Program Schedule

January and Spring 2011

Register for one of these courses!


Feb Break programs

SOLO Wilderness First Responder (WFR)

Created to provide outdoor leaders and guides with the skills and knowledge to deal with crises in remote settings, this 80-hour course is the benchmark standard in the outdoor industry. The curriculum covers all the material of WFA, and goes far beyond, emphasizing long-term care, improvisation with the resources at hand, and varying environmental conditions. The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, hands on practical assessments, and actual field scenarios. Students who successfully complete the SOLO Wilderness First Responder course will receive a SOLO Wilderness First Responder card and an American Heart Association Adult Heartsaver CPR card (or equivalent).
Course Dates: 1/29-2/6 (Feb Break)
Course Fee $395

Western Maine Dog Sledding Expedition

This is a perennial MOP favorite! You’ll spend Feb Break in a remote backcountry region of western Maine, learning some of many skills necessary to travel by dogsled, ski tour, and camp in the winter mountains.  Your instructors will teach you the skills, and then provide ample opportunity for you to apply them on your own. You’ll mush dogsleds, care for the dogs, ski, cook, and sleep in beautiful and rugged Maine woods. Last year’s expedition received rave reviews and we’re excited to offer this course again!
Course Dates: 1/28-2/3
Course Fee: $625


Spring Semester

Beginning ice climbing

Armed with crampons, ice tools and a helmet, you will learn the slippery skills needed to climb frozen waterfalls.  Our first class session, held at the Nelson Climbing Wall, will cover basic rope work, as well as equipment and clothing selection.  We’ll then venture out to a climbing site in the Adirondacks or Green Mountains for a full day of real ice climbing. No experience is required, and all technical equipment is provided.
Course Dates: 2/16, 5:00-6:30 at Nelson Climbing Wall and 2/19, all day
Course Fee: $50

Intermediate ice climbing

This workshop is designed for climbers with some ice climbing experience looking to expand their skills on to steeper terrain, or perhaps make ascents of multipitch ice routes. The exact format of the day will be tailored to your skills and learning goals. To ensure lots of climbing time, we’ll keep the instructor / participant ratio to 2:1. Our Beginning Ice Climbing workshop or equivalent experience is required. If unsure of your experience, please contact us at mop@middlebury.edu.
Course Date: 2/20 or by special arrangement

Course Fee: $75

Introduction to Backcountry Navigation

Backcountry navigation is an essential skill if you plan to travel off trail, or in winter, when trails are often difficult to find and follow. Learn the fundamentals of topographical map and compass work in this course. Sessions 1 & 2 will be class-room based and provide an introduction to topographical maps and compass use. Session 3 will take the form of a daytrip on snowshoes or backcountry skis during which we’ll integrate and apply the material from Sessions 1 and 2.
Course Dates: Session 1: 2/23, 4:30 - 6:30; Session 2: 3/2, 4:30-6:30pm; Session 3: 3/5, all day
Course Fee: $35


Spring Break

Backcountry Skiing / avalanche education in the Gaspe region, Quebec!

The Parc National de la Gaspésie is a veritable sea of mountains located on the Gaspé Peninsula in eastern Quebec. The Chic Choc mountain range is the heart of the Parc, and offers huge annual snow fall and significant vertical relief with 25 peaks over 1000m. These factors make for a truly phenomenal backcountry skiing destination. Conditions permitting, we will spend our days skinning up, and then cranking turns down bowls, glades and couloirs, before returning to our heated cabin to cook hot meals and rest our tired legs. This is a true backcountry environment, and particular emphasis will be placed on appropriate travel techniques and sound decision making in avalanche terrain. Will not required, MOP strongly recommends that Gaspe trip participants take the upcoming J-Term Avalanche Awareness workshop. This trip is suitable for solid intermediate skiers capable of skiing blue-square runs in complete control in all snow conditions. It requires backcountry ski gear equipped with either telemark or alpine touring bindings, and climbing skins. The course fee includes all meals (except those in transit), avalanche gear rental, instruction and guiding fees, transportation, and lodging. It does not include ski rentals, if needed. If you have questions about the suitability of this trip for you, please contact us at MOP@middlebury.edu.
Course Dates: 3/27-4/2
Course Fee: $625

Spring Break Climbing Expedition in Arizona

This year MOP heads to the world class climbing destination of Cochise Stronghold in Southern Arizona. The Stronghold is legendary as one of the last refuges of the Chiricahua Apache, who frequented the area for its incredibly rugged desert terrain. These same granite canyons provide astoundingly high quality climbing. We’ll spend our days on the walls and domes scattered across this stunning desert landscape. Splitter cracks, delicate face climbing, and a magical setting: The Stronghold has it all. Best of all, while weather is always fickle, Cochise Stronghold has a well-deserved reputation as a Spring climbing destination. Average March high temperatures are in the mid 70s: Absolutely perfect for rock climbing! This trip is instructional in emphasis, and well suited to climbers of all ability levels. The ideal participant will have a strong desire to learn the skills necessary to become a self-sufficient rock climber, or improve existing skills. Routes of all grades abound, and include both single and multipitch options. There will be ample opportunity to work on both your movement and technical skills. We will tailor each day to meet your needs as a developing climber, and maximize learning and fun.
Course Dates: 3/26-4/2
Course Fee: $695 (includes airfare)