Represent The Mountaineers at the 2023 Wilderness Risk Management Conference

Each year, The Mountaineers sends several of our volunteers to the Wilderness Risk Management Conference. Learn more about this year’s conference and apply to attend as a representative of The Mountaineers!
Michelle Song Michelle Song
Volunteer Development Manager
July 17, 2023
Represent The Mountaineers at the 2023 Wilderness Risk Management Conference
Ingalls Lake. By Rafael Godoi

Represent The Mountaineers at this year's Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC). Join us to foster an environment of open dialogue and enhance our organization’s understanding of risk management practices. As a WRMC attendee, you'll acquire valuable skills in risk management, connect with fellow industry experts, share field and administrative techniques, and contribute to the establishment of standards for risk management in outdoor adventure and education.

The WRMC is an annual gathering of outdoor professionals that creates an unparalleled opportunity for experts from various facets of the risk management world – practitioners, administrators, insurance providers, wilderness medical professionals, equipment manufacturers, and attorneys – to convene in one place and share knowledge. Offered by NOLS in collaboration with Outward Bound USA and the Student Conservation Association, the spirit of the conference is captured in the WRMC Tenets.

This year's conference takes place at the Holiday Inn Portland - Columbia Riverfront in Portland, Oregon from October 18-20. Find the full conference schedule here.


We have reserved six spots for our volunteers, paid for by The Mountaineers. We invite you to apply for one of these spots and attend on behalf of The Mountaineers. As attendees will have the opportunity to bring back valuable knowledge and insights to benefit their branch and our organization as a whole, we hope to have representation from various branches and activities. 

To be eligible for selection, you must meet the following criteria

  1. Be a current, active volunteer of The Mountaineers
  2. Commit to sharing the learning from this conference with the broader organization through committee or branch leadership
  3. Be a current, active member of the Risk Management Committee, the Safety Committee, or the Branch Leadership Committee
    Be a current Activity Committee Chair or Course Chair

Preference will be given to applicants who can attend the full conference from October 18-20. Applicants best-situated to make an impact on the risk management decisions and overall safety of Mountaineers activities will be selected. Selection criteria includes the volunteer's role, influence, and engagement on committees and in other positions of leadership.


What is included ($1,115 value)

  1. WRMC attendee registration
  2. Shared room with a fellow volunteer at Holiday Inn Portland for October 18 (check-in at 3pm) to October 21 (check-out at 11am)
  3. WRMC meal plan (early morning breakfast and mid-day lunch buffet on October 19 & 20)
  4. One Mountaineers group dinner on October 19 (dinner is offered by the WRMC during the Keynote presentation on October 20)

What is not included

  1. Transportation to and from Portland, Oregon
  2. Meals on October 18

Selection Timeline

Please complete an online application no later than August 13 to receive full consideration. Staff will make final selections and notify individuals between August 15-22. Confirmation of attendance by the selected volunteer is needed no later than August 29.   

Participating in the WRMC presents an exceptional chance to acquire fresh insights and skills that will prove valuable to both you and The Mountaineers as an organization. We highly encourage you to submit your application and join us in this exciting experience!


All members are still invited to register today, at your own expense, to ensure a seat at the table. Registration is available for $725 until August 30. All registrations made on or after September 1 will be charged a late fee of $150 by NOLS.


The WRMC serves as a hub of expertise, bringing together industry leaders to engage in discussions about current trends, standards, and best practices. If you want to learn more about the following topics, the WRMC is a great fit for you:

  • Risk and Crisis Communications Before and After a Critical Incident
  • Creating Affirming Environments for All Genders
  • Risk Pedagogy
  • Seeding Collaborative Ways to Address Climate Change Impact Risks
  • Risk Management and Wildfire Smoke Exposure
  • Facilitating Belonging through Counternarratives
  • Dealing with Challenging Participant Behaviors: Coaching Individuals to Positive Change
  • Exclusive Spaces: Managing Inherent Risks of Racism in Outdoor Spaces

This year, we're excited to highlight four workshop sessions with Mountaineers presenters and contributors, Chris O'Steen, Steve Smith, Katja Hurt, and Kriste Peoples.

  • Steve will hold a workshop, Doing Safety Differently, with Taylor Feldman at the pre-conference on Wednesday, October 18, from 8am-4pm for an additional fee of $250.
  • Katja and Chris O'Steen (Mountaineers member) will hold a workshop, Critical Decision Making & De-Escalation in Remote Environments, at the pre-conference on Wednesday, October 18, from 8am-11am for an additional fee of $95.
  • Chris O'Steen, with the support of Katja as assistant facilitator, will also present the session, Tactical Decision Games for Wilderness Leaders, at the main conference on Friday, October 20.
  • Kriste will present the session, How Much Longer? Exploring the Journey - Racial Equity and Inclusion in Nature, at the main conference on Thursday, October 19.

Click below for a full schedule, including workshop descriptions and speaker bios:



Please contact Michelle Song, Volunteer Development Manager, with any questions about attending this year’s Wilderness Risk Management Conference.

Add a comment

Log in to add comments.