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Season launch || “Plan Like a Pro” course

By Joe 'Stringbean' McConaughy / January 24, 2022 /

Next week we start our first 2022 session of Plan Like A Pro, an online course in which students are guided through a holistic trip planning curriculum that’s applicable for every location, season, experience level, and age and gender. The course is interactive, not one-way — students receive individualized feedback for most assignments. Over 400…

Contest: Submit your favorite recipes, win a bidet

By Andrew Skurka / January 12, 2022 /

For the 2022 guiding season we’re looking for a new breakfast and new dinner recipe to replace two of our longstanding meals, the Coconut Chia Oatmeal and the Backcountry Chili. The two winners will be entered into a drawing, and the first chosen will have their option of taking the Plan Like A Pro online…

New program: Certify in Wilderness First Aid (WFA) during a 5- or 7-day trip

By Andrew Skurka / December 23, 2021 /

In partnership with the University of New Mexico International Mountain Medicine Center, we are offering Wilderness First Aid (WFA) courses at select 2022 locations. The courses are open only to participants on our guided trips. The in-person skill instruction can be completed the day before or after your trip, or it can be integrated into…

What 2022 trips will sell out before the end of 2021?

By Andrew Skurka / December 23, 2021 /

The deadline to apply for our 2022 trips in Utah, Colorado, and Alaska is Monday, December 27. Applications received by the end of the day will be given equal consideration, and applications received thereafter will be treated first come first serve for remaining spots. If you are interested in California, Washington, or West Virginia, you…

Flattering: 179 testimonials about our 2021 guided trips

By Andrew Skurka / December 14, 2021 /

Since 2014 I’ve asked our clients to complete a post-trip survey to gather feedback about our guides, locations, meals, and curriculum, plus their overall satisfaction. Reviewing the results is a multi-day project but entirely worthwhile: they confirm what we’re doing right, and they give me a checklist of improvements for the following year. Among our 2021 client…

That time again: Accepting applications now for 2022 trips

By Andrew Skurka / December 12, 2021 /

If you’ve been waiting until tomorrow, December 13, to apply for our 2022 trips, when I said that I’d start accepting applications, you can get on it now: the application window is now open. All applications received through December 27 (and January 3 for some later locations) will be considered equally. It’s not first-come first-served,…

Let’s chat: Sign up for my “office hours” (free)

By Andrew Skurka / December 2, 2021 /

Update (December 5, 10pm): We are no longer taking sign-ups for office hours, sorry. This program was much more popular that I could have imagined, and we will offer it again, but for now we’re full. Next week — Wednesday, December 8 through Friday, December 10 — we are hosting “office hours” (for free), and…

Kickoff: The 2022 trip schedule, locations, and application dates

By Andrew Skurka / November 23, 2021 /

The 2021 season ended just six weeks ago, but it’s already time to start 2022, since in another six weeks we will start offering spots on our spring trips. The 2022 schedule & locations Yesterday I published the first iteration of the 2022 schedule. Some parts of the schedule look like past years: Southern Utah…

Tips for the packraft-curious: How to get started

By Luc Mehl / November 8, 2021 /

[An introduction by Skurka] Luc recently published, The Packraft Handbook, a definitive how-to resource for this game-changing and rapidly growing mode of wilderness travel. It’s based on his thousands of miles of paddling experience and his swiftwater safety instructor expertise, and includes 150 illustrations to help convey critical information and skills. It reminds me of…

Book review: From the River to the Sea || The railroad war that made the West

By Andrew Skurka / August 11, 2021 /

From the River to the Sea: The Untold Story of the Railroad War that Made the West, by John Sedgewick, was released in June and published by Avid Reader Press. I’m uncertain why I was sent a media copy, as I’m not a prolific reader or book reviewer. But I’m thankful that I was. I…