Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

September 6, 2012

80 days in the wild

Andover resident completes South American expedition

The Andover Townsman

---- — Kyle Sauerbrunn, 21, of Andover, completed an 80-day expedition traveling in Patagonia, Chile, with the National Outdoor Leadership School.

“Sauerbrunn graduated from his NOLS course prepared to lead an expedition of his own. The course equipped students with the outdoor skills to safely and responsibly travel in the backcountry, coupled with the leadership skills to do so with others,” according to the nonprofit school.

During the first section of the semester in Patagonia, Sauerbrunn and his coursemates completed a 246-mile sea kayaking expedition. The expedition was self sufficient for 30 days traveling, camping and living together, according to NOLS.

The course was comprised of four instructors and 16 students and encountered minks, albatross, blue whales, otter, sea lions and other animals. The students and instructors traveled in eight single and six double kayaks. The group packed and paddled 21 days of the trip.

The next section of the semester was 30 days in the mountains, covering 80 miles of hiking and bushwhacking, through alpine terrain and bare glacier. The expedition was unable to do much glacier travel due to extreme conditions, but the students did spend many days in alpine terrain and two days on bare glacier travel, the school reported.

“Sauerbrunn and his coursemates were exposed to several leadership opportunities including being the leaders of the day throughout the expedition,” according to a release from NOLS. “The group had a chance to fish in a very remote area where they caught some big rainbow trout. By the end of the course students were leading their own small expeditions.”

NOLS was founded in 1965 by mountaineer Paul Petzoldt.