Alpine Backpacking for veterans

Alpine Backpacking in the spectacular Sierra Nevada will give you the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful and pristine wilderness in the United States. Conservationist John Muir referred to these mountains as the “Range of Light,” responding in part to how both moon and sunlight play on the granite peaks.

Today, the Sierra Nevada is considered one of the premier backpacking locations in the United States. The Sierra stands out from other famous mountain ranges due to high quality granite and stable, mostly sunny, summer weather!

Alpine backpacking courses carry less weight than mountaineering courses and focus on covering greater distances through more diverse landscapes.

Thanks to funding from generous donors, Veterans courses are offered for FREE to our participants.


The Sierra Nevada Range is the largest continuous mountain range in the contiguous U.S. It extends over 400 miles from north to south and is 70 miles wide. The Sierra Nevada offers fairly stable and beautiful weather. Spring can have snow and cold temperatures but as summer advances temperatures tend to become more moderate. Temperatures are in the 70s to 80s during the day and 30s to 50s in the evening.

Our Alpine Backpacking programs operate in the Sierra National Forest as well as the John Muir and Ansel Adams Wilderness Areas. Our course area hosts some of the most famous alpine climbing and backpacking routes in the United States!


Your multi-day backpacking expedition will take you into the heart of the Sierra Nevada. You will learn to read a map, use a compass, set up shelters and cook in the backcountry. Travel will include time on and off-trail both above and below tree line.  

Outward Bound courses are team environments where you and your group work closely together to travel, navigate and camp together every day. In addition to assisting you with technical skills, your instructors will facilitate the interpersonal skills that will allow the group to function effectively as a team to accomplish your goals.

Each course incorporates either a day of rock climbing or a peak attempt. These challenges are designed to impel you to take risks, draw upon you inner resources and develop trust in one another. Peak attempts are daylong enterprises often entailing pre-dawn starts. Peak attempts on this course do not typically require the use of technical gear like ropes.

As you near the last days of course, you and your teammates will be able to maximize your independence and make more decisions. Your instructors will support you in using your newly acquired confidence and skills to make the choices that will see you through the final days of your adventure.

Courses for veterans may include a short solo experience. Your instructors thoughtfully manage solo to make it a time where you can relax from the physical and mental rigors of course and spend some time reflecting upon the experience. Though you will be largely alone during this time, you will camp close to your instructors and they will check on you regularly.

Successful completion of your course demands mastery of skills, trust, fitness, confidence, tenacity, leadership, initiative and compassion. The promotion of these qualities and the discovery of what strength is in you is the purpose of Outward Bound.

To apply for this course click the enroll button next to the course dates that work for you. Or better yet call one of our expert Admission Advisers at 866-467-7651.