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, NP, 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

Currently Scheduled Classes:

We currently have no public courses scheduled as our training calendar is filled with private courses and customized training. We  anticipate conducting TWO courses in 2020 due to demand. Stay tuned for additional details and email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to be placed on our information list. 

1) Mazama Lodge, Mt. Hood, Oregon - TBD June 2020 CANCELLED DUE TO COVID 19, Watch this page for updates!

The information below is provided for informational purposes only. The course will be held at the Mazama Lodge at the foot of Mt. Hood, Oregon. All meals during the course are included in the tuition costs and prepared by our onsite chef. Lodging is available for a small fee on site (Bunkhouse and Camping) or you can choose from multiple other lodging options to include the nearby Timberline Lodge, Collins Lake Resort, and many others. The class schedule along with additional details on the course is available in the course guide.

"Learn the skills to prevent medical problems, reduce suffering, and save lives in non-traditional medical settings."

• Earn your Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS) certification
• Learn the latest practical hands-on wilderness medicine skills for patient assessment, treatment, and evacuation protocols
• Practice your skills in live scenarios with our expert instructors
• Obtain up to 20.5 hours of category 1 CME
• Receive Wilderness Medical Society Fellowship (FAWM) credits

Optional Pre Course Activities/Classes (Monday, June 3) - Lunch is included for all pre-conference participants.

1) Advanced Backcountry Wilderness Skills Seminar - $185.00

This exciting opportunity will expose students to an advanced spectrum of skills and techniques currently at the leading edge of wilderness medicine applications. The seminar will include instruction from a cadre of VMR instructors/medical guides leading the students in both didactic and hands-on skills that may cover backcountry wound management with suture lab, extended applications of Epipen autoinjectors, intraosseus IV access, and ultrasound applications in the backcountry. Upon registration, a final copy of the seminar schedule and required preparatory reading will be sent to all participating students.

2) Basic Life Support (BLS) - $70.00

The AHA BLS course is designed to provide a wide variety of healthcare professionals the ability to recognize several life-threatening emergencies, provide CPR, use an AED, and relieve choking in a safe, timely and effective manner. Students will complete an online portion prior to arrival. This class will be held on June 30th and can be combined with the ACLS recertification. If interested in both courses, please select the drop down option that registers for both at a discount.

3) Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) EP/Recertification - $185.00

This ACLS recertification will be held on June 30th in the morning prior to the start of the AWLS Course. The cost of this refresher is an additional $175.00. The goal of the ACLS EP Course is to improve outcomes in complex cardiovascular, respiratory, and other (eg, metabolic, toxicologic) emergencies by expanding on core ACLS guidelines and encouraging critical thinking and decision-making strategies. The solid foundation of the ACLS curriculum will assist the wilderness and climbing medicine student as an adjunct to their educational goals.

4) BLS/ACLS Certification - $210.00

Combine both the BLS and ACLS class for a discount on both AHA certifications.

5) Survival in the Mountains - $85.00

This class will be conducted on Mt. Hood and will focus on the survival skills essential to the mountaineer or adventurer. Taught by Bryan Simon, graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School and AMGA certified instructor, and Tom Gall, a long time member or Portland Mountain Rescue as well as the Denali National Park Mountaineering Rescue Team, this pre-course will better prepare you to survive in the wilderness with little equipment. This is one of our most popular pre-course activities and space is limited in order to provide for proper student to instructor ratios.

Tuition Rates include:

• All meals throughout the course.
• A copy of Vertical Aid: Essential Wilderness Medicine for Climbers, Trekkers, and Mountaineers
• A number of Oregon Microbrews crafted specifically for our course!
• Inexpensive lodging options are also available.

Associate Providers (EMT, RN, NP, PA) - $565
Students and Resident Physicians - $565
Doctoral Registration - $765

Advanced Backcountry Wilderness Skills Seminar - $185.00
Basic Life Support (AHA - BLS) - $70.00
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Course (AHA - ACLS) EP/Recertification - $185.00
BLS/ACLS Combination Recertification - $210.00
Survival in the Mountains - $85.00

Notes for all AWLS participants:

To see the beautiful Mazama Lodge for yourself, please visit this link. If you have any additional questions about the course, please feel free to email our staff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We look forward to seeing you there!

We think this is THE course to take for medical providers, but don't take our word for it, here is what some students have said about our curriculum and instructors:

"The course was spot-on with knowledge and techniques and philosophy to make sense out of mayhem when something bad happens in a beautiful place."

"Instructors have real world experience and stories to share."

"Best priced AWLS course including meals and lodging."

"The course material is great. I like the inclusion of personal stories and scenarios."

"Thank you for the awesome, interactive, entertaining course. The real-world stories shared by the instructors and invited from the audience were a useful component of our education."

"As someone who doesn't deal with emergencies regularly, I appreciated the complex and realistic scenarios."

"Instructors were top notch and engaging...oh, and it was fun! Outstanding Job."

"Thanks for your hard work preparing this...I think I will be much more help out there now!"

"Having been involved in a some backcountry accidents in the past, I felt this course would be a perfect fit for me as a EMT-P and Trip Leader."

"Hands-on practice was helpful for learning."

"Food was great and plentiful...oh, and the beer was great too."

VMR Cancellation Policy: Unexpected things happen at home just as they do on a climbing trip or expedition. We understand this and have developed our cancellation policy with that in mind. Students withdrawing from classes will receive a full refund, minus a 10% processing fee up to 30 days prior to the start of the course. Within 30 days of the course we offer credit towards future training (within 24 months of original class date).