Steamboat Springs The National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander, Wyo., reports that Steamboat Springs High School graduate Jack Verploeg, 20, has completed an 80-day wilderness expedition in the Patagonia region of South America, qualifying him to lead backcountry expeditions.
NOLS spokesman Nate Robbins wrote in a news release that Verploeg was among a group of 16 students and four instructors who completed a 246-mile sea kayaking trip and then covered 80 miles on foot over the course of 30 days spent bushwhacking through Alpine terrain and glaciers.
“Jack graduated from his NOLS course prepared to lead an expedition of his own,” Robbins wrote. “The course equipped students with the outdoor skills to safely and responsibly travel in the backcountry, coupled with leadership skills to do so with others.”
During the kayaking phase of the trip, Robbins wrote, the expedition encountered mink, albatross, blue whales, otters and sea lions while traveling in eight single kayaks and six double kayaks.
The hiking portion of the expedition traversed an old trail that connects Cochrane, Villa O’Higgins, a remote area on the border of Chile and Argentina, and the mythical Paso La Picota.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com