September 2013

David Schnitzer had a goal: to produce great tasting coffee that was organic and Fair Trade Certified. While visiting  the Appalachian Trail with family as a kid, David fell in love and was taught lifelong lessons while exploring the great outdoors. Combining these two passions is where it started to get really good.
Coffee Man
Residing with his wife and three young boys in Western North Carolina, David started Appalachian Coffee Company, where the trademark is "Grounds for doing good." And with every purchase, you also help do something good. Part of the companies profits go to supporting the Appalachian Trail and raising scholarships for summer campers. To find out more about Appalachian Coffee Company, visit their website here.

In addition to being a great local entrepreneur, David also happens to be a graduate of Landmark Learning's Wilderness First Responder course. David, from all your friends at Landmark, we would like to say congratulations on a dream realized and best of luck!


Chris Davis and Ben Smith, fourth year medical students from MUSC and UNC-Chapel Hill respectively, visited Landmark Learning as part of the Carolina Wilderness EMS Externship earlier this month. The externship is a month long rotation where two students or residents work with Burke County EMS Special Operations paramedics in the field. They respond to various EMS calls and to search and rescue calls in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, Lake James, and South Mountains State Park. Burke County runs one of the busiest search and rescue operations east of the Mississippi. The motto “esse quam videri,” meaning “to be rather than to seem,” summarizes the nature of the externship as they practice medicine in the field rather than discussing it in the classroom.

Here’s what they had to say about their visit to Landmark:

“As a rescuer who has performed several swiftwater rescue calls, I was impressed with the quality of education Landmark was providing in swiftwater rescue. The more people who have a basic understanding of operating in these sort of environments, the better. We were also able to sit in on a WFR refresher course, and it was quite refreshing to see the amount of hands-on scenarios being run, given most WFRs rarely provide medical care. This sort of practical training will hopefully allow the knowledge to be retained for when it matters.” – Ben Smith, CWEMSE MD-54

"Landmark Learning is where I got my start in emergency medicine, back in 2003 when I took a WFR with Justin. It was fantastic to see how much has changed and how much Landmark has grown since I was there last. One thing that definitely hasn't changed though is the quality of the instructors and enthusiasm of the students!" -- Chris Davis, CWEMSE MD-53

For more information about the externship:


Around twenty people came today to help rebuild Eternity, many of them working from 1 PM until Duke turned on the East Fork Tuck's water at 4 PM, then they played!



Jason Serres was the first to try out the new hole, a single-bladed paddler in a C1. He was followed by Mike Patterson in his kayak, then many more, including WNC's own freestyle star, Rowan Stuart. According to them, the Eternity is as good as it ever was and probably even better. The hole is around 5' wider than it was in the past, and it's easy to drop into it.

There are a few things that still need to be done to the wall that enhances the hole. So, please, come tomorrow at 1 PM if you can to help us finish the job.


In closing, we moved a lot of rock today. Thanks to all of you who pried and pulled and lifted and rolled. I figured that the single largest rock we moved, 20', weighed 1000 lbs! Meanwhile, just upstream Barry Kennon with a smaller crew was refurbishing the Slab! I included some pictures of the Eternity action.


Burt Kornegay

August 3-11 was a harsh 9 days as far as weather goes in Branson, MO. Despite not being a famous outdoor town, the students at the Eden Guides WFR had to deal with some classically wilderness challenges. In addition to August temperatures in the 100's and humidity nearing 150%, Mother Nature threw some other weather related challenges our way. The 19 students and Instructors Jason Carter and Kevin Williams had to deal with inches of rain fall with thunderstorms and tornado warnings on nearly a daily basis. That led to a truly challenging WFR course for the students, but as usual they took to the challenge and all headed home certified and prepared to help all sorts of weather.