Arctic Skills Scenario & Course (ES1)

January 8, 2017  – 1300 to 1700  – Lecture (4 hours)
January 20, 2017 at 1500 hrs to January 22nd at 1200 hrs  – Practical (2 days/nights)

Lecture – Englehart Public Library – 200 N Monroe St, Lowell, MI 49331
Practical – Wilderness State Park

Limit of 15 students

For the backpacker, kayaker, or climber, traveling and camping in remote areas is inevitable and requires a unique skill set that will keep the traveler safe.  Winter or arctic conditions require special consideration, unique skills and knowledge. The skills and knowledge to keep the traveler safe and mobile become even more important.  This course will cover what you need to know to effectively, efficiently and safely travel for a multi-day period in the backcountry in winter or arctic conditions.


ES1 uses the curriculum of the National Ski Patrol’s Winter Backcountry Travel and Rescue Course as an outline, but expands the course curriculum to include more in depth knowledge.   This course focuses on arctic conditions and will be valuable to the beginner or the experienced expedition member.   We explore the topic in depth and you are guaranteed to learn new things.   This course is required for Master Expedition Leaders or any expedition leader who will lead an expedition in arctic or alpine conditions.

Some of what you will learn:

• the how and why of body temperature regulation
• how to eat and hydrate in winter conditions
• clothing, sleeping and shelter systems
• essential equipment for winter/arctic travel (ice tools, snow shoes, skis, safety equipment, etc)
• efficient travel including equipment, navigation, hazards, and other backcountry considerations (whiteout conditions, self arrest, roping up, negotiating ice bridges, crevasse travel, etc)
• group dynamics and leadership skills for winter expedition travel


The classroom portion of the course will follow up with a 2 night, 2 full day winter practical exercise to northern Michigan’s Wilderness State Park or Cheboygan State Park (To be decided – depending on weather) where you will practice what you’ve learned in class.
If you’ve never experienced winter camping and winter travel in remote areas and want to learn the skills that make camping in winter as enjoyable as summer trips, this course will give you a good introduction to the skills you need.


Lecture Location

Practical Location:  To Be Decided (Mackinaw or Cheboygan area)


cupMarvin “Cupcake” Egner

Experienced in traveling in cold and
extreme conditions since childhood hunting and ice fishing with
parents , climbing and exploring until present in places from Michigan, Alaska, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Northwest Territory, Yukon Territory, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies and Baffin Island.
I’ve been quite chili but haven’t lost any fingers yet.


meLaurie “Cougar” Snedeker

Most of my camping has been in cold weather over the last several years. Mostly because it always seems to be snowing or raining and below zero when I go camping. I’ve been climbing since college and in the last 15 years have graduated to alpine climbing routes and ice climbing. Ice and alpine routes have taken me to the northwestern states, Montana and Colorado, the White Mountains, Great Smokies, Canadian Rockies, Ontario and Baffin Island. I have spent 16 years on the National Ski Patrol as a Senior level patroller, as well as the Nordic patrol. Over the last 10 years with the NSP I taught winter backcountry travel and rescue skills course. I also joined Bill on the ski behind the Rubicon on the Wetum ice road. And, as Cupcakes climbing partner we must continue to camp only in cold weather because he will melt!

Questions?  Send us an E-mail.