This 8, 15 or 22 day backpacking course takes place in the Rocky Mountains and focuses on the art of traveling light, exploring the natural world and becoming a high functioning team. The bulk of the course takes place at 9,000 feet or higher, so plan to arrive on course physically fit and ready to embrace challenge. The emphasis of this course is to teach smart and efficient backpacking and alpine travel techniques. During the course, you can expect to travel on and off trail and over wooded and alpine terrain, which can be rough, steep and exposed to heights. Learn Leave No Trace camping and travel skills, outdoor cooking techniques, basic first-aid, map and compass use, route finding and how to use an ice axe if necessary. Backpack up through the alpine environment and attempt a peak ascent. As the course progresses and your skills and experience increase, your instructors will turn more and more responsibility over to you and your crew.
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.
The course begins with lessons in basic travel and camping techniques. Along the way, students learn Leave No Trace techniques; map and compass navigation; camp craft; and get a feel for the human and natural history of the area. Students backpack in the valleys and long ridges, camp in basins with views like the top of the world, and stop along the way to explore microclimates and alpine ecosystems. Most importantly, students spend time in an incredible area of the mountains, sleep under the stars, feel the sunshine on their face, and maybe watch a few sunsets over this magical landscape.
The course ends with the Final Expedition, during which the crew heads back into the field to put all their newly acquired skills into practice. Depending on the team’s ability levels, instructors step back during this section and allow the crew to take over decision-making responsibilities for navigation, time schedules, communication and general leadership.
The Rocky Mountains, one of the most famous mountain ranges in the world, stretch 3,000 miles from Alaska to New Mexico. These legendary peaks have had a profound influence on the development of the continental United States. These courses may take place in The Gore, The Holy Cross, The Sawatch, The Elks, The Sangre de Cristos, the Rawah, or the San Juans. Each of these Colorado ranges present unique challenges, but they are all beautiful, wild and rugged.
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.