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Wilderness First Responder

WFR w/ Recertification Course | Downing Mountain Lodge

Course Description:

Our Wilderness First Responder course is designed to provide an individual with an in-depth knowledge of wilderness medicine and the basic skills to treat the most common injuries and illnesses encountered in the wilderness. This program is appropriate for professional guides and other non-medical people who want a deeper understanding of wilderness medicine.

This WFR Hybrid course requires approximately 50+ hours of online coursework. Following the completion of the online material, a student will be eligible to attend the 5 days of hands-on training. During the in-person course, students will learn the latest wilderness medicine skills for patient assessment, treatment, and evacuation. Our expert instructors employ a wide scope of teaching methods, balancing lectures with practical, hands-on skills and scenarios. Emphasis is placed not just on the materials learned, but the critical decision-making skills surrounding effective backcountry medical management.

Those students who are recertifying will have upwards of 20 hours of online coursework. After that, students will be eligible to attend the 5 days of hands-on training.

Upon course completion, students will earn the WFR certification, valid for two years (with a one year grace period), and a CPR/BLS plus AED certification, also valid for two years.

This course has been approved for Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) credits through the Wilderness Medical Society. Actual credits awarded depend on personal credit needs and history.

This course is combined with a WFR-Recertification course from May 24-25

For more information and a course guide, click here.


This course will be held at the scenic Downing Mountain Lodge, which is nestled away in the Bitterroot National Forest. The lodge is located on a ridge two thousand vertical feet above the Bitterroot Valley and still three thousand feet shy of the airy, snow-drenched summits. The lodge does have wifi and cell service.

The course price includes accommodations. Single rooms are not available and students will be sleeping on mattresses in large lofts and shared rooms. Participants should bring a sleeping bag and pillow. Breakfast and dinner are included. Lunch supplies will be provided and students will pack their lunch for a day out of the lodge.

Per the Downing Mountain Lodge, in the winter, from the end of the plowed road at switchback 11, it is a mile and a half and 700’ vertical ski continuing along the roadway to the lodge. In the winter season, please arrive no earlier at parking than 12:30 p.m. to allow safe departure for outbound groups and to reduce cross-traffic hazards on mountain roadways. Please be clear of the roadway on departure by 12:30 p.m.


Due to the location and activity of this course, please be aware of the following requirements and guidelines:

  • Participants will need to provide proof of medical evacuation insurance (ex: World Nomads, Global Rescue, Allianz, Seven Corners, ASC360, Img Global)
  • Participants are required to bring their personal medical kit used for ski touring and be prepared to use it for scenarios throughout the course
  • During registration, please share any food restrictions or allergies
  • Smoking/vaping is not tolerated in the Downing Mountain Lodge or on the property and is strongly discouraged on USFS land
  • Participants should have touring experience and a completed avalanche rescue certificate (Avy 1 Rec/Pro or AST 1 Course). One should be aware that this is not a guided backcountry ski trip, nor an avalanche rescue course.
  • Participants should bring their own Tupperware as lunch will be on-the-go. Sandwich makings will be provided.
  • Participants should consider bringing radios/walkie-talkies for communication
  • Gratuities for course faculty are not necessary, though a 10-20% gratuity is customary for lodge and culinary staff if you are satisfied with the service


The faculty for this course include:

Christian Dean DO, DiMM, FAWM, MS

Christian is a Missoula/Jackson based family medicine doctor who specializes in expedition and sports medicine outside of his day job as a hospitalist.  Christian also runs a business, MyDocInTow, LLC, which focuses on delivering on-site or on-call medical direction and advisory on expeditions.

Jacob Van Dijk MD, DiMM, DiDDM, FAWM

Jacob is a Netherlands-based emergency medicine doctor who has expansive experience with expedition, tactical-medicine, and dive/marine medicine trips and education.

Anna Wallace MD, DiMM

Anna is a UK and Tanzania-based emergency medicine doctor that knows no austere environment that doesn’t put a smile on her face. She has practiced and taught courses on several continents.

Meg Fischer DPT

Meg is an outstanding educator and physical therapist from Missoula. She is a para-athlete champion.


The materials below above are covered via online and in person didactic lecture, small group discussion, practical skills sessions, and live scenarios. Each topic will describe pathology, treatment, prevention, and provide evacuation guidelines necessary for high quality patient care. This curriculum is continually reviewed for best practice and the most up to date guidelines.

The WFR curriculum includes, but is not limited to topics such as:

• Patient Assessment Scene Size-up, Primary Survey, Secondary Survey
• Bleeding and Shock
• Wound and Burn Management
• Fractures & Dislocations
• Chest Injuries
• Abdominal Injuries
• Head and Spine Injuries
• Near Drowning
• Lightning
• Heat-Related Illness
• Hypothermia & Cold-Related Illness/Injury
• Genitourinary Emergencies
• Psychology in the Wilderness
• Neurological Emergencies
• Intro to Diving Medicine
• Altitude Illness
• Avalanche Risk and Avoidance
• Law and the Wilderness
• Poisoning Emergencies
• Evacuation Guidelines
• Improvised Litters & Carries
• Skin, Wilderness Dentistry, Illness & Injury of the Eyes

Course Policies:

Please review our terms and policies before registering for a course, course registration is an acknowledgment and agreement to all AdventureMed policies.

Refund Policy

March 12 @ 3:00 pm - March 17 @ 11:00 am


March 12 @ 3:00 pm
March 17 @ 11:00 am
$950.00 – $1,550.00
Course Category:


Christian Dean


Course Location Type


Downing Mountain Lodge
536 Blodgett Camp Rd
Hamilton, MT, MT 59840 United States
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