Summer Workshop Overview

The summer workshop is a one day event with courses divided into 4 tracks: Navigation, Medical, Self-Care, Survival.

Summer Safety Workshop

Saturday June 8, 2019


Digital Resources:

This course will cover online and mobile app based resources for navigation. Students are suggested to bring a laptop, or tablet to book mark sites and follow along. Before coming to class consider downloading Avenza Maps. It is a free app and will be useful for some of the tricks you’ll learn.

Map & Compass:

Navigation challenges are a common cause of backcountry misfortune. We’ll cover the basics, with emphasis on pre-trip planning and versatility of means. GPS is wonderful, but more than a finger press on your smartphone. Map and compass tend to be left at home — but what if your battery fails? This will be hands-on format. The instructor will present scenarios suitable for the participant’s skill levels.

Weather & Forecasting:


Outdoor Navigation:

In this field based course participants will go through several scenarios and games to get hands on training with different navigation techniques. This class is entirely outside, so please dress accordingly.



Altitude Illness:

Dr. Charlie Abramson is an emergency room physician at Valley View Hospital, and will talk about altitude sickness.

CPR Course:

Everyone should know CPR. Period. This is the full American Heart Association certification course. A super opportunity to get the card everyone should have.

First Aid:

This course will focus on the basics. We’ll discuss common backcountry injuries and ailments, along with treatments using the supplies in our standard “personal” first-aid kit. (Given out free at the workshop.)

Local EMS:

Basalt Fire Department Division Chief Richard Cornelius will talk about the Roaring Fork Valley’s Emergency Medical Services.  Examples of it in action will include the response to the Lake Christine Fire.


Expedition Packing & International Travel:

Aspenites travel. They even get past the roundabout now and then. MRA members with tons of international travel experience will discuss everything from carryon size to first-aid kits. We’ll focus on specific needs regarding participant’s favored adventure sports, e.g., skiing, climbing, cycling, hiking, or which wine to bring to a French dinner party. (Hint, not California.) This will be in discussion format, as we know _some_ of you do have vast experience. But there is always that first time to Morocco.

What To Pack:

The ten essentials are a thing. You already know that, or you’ll learn about the concept while attending the workshop. But how do you haul those ten things — and your favorite bennie baby — on the trails and peaks? Tricks, concepts, and tips.


Man does not live by alpine air alone. Whether your recreation is motorized or muscle powered, keeping yourself fed and hydrated keeps you safe in so many ways.  Sandy Holmes is a nutritionist with the Aspen Valley Hospital, and will lead this course about nutrition and hydration needs for exercise at high altitude; as well as practical suggestions for what to eat prior to your activity, what to pack for a day, for backpacking or multiple days in the woods.

Gear Repair:

Ever wondered how to fix broken gear when you’ve left your workshop at home? We’ll cover repairs for every season. Concepts of multi-purpose and simplicity will be emphasized. You won’t need busted gear of your own, we’ll have junk to work on, but bring broken backcountry stuff if you like and we’ll analyze how we might do a repair, or perhaps give it a try. This will be a hands-on course.

Pooping in the Woods:

Did you know you can get hurt going to the bathroom in the woods? Well, you can. This seminar will cover environmental awareness, essential gear, and yes, safety. If you’ve ever been embarrassed to ask your experienced friends: “how does one, go… out here?” Then check this out. (Not a hands-on course.)


Risk Management & Decision Making:

There is no such thing as safe. Not everything is predictable – especially in the backcountry. But you can manage risks by thinking clearly about what could happen, and how to make decisions that are the are most likely to keep – and get – you and your party out of trouble.

Learn strategies on how to manage risk for backcountry trip — while planning for a trip, being in the field, and how to manage yourself and others through an emergency. While the core concepts stay the same — learn how strategies differ and progress from the recreational level to the professional level.

How to Help Us, Help You:

If you do need a rescue, your actions from start to finish dictate much of the outcome. Learn how you can participate in your own save.


They’re not pets. They have a thing called a “threat zone.” They can hurt you. You’ll learn about how interesting moose are, and how lethal. And we’ll of course discuss bears. Join the discussion with Wildlife Officer Kurtis Tesch from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Shelter & Fire:

If you are unexpectedly stuck out overnight building a shelter and creating a fire are essential skills.  Learn and practice a variety of different techniques for both.

Rigging and Ropes:

Knots, anchors, and up-haul systems can be complicated, this course will outline basic essentials so you’ll be familiar with what might be required in an emergency, whether you rig the systems or it’s done by rescuers. This will be hands-on, as practice is key.

You can register for the event here: