Crested Butte Outdoors - Wilderness Medicine & Backcountry Specialits
(970) 596-2999
Unrivaled Expertise

Susan Purvis  has molded the reputation of Crested Butte Outdoors with her bare hands.Student by student, class by class, CBO has expanded from courses taught in the U.S. to a worldwide classroom. Her work as a wilderness medicine expert in the hottest place on earth in Africa to the jungles of Latin America makes her courses well-rounded and entertaining.

Her client list is extensive, all proof of Susan's passion for excellence. Ask the hundreds of CBO's students about their transformative experience on a CBO course, and they'll tell you that they're ready for more. Clients include:

Here is what the students are saying about Crested Butte Outdoors(CBO) Courses:

Letter #1 -Antarctica Helicoptor Crash, former two time Wilderness First Responder (WFR) student.

Hi Sue, at the moment, I'm really tired, so I'll keep this one short. My rescue was pretty intense to say the least. I was the one that was most injured - but I had the most experience in this sort of stuff. As it turned out, I was sort of the "trauma team leader" for my own rescue!!! It was very scary at times, because I was self diagnosing my own injuries, and as it turned out, I was correct on almost all of it. I knew by the pain that I had broken several ribs, and after a while, when I would talk to the rescuers, the words would cackle as they came out. I knew that my lung had been punctured, and was filling up with fluid and air. My abdomen was also very hard and distended - I went from a fit guy, to a guy with a big ole' belly in almost no time!! Don't know if you know the extent of my injuries, but here's a brief overview - I broke almost all of my ribs on my right side. I broke my sternum. I broke 3 ribs on my left side. I had a burst fracture of my L1, and fractures of my T5 and T7. It took 7 hours of surgery and 8 screws to put back together. I ended up puncturing BOTH lungs, which led to double pneumonia a week later. They took a bone graph from my hip to help the vertebra on my L1. I had a few litter scrapes, but that's the majority of it. From the time of the crash, to the time I made it to the hospital in New Zealand was almost 16 hours. Suffice it to say, I surprised a few doctors just by surviving!! Steve O!

Letter #2  United States Secret Service Agent,

Along with my six colleagues, I just got back from the Wilderness medicine rescue course (WEMT upgrade). I just wanted to boast about this incredible course of instruction and the fantastic individuals who provided it. After 25 years of public service in the USSS, I have never been in a more comprehensive or professional class than the one provided by Mr. Jeff Isaac and Ms. Sue Purvis.

The seriousness and importance of this class to our organization is critical, the tone was set for an interesting week the very first night.

Because of the work we do, we sought out this type of class. I was elated and just want everyone to realize what assents you have in both Jeff and Sue.

The location could not have been better for this type of instruction. The outdoors setting and altitude added to the learning experience. I can not express our gratitude strongly enough for the real worked experience.

Letter #3 Freak OUT!

Hi Sue, First of all thanks for a great time last week at the WFR course. I had a blast and learned more than I could ever have imagined! And I really did get it all, I'm just terrible at exams, always have been - they freak me out for some reason. Kirra

Letter #4 Teenagers and Wilderness Medicine.

 Dear Sue, It was a true pleasure to see our teens and adults learn wilderness first aid from a novel, holistic perspective, and use the stories and skills they learned from you to prevent accidents and excel at the mock scenarios we presented to them during the rest of the backpacking trip. For this, Tim and I have wanted to extend our gratitude to you for a long time. We have also appreciated that we have had a continued professional relationship with you over the years, one in which you have been generous with your fees and Time to help the Pemi West program, and we hope this relationship continues, Sincerely, Christina and Tim

Letter #5 Skeptic

Sue, Thank you! That was a great class and though I was slightly skeptical of your comment early on that we'd all be best friends by the end of the class, I am so glad I do have that many more close friends now! Thank you very much, I enjoyed the class and instruction a lot and will certainly recommend you and CB Outdoors! Hi to Tasha! Debbie

Letter #6 Sue thanks again for putting together one of the finest classes I've ever taken. I just returned from a backpacking trip with a friend of mine, and I was all ready to fix him up when he got hurt. Give Tasha a nice neck rub from me, and take care. -Jay

Letter #7 Hi Sue, just wanted to say thanks again for a great WFR course, you and Darren did a great job. Pat  ps, I'll let you know if I have to deal with any hypothermia, frostbite or altitude sickness on the Greenland ice cap.

Letter #8 Hang Gliding Accident

 Hi guys! I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your teaching and guidance. We had a tragedy in Telluride on the first day of the competition; a pilot crashed and died. Unfortunately, I was not able to reach him quickly and by the time anyone could land near him, it had been 10-15 minutes after the crash and there was no pulse or respiration. He was dead on impact, but CPR was started regardless. Though I was not able to get to him, I felt very strong about my skills and know that I could have made good decisions regarding his treatment and eventual evacuation. I was able to assist launch crew in dealing with ASR but there was little else to be done. Thank you again for giving me the confidence I was looking for. I hope you're both well and look forward to working with you again in the future. Teresa

Letter #9 Dear Sue and Jeff, Thanks for your valuable info and helping me to see patient care in a new context as well as making me painfully aware of my lack of leadership skills. At least I know what I've got to work on to get to that next level of pt care. My next task is to make the or local Fire Department aware and willing to adopt Wilderness Protocols.

Letter #10 Hey Sue & Jeff, It looks like you're about to turn out a fresh crop of WFRs. Just wanted to say thanks again to you folks for the excellent course last September! I've put my new skills to good use a few times since then and I'm continuing to learn more. I looked into joining the El Paso County SAR team but quickly found that the time commitment required is way beyond what I can manage at this time in my life. Singles, DINKs and retirees are best suited for that "job". Someone with two little ones and a demanding job like myself just doesn't have the cycles. I'll look into it again in about 12 years when the kids are off doing other things. See ya in 2 years for recertification. I'm looking forward to it! Gary Colorado Springs

Letter #11 Sue and Jeff, Thanks again for the great WEMT course. Ben and I have gotten the wilderness protocols signed off for our ambulance service including the Nefedipine protocol. Our medical director wants to give us one more protocol for HACE but at the moment I am blanking on the name of the medication. Thanks again, Josh

 Letter #10 Sailing around the world 

 Hi Sue,  I would like to thank you so much for all your help. We are really looking forward to your program, not only for its excellence, but also for its wonderful staff. We appreciate your kind and thoughtful professionalism. Doug

Letter #12 Law, Enginnering and Business... WFR TOPS IT

Sue-It was a great class. I not only enjoyed it, but I think you improved my skills. Please tell Jeff that I slept through engineering, law and business schools, and was notorious. The fact that he kept me awake, 98% of the time, is a compliment none of my teachers ever received. Hopefully, we will bump into each other over the winter break. Lloyd

Letter #13 Trans-Atlantic flight

Sue, About two hours into our flight, a call was made over the intercom asking if there was anyone on the airplane who had medical experience. I went to the front of the airplane, where I informed the flight attendant that I was an EMT, and could assist if they needed help. The attendant informed me they had a gentleman experiencing an allergic reaction and needed help, then took me to the patient. A male in his mid 20's was laying on the floor and having trouble breathing. I immediately began taking his vital signs, and requested oxygen from the flight crew. I administered a high flow of O2. All the vital signs read that the patient was having an allergic reaction, and was slipping into anaphylactic shock. In the mean time, the flight attendant had contacted medical control over the airplane's phone system, and brought the first aid kit out to the patient. The first aid kit included an epi-pen, which I relayed to medical control. After telling medical control the patient's vital signs, the doctor directed me to give the patient a shot of epinephrine.

About fifteen minutes after administering the epi-pen, the patient began to stabilize. The aircraft made an emergency landing in Nova Scotia, at which time we did a transfer of care to the Halifax Airport EMS.

After the transfer of care, the head flight attendant upgraded me to the First Class Cabin, where we enjoyed free drinks, great food, and fully reclining chairs the rest of the way to Germany. Fish- US Marine Corp

Letter #14 Because I was a WFR

Jeff & Sue,  I did want to tell you that your training came in very handy on my NOLS Denali course this summer (12 students and 4 instructors). We climbed into a storm from our 15,000 camp and were at our 17,500 camp on July 3 when we got hit by an air blast from a massive avalanche above us in Denali Pass. Over the next two days, we lost 3 out of our 4 tents, 3 of 5 ropes, much gear, food, and fuel. (You CAN fit 16 people in a 4-person tent!). , I was put in charge of 3 hypothermic people and one AMS person. The temp was -20 with wind from 45-65 and gusts to 120 as we found out later. We had an interesting 6 days down climbing, but the NPS later got 300 pounds of gear and supplies to us at the 15,000 camp. We had a sat-phone. I will see you for a recertification! Mike

Letter 15 Heya SuePee. Just came down from my second consecutive climb a few days back. They were great. Couple interesting medical events. Had to reduce a dislocated shoulder -- outasight! It worked! Also had a woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown due to shortness of breath at altitude. She made a person with ASR look like they were on downers. Ed


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