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Wilderness First Responder Workshop - Clair Tappaan Lodge, Norden, CA

May 18-27, 2013

Clair Tappaan Lodge, Norden, California

Trip Number: 13872A
Price: $725 (includes lodging) / $325 (instruction only)
Capacity: 20
Staff: Sascha Paris



  • Class starts Saturday, May 18 at 8:00am. Food and lodging start Friday, May 17 with dinner.


  • Monday, May 27 at 5pm. The last meal included is Monday lunch.


  • $725 for instruction, training materials, food and lodging starting with dinner Friday, May 17 and ending with lunch Monday, May 27. $325 for instruction only. Click here to learn about an instruction-only rates for local residents.

Workshop Goals

This 72-hour Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course is a fast-paced and demanding class that mixes scenario-based learning, hands-on practicing of skills with evening reading and homework assignments. You will learn how to recognize, assess and treat common wilderness emergencies while building confidence in your patient assessment skills.

Typically a WFR course lasts 80 hours and includes a day of CPR. In order to maximize your time practicing wilderness based skills, this course will be a 72-hour course spread over 9 days where you will need to take professional level CPR class prior to the course (more information below). This course does not include CPR. Foster Calm follows the Department of Transportation National Standards for WFR and the Wilderness Medical Society's protocols for wilderness care. Upon successful completion of this course you will receive a 3-year WFR from Foster Calm - First Aid and Leadership Trainings (contracted by the Sierra Club).

The focus of this course is to build your competency at patient assessment and providing care. At the end of this course you should:

  • Understand how to prevent common wilderness injuries and illnesses and how to treat minor problems so they do not be-come major ones.
  • Perform good patient care on most types of wilderness injuries.
  • Improvise treatments with the limited resources you commonly have on an outing;
  • Understand the group dynamics in a wilderness emergency.
  • Recognize types of situations your group has the resources to handle alone in the wilderness and what types of situations will require you to get outside assistance.

Course Prerequisites

Training participants must:

  • Have a current professional level CPR at least through the end of date of the course (May 27, 2013):
    • American Heart Association: Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers. (AHA Heart Saver will not meet this requirement.)
    • American Red Cross: CPR for the Professional Rescuer.
      (Adult CPR, CPR Child and Infant, First Aid and CPR, Lay Responder CPR and First Aid will not meet this requirement.)
    • American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI): The CPR for the Professional Rescuer.
  • Complete and return the completed Medical and Liability Form (sent upon registration).
  • Bring a copy of CPR card to give to the instructor.
  • Read the Wilderness First Responder by Buck Tilton
  • Optional: Complete the homework that accompanies the text. (These will be formally assigned and need to be completed during the training.)

Requirements for successful completion of the course

Training participants must:

  • Demonstrate all required hands-on skills and pass all skills tests. (Second chances are available on all the tests and quizzes.)
  • Pass all WFR homework assignments, tests and final written exam.
  • Actively participate in scenarios, scenario de-briefs and course lectures.


  • The course fee includes food and lodging beginning with dinner Friday night, May 17 through lunch Monday, May 27.
  • The WFR course will formally start at 8am Saturday, May 18 (after breakfast) and end Monday, May 27 at 5pm.
  • You will have a day off from the training on Wednesday, May 22 (food and lodging are still included this day). Transportation costs are not included.


Once you have registered, submitted your forms and are approved, the WFR text and homework assignments will be mailed to you.

  • Our days will be spent in classroom sessions interspersed with indoor and outdoor scenarios. Our approach to teaching first aid depends heavily on hands-on practice. In order for us to have the time to do this, it is expected that you read the WFR text prior to the first day of the course.
  • Though not required, you may consider completing the completing the homework that accompanies the text. (These will be formally assigned and need to be completed during the training.)

Course Format & Difficulty

This course is rated light in physical strenuousness. A large part of the time we will be sitting in a classroom setting. During indoor scenarios and practice sessions, we will be laying on the floor, bending, kneeling and carrying. For outdoor scenarios the same activities will take place, but quite likely we will be working in the snow. We will be hiking with daypacks at altitudes of 7,000 to 8,000 ft, which will greatly affect your cardiovascular ability if you live at lower altitudes.

Since this is a "hands-on" course, we will be focusing on patient exams and professional touch. You will be doing patient assessments on fellow classmates and having them performed on you. You will have several opportunities to be a patient and a rescuer. Therefore it is recommended that you wear old clothes that are comfortable and durable (especially ones that you don't mind being stained by stage blood that may not wash out).

Registration Information

You may register for a training event in any of the following ways:

  • ONLINE  Sign me up now! (credit card required)
    Please note:  Online registration uses the National Outings reservation system. Once registered, you're confirmed.  On step seven, please disregard the pending participant approval and the cancellation policy.

  • By Phone - Call 415-977-5522 (8:30-5, PST, M-F). Please have your credit card information ready. (credit card required)

  • By Mail - Please send check, money order, or completed credit card information to: Outings Training 85 2nd Street 2nd Floor San Francisco, CA 94105
  • After you've registered
    • You will be sent a confirmation packet (including confirmation letter, workshop overview, training approval form, and medical form) immediately after registering.

    • Approximately one month prior to the workshop you will be sent final details including driving directions, a ride share list, and a packing list.

  • Cancellation Policy:

    Time of Cancellation Cancellation fee per person
    60 or more days prior to training start date Amount of deposit
    14-59 days prior to training start date 50% of training fee
    0-13 days prior to training start date Entire training fee
    "No-show" at the starting point, or you leave during the training Entire training fee
  • Instruction-Only Rate: If you live locally and would prefer to stay at home and provide your own meals, you can register and pay the instruction/materials-only rate of $325 by calling 415-977-5522.


Clair Tappaan Lodge is a rustic mountain lodge nestled in the Sierra Nevada of California at the top of Donner Pass. Built by Sierra Club volunteers in the 1930s, the lodge is an excellent home base for year-round recreation. The friendly, casual atmosphere and affordable nightly rates (including family-style meals) make the Lodge the perfect rustic getaway to the Tahoe/Donner area.

Clair Tappaan is the Sierra Club's flagship lodge, with a wide-variety of programs that support sustainable practices and the Sierra Club's mission to "explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the Earth." At the Lodge, we strive to increase awareness of the environment, foster a sense of community, increase the spirit of volunteerism, and nurture eco-conscious conduct.

All accommodations are in bunk beds equipped with mattresses (bring your own sleeping bag or bedding) in a variety of bunk-rooms in the lodge. Restroom and shower facilities are shared, with two men's and two women's bathrooms.

  • Guests are asked to choose a house chore to do each day they eat at the lodge.
  • Doors to the rooms do not lock; we do have lockers. If you wish to lock up valuables, you can bring your own lock or rent one from the lodge office.
  • Phone messages for guests are posted periodically in the lobby area.
  • No pets of any species (except seeing-eye dogs) are allowed to stay at the Lodge.
  • From the road/parking lot to the lodge there is an uphill path about 100 yards long. In the winter it can be snowy/icy, and in the summer it can be rocky. Therefore, a good pair of hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes is advisable. A flashlight can be handy if you plan to arrive at night.
  • Reservations for extended stays before or after the course can be made by calling the lodge directly at 530-426-3632 or 800-679-6775.
  • A hearty breakfast and dinner are prepared each day and are served in the lodge's large, communal dining room. Brown bag lunch pro-visions are available for guests to take with them each day.
  • A vegetarian meal option is always available, and participants with other dietary restrictions can usually be accommodated, provided that their trip leader is informed in advance.
  • Because the lodge is an old building, constructed of wood and shingles, no smoking is allowed, either in the building or on the surrounding trails.

Emergency Contact

During the trip, you can be reached at the lodge: 530-426-3632. The answering machine is checked daily, and messages are posted on a board outside the lodge office.

Workshop Location and Directions

Directions supplied by the local hosting chapter. The OATP does not take responsibility for their accuracy. Please refer to a map to confirm directions.

Clair Tappaan Lodge is easy to reach from major airports and highways. The lodge is located in Norden, California, about 2.5 miles off Interstate 80 using the Soda Springs/Norden exit. This is approximately 15 miles west of Truckee, California, and about 45 miles west of Reno, Nevada, the location of the nearest major airport. From San Francisco, the lodge is about 180 miles east on Interstate 80.

Car rentals are available nearby in Reno. Truckee is served by Greyhound and Amtrak. From Truckee, a taxi can be hired to take you to the lodge. A trip roster will be provided to you one-two months before the trip so that you can coordinate carpooling to and from the lodge. Transportation to and from the lodge is not included in the trip fee.

If you are flying in/out of Reno, you need to allow at least one hour travel time between the airport in Reno and the Lodge (assuming no snow delays.)

Clair Tappaan is located at 19940 Donner Pass Rd, 7000 feet in California's Sierra Nevada. It's 45 minutes west of Reno and one and a half hours drive east of Sacramento just off of Interstate 80. From eastbound I-80, take the exit for Soda Springs/Norden and go 2.4 miles east on Donner Pass road. Look for our sign slightly up the hill on your left and the wide footpath leading up to the Lodge. Parking is available on either side of the road.

What To Bring


Be prepared for evening temperatures in the low 30s and days in the mid to high 50s, as well as probable snow and/or sun glare. Bunks are equipped with a mattress. The lodge can be drafty, so dress in layers for classroom sessions.

For staying at the lodge:

  • Personal toiletries, towel, shower shoes and earplugs (if a light sleeper)
  • Watch or alarm clock for waking up and keeping to the schedule
  • Bedding (sleeping bag or comparable linens) and bathing suit if they wish to use the hot tub
  • Camp chair or lawn chair -- You'll be much more comfortable if you provide your own seating for the sessions. Otherwise expect to sit on standard "camp" chairs.
  • Cup or insulated mug for hot drinks and a water bottle

For each inside class sessions:

  • Your copy of Buck Tilton's The Wilderness First Responder text and your homework
  • Notebook or paper and pen and pencil
  • Small flashlight for checking pupils
  • Watch with a second hand or digital second display, for taking vitals
  • Wear old clothes that are comfortable, durable, and not so nice
  • Pad to lay on, kneel on during skills practices
  • Stethoscope (optional, only if you al-ready have)
  • Climbing rope -- will be used in a clean environment (optional, only if you already have)

For outside sessions:

Consider bringing your daypack with the things you typically hike with. This will help you improvise with the tools you already carry with you. These can include: emergency blanket, tarps, splinting materials (ski poles, walking sticks, old tent poles), etc. No cotton for outdoor-wear as we will most likely be in snow situations.

  • Clothes that are warm enough for outdoor sessions -- expect snow, cold, wet and sun, so no cotton
  • Sturdy shoes -- hiking boots best
  • Backpack/daypack to carry supplies
  • Water bottle -- for drinking and cleaning wounds
  • Flashlight or headlamp for night sessions
  • Sunglasses, sunblock and lip balm
  • Old clothes that can get bloody and cut up (optional)
  • Safety scissors to cut clothes (optional)
  • Resuscitation mask (optional)

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