflected on the adversity, learning, and new-found confidence his students encountered on the school's recent NOLS expedition. Ranked among the nation's top business schools, Johnson has gone to Patagonia with NOLS since 2013. Read Jerry's full post here.


Permalink | Posted by Casey Pikla on Feb 3, 2015 in the following categories: In The News, Leadership, Patagonia, Professional Training

Año Nuevo in Patagonia

¡Feliz Año Nuevo from Coyhaique! The first few weeks of the new year in Patagonia have been busy!

The first courses of the semester, the Mountaineering Course AMT-01/06/15 and the Spring Semester JSP-01/10/15, have left for the field successfully after a short stay at our branch to prepare their gear and rations. The Spring Semester JSP-01/23/15 is currently staying with us to get their Wilderness First Aid certification before heading out for their mountaineering section, and our Patagonian Year courses have picked up where they left and continued their adventures.

The Patagonian Year course PY 10/8/14 started this term in Magallanes, a beautiful area in the south of Chile. All the students gathered in Torres del Paine National Park and successfully followed their Wilderness First Responder classes there. Together with a new team of instructors they are now exploring the southern ice fields.
Our Patagonian courses PY-1-10/18/14 and PY-2-10/18/14 have recently finished their ISGE (individual student group expedition) sections, from which all the students came back healthy and happy! They are now out in the field again for their cultural and kayak sections.

All of the students are doing well and are enjoying the beautiful summer weather Patagonia has been getting lately!

Spring Semester JSP-01/23/15 learning about hypothermia during their Wilderness First Aid

Posted by Inge • NOLS Patagonia intern

Permalink | Posted by Kamil Sade on Jan 27, 2015 in the following categories: Patagonia

NOLS Patagonia Service Project Patagonia Year- 2014

It's well known that one of our sections for the Patagonia Year courses is called Service Project, where students spend one week with a local family, developing some projects that the family could have. Throughout this experience, the students were guided and supervised by their instructors, whom helped them to improve their interaction with the families.

at the gate!
by Instructor Rodrigo Chabalgoity

In the pictures shown below, we can see the experience of the Patagonia Year 10/18/14, whose students helped Sra. Lidia and Don Manuel with the construction of fences and a gate, covering a greenhouse, sowing of green beans and lettuces, painting the house, among other tasks.

Covering the Greenhouse
by Instructor Rodrigo Chabalgoity

During this week there was hard work and commitment, but they also shared many moments filled with laughter, such as the culinary exchange that was celebrated: an evening of apple pies and fried tortillas.

Cooking and Laughing
by Instructor Rodrigo Chabalgoity

They definitely ended their first semester with style and good energy. 


NOLS Patagonia Staff.

Permalink | Posted by Kamil Sade on Jan 22, 2015 in the following categories: Patagonia

Patagonia Year stories

Our Patagonian Year courses PY-1-10/18/14 and PY-2-10/18/14 have recently finished their Wilderness First Responder classes on our campo. Plenty of time to talk to the students and ask them about their adventures!

While sitting down with Sophia, Haley and Meghan, we got to talking about all of their highlights and most favorite memories. But also about ‘the other side’ of their stories, which told me about new challenges they encountered and how it shaped them in their expedition behavior.  

Sophia “Being out in the wilderness pushes us. It pushes us so hard and we are so challenged! Like, waking up at 4 am to cook for your group on a cold, snowy day. You want to be the kind of person who can just wake up really early and make the most awesome pancakes! Realizing that you do not really enjoy that is hard.. The disappointments and hardships you face, but also the successes, are so much stronger in the wilderness. Because they are all tangible. For example, whether we have that warm breakfast on an early cold morning, or whether we make it to the top.. But we have the opportunity to change and develop through those moments. So we push ourselves. You push yourself to be good, helpful and a great team member.”

Haley “The reason why I get up in the morning, why I maintain a positive attitude when it is pouring rain, I am freezing cold and my rain gear has allowed all of the Patagonia rain to come in - is because of the people I am with. Because that is the essence of the trip, you have to work together, rely on and care about one another. And you want to! So you get up in the morning to make pancakes, because you want to show your family that you care about them and that you are there going through the same hardships are they are. And you want to push yourself for that.”

Meghan “Even on hard days though, I would still think of it as the best day ever. It was not like that all the time, but some days when we were hiking.. We would stop, look around and be in the most beautiful place of our life. And everyone was in awe of what we are seeing and experiencing. So even with the moments of hardship there are times of realization.. This is why I am here. This is exactly what I wanted it to be.”

It was obvious to me that these girls had just experienced an incredibly valuable and rich life lesson, and are very excited about all the adventures that still lay ahead of them!

Entry 04 - DSC0128
Sophia, Haley and Meghan relaxing on the campo

Posted by Inge • NOLS Patagonia intern

Permalink | Posted by Kamil Sade on Dec 19, 2014 in the following categories: Patagonia

Patagonia Fall Semester SSP 2 10/2/14

A few weeks ago our Fall Semester SSP-2-10/2/14 course had their transition in the south of Patagonia. Fabio, one of the instructors, came back to our NOLS Patagonia base with photo's and great stories!

"Paul, Reed, Dylan, Edward, Connor, Connor, Tim, Tim, Maggie, Caroline, Sydney, Drew, Jorge, Brad, Gonzalo, Quinn did well and had a great time on the sea kayak section. We started by not being able to paddle for more than two miles in the first seven days due to too much wind and snow. Then we moved and moved and moved - until we got to a very special and difficult part of the route. A fjord where a glacier reaches the ocean all the way from the top of the Gran Campo Nevado. Winds, currents, and icebergs were such that again, we had to stay put and wait for a weather window of calmer conditions. On one of these days we went on a day hike up a ridge nearby and the winds and views were absolutely mind blowing!

And then the big lesson came: we had to turn around and paddle back to where we started. This was because the conditions we encountered would make it unrealistic to try to make our original route. People should remember this is a coastline where the distance between road access to coastlines are hundreds of miles apart... At the end of the course many students mentioned how much they got from this experience:
'Just like life, you have to have goals but adapt to the reality of the situation when there are things you cannot control, and adapt, make the best out of it.'
'It is about the journey, and we sure had a great time exploring this area and learning how to work well together and make really good seamanship decisions.'
Many pies and pizzas were baked by the students 'roughing' it during the 'winded in days' so friends and family should start thinking about the baking yum-ness they know by now. Lots of laughs, great atmosphere and team spirit were a highlight of this group too!”

The students are all doing very well, and are now exploring the mountains in the south of Chile. News from SSP-1-10/2/14 should reach us soon! We, here at the NOLS Patagonia base, are excited to see all of the students soon again and hear all of their stories!


01 - P1010179
Paddling the seas

02 - P1000984
Wilderness classroom

03 - P1010006
Prepairing dinner over a fire

04 - P1000975
Toughing out the weather and keeping the spirit high!

Posted by Inge • NOLS Patagonia intern

Permalink | Posted by Kamil Sade on Dec 2, 2014 in the following categories: Patagonia

Patagonia Year transition

Patagonia is known as a wild and remote region, where NOLS has found a great home in Coyhaique amongst the locals and mountains. The only (unpaved) road from here will lead you South to several small towns, National Parks and beautiful wilderness. While traveling you will notice cows, sheep and other cattle wandering around on the lands, giving us small signs of society in an otherwise wild and empty land. Every now and then you will come across a gaucho home tucked away in the hills. These ‘casa’s’ are often very small, simply build and affirm the local lifestyle where one is happy with little.
It is on one of these campo’s that NOLS staff and Patagonia Year students met this week to transition from sea kayaking to the cultural section.

The lakeside campo was distinguished by green grass, tall trees and surrounding mountains. Sheep, horses, dogs and turkeys wandered around. A barn or two, and a tiny but very characteristic casa.
The students set up camp, handed in all of their kayak gear, and prepared themselves for a good dose of Chilean culture.
For the next week they will all find homes with local gaucho’s, or pobladors as they are called in Chile. The students are all doing very well and are excited for their cultural section; looking forward to speak Spanish, spend time with locals and learn all there is to know about life on a Patagonian campo.

05 - DSC_9984
Learning how to ride a horse with full support.

Posted by Inge • NOLS Patagonia intern

Permalink | Posted by Kamil Sade on Nov 15, 2014 in the following categories: Patagonia

Patagonia Spring Semester 1 and 2 rendezvous

Last week our Spring Semester courses had their rendezvous in Lago Tranquilo, a beautiful location a few hours south of Coyhaique. Both courses finished their first section, either Sea Kayaking or Mountaineering. During the rendezvous the students switched gear, welcomed new instructors and prepared themselves for another adventure!

In between all the preparations were a few moments to hear some of the students stories.

07 - DSC_9861
Lela, Sophie and Katie • Mountaineering

“What was your best NOLS experience so far?”
“I was thinking of our independent section, towards the end of the mountaineering section. We had just trashed through swamp, after swamp, after swamp, it was raining, and I face planted... All of us were like ‘We have to get to camp, we have to get there!’! And then our friend Phil crossed a river, and he went under! And he’s all geared up, he’s trudging, he’s got his poles and he’s going! We were all cheering him on and screaming, and he came out of the water with this huge smile on his face! And then he was trying to get warm, he tripped and fell, but he got right back up and kept going! It was just one of the best experiences, it made everything so worth it. To see how far we have come. It has been awesome. And not just that moment, but the whole independent section. Learning how to do things on your own put everything in perspective, everything the instructors have taught us. It was really cool to be on your own, and feel really confident that we could do that.”

08 - DSC_9922
Beatrice, Charlotte, Mckala, Spencer, Aaron sharing their adventures with me • Kayaking

“The best part? I would say the people, honestly. If you had to pick a best thing, I think it is spending time with everybody. Building a community.”
“Can you give an example of a time when you especially felt that connection?”
“There was one day where all of our tents got submerged. The tide came up so high that some of our tents were - there were waves breaking into them! And everyone was under one tarp, just sitting there watching our tents go under water.”
“There was nothing we could do! The beach was really narrow, there was a forrest right behind it. So there was nowhere we could move the tents to. So we had to watch it happen.”
“We had to accept it! Just let it happen. We were all just drinking mate and laughing; ‘I guess we’ll have to bilge pump the tents out!’”
“Yeah! Mark and I took a pot and pan from the kitchen set and bailed out our tent!”
“I’ve never had to sponge out a tent before, it was crazy!”
“It was a beautiful day too, it was stunning! It wasn’t even a stormy day. There was just no more beach, no more else to go.”
“But the fact that we were all together, and everyone was able to laugh about it. I don’t think anybody was upset. Everyone was just sort of like ‘Oh, well.. This is happening!’”
“This is why I love people who do NOLS trips! All of us were laughing, we didn’t care, we were just having a fun time.”
“Everyone’s happy, basically all the time. Which is really cool. And when you’re not, you’re able to admit that you’re struggling in that moment.”
“And then there are people there who are going to take care of you.”

Though there was not enough time to speak with all of the students, it was clear that all of them are doing very well. Their enthusiasm and excitement was almost touchable, their adventures full of Patagonia’s wilderness and newfound friendships.

Posted by Inge • NOLS Patagonia intern

Permalink | Posted by Kamil Sade on Nov 13, 2014 in the following categories: Patagonia

Chilean Earthquake


Chilean earrthquake map
Click for full size map.

An 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northern Chile, on the evening of Tuesday, April 1. The epicenter was nearly 2,000 miles north of NOLS headquarters in Coyhaique and NOLS operating areas in southern Chile. 

A tsunami alert was issued for all of the Chilean coast. No NOLS courses were on or near the water. On Wednesday morning, April 2 the tsunami warning was lifted.

NOLS Chile is in communication with Headquarters in Lander. NOLS staff in Coyhaique did not feel the earthquake and there have been no reports of damage in the area.

NOLS continues to monitor the situation. The NOLS admission office is open Monday through Thursday from 7:00 AM (9 ET; 8 CT; 6 PT) until 6PM Mountain Time. On Friday the office is open from 7 AM until 5 PM.

4/2/14 7:20 AM-- This post has been updated to indicate that the tsunami warning has been lifted and that the epicenter was off the coast.

4/2/14 11:00 PM-- Another earthquake, reported as 7.8 magnitude, has been reported in the same location as last night's event. Officials have issued another tsunami warning. As was the case yesterday, NOLS courses are not on or near the water. One group is in Coyhaique completing their semester. The other group is in Cochrane, further south, preparing for their student expeditions. We spoke with the group today and all is well.


Permalink | Posted by NOLS on Apr 1, 2014 in the following categories: Patagonia

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.


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

Saludos desde Patagonia

In the southern hemisphere we are getting ready to receive the summer, bees are flying around the campo flores, the Lengas, native beech of Chile, are finally full of leaves and the Semester courses Patitas y Navegantes (SSPM 9/25 1 y 2) are on their small group travels, the last section of the 80 days expedition. 
Both semester did a Kayaking Section and Mountain Section, traveling in places like Cerro Colmillo, Archipielago los Chonos, Canal Moraleda and Volcan Melimoyu 

Chunchos y Concones (Patagonia Year 1 y 2) just finished the mega section of Hiking and Mountaineering, 45 days traveling by foot, now at the Noels Patagonia ranch they are doing a Wilderness First Responder course (WFR). Chulengos (Patagonia Year 3) are having a different program, they already did a WFR, now they are hiking and in a few days they will start the Cultural section of their course. Places were they hiked are Cordon Chacabuco, Glaciar Cañal and Cerro Blanco, all this near the town of Cochrane.

All this is happening while the Nols Patagonia In town staff gets ready for the last transition of the Arqueros y Lanceros (SSPM 10/2 1y2), planed to be done at a campground area near Cochrane. This semester course will soon start the Small Group Travel, meaning that their will hike in different groups for 8 days, throw different places of Patagonia. Places where they hiked and Paddled are Cerro Castillo range, Fiordo Aysen, Monte San Lorenzo and Bahia Exploradores.

Also a LNT Trainer course for Inacap (local outdoor School) just finished after 3 days in the Reserva Nacional Rio Simpson, Cerro Huemules area.

Anyway, the summer its here and we are all working hard to make sure that our Students, Instructor and in-town staff are having a great time in Patagonia.


We are looking forward have all our students back in the Nols Patagonia ranch and hear all the great histories and experiences that they have to share.


The Mountains of El Colmillo range               Martin Arteaga M.



Paddling in the Patagonian Fiords                            Edmilson M. Fonseca


The Mountains, an awesome enviroment, a great classroom      Martin Arteaga M.


Beachs breaks, a good place to rest, have some water and take some group pics!     Edmilson M. Fonseca.


LNT Trainers!!                        Martin Arteaga M.

Permalink | Posted by Kamil Sade on Dec 10, 2013 in the following categories: Patagonia

Home | Courses | WMI | Account | Resources | Alumni | Giving | Store | About Us | Contact Us
NOLS Professional Training | Books | Research | Jobs | Request A Catalog | WRMC | Leave No Trace
Información de NOLS en Español | Privacy Statement | Site Map | Donate Online
Request a Catalog or call 1-800-710-NOLS
NOLS, 284 Lincoln Street, Lander, WY 82520-2848, USA

Copyright © 2014 National Outdoor Leadership School. All rights reserved.
Top of Page
NOLS Home About Us Courses Apply Wilderness Medicine Institute NOLS Professional Training Alumni Store Donate NOLS Home Parents Press Room School Resources Photos NOLS.TV Events WRMC The NOLS Blog