This autumn I decided I didn’t have enough on my plate with working full time, 2 masters classes and being an Alpha Betty (see prior post), so I decided to finally sign up for Wilderness Trekking School (WTS) with the Colorado Mountain Club. I’ve been a member of the Club for a couple of years now and have always wanted to sign up for this school as it’s a prerequisite course for some of the harder mountaineering courses I’ve had my eye on. I pulled the trigger and currently my life is in a spin cycle of work, school and outdoor pursuits. I’ve never been busier, and I’m totally ok with that.

WTS is actually teaching me a ton of stuff that I always thought I had a basic grasp of, but now I’m fully taking it to the next level. I’ve taken two REI-sponsored navigation classes, but WTS has really solidified navigation principles and I feel super confident using my map and compass skills on any type of terrain now. I guess that’s what this school is teaching me more than anything: confidence. Confidence that I have the skills necessary to survive and thrive in wilderness conditions, and that I also a TON left to learn still.

This weekend was our “survival” weekend where we worked on making shelters, wilderness first aid and starting campfires. The knots I’ve been practicing worked well for our shelter construction and I found myself remembering quite a bit from the Wilderness First Aid course I took earlier this summer. Unfortunately we couldn’t practice our fire-building skills as White Ranch Open Space has a burn ban, but nonetheless a productive day!

WTS Shelter

A hitching post substituted as trees for my shelter


Another group constructed their shelter out of tent poles - smart idea!

Another group constructed their shelter out of tent poles – smart idea!