with emphases on pre-course preparation, backcountry travel, and hands-on practice

This course is designed for the motivated student willing to commit to significant pre-course study and preparation. The goal is to utilize the inherently limited in-person time only for those learning opportunities that are not available through published educational resources.  The course also requires hiking and overnight camping gear, an accompanying fitness level for sustained hiking with a loaded overnight pack, and the ability to live in backcountry conditions for a two-day/one-night trip. 

All of this is toward fulfillment of the official NSP description for an MTR1 course:
"This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to travel and work in reasonable safety and comfort in the outdoor environment, and to be an asset to a search and/or rescue team, including possible overnight operations.  Field practice includes practice in navigation, travel, survival, basic search and/or rescue exercises, and an overnight campout."
For an understanding of what additional advanced training beyond the MTR1 level would entail, you can review this MTR2 course website (or an integrated Avalanche Level 2 course).  And here are some pictures of the 2011 and 2013 courses.