Leadership & Guide Training Course
Natural wonders abound within the small country of Ecuador. Between the remarkable Galapagos Islands and wilderness of the Amazon rainforest, exists the high Andean plateau. The avenue of volcanoes, hosting numerous mountains above 15,000 feet is a backbone of the region, geographically and culturally. The high, glacier strewn volcanoes, offer a perfect setting to learn high altitude mountaineering skills.
Imagine cresting a crevassed ridge to witness the beginning of the equatorial sunrise, assessing the groups’ acclimation trends using a pulse oximeter, or bartering in Spanish for local produce. Picture yourself attempting five summits over 17,000 feet amidst the rich Ecuadorian culture of the high Andes.
This comprehensive mountaineering course is the perfect setting to achieve your goals whether you are looking to become a professional guide, hone your technical abilities for personal adventures, or expand your leadership skills. It focuses on teaching students to be safe, efficient, knowledgeable and confident outdoor leaders in a high altitude glaciated mountain environment.
THE INSTRUCTORS AND GUIDES OF IWLS are widely recognized as some of the very best in their field and have practical leadership experience from around the globe. They are well trained and have an uncommon enthusiasm for sharing their skill and knowledge, borne out of a passion for outdoor exploration.
The International Wilderness Leadership Schools’ educational model nurtures leadership development and creates an awareness of the guiding mentality that is essential for leading safe, fun adventures in the mountains. The combination of technical skills training, experiential education and practical leadership experience make the IWLS curriculum world class.
THE IWLS GENERAL CURRICULUM outlines the essential components for effective outdoor leadership. Here are a few points that your course will focus on.
- Decision Making and Problem Solving: Over the course of 24 days, we’ll discover ways to assess problems, explore solutions and evaluate options in order to make effective and safe decisions in the field.
- Expedition Behavior and Group Dynamics: Because this course is a true wilderness expedition, interactions between group members need to be supportive and contribute to the efficacy of the group. The daily dynamics of the group, combined with instruction, will teach participants not only how to be a member of a team, but how to influence and lead an expedition.
- Weather: Will the storm arrive in the next 12 hours or the next 48? Understanding weather patterns and trends will help you plan successful trips in a wilderness setting.
- Environmental Ethics: As adventurers in some of the most pristine environments on the planet it is our duty to respect the natural world. All of our courses practice and teach Leave No Trace ® principles.
IWLS Mountaineering Curriculum is built from countless expeditions in Alaska and around the world. You’ll learn how to be a competent and proficient mountaineer in a variety of different environments. Below are some topics we’ll cover.
- Crevasse Rescue: Traveling in glaciated terrain requires that every member of the team be proficient in crevasse rescue. We’ll learn how to get a teammate out of a crevasse quickly and efficiently.
- Objective Hazards: Rock fall, river crossings, and avalanches are examples of objective hazards. Learn how to identify such hazards and minimize group exposure.
- Escaping the Belay: What happens when things go bad? We’ll practice escaping the belay and getting to the aid of an injured climber.
- Altitude Considerations: The Volcanoes of Ecuador reach above 20,000 feet. Learn how to recognize signs and symptoms of acute mountain sickness, and steps to take to avoid it. We’ll also discuss the most effective treatment for all altitude illnesses: descent.
IWLS INTERNATIONAL CURRICULUM is designed to provide students with a fundamental understanding of planning and leading expeditions in foreign countries. Here are just a few topics that will be covered:
- Cultural History: As visitors to this remarkable location, we place a premium on being respectful and learning about the local culture and history. The rich Incan history of The Andean region of Ecuador provides great insight into the culture of the region today.
- Language Skills: The ability to ask directions, purchase items, and communicate on any level is an essential element of leading an expedition to a foreign country. Throughout the course, we’ll develop our Spanish language skills through dialog and lesson plans.
- Trip Preparation: Logistics in a foreign country have the potential to be complex and tenuous. You’ll take part in shopping at the local market, arranging transportation, and securing permits in preparation for your expedition to the Volcanoes of Ecuador.
EXPERIENCE LEVEL No previous experience is necessary for this course. However, with a desire to learn and an enthusiasm for adventure, this course prepares you for a lifetime of wilderness exploration.
CERTIFICATIONS Upon completion of the 24-day course, participants may qualify for the following certifications:
24 Day Guide Training Certificate of Completion
International Wilderness Leadership School
DATES & PRICES Please see our schedule for current dates and price information.