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    NOLS Alaska Backpacking (16 and 17 Only)

    NOLS Alaska Backpacking (16 and 17 Only)


    • Listing Type: Summer Programs
    • Destination: United States
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Provided By: Independent Provider
    • Session Start: June, July
    • Session Length: Four Weeks
    • Entering Grade: 10th, 11th, 12th
    • Gender: Coed
    • Category: Outdoor Adventure
    • Sub-Categories: Animals/Nature, Hiking, Leadership
    • Selective: No
    • Ages: 16, 17
    • Minimum Cost: > $3,000
    • Accreditation: Gap Year Association - Program
    • Credit Awarded: Yes
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    Push yourself to explore a vast and beautiful landscape in Alaska. Explore terrain that few people ever see, surrounded by endless tundra, near 24-hour daylight, and caribou herds. You'll become a seasoned wilderness traveler, learning how to read a map, navigate off trail, and scan the horizon for moose and Dall sheep. If you’re seeking the opportunity to grow as a leader in one of the United States' biggest wildernesses, then this is the course for you. Find out more!

    You will spend a month backpacking among the towering peaks and immense snow-covered summits that characterize Alaska’s world-famous mountains. Possible destinations include the Talkeetna Mountains in southcentral Alaska, the interior Alaska Range, or the Wrangell-St. Elias Range along the U.S.-Canadian border. 

    Your course will begin with the basics, including camping, cooking and foundational mountain travel skills. Learning to live well and care for yourself, your fellow expedition members, your equipment and the environment is the focus of this course. You may cross large, glacier-fed rivers or negotiate slopes of loose scree and dense vegetation. By the end of the expedition, you will have had numerous opportunities to practice the leadership and outdoor skills needed to plan and carry out your own backpacking trips.

    *Duration: 30 days
    *Route length: 90-150 miles 
    *Average group size: 14 students / 3 instructors
    *16-17 year-olds only
    *May reach elevations from 2,000-6,000 feet
    *Travel through tundra, shrub thickets, gravel river bottoms, and possibly on boulders and through snow
    *Off-trail hiking; some animal and ATV trails
    *Opportunities for non-technical peak ascents
    *Wildlife you may see: Dall sheep, moose, caribou, brown and black bears, wolves, wolverines and coyotes
    *Fishing: season and route dependent
    *Possibility for multi-day student expedition independent of instructors