Wednesday, February 20, 2013

ITP Weekend 2013

Our aspirant instructors are in the home stretch of their yearlong Instructor Training Program. In addition, to classroom and field training experiences focused on basic outdoor living skills, teaching/coaching process, wilderness medical training and the development of mountain sense they have been exposed to a variety of outdoor pursuit’s disciplines. The purpose of these exposure trainings is familiarize future instructors with the fundamentals associated with different disciplines and to afford them the opportunity to observe senior staff teaching and managing people, equipment and the environment. This weekend the cohort of 12 aspirants participated in a mountain skills clinic and implemented a self-designed day trip with senior staff observing and providing feedback.

We still have some great trips going out this season! Stop by the Wilderness Office in Alliot 204 to sign up for ice climbing, backcountry ski and ride and snow shoeing trips.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Alumni Relations, WP Style

You never know who is going to crawl out of the woodwork and want to take a trip down memory lane.  On Friday, February 8th, Drennan Hicks (’11) and Ryan Magee (’11) got together with assistant director Eben Widlund to go ice climbing in Smugglers Notch.  Despite hard blowing snow the three made their way to Hidden Gully.  After deciding the avalanche conditions were too risky for the route, they sought out a more pleasant location, and found no wind but plenty of ice at Jefferson Slide.  Ryan Magee led both pitches, finding thick, soft ice all the way.  A short walk through the woods brought them to ENT gully and another quick 2 pitches of fantastic climbing.  A quick rappel and walk back down the road gave them the opportunity to enjoy fresh snow skiing down the road and back to the cars.

Stop by our office in Alliot 204 to sign up for ice climbing trips!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What's better than hauling one guy in a rescue sled?

Hauling two!

For reasons the directors cannot fathom, students are hesitant to go out on trips on Superbowl Sunday, despite the fact that programs return to campus well in advance of kickoff.  However, the Wilderness Program took the opportunity to offer instructors a chance to head into the field with their peers and have some fun.

Taylor Luneau and Todd Wright worked with aspirant backcountry ski and snowboard instructors.  They started with an equipment shakedown and review on campus and then travelled to Smugglers Notch Resort to work on skills. Up-skiing, skinning technique, kick turns, coaching process, and group management in the environment were the menu for the day.  For additional fun, Todd and Taylor were strapped into the Brooks Range rescue sleds and the instructors spent some time pulling them uphill and found another reason to avoid injury deep in the backcountry.  Despite the lack of fresh snow, the group was able to develop and practice skills needed to take students off-piste.  It goes to show that if you have a firm idea of what needs to be learned, you can find a venue to make it happen.  

Working on some kick turns.

Morgan Brown enjoying the new split boards.

What's better than hauling one guy in a rescue sled?

Hauling two!

The view from the skin up.

Sleeping van passengers indicates a successful day in the field.

Mike Carlin and Eben Widlund took one instructor and 5 instructor candidates to the Guides Wall and Workout Wall in Smugglers Notch for a day of ice climbing.   Despite 4 degree temperatures in the parking lot, the day turned into a very pleasant outing thanks in small part to the lack of wind.  After a 20 minute walk up the road harness, helmets and crampons were donned to access the moderate angle ice of the Guides wall.  A quick review of belay technique and everyone grabbed ice tools and started climbing.  The group moved to progressively steeper sections of ice, finishing on the vertical terrain of the Workout Wall.  Finally, it was time to head downhill as the light began to fade.  While everyone found different challenges throughout the day, success in climbing was achieved, and fun was had by all.  

That's one way to keep warm.

A great day of climbging in the Notch!
Want to sign up for an ice trip or a ski trip? Stop by the Wilderness Office in Alliot 204 to sign up for trips!