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Outdoor Education Trifecta

That’s what this weekend felt like. Beginning Friday we instructed four pretty diverse wilderness education courses. First up we ran a River Skills Course. Much to our surprise this was much less painful and far more enjoyable than we had envisioned, despite having to traverse shore ice getting to the river. Next up was our very popular Wilderness Navigation Course. This was doable thanks to limited snow depths allowing easy forest transit. After that we ran our Winter Skills Course in the final morning with our Mountaineering Skills Course in the afternoon. Unfortunately the aforementioned limited snow depths and morning rains proved too much for our self arrest practice hill so the class ended up not being as complete as we wanted. Fortunately our last day’s guest promises to return to us soon for more training (both have said this, actually), so we can make it up to him. Please enjoy the following scenes of these fun and educational classes.

Friday: River Crossing Skills

It was a pleasant but chilly day. It’s a half day class so we wait until noon to start.

Rockhopping 101. There’s more to this than meets the eye.

Gaining by leaps and bounds. This activity is both parts grace and science. We teach both. (Yes, she stepped down safely.)

Our insurance company loves the helmet. We wore one, too. Silly overkill? You betcha.

We remained warm and dry. Without this gear, crossing this volume of ice cold water would have been painful at best.

Our guest is preparing for the PCT — a trail (trial) with many significant crossings.

Saturday: Wilderness Navigation

We start outside to wake up our brains then we move inside to put them to use.

We hold these classes in this space courtesy of our gracious hosts at the Eagle Mountain House.

We don’t have time to do a big bushwhack during our one-day nav class, but we try to make it interesting.

There are some challenges along the way.

She is orienting the travel line to our new course. Next the N (and shed) will be aligned to the north.

Sunday: Winter + Mountaineering Skills

The Winter Skills Course happens indoors, prepping for what’s ahead. This is time well spent.

We work a lot on using crampons focusing on keeping folks on their feet.

The time is an enjoyable one. Mild weather helps.

Up mountains and down — the latter, of course, being a requirement.

The mild weather is good for smiles, but our self-arrest hill suffered at its hands.

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