PreTrip Education (WFA, LNT, AWLS)

PreTrip Education

Vertical Medicine Resources offers a host of training courses to prepare you and your team prior to departure for your climbing adventures. From Wilderness First Aid (WFA) to the more intensive Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS) courses, we have you covered. Instructors are available for private closed courses within each of these formats. We focus our training on your group's needs and experience levels. If you are interested in discussing private training and instruction options for your guiding team, non-profit, or SAR team, please feel free to email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Course Information:

Wilderness First Aid (WFA)

Wilderness First Aid is typically a 2-day course that includes a certification in CPR. This class is designed for climbers with no formal medical background or training and is an outstanding introduction to wilderness and climbing medicine. Usually hosted over a weekend and consisting of 16 hours of training, this course will better prepare you for wilderness emergencies. This program is accredited by the University of Utah School of Medicine and, as with all of our training, focuses on injuries/illnesses common in the mountains.

View WFA Website

Wilderness First Responder (WFR/BWLS)

Basic Wilderness Life Support (BWLS) is a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course designed to provide an individual with an in-depth knowledge of wilderness medicine and the basic skills to treat the most common injuries and illnesses encountered in the wilderness.

The WFR course is a requirement for all guides to be certified by the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA). Our weeklong wilderness first responder course exceeds this requirement with an additional 20 hours of training and is accredited by the University of Utah School of Medicine. As with everything we do, all scenarios and extra sessions are focused on climbing and mountaineering.

View WFR Website

Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS)

Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS) is an intensive 3-day course designed for healthcare professionals to augment their training and knowledge and allow them to convert this knowledge into a limited resource (wilderness) environment. Our AWLS course curriculum was developed at the University of Utah in 1997 and continues to introduce the latest protocols in wilderness medicine to anyone with a healthcare license (EMT, RN, PA, DO, MD). Vertical Medicine Resources is a licensee for this outstanding course, now administered by AdventureMed. As with everything we do, our courses are focused on the vertical environment, and while we meet all requirements of the AWLS curriculum, our scenarios and training are geared to climbers.The AWLS course was named as one of the four best wilderness medicine courses in the United States by Outside magazine. Read what they said about our program here.

View AWLS Website


Medical Guide Deb Simon conducting a training risk assessment with students in the southern Sierra Nevadas.