Wilderness Medicine
Wilderness Medicine

18th Annual...

Wilderness Medicine Intensive Skills Field Course

Approved for 16.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits

Course Dates: June 8-14, 2019

Includes 4 days of whitewater rafting and a optional one day "snow school" with Sierra Wilderness Seminars on Friday, June 14, 2019

Optional Post-Course Guided Ascent of Mt. Shasta (14,161 ft.):
June 15-16, 2019

Learn practical wilderness medicine and survival skills
in a beautiful outdoor setting!

Great for beginners and experts alike!

The Wilderness Medicine Intensive Skills Course
is an exciting and highly acclaimed field course. It is designed for physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers who want to learn practical wilderness medicine, and survival skills in an outdoor setting. The location of the course is in the beautiful, rugged Mt. Shasta/Marble Mountains Wilderness areas of Northern California.

This course is also highlighted by 4 days of exciting whitewater rafting on the beautiful Salmon and Klamath Rivers. Experienced guides will skillfully guide you through exhilarating scenery and rapids. You'll enjoy delicious meals and camaraderie in a fantastic riverside setting!


The CME lectures all take place in spectacular riverside settings. The course features interactive workshops and demonstrations taught by renowned faculty including Howard Donner, MD and Sheryl Olson, RN - leaders in the field of wilderness medicine.

Wilderness and Travel Medicine Course Content Includes:

  • Patient assessment in wilderness
  • Hypothermia, frostbite, and other cold injuries
  • Evaluation and Management of trauma in a wilderness setting
  • Wilderness management of wounds / soft tissue injuries
  • Wilderness Orthopedics - fractures, dislocations, sprains
  • High altitude illness
  • Snakebite
  • Wild animal attacks
  • Avalanche safety and rescue
  • Live patient scenarios and simulations
  • Lightning injuries and safety
Outdoor Survival Course Includes:
  • Wilderness survival (half-day course including improvised shelters, fire starting, signaling, useful knots)
  • Orienteering (including map/compass, GPS)
  • Planning a Wilderness Survival Kit
  • Whitewater raft skills
  • Swiftwater crossing techniques
  • Basic mountaineering skills
  • Route-finding
  • Basic wilderness rescue techniques / evacuation / improvised litters
  • Splinting: improvised techniques for the backcountry
Wilderness Medicine Course includes 4 day whitewater trip on spectacular Klamath and Salmon Rivers!

Wilderness Medicine
Beautiful beaches along the Klamath River make an ideal setting for the educational aspects of the course.

"Cannot say enough good about this course! Excellent in every way! Fabulous course content. Perfect location! Will highly recommend this course to others!"

Robert Kenton, MD - Radiology

"Best CME ever! This will be a trip we will remember forever! Awesome itinerary! Wonderful faculty-tops in knowledge! I learned many new things from all of the faculty."
Ken Mason, MD - Anesthesiology

Wilderness Medicine
You'll learn valuable survival skills including map, compass, and GPS skills
Video preview of the Wilderness Medicine Intensive Skills Course:

  • Seven-day course in a gorgeous riverside outdoor setting
  • 4 days of Whitewater Rafting on the beautiful and exciting Salmon and Klamath Rivers
  • Learn hands-on wilderness medical skills from noted authorities Howard Donner, MD; Gene Allred, MD; Sheryl Olson, RN
  • Learn navigation and outdoor survival skills from noted authorities
  • The optional one day "snow school" with Sierra Wilderness Seminars will be on Friday, June 14, 2019.
  • Optional Guided ascent of Mt. Shasta (14,161 ft.) following course on June 15-16, 2019

Days 1-3: Whitewater Rafting on the exciting Klamath River (class III) at base of Marble Mountains in northern California. Fantastic wildlife and scenery.
Day 4: Wilderness Survival/Navigation workshops held at Clear Creek, a spectacular streamside wilderness site.
Day 5: Whitewater Rafting on the breathtaking Salmon River (class IV).
Day 6: All-day Outdoor Workshop on practical wilderness medicine skills (including patient scenarios) at Whitewater Ranch, an exclusive private wilderness camp on the Wild and Scenic Scott River.
Day 7: All-day Outdoor Workshop on basic mountaineering skills on Mt. Shasta. The optional one day "snow school" with Sierra Wilderness Seminars will be Friday, June 14, 2019.
Days 8-9 (optional): Guided ascent of Mt. Shasta (14,161 ft.) June 15-16, 2019

About the Whitewater Rafting during this unique course...

Wilderness Medicine

We do four days of fun and exciting whitewater rafting during this course. Three of the days are on beautiful class II / III sections the Klamath River and also on breathtaking Clear Creek. The Klamath and Clear Creek are excellent rivers for all skill levels, from first-time beginners to experts. They flow through rugged, gorgeous, forested canyons---and each has an abundance of wildlife. We commonly see bald eagles, osprey, black bears, deer, otters, and many other species.

On the fourth day of rafting, we travel to the nearby Salmon River. The Salmon is more challenging class IV whitewater. It has crystal clear water in a spectacularly beautiful rocky gorge. If any of our participants would rather not do this more challenging whitewater on the Salmon day, we have an optional itinerary for those individuals on a class II / III section of the Klamath.

Our professional whitewater guides for this trip include two former members of the US National Whitewater Rafting team! (please see guide bios below)

A short description of the 3 fantastic rivers we raft on this trip!....

Wilderness Medicine Klamath River
The Klamath is famous for its beautiful scenery and wildlife! It is protected as a Wild & Scenic River. It has playful class II-III whitewater which is great for beginners and experts alike.
Wilderness Medicine Clear Creek
Pristine and remote Clear Creek has almost surreal beauty! Crystal clear water in a deep bedrock gorge surrounded by lush forest. Frequent and fun class II-III rapids pepper the run.
Wilderness Medicine Salmon River
The Cal Salmon is a whitewater classic! It flows through a steep, intimate, granite gorge of breathtaking beauty! It has clear, emerald pools punctuated by frequent exhilarating class III-IV rapids!

*Water flow conditions can sometimes be too high or too low for an adequate margin of safety on either Clear Creek or the Cal Salmon. At such times, other beautiful whitewater sections on the Klamath River may need to be substituted.

Course Cost:
Primary Registrant: $1,595
Guests (Over 18): $1,375
Guests (13-18 years): $995

Includes: All gourmet meals and beverages, deluxe outdoor camping at a 20-acre private riverside retreat (deluxe facilities including spacious bathrooms with flush toilets, hot showers, and granite countertops!), professionally outfitted whitewater rafting by Adventure Whitewater.

Optional CME Fee: $695 (Approved for 16.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM)

Optional post-trip activities outfitted by Sierra Wilderness Seminars:
Optional one-day "snow school" on Friday: $115/person (optional for non-climbers)
Optional Mt. Shasta Ascent: (2-day ascent on Saturday and Sunday) $495/person

Spouses, guests, and children (over age 12) welcome!

To ask questions, or receive more information, please
call Bio Bio Expeditions at 1-800-246-7238

Optional guided 2-day
Mt. Shasta Summit Climb:
June 15-16, 2019
(via basic non-technical route)

For participants who want to experience a guided trip to the summit of Mt. Shasta, join Sierra Wilderness Seminars Mountain Guides for a 2 day Shasta Summit attempt.

Wilderness Medicine
Optional post-course, professionally guided ascent to the summit of Mount Shasta-(14,161 feet)--An epic climb!


Head Instructor - Howard Donner, MD

Dr. Howard Donner is renowned as one of the world's most experienced expedition physicians. He is a also a highly acclaimed speaker on Wilderness Medicine.

Dr. Donner has been prominently featured in two award-winning NOVA television documentaries including; "Deadly Ascent" which chronicles mountain medicine and research on 20,320 ft Denali (Mount McKinley); and "Everest - The Death Zone". Donner served as expedition doctor on the 1998 NOVA Everest expedition, which was featured in the television documentary: "Everest: The Death Zone".

  • 3 seasons as a rescue doctor on Mt. McKinley in Alaska for the National Park Service at the 14,000 foot medical / rescue station.
  • Worked on numerous medical projects in the Himalayas including two seasons as a staff physician for the Himalayan Rescue Association.
  • Expedition physician on the first American ascent of Kangchenjunga, the world's third highest peak (28,000 feet).
  • Olympic physician for the United States White Water Team in Atlanta in 1996.
  • 5 years of service as a medical operations consultant for NASA, where he was involved in the design of the Shuttle and International Space Station medical systems.
  • Co-author of The Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine (3rd edition was published in August of 2008).

"I couldn't think of anyone better than Howard Donner to teach a course like this. He is a true expert in the field. His lecture style sets the right tone for the week. Howard is truly awesome! Fabulous CME!"
Leslie Cho, MD - Emergency Medicine - San Francisco

Sheryl Olson, RN Colorado Springs; Flight Nurse; Owns Wilderness Wise, a outdoor survival and navigation educational company. Avid backcountry skier and backpacker. Has led two expeditions to Everest base camp.

Kyle Allred, PA-C: International guide on five continents; Co-owner of Adventure Whitewater (raft guide outfitting service). Co-founder of MedCram.com Medical Education Videos; Wilderness survival instructor and co-founder of MedWild Instructional Videos.

Wilderness Medicine

Ryan Allred
(Big Ry) Captain of US National Championship Raft team (2000). World-class kayaker and kayak instructor. Professional fly fishing guide. Co-Owner Adventure Whitewater (raft guide service).

Lars Alvarez
Member of several US and World Championship Whitewater Raft teams; co-owner of Bio Bio Expeditions Worldwide which conducts trips on some of the most challenging and exotic rivers on the planet.

Fantastic nearby side trips you can do on your own before / after the Intensive Skills Course!

Testimonials from past Intensive Skills CME Course participants...

"Best CME I've ever attended....wonderful, knowledgable faculty...inspiring- making learning so fun and easy....wel exceeded my expectations...would highly recommend to all my friends and colleagues"
Ting Wu, MD Family Practice

"Best CME ever! Beautiful location...excellent faculty....Great food...loved everyone....Will never go to a traditional conference again...don't change a thing!"
Riley Bennett, RN Alaska

Wilderness Medicine
"Best CME I have ever done....Love all of the faculty....location was beautiful...food was great....enjoyed all the interaction"
Liz Figueroa, MD Olympia, Wa

"Course was perfect in every way! ....Really great instructors...guides were so fun and great...I felt super safe...Location is so beautiful that I want to move here"
Libre Johnson, MD Family Medicine

Best CME ever! Fascinating, fun, well-delivered...invaluable"
Amy Munro, MD Oregon

"Literally one of the best experiences of my life. Faculty was absolutely super....guides were so far above any other trip....I felt super safe....location was amazing ....best outdoor food I've ever had by far...Thanks for sharing your passion for the outdoors!"
Ron Lindamood, MD

"Great course! Lots of fun....loved the comraderie of the group...wonderful food"
Sandy Hoogland, PA-C Merill, Wis

"Amazing faculty....honored to have people with such experience...A truly special experience"
Tammy Spring , MD Richmond, Va

"Faculty is the best...Fantastic teaching...practical...can't wait to repeat this course"
Sandra Schuffett, MD Nicholasville, Ky

"Faculty was amazing....Guide staff was terrific-couldn't ask for better....Location was perfect....I can't think of anything in words to describe this wonderful trip"
Chris Cinkowski, RN

"Fantastic , dynamic, practical, energetic, entertaining, informative faculty"
David Snodgrass, MD Loveland, Colo

"Excellent speakers, excellent location and guides, excellent food"
Traci Powell, DNP Ohio

"I enjoyed myself immensely and loved every moment of the experience. I want to complement you on the organization of the week. Everything went off perfectly, which speaks of all the planning you did to make this course a wonderful success..."
Robert Derlet, M.D. --- Professor and Chief, Division of Emergency Medicine, UC Davis Medical Center

"Best CME ever! This will be a trip we will remember forever! Awesome itinerary! Wonderful faculty-tops in knowledge! I learned many new things from all of the faculty."
Ken Mason, MD --- Anesthesiology

"Superb faculty with an optimal blend of academic and practical skills. Course content was relevant, useful, and action-packed. Meals were like five star in the wilderness!"
Alex Levin, MD

"Phenomenal guide staff! Top notch! Everyone was eager to make your experience a positive one. Faculty is knowledgable and easy to approach. You Cant beat the itinerary!"
Randi Wagner, MD Family Practice

"Everyone on the faculty was fabulous. I love them all. Excellent guide staff. Location is beautiful, remote, relaxing, and conducive to joyful learning. This course has enhanced who I am."
Susan Ralston, ARNP, Phoenix, AZ

"Awesome faculty, very knowledgable, and they communicate well. Friendly and very competent guides. Food was too good! Beautiful location! Activities were a good balance of challenge for our group."
Bill Schroa, MD - Family Practice, Durango, Colo.

"Faculty were all personable and very knowledgable and fun! I love to listen to them! I loved the hands-on course content. Guide staff was great and very helpful. Excellent meals. Course was very well set up and organized."
Heather Smith, RN

"Faculty was excellent, Enthusiastic and easy to relate to - a great group!. There was a Great variety of course topics. Guide staff was also great- very friendly and eager to help. Scenarios are great teaching tools."
Russel Smith, MD Family Medicine

"Hands-on content that is useful in any situation where supplies and resources limited "
Randi Wagner, MD Family Practice

"Memorable. Beautiful location. Informative and practical faculty. Excellent and useful course content. Friendly guides."
Sammy Chang, MD - Pediatrics

"A wilderness adventure with top-notch staff providing excellent food , fun and facts. Beautiful scenery and outstanding faculty make this a must do for every outdoor enthusiast and medical types alike"
Kristen Wheeler, RN, BSN Phoenix, Az

"Overall a great, wonderful, exciting, and relaxing trip. The faculty and staff were the best thanks for all of the helpful and smiling faces each day I will definitely be back."

"The most informative, hands-on, interesting CME I have ever attended. Instructors well-versed and entertaining guides very safety oriented and helpful food was amazing! This was the best CME I have attended in my 13 years of practice and I look forward to attending again"
Dan Weiler, MD

"Cannot say enough good about this course! Excellent in every way! Fabulous course contentperfect location. Will highly recommend this course to others!"
Robert Kenton, MD Radiology, Reno, NV

"Awesome faculty! Most incredible CME location Ive ever attended! Every meal is a feast! Ill refer many people-!"
Tamara Hughes, MD Henagar, Ala.

Wilderness Medicine

"Exceptional faculty, fantastic setting.nice balance of CME and fun! Team building activities helped build a cohesive group"
James Minton, MD Clovis, Ca

"Best darned wilderness medicine course east or west of the Mississippi! Riverside location truly enhances the learning experience. Cant wait to come back next year!"
Mitch Merrit, MD Apex, NC

"A wonderful experience. Family atmosphere. Guide staff is the best. The most beautiful spot in America! I plan to attend every year!"
Michael Jones, MD Concord, NC

"Outstanding!...A CME course that had an excellent foundation in education mixed with fun."
John Alton, MD Middlebury Hts., Ohio

"Incredible group of instructors-highly energetic and well-versed. Awesome guide staff!"
Ryan Garret, MD Ashland, Or.

"Outstanding, cutting edge faculty Guide staff couldnt be more helpful and courteous."
Ray Ebarb, MD Sayville, NY

"Top notch facultycould not pick a better location. Best food I have ever had at a conference."
David Shervaden, PA Cunningham, KS

"World-class guide staff with vast experience.very accomplished and articulate faculty."
Rachel Hurlburt, DO Quincy, CA

"Love the informality, relaxed atmosphere, and camaraderie.! Outstanding faculty! Kind, encouraging guides. I felt safe. Meals-WOW! Location-WOW!"
Marianne Geiger, MD Rockford, Ill.

Wilderness Medicine

"Our favorite CME course. Excellent location and itinerary. Best ever guide staff!"
Julie Zink, MD Lacorsse, WI

"Great locationvery competent faculty.bravo to the guide staff!"
Ron Rehman, MD Andover, MN

"Awesome! Very engaging facultyValuable informationloved the survival skills and hands-on! Beautiful Rivers. Fun, great group of guides."
Brenda Tiernan, RN Walnut Creek, Ca

"The faculty was simply beyond reproach, the guides were a great bunch competent, good and patient teachers. I cant imagine a better CME course. "
Grover Shipman, MD Klamath Falls

"Great blend of fun with learning...stunningly beautiful setting!...Super, top-notch faculty who were experienced and excellent teachers! Very comprehensive coverage of wilderness medicine topics. Great activities with whitewater rafting and hiking! Super competent guides! Great, delicious food. "
Emily Reinys, MD Anesthesia - San Francisco, CA

"Of all CME courses I have attended for the past 19 years this one far surpassed all others! All the people were wonderful. The trip itinerary was excellent. The guides were wonderful and fun. Thank you so much for doing this course."
Bonnie Kilpela, PA-C Marquette, MI

"Loved it! Could not be improved. Awesome location!.....Top notch faculty, guides, and food! Very well-planned."
John Holm, MD ER / FP Ocean Shores, Wa

"Good balance between academics and action sports. The guides and medical faculty were wonderful! Perfect food, very healthy and hearty. Thanks for a beautiful, memorable trip!"
Chris Benson, MD OB-Gyn Rock Hill, S.C.

"Fantastic experience! Can't wait to come back! Guides and staff are the best. CME faculty very smart...great speakers...very welcoming. Great food and a lot of it."
Casey Vandenburgh, EMT-P Jacksonville, OR

"The faculty were fantastic! Not only were they great teachers, but they were very accessible. The accommodations were beautiful and very comfortable! The food was so good and healthy!"
Diane Fagan, RN Oakland, CA

"Spending the week with an interesting and diverse group of people in a spectacular setting was great! Faculty was well informed, experienced and enthusiastic...Guides were great...fun and professional."
Chris Aleman, MD Dermatology - Richmond, VA

Wilderness Medicine

"Fabulous CME faculty! Nice balance of theory, practical, demo, and hands on. Outstanding, wholesome meals."
Thomas Holm Orange City, Indiana

"Awesome, so much fun and informative! Excellent meals, guides , and faculty. CME content was perfect. I liked everything about the experience."
Matthew Maynard, DO Ob/Gyn Sonora, CA

"Every day is amazing!... The guides were perfect! The meals were absolutely amazing- exceeded all expectations! The faculty and CME content were A+!"
Noor Beckwith - Medical student - Harvard University

"CME faculty had awesome knowledge. Best meals ever! Great guides."
Brandon Moore, PA-C - Columbus, GA

"Top notch faculty...incredibly knowledgable...great lectures! Friendly guides and staff could not be better. "
Kevin Reinhard, MD - ER - Springfield, Mo

".... an awesome week! Great lectures, whitewater rafting, and hikes along the river. Nice structured days. The best food I've ever had while camping! ...great , friendly guides..such a good experience to be surrounded by fantastic doctors and to get a taste of wilderness medicine . I Couldn't be more appreciative!"
Kristina Benson, Rock Hill, SC

"Great speakers....friendly experienced guides....excellent CME content...fantastic meals....well organized"
Michael Van Ryssen, MD Jersey, United Kingdom

"This is a Great course I don't know of any other course that combines so much quality wilderness medicine education with so much fun!..."I'd like to come back every year to be on the faculty"
Howard Donner, MD ; author of A Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine. Widely recognized as one of the worlds foremost Wilderness Medicine authorities and teachers.

To register for the Wilderness and Travel Medicine Skills Course please
call Bio Bio Expeditions at 1-800-246-7238

Weather and river flow conditions can necessitate even last minute changes in the trip itinerary and / or the segments of rivers that we raft.


  • Altitude Illness
  • Hypothermia
  • Frostbite and Other Cold Injuries
  • Environmental Heat Illness
  • Snake Envenomation
  • Traveler's Diarrhea, Giardia & Other Waterborne Wilderness Infections
  • Surviving the Unexpected Night Out
  • Lightning Injuries
  • Improvised Medical and Trauma Care
  • Management of Fractures and Dislocations
  • Preparing for Foreign Travel
  • Backcountry Medical Kits
  • Wilderness Wound Management
  • Wild Animal Attacks
  • Patient Assessment in Wilderness Settings
  • Wilderness Dermatology
  • Marine Hazards & Envenomations


"This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of the Center for Emergency Medical Education and Wilderness and Travel Medicine. The Center for Emergency Medical Education is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians."

The Center for Emergency Medical Education designates this live activity for a maximum of
16.50 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.

Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Wilderness and Travel Medicine reserves the right to change or substitute the faculty for any CME course without advance or prior notice to participants.
This trip is planned, outfitted and conducted by Adventure Whitewater, or subcontractors arranged by Adventure Whitewater. Please note that Wilderness and Travel Medicine, LLC is responsible for the CME Educational content only.
Wilderness Medicine
Exhilarating rapids in a breathtakingly beautiful setting" describes the California Salmon River.
Photo courtesy of Pete Wallstrom