A diverse and exciting program designed to keep everyone interested and busy throughout their stay, balancing plenty of action, learning, social and free time.
WEEK ONE: Orientation/Exploration, Sogndal
Velkommen til Norge!
On arrival in picturesque Sogndal, you’ll be met by your instructor. After a comprehensive program briefing you’ll immerse yourself in the epic nature surrounding your new home base. Your days will be spent digging into the country’s landscape, climbing and hiking locations and getting to know your fellow participants. Preparation is key and throughout this first week we will make sure we are ready for the epic experience ahead.
You’ll discuss the learning outcomes for the program, spend time participating in team bonding exercises, play various games and have time to explore your new back yard! It’s a really great few days in which you’ll form new friendships with your Pure Ex crew, many of which will be lifelong!
WEEK TWO: Hiking Module 1, Sognefjorden
We will start off with discovering the wider surroundings of Sogndal. This week the focus is on getting our systems dialed and getting good at navigation. We will get a great view over the city, we will visit Austerdalsbreen and explore the amazing UNESCO World heritage -Nærøyfjord .
Hike Module 1 will introduce you to day-hikes, overnight hikes, navigation, weather and map reading then introduce you to essential training in group management, risk analysis, and leadership.
WEEK THREE: Rock Climbing Module 1 and Wilderness First Aid
Time to hit the rocks!
You’ll spend the week learning and absorbing the different techniques involved in rock climbing, including vital safety precautions, harnessing, belaying, rappelling, and, of course, climbing.
Our Instructors are all highly qualified and experienced rock climbers, so all climbing is undertaken with qualified supervision to ensure the safest possible learning environment. This means you can concentrate on learning, taking in the amazing Norwegian environment, relaxing and having a great time!
For the duration of your medical training week and have plenty of opportunity to take advantage of the fantastically diverse surroundings. Wilderness first aid is a key component of any adventure guides skill set and by the end of this week you will be well versed in these practices.
WEEK FOUR: Hiking Module 2, Jotunheimen
You will start off your week by climbing Galdhoppigen (2469m) - the highest mountain in Scandinavia.Then you will embark on a 3-day hike in the incredible Jotunheimen national park - known as “Home of the Giants” - you will be met with mountain slopes rising steeply from emerald lakes and also glaciers for good measure.
We will work on location awareness using a map and land features as well as starting to get in the mindset of hiking with a group. This includes efficient group hiking rhythm and pace as well as managing rest breaks.
WEEK FIVE: Rock Climbing Module 2, Sageflaten/Beachen
On the second rock climbing module we will be testing your endurance and your courage every day, discovering what you are truly capable of achieving with your mind and body. The scenery will simply take your breath away and with some truly unique features and waterfalls there will always be something to explore.
Our instructors will make sure that you can start to instruct small groups and demonstrate safety management skills in this module.
WEEK SIX: Hiking Module 3, Breheimen
The landscape of the Breheimen national park has been formed by glaciers, landslides and other geological processes that have taken place over hundreds of thousands of years. Today, everything from lush valley grazing areas to rugged high mountains and glaciers are found in Breheimen, which is one of the most diverse national parks in Norway. On a hike in Breheimen, you will experience the peacefulness of nature in the valleys and rugged mountain landscape. In the summer, you may come across grazing livestock near the many upland farmsteads.
WEEK SEVEN: Rock Module 3, Kvam/Mannen
For our third climbing module we will be back at the Kvam climbing field which has become Norway’s largest climbing field with over 400 routes. It is where we will find everything we need to make sure everyone gets the challenge they are after. The group will be spoiled for choice here!!!
WEEK EIGHT: Glacier Course, Jostedalen/Jotunheimen
The coolest week of the program (literally)! You will spend 5 days on some of the most amazing glaciers in Norway. You will get a thorough introduction to traveling on blue ice and snow covered glaciers. You will be rappelling into Crevasses and learning how to do efficient crevasse rescue.
WEEK NINE AND TEN: Rock Climbing and Hiking Modules 4, Hardandervidda/Kvam
This week you will set out on the longest hike yet! You will cross the Hardangervidda - europe’s biggest mountain plateau. You will get to experience both the west side, which is dominated by rocky terrain and expanses of bare rock, and the east side, which is much flatter and more heavily vegetated. Being out in the wilderness for 6 days will not only put your skills to the test but also yourself and will show what you might need to work on and what you excel at! Our last night of the hike we will camp at Trolltunga, which is no doubt one of the most awe-inspiring cliffs in Norway, situated about 1,100 meters above sea level and hovering some 700 metres above Lake Ringedalsvatnet.
For your final rock climbing modules, you will work with your instructor to identify the best location for the group. The options are endless and so the question will be whether you want to climb at your favourite previous location or try a new challenge!! At the end of this modile you will be ready for assessment and be able to work independently without supervision leading small climbing groups.
WEEK ELEVEN AND TWELVE: Assessment, Peer Leadership and Program Wrap
Throughout your program we will facilitate time to jump into guiding! You’ll have the opportunity to lead one another and practice teaching your new found rock and bush skills! Each individual will have a minimum of 5 days as a lead or associate guide in bush walking and rock climbing.
At the end of each module you’ll need to buckle down and consolidate your learning in preparation for your assessments. We’ve had a fantastic pass rate so far of 98%, so as long as you do the hours and are fit and healthy and raring to go, you’ll be sweet! As well as completing your 2 x disciplines to qualification standard, you’ll also complete an International Wilderness First Aid Certificate to add to your repertoire.
After assessments are over, there is a good chunk of time to rest, reflect on your adventure and celebrate at a fun graduation dinner! You’ll also have time to start planning your next epic international mission with your new best mates!
We absolutely love seeing where our Pure Ex grads end up. Some alumni end up in guiding roles whilst others continue to travel, return to their study or their careers. In the past we’ve also employed our graduates, placing them in various roles at Pure Exploration and with our sister company, Pacific Discovery! Upon completion of program Pure Ex graduates may also find that they have established new priorities and new values. The journey of self discovery truly is ongoing!
This is a sample guide to what you can expect to do on the program. Please note that treks, locations and the order in which the activities occur may be subject to change, due to seasonality, operational requirements or health & safety.
We have a number of exciting programs in a range of countries that you may be keen to experience. These include: