Prepare for the unexpected with this 2-day first aid skills course for backcountry travel while earning your Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certificate

Whether a veteran of backcountry adventure or a first timer, preparation is the key to a successful hut trip. As a service to our members and guests, the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association has partnered with the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Wilderness & Environmental Medicine program to offer a tailor-made course in backcountry first aid, specific to the high altitude winter environment of Colorado.

Not completely sold? Why Everyone Needs to Take a Wilderness Medicine Course

Program Benefits:

Earn a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) Certificate!
No previous experience necessary
Ages 14 & up welcome

Suitability & Requirements

Wilderness First Aid
The course is equivalent to a 16-hour Wilderness First Aid Course, but contextualized for 10th Mountain Hut travel and extreme winter adventure, including:

Expert faculty from the CU School of Medicine will teach through a combination of lectures and hands-on practical skills, and participants will receive a certificate from the School of Medicine attesting to a WFA in the 10th Mountain Medicine Course.

WFA Skills Day: Review & Advanced Techniques
Join University of Colorado School of Medicine master teacher Dr. Todd Miner for a day of hands-on skills and practice. Open only to those who have previously taken Basic Wilderness First Aid, 10th Mtn Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness First Responder, or Wilderness EMT, this class will review core skills and introduce advanced techniques such as:

Enrollment limited to ensure optimal learning.

Which class you take will depend on your skill level, location, and time of year. Please see the panel to the right to see what classes we are currently offering. 

Payment of the full balance is due 30 days before the start of the course. If payment is not received 30 days prior to the start of class, you will be dropped from the course. If you register for a class fewer than 30 days prior to its start date, you are expected to pay in full on the day of registration. If you have any questions or concerns please contact course coordinator, Meagan Rivers at

The University of Colorado reserves the right to make international cancellations up to 6 weeks and domestic cancellations up to 4 weeks prior to the course start date, in which case a full refund will be provided. The University of Colorado will not be held liable for any travel expenses or any other loss of funds the participants may incur due to the cancellation of the course. Trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended.

No refunds will be granted for cancellations made 29 days or fewer prior to the start of the program. Please note that partial payments and deposits are not eligible for refunds.

Payment Deadline:
Full payment is expected 30 days prior to the start of the course. Lack of full payment within 30 days of course’s start date will result in being dropped from the course without refund.

Student Code of Conduct
Students will be required to read, sign, and follow a Code of Conduct that includes both rights and responsibilities. The code will describe learning and especially behavioral expectations, which will be similar to codes expected at most higher education institutions. The code will also describe consequences if there is failure to abide by the rules, which could include immediate suspension from the program, in which case the student will be responsible for leaving the class and property, with no refund provided.

Voluntary, involuntary, or medical separation
Should a student choose to leave the class early, be asked to leave the program early (see “Code of Conduct” below), or need to leave due to medical issues, s/he will be responsible for her/his own travel home and for any associated costs.

Rights and Responsibilities: Student Code of Conduct
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Wilderness & Emergency Medicine Program

Students in the University of Colorado School of Medicine Wilderness program are members of the University community. As such, students are expected to uphold University standards, which include abiding by international, state, civil, and criminal laws and all University laws, policies and standards of conduct. These standards assist in promoting a safe and welcoming community; therefore all students and participants must uphold and abide by them.

The University strives to make the learning community a place of study, work, recreation, and residence where people are treated, and treat one another, with respect and courtesy. The University views the Student Conduct Process as a learning experience that can result in growth and personal understanding of one’s responsibilities and privileges within both the University community and the greater community. Students who violate these standards may be subject to the actions described in the University’s Student Code of Conduct. These procedures are designed to provide a welcoming learning community and fairness to all who are involved in the process.

Philosophy of Student Conduct: We strive to learn from one another in an educational environment that holds mutual respect for individuals and self-responsibility for behaviors community in high regard. Students who engage in behavior that conflicts with established standards, laws, policies, and guidelines may be dismissed from the program. Every member of the student community must assume responsibility for becoming educated about the various University standards, policies, and guidelines.

Diversity Statement: We are committed to a campus community where diversity is appreciated and valued, and where all individuals are treated fairly and with respect. We encourage curiosity, open communication, and continuous learning as ways to create a socially just environment. We respect the right for individuals to disagree with ideas and philosophies different from their own. However, we do not permit any form of behavior that places anyone in dangerous, discriminatory, or harassing environments. It is against the basic nature of this community for anyone to demean or discriminate against another human being.

Creating a Safe Learning Environment: We strive to provide a safe and welcoming learning environment and community. Such a caring, educational community does not tolerate physical or psychological threats, abuse, hazing, harassment, intimidation, or violence directed against a person, sexual or otherwise. In addition, students engaging in such behavior are subject to the University conduct processes.

Alcohol and Drugs: Students in a University of Colorado School of Medicine global education program must abide by host country laws and local institutional regulations with respect to alcohol and drugs. Unless permitted by host country law and local institutional regulations, participants will not possess, consume, furnish, or distribute any alcoholic beverages. The University of Colorado School of Medicine has a zero-tolerance policy with respect to the possession, use, manufacture, production, sale, exchange, or distribution of illegal drugs. Students are responsible for knowing and obeying the laws of the host country as well as all local institutional regulations, regarding alcohol and other drugs. Violations of law or policy may result in immediate dismissal from the program.

University Policies: Students are required to abide by University of Colorado School of Medicine/Anschutz Medical Campus policies, including CU Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Code of Conduct, while enrolled in the program. For the Code of Conduct please see

Host Country Customs: Students are responsible for abiding by the laws and customs of the host country, community, institution and program. In addition they are responsible for being sensitive to the social norms of the host culture. Students are also subjected to the disciplinary codes and processes of the host institution.

Dismissal: If a student seriously disrupts the group learning process, or if student’s behavior gives the faculty or program director reasonable cause to believe that continued presence in the program poses a danger to the health or safety of persons or property, or impedes, disrupts or obstructs the program in any way, the student will face immediate dismissal. Alcohol, drug, or weapons-related violations, harassment, or assault are so seriously problematic that dismissal is highly likely. Before a student is removed from the program, she or he will have an opportunity to explain her or his conduct to the faculty or program director(s). A decision of dismissal from the program would be final, immediate, and no refund would be made. Transportation and other expenses related to the student’s return home country would be at the student’s own expense.

Health: Students are responsible for their own health maintenance during the program. In the event of serious illness, accident or emergency, students are responsible for informing an appropriate program official and for granting permission to authorize emergency medical treatment so that assistance may be secured and so that designated emergency contact(s) may be notified. Students authorize U.S. Embassies and Consulates to release information concerning their welfare and whereabouts to the University of Colorado.

If you are unable to attend an in-person course, please consider taking our online Basic Wilderness First Aid course!

If you are unable to attend an in-person course, please consider taking our online Basic Wilderness First Aid course!

Please Note: This syllabus is generic, but the building block of what we use for each class. Schedule is subject to change.

Day One
7:30 am Meet at Conoco Gas Station, across from Copper Mtn on Hwy 91 & I-70
Car-pool to trailhead
Ski or snowshoe to hut

Introductions & Overview (.75 hour)
Class goals and schedule
Safety and housekeeping
Definitions of wilderness and WFA
Legal and ethical issues
Wilderness epidemiology

Assessment (1.5 hours)
Scene Assessment
Primary Assessment
Secondary Assessment
SOAP Notes

Patient Movement (.75 hour)
Log Rolls

Head, and Level of Consciousness (.5 hour)
Concussions and head injuries
Lowered levels of consciousness

Spinal Issues
Spinal assessment
Improvised spinal immobilization

Altitude (.5 hour)

Day 2

8:00 am Wounds and Burns (1 hour)
Stopping bleeding
Wound cleaning
Pressure Dressings & Tourniquets
Pain management

Orthopedic Injuries (1.5 hours )

Skills Review (1.5 hours)

Free Time & Lunch (4 hours)

4 pm Abdominal, Respiratory, and Cardiac Issues (1 hour)
Cold (.5 hour)

Day 3

7:30 am Water Treatment & Hygiene (.5 hour)
Heat (.25 hour)
Lightning (.25 hour)
Drowning (.25 hour)
Scenarios (1.5 hour)
Conclusions (1 hour)
Hut Clean Up and Lunch
~1 pm Depart Hut
3 pm End of class at trailhead

Location – The Sangree Froelicher Hut is located at 11,650 feet, on the western slopes of Buckeye Gulch. Access is generally from Highway 91, up and out of Buckeye Gulch, for just over three miles and an elevation gain of about 1500 feet, though fairly thick forest.  The hut has beautiful vistas and downstairs a perfect classroom for wilderness first aid!

Generic Schedule – The following is our generic schedule.  We may not follow exactly what is listed below for an individual class, but it should give you a general idea of how things will go.

Day One

  • 7:30 am – Meet at the Conoco Station at intersection of Hwy 91 and I-70
  • Car pool to limited parking at trailhead
  • Ski/board/snowshoe up to Sangree Froelicher Hut
  • 1-5 pm – Classes
  • 5-7 pm—Dinner
  • 7-8 pm – Classes

Day Two

  • 7 am – Breakfast on one’s own
  • 8 am-12 noon  – Classes
  • 12- 1pm – Lunch
  • 1-2:30 pm – Classes
  • 2:30-4:30 pm – Break
  • 4:30-6 pm – Classes
  • 6-7:30 pm – Dinner
  • 7:30-8:30 pm – Classes

Day Three

  • 6:30 am – Breakfast on one’s own
  • 7:30 am-11:30 – Classes
  • 11:30 -12:30 pm – Graduation and lunch
  • 12:30-1 pm – Hut clean-up
  • 1-3 pm – Ski/snowboard/snowshoe down to trailhead
  • 3 pm – End of class, drive back home from trailhead

Driving and Parking – We encourage carpooling to our meeting site at the Conoco Station, SE corner of I-70 and Hwy 91, across the street from Copper Mountain Ski Area. From there carpooling is absolutely required as there is very limited parking at the trailhead and we want to try to reduce our carbon footprint. Four wheel drive is generally not necessary, but it can be handy!

The Sangree Froelicher Hut – The Sangree Froelicher Hut is a simple but very comfortable 3 story building set just below treeline. On the top level it has bunk space for 16 students in three different shared rooms. A double outhouse is forty feet away along a wooden walkway; toilet paper and hand sanitizer provided. A large kitchen, dining, and seating area are provided, cozy but plenty big for our class. Classes themselves will take place in the unique classroom/library space in the bottom floor (where instructional staff sleep). The hut has a large wood burning stove, dim but adequate solar lighting, and large propane stoves, as well as a wood-fired stove and oven. Specific supplies and tools/facilities provided include

  • Firewood, starter paper, matches, axes
  • Propane for kitchen burners
  • Cupboard or closet for cold food storage
  • Snow collection buckets and large pot for melting snow on wood-burning heat stove (suggested use of snowmelt water is for drinking)
  • Hand pump in kitchen sink dispenses water from roof-top cistern (suggested use of cistern water is for cleaning only)
  • Pots, pans, potholders, dishware, cooking and eating utensils, percolator, salt & pepper
  • Paper towels, dish soap, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, trash bags, toilet paper
  • Solar powered lights
  • Mattresses, pillows


Need/Required Gear and Clothing – We hope the following suggested gear and clothing list is helpful for all participants.


  • Appropriate boots for snow and cold weather
  • Warm wool and/or synthetic socks (at least 2 pairs)
  • Gaiters
  • Long john bottoms and tops (wool, synthetic, or silk)
  • Sports bra or top
  • Warm pants
  • Wind or snow pants
  • Wool or synthetic shirt or sweater
  • Down or synthetic down big warm jacket
  • If down or synthetic jacket not water proof/resistant then rain/wind coat with hood
  • Lightweight gloves
  • Warm/water proof or resistant gloves or mittens

Snow Travel

  • Poles
  • Free-heel skis (backcountry relatively wide) with skins, or
  • Split board with skins, or Snowshoes


  • Two breakfasts
  • Three lunches
  • Two dinners
  • Snacks
  • Water bottle and/or thermos, minimum 1 liter capacity
  • Sleeping bag
  • Headlamp and extra batteries
  • Whistle
  • Toiletries
  • Personal meds
  • Sun block and glasses
  • Blister kit
  • Something to write with and small notebook (phone is okay but you still will need a pen or pencil)
  • Pack and/or sled to comfortably carry everything, plus a pound or two of group gear
  • For those going to and above tree line
  • Beacon
  • Shovel
  • Probe


  • Closed-cell sleeping pad (even half a one) or camp chair (super helpful if you have to stop and for scenarios where you’ll be in the snow)
  • Small musical instrument
  • Pocket knife
  • Cell phone (connectivity very iffy and erratic)


Food – We will have limited space and time for individual cooking during main meal times given our large group size, so please bring things that will cook quickly and/or cook with others. There will be plenty of time to do more cooking if you don’t mind getting up early or staying up later. All leftover food must be taken out (along with all garbage of course) so please plan accordingly. There are limited spices at the hut (salt, pepper, etc.), but other than cooking utensils, not much.

Physical Exertion/Experience Levels – While no previous experience is necessary, winter and some camping experience is recommended. One doesn’t have to be an Olympic athlete whatsoever, but good health and reasonable physical condition is important. Likewise, while the route and travel to the Froelich Hut is not at all technical, it is at high altitude (above 10,000 feet) and involves both mileage and significant altitude gain. We won’t be going at a fast pace, but it does require exertion.  In addition, the descent is narrow and sometimes twisty, with lots of trees, so it requires reasonable ski/board abilities. If one is not an experienced backcountry skier/boarder with an overnight pack, snowshoes may be a better choice. Also, given our early season ventures, the base is often thin or non-existent, making for more challenging conditions.

Certification – To obtain Wilderness First Aid certification from the University of Colorado School of Education, active participation in skill practices and scenarios is essential. While scenarios provide valuable learning experiences, they are not individually graded. Instead, the 50-question multiple-choice final exam is graded, requiring a 70% completion rate for successful certification. We prioritize a low stakes testing approach, offering multiple opportunities to pass the exam. Additionally, the final exam will be reviewed beforehand, aiming for a high pass rate as everyone gains substantial knowledge through the learning process.

Questions? Reach out to us today!

Upcoming Dates

10th Mountain WFA
Anschutz Medical Campus
May 4th, 2024