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Breaking the Halo

Following the death of her best friend and "mountain husband" in 2018, Katjarina Hurt began questioning what contributed to the incident on what appeared to be an easy rock climb. By retracing their steps in and out of the classroom and exploring the events leading up to the fatality on Dewey Peak, Katjarina found a new understanding around the prevalence of the halo effect and a need to better empower students in outdoor education. By exploring the deadly halos that can occur in all areas of outdoor education, Breaking the Halo offers a simple, universal approach to confronting complacency, assumptions, and communication breakdowns between students and instructors. Inspired by previous works on heuristic traps by Edward Thorndike and Ian McCammon, Katjarina originally developed Breaking the Halo as a risk management tool for her local climbing community. It has since become a highly requested and influential program for outdoor educators everywhere.


Our mission is to empower students in outdoor education.


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