NOLS Wilderness First Responder Course

wmi_logo1I recently spent nine long days taking the Wilderness First Responder course offered by the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute. In addition to the classes, we also had two evening sessions including a mock rescue scenario.

After the first few days of the course, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to keep up with the amount of information that was being thrown at us. We covered everything from shock to mid-shaft femur fractures. Our instructor did a good job of summarizing the course by saying that it’s like drinking water from a fire hose.

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Mount St. Helens: March 2015 Conditions

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The warm and sunny weather yesterday provided a perfect opportunity to check out the snowpack conditions on Mount Saint Helens. I was expecting less than average snow for this time of year but I did not expect August like conditions. The Marble Mountain Sno-park is completely free of snow and the Worm Flows route does not hit snow until the USGS monitoring station at 5,600 feet. The conditions reminded me of what I typically see on the summer route in July or August.

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The Tooth: South Face Route

Standing on the Summit

Climbing the Tooth in Washington has been on my list of climbs for some time now. My friend and I decided to climb it yesterday and we had a lot of fun. We climbed it via the South Face route which is rated 5.4 and has a pitch or two of 4th class along the way.

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Ingalls Peak: South Ridge

View of Mount Stuart
My friend and I had a few climbs planned this week and the first one on our list was Ingalls Peak. We chose to do the South Ridge which has a few 5.4 pitches along with some class 3/4 scrambling. The climbing was really good except for the serpentine which was a bit slippery. The best part about this climb is the scenery. The view of Mount Stuart in the background was amazing and we even had a few mountain goats hanging out at our camp.

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Three Fingered Jack

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After running into a traffic jam on Three Fingered Jack a few weeks ago, we decided to return to finish the last 200 or so feet of the climb. We ran into a large group of climbers on the way up but after waiting near the base of the summit block we eventually got to make our way up. The Crawl was a fun traverse with a lot of exposure. Luckily the rock felt pretty solid under my feet and most of the loose stuff has been kicked off already. The final chimney was a lot of fun and was easy climbing on somewhat solid rock.

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