Monday, September 15, 2014

Spring Semester in Wilderness Medicine Blogs

On the next few pages, you will find daily and weekly posts from our Spring Semester in Wilderness Medicine, which takes place in Costa Rica and Montana.  Enjoy looking through these as you gain a better sense of what we do every day, and let us know if you have any questions.  Direct questions to

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Night Scenarios

The last 24 hours have been epic.  Students were on-call all last night, preparing for unknown calamities after being told to expect anything from 5 pm until 5 am.  They gathered survival, navigation and first aid supplies and waited for what turned out to be childbirth at 8pm and two victims of carbon-monoxide poisoning at 0430 this morning.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Two Roads to Canada

We all arrived in Montana and are enjoying the snow.  Jack and Belinda Rich welcomed us to the Rich Ranch and told us, "there are only two roads between here and Canada, which is a few hundred miles to the North."  It's great being in wild country in the winter and hard to imagine that a week ago just touching a vehicle would burn.

Semester Coordinator Andrea Stephens taught navigation and gave an introduction to winter safety, including a talk about wild animals.  We have grown accustomed to walking through the rainforest with our heads down, searching a perimeter just a few feet in front of us, looking for snakes.  Now we need to look up and adjust to new search images that include lions, bears (which will start emerging from hibernation later this month) and avalanches.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Back in Montana!

No new pictures on this post.  Imagine a lot of snow and you have the idea!

We are gearing up for our first day of class next week at the Rich Ranch in Seeley Lake.  We'll start posting again when we get up there.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Last Day in Costa Rica

Swiftwater training wraps up today.  Cody taught students how to swim in rapids, to rescue unconscious swimmers and to set up rope-rescue systems with mechanical advantage.   After a full day of class today, students will have a short night and leave on a shuttle to San Jose and the airport at 0200 tomorrow morning.

Then we head back to the snowiest winter Montana has seen in years.  It's hard to imagine that now as we sit in 95 degree heat, under a full sun that is high in the sky most of the day, and 100% humidity.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Swiftwater Rescue at Rafiki

Bandwidth is scarce around here and students are lining up to use the internet, so this will be brief.  Swiftwater rescue training here goes very well.  Everyone is happy.  It's beautiful!  

Friday, February 28, 2014


We arrived at Rafiki Safari Lodge yesterday afternoon.  What a beautiful spot!  Dr. Moore headed back to Montana.  We loved our time in Mastatal, loved the people there that made our stay so enjoyable, and are also excited about the next step in the program.

That next step is swiftwater rescue technician training.  Cody Harris arrived to teach that.  He is a world-class kayaker and swiftwater rescue instructor.  Today, students are learning how to read moving water, how to organize a river rescue and how to plan for care of a drowning patient.  Then, following a routine they now know well, they will get out and start practicing.