Thursday, January 27, 2022

PSC, North Country students complete winter expedition in High Peaks

winter expedition

Students at Paul Smith’s College recently completed an eight-day winter expedition in the Adirondack High Peaks led by instructors in North Country Community College’s Wilderness Recreation Leadership program.

The two colleges partnered to offer these students an experience in North Country’s Winter Practicum course, which includes instruction in snowshoeing, skiing, mountaineering and backcountry camping.

The expedition took place amid perfect winter conditions in the High Peaks in early-to-mid-January. During their travels in the wilderness, the students learned about backcountry skiing on the Adirondack Mountain Club’s ski slope at Heart Lake, and experienced winter mountaineering with ice axes and crampons in an ascent of nearby Mt. Jo.

backcountry winter expedition

This program is just one of many ways North Country and Paul Smith’s have partnered in recent years to expand opportunities for their students. Through a unique 2+2 program, North Country Community College graduates who enroll full-time at Paul Smith’s can pay state-level tuition rates, providing an affordable option to earn both an associate’s and bachelor’s degree while remaining in the Adirondacks. There are more than 20 pathways to choose from through the 2+2 program.

For more information, contact North Country’s admissions team at 888-TRY-NCCC or email, or contact the Paul Smith’s admissions office at 1-800-421-2605 or


Photo captions:

Summit shot – Paul Smith’s College students learn winter mountaineering skills using crampons and ice axes from instructors in North Country Community College’s Wilderness Recreation Leadership program. Left to right: Jimmy Cunningham (NCCC Wilderness Leadership Program director), Sam Metcalf (PSC/NCCC student), Will Roth (instructor), Nate Fischer (PSC/NCCC student), Jeremy Patnode (NCCC student), Abby Johnson (PSC/NCCC student).

Ski Photo – Learning to make turns on backcountry skis at the Adirondack Mountain Club’s ski slope at Heart Lake. Left to right: Nate, Abby, Jeremy, Sam 

Expedition Photo – Students embark on an eight-day expedition in near-perfect winter conditions in the High Peaks Wilderness. 

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4 Responses

  1. Boreas says:

    Great program!! Loved winter camping and backcountry skiing in my previous life!

  2. Bill Ott says:

    Check out Paul Smith’s College website ( My brother went there and it set him up for a good life.

  3. Charlie Stehlin says:

    This school puts out some very bright scholars as I’ve met a few of them over my years; plus I have visited John Dillon Park less than a handful of times with my precious little girl when she was still my little girl (If I live to be 100 she’ll still be ‘my little girl’) which is affiliated with Paul Smiths, and them students who work there were very knowledgeable, sincere, courteous……….. Nothing but good things to say, and the key word being “exceptional”, about Paul Smiths whenever that name comes up. He was a very interesting man himself!

  4. Ryan says:

    This is a very cool program! Keep warm!