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NRRT 350 - Wilderness Leadership

  • 3 credits

Ever wonder how to navigate through timber to a rocky point above tree line? Are you willing to spend the night out under the stars in the company of others exploring the value of wilderness experiences? Or would you like to learn to rock climb and lead climbs?

The Wilderness Leadership course may be the right choice for you. The mountains of Colorado become the classroom for this exploration of wilderness leadership. Being safe and competent in the outdoors requires more than technical skills; it involves a deeper understanding of yourself and others in an adventure context. We will learn technical skills and then apply them in the field attempting to summit a high mountain peak and leading sport rock climbing routes.

Topics include: Technical skills like rock climbing, mountaineering, backpacking, wilderness first aid, and Leave No Trace camping. We also explore expedition planning, group dynamics, mountain safety, accident awareness and teamwork.

This is an in-person course held in Fort Collins, Colorado.


Must register for Lecture and Lab.

Important Information

Field sessions:

  • Mountain climb overnight September 9-10, 2023
  • Rock climbing October 7-8, 2023


Ethan Billingsley
Ethan Billingsley

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Ethan Billingsley is an alumnus of Warner College – earning his B.S. in Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism and his M.S. in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. He served as director of undergraduate programs in the college from 2008-2018. Additionally, he is an instructor for the Adventure Tourism graduate certificate program in HDNR.
Prior to joining CSU, Ethan worked as both an educator and guide in various capacities. He has led single and multi-day whitewater rafting trips for the last 20 years and is currently a certified raft guide in the state of Colorado. He has climbed all 58 of the Colorado’s 14,000ft mountains and led many CSU groups to those summits as well. He also spent 7 summers working in summer camps where he gained considerable experience in group dynamics and leadership. Additional experience has included work as a rock-climbing instructor, backpacking guide, and sea-kayaking naturalist. Ethan loves learning about the ecology of an area as much as he likes adventuring in it. In his free time, Ethan loves spending as much time as he can with his wife and two sons in the outdoors.