Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 1:30 PM on Wednesday, July 6, 2011

HoWL implementing new programs

HoWL (Homer Wilderness Leaders) has just begun its third year in operation and its second as a 501(c)3 nonprofit. As a burgeoning business that's here to stay, we've begun to implement some new and necessary programs to ensure the safety, the longevity and the awesomeness of this program.

HoWL would like to thank the Tin Roof Fund for their generous support of our first annual Instructor Training course, a donor-advised fund of the Homer Foundation.

In the first week of June, HoWL's nine instructors spent seven days reviewing wilderness first aid skills, learning emergency procedures and protocols specific to HoWL activities in Kachemak Bay, and teaching each other the entire HoWL curriculum while scouting new climbing and mountaineering routes in the incredible Wosnesenski Valley.

Our climbing crew bolted five new beginner-intermediate top-rope sport climbs, and scouted some trad climbing potential for future years.

Our scouting team determined that the far ridge above camp was unsafe for HoWL students, but that there was easy access to a waterfall and the close ridge (topping out at least 1,000 feet above camp), appropriate for day hikes in any weather.

And our mountaineering team trekked over moraine, glacier and nunatak, flagging a safe route up to "The Nest," HoWL's high camp.

Because of the success of this IT trip, HoWL can now safely implement glacier-travel into its curriculum and take students to heights never-before imagined.

Thank you to the Tin Roof Fund and the Homer Foundation, for allowing us this opportunity. In the future, the HoWL IT course will continue to expand, scouting new locations and training new leaders to uphold the curriculum and safety standards of HoWL.

Libby Bushell, executive director

Homer Wilderness Leaders (HoWL)