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Click here to watch a video created by a 2012 Wintersession student!

"This course taught me all about wilderness, the Mission Mountains, and so many different things. Everyday was different, I learned so much."

Winter Wilderness Field Studies is taught by Kari Gunderson. Kari lives in the Swan Valley where she has worked extensively as a wilderness ranger in the Mission Mountains.

College of Forestry and Conservation

Winter Wilderness Field Studies

PTRM 418
Offered by the Montana Wilderness School in cooperation with the Wilderness Institute

Wintersession 2014
January 6-17, 2014
(Weekend of January 11-12 Off)

Previous Syllabus (2013)

This ten-day intensive program explores natural resource management and outdoor leadership in the Swan Valley and the Mission Mountain Wilderness. The course focuses on wilderness management using the Mission Mountain Wilderness Area as a classroom and case study. We study community-based stewardship, winter ecology, fundamentals of snow and avalanche science and mountain meteorology, outdoor leadership, group decision-making, risk assessment, and Mission Mountain Wilderness history. Activities include classroom and field lectures, discussion, visits with local Swan Valley residents and tribal members, recreation use monitoring and data collection, basic winter wilderness skills and emergency care, a ski or snowshoe day trip and backcountry winter camping in the Mission Mountain Wilderness.

tracksThe course will take place in the Swan Valley January 6-17, 2013, with the weekend off. Students will be housed at the Condon Work Center/Swan Valley Ecosystem Center.

To register: Pick up an override form from Rachel James, Main (University) Hall, 308.

For more information please contact: Rachel James, Wilderness Institute,, 406.243-6916,

Course costs: UM tuition/fees plus $150 for housing. If registered for 12 or more Spring credits, there is no additional tuition cost for this course.

For more information about Wintersession visit

snow cave