LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- Eric Alimanestianu, an 18-year-old Larchmont resident, recently completed a wilderness expedition traveling in the Rocky Mountains with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).
The 2014 graduate of Mamaroneck High School will be attending Colby College in the fall. In the fall of 2014, Alimanestianu kicked off his semester in the Rockies with 20 days of hiking, backpacking, and camping in the Popo Aggie and Bridger wilderness of Wyoming.
Some notable moments included summiting Wind River Peak at 13,192 feet of elevation and visiting the famed Cirque of the Towers. Students also learned how to read topographical maps, cook on small backpacking stoves, and how to apply the seven Leave No Trace principles. Hiking was followed up by a 30-day canyoneering course in the Dark Canyon region.
During this time, Alimanestianu and his course mates learned how to rappel in and out of slot canyons, pass packs along narrow ledges, and manage dangerous terrain all while rationing a limited amount of food. While traveling a total distance of 150 miles, students also had the opportunities to venture out on their own on independent student expeditions.
After their time in the canyons the student group then traveled to Red Rocks, Nevada to develop their rock climbing skills. Students were exposed to a wide range of sandstone where they learned numerous climbing skills including traditional, sport, and top rope climbing.
Smith and the group also capitalized down time by learning a wide variety of backcountry cooking techniques Students ended their fall semester with a rigorous 12-day winter camping section based deep in the Absorka Mountain Range of Wyoming.
The group traveled on telemark skis through almost 3 feet of fresh powder snow, which provided ample opportunities to learn avalanche and terrain management. At camp, students built intricate snow shelters, called quigloos, to help protect from the cold temperatures and high winds.
Alimanestianu and his coursemates graduated from their NOLS Semester in the Rockies equipped with technical outdoor skills, wilderness ethic and leadership skills they will use for the rest of their lives.
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