Leading teams of hikers and climbers on the snow and ice poses many of the same challenges as a three-season adventure, but the stakes are raised considerably. Shorter days make turn-around times more critical, surviving an unplanned night out requires more know-how, and a white-out blizzard can quickly disorient even a seasoned navigator. Below are four winter-specific outdoor leadership issues which build on fundamentals from three-season outings.
If you’re an experienced three-season hiker who’s interested in gaining the skills and knowledge to take your adventures onto the snow and ice in the northeast and beyond, consider checking out one of the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Winter Mountaineering School Day-Hike, Backpacking, or “Combo” programs. It’s especially helpful for trip leaders and is a terrific way for graduates of the AMC’s Mountain Leadership School to augment their leadership skills with more technical training. With a low student-to-instructor ratio, and a learn-by-doing approach, you’ll come away with a full set of winter skills, and be able to pass them on to others. Programs run annually and are based out of the Adirondak Loj near Lake Placid, NY.
Richard Murray is an instructor for the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Winter Mountaineering School, and a graduate of both the AMC’s Mountain Leadership School and the School for International Expedition Training.
Please note: If your schedule doesn’t permit you to participate in the ADK’s Winter Mountaineering School, don’t despair! Our AMC Chapters offer a wide range of winter activities & programs. Please visit the AMC’s Activities Database to explore additional options.