Breaking the Halo: Empowering Students in Outdoor Education


Breaking the Halo: Empowering Students in Outdoor Education - Online Classroom

Evening webinar on confronting complacency, assumptions, and communication breakdowns in the outdoors with Katja Hurt. This session will be online only.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Casual

6:30-8pm via Zoom Meeting
Meeting link will be sent to registered attendees on the day of the session.


Following the death of a climbing student in 2018 (on a non-Mountaineers climb), Katja and a small group of climbers uncovered several contributing thinking errors and a need to better prepare and empower students to confront heuristic traps. Based on her presentation-turned-book, “Breaking the Halo", Katja presents a simplified approach to confronting complacency, assumptions, and communication breakdowns in outdoor education and beyond. Katja’s experience as a facilitator and speaker weaves together the story of the incident, personal anecdotes, and life-changing lessons that will inspire students and leaders alike to “break every halo they see”. This presentation will be geared toward a student audience, but is open to all Mountaineers.

Katjarina "Katja" Hurt is an outdoorsy nerdette with a penchant for volunteering and trying to make the world a better place. Following a call to serve the community, Katja’s path has taken her from a career as a state probation officer to an instructor-trainer and crisis responder. She is a proud graduate of Gonzaga University (Go Zags!), an emergency services chaplain in two counties, and a 14-year member of the National Ski Patrol. In 2018, Katja founded the nonprofit Wilderness Chaplains, a nondenominational organization that brings crisis intervention, training, and support to wilderness first responders. 

For more information on the background and and presentation, or to order a copy of Breaking the Halo the book, visit

CategoryRisk Management


This seminar will be delivered online via Zoom meeting. You will need access to a computer or device (preferably with a speaker and camera), as well as high-speed internet. Information about how to log-on to the Zoom meeting will be emailed the day of the session.


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