Journey deep into the mountains of Western North Carolina on this four to 14-day backpacking and rock climbing expedition. These mountains are some of the oldest in the world and home to hundreds of waterfalls, over a million acres of national forest, park and public land, unique rock formations and the highest peaks in the Eastern United States. Spend most of the course backpacking over varied terrain, with ample breaks to enjoy the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the company of your crew. Spend several days rock climbing – a portion of the course that helps to break up the on-foot expedition days. As you work together with your crew to meet daily goals, learn new skills in backcountry travel and climbing and develop confidence, teamwork and leadership abilities for the future.
No two Outward Bound expeditions are ever quite the same. Every crew is unique; every route is distinct; and every adventure is dynamic. But one thing remains the same. On each course, students rise to meet exhilarating natural challenges in some of the country’s wildest places – and find strength and determination along the way.
- Build core skills: Learn and practice wilderness, teamwork and leadership skills. Form a crew that supports and encourages one another, and in the thick of challenges, discover there is more in you than you know.
- Practice Outward Bound values: Learn to incorporate Outward Bound values into everyday life by pushing your own limits and seeking challenge as an opportunity for personal growth.
- Demonstrate mastery: As the course nears the end, take on more leadership and decision-making responsibilities. Work together to apply new skills and achieve team goals during this final phase of the expedition.
- What you’ll learn: Return home a stronger, more resilient individual. Discover increased self-confidence, improved leadership, and a desire to make a difference.
During this course, students backpack through the Pisgah National Forest of Western North Carolina. Students and their crewmates learn safety precautions for backcountry foot travel, how to find campsites, how to navigate varied terrain, how to use a map and compass, as well as how to do these activities responsibly. Equally important is time spent learning conflict resolution, communication styles, leadership and team building. After practicing all these skills, the instructors step back and let the crew work together to collectively navigate through the wilderness.
After backpacking for a few days, students spend a few days either climbing up a mountain or rappelling down one. Depending on weather and group dynamics, the crew may even have the opportunity to experience a high ropes obstacle course. These activities push students to step outside of their comfort zones to communicate and trust one another. With a focus on safety, this course activity starts with the basics, such as working with ropes and learning to tie knots.
Blue Ridge Mountains, NC
The Southern Appalachians, including the Blue Ridge Mountains, are some of the oldest mountains in the world. While the mountains themselves formed over 250 million years ago, some of the rocks that underlie the region are over a billion years old.
The long geologic and evolutionary history of the Southern Appalachians has created one of the most biologically diverse regions in the temperate world. It is home to beautiful rushing rivers, hundreds of waterfalls and some of the highest peaks in the Eastern United States—including Mt. Mitchell (elevation 6,684 feet), the highest point east of the Mississippi River. Outward Bound students can expect to share the wilderness with over 700 different kinds of trees, more than 50 types of mammals, 150 different types of birds and over 50 species of amphibians.
This course area is situated within a million acres of national forests, federally-protected wilderness areas and other public lands. Its diverse landscapes have been featured in many motion pictures, including The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans.
Temperatures in this area range from 50 - 85 degrees in the summer, 30 - 65 degrees in the spring and fall, and 10 - 50 degrees in the winter.
If you are ready to enroll on a course click the enroll button next to the course you wish to select or you can enroll over the phone by speaking with one of our Admissions Advisors (toll-free) at 866-467-7651.
To secure your spot on a course you must submit an enrollment form and $500 deposit that is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 non-refundable enrollment processing fee. Click here to learn more about the complete enrollment process.