This expedition challenges new and experienced backpackers alike, as the crew travels above 9,000 feet and completes high mileage days. With the help of skilled instructors, master the art of navigation and learn the skills you’ll need for independent wilderness travel. Develop a self-sufficient team in which each crew member supports one another – and helps each other face daily challenges. The length of this course, together with its single focus on backpacking, allows for longer travel distances and additional opportunities to implement feedback from instructors and crew. Return home with picturesque memories, a sense of accomplishment and the realization that indeed, there is more in you than you know.
This course is closed for the season. 2017 courses coming soon.
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.
This multi-day backpacking expedition takes students into the heart of the Sierra Nevada wilderness. Here students learn Leave No Trace camping and travel skills, outdoor cooking techniques, map and compass use, route finding and how to set up shelters in the backcountry. Students spend time hiking on and off the trail, both in forested areas and in the alpine environment above tree line, often camping next to deep blue alpine lakes that offer the opportunity to swim and rinse off after a day of hiking.
In addition to technical skills, Instructors teach and facilitate the interpersonal skills needed for students to function effectively as a team, accomplish goals and tackle new challenges every day. Challenges on course are designed to impel students toward taking risks, drawing upon inner resources and developing trust in one another. One such challenge might include a peak attempt. With lighter packs, participants start before the sun rises to summit a mountain and be rewarded with 360 degree views and an incredible sense of accomplishment.
As the course progresses and their skills and experience increase, Instructors turn more responsibility over to the crew. Students eventually take over decision making on navigation, route finding, sharing of duties, campsite set up and daily routines.
On every Outward Bound course reflection is an integral part of the learning process. During the Solo phase of course, students will find reprieve from the rigors of daily travel and spend a structured period of rest and reflection near the group’s base camp. The primary focus of this time is to reflect on personal and group goals. Depending on the student age and the length of the expedition, Solo can range in length from a few hours to three days. Students are provided with simple food, shelter and occasional check-ins from Instructors during this unique experience.
The Sierra Nevada Range hosts the largest continuous expanse of wilderness and some of the highest peaks in the United States. It extends over 400 miles from north to south, is 70 miles wide and is home to three national parks, twenty wilderness areas and two national monuments.
The Sierra Nevada offers fairly stable and beautiful weather. Spring can bring snow and cold temperatures. As summer advances, temperatures tend to become more moderate. Summer temperatures are in the 70s to 80s during the day and 30s to 50s in the evening. Our course area has some of the most famous, though often underutilized, alpine climbing and backpacking routes for participants to experience.
As parents, we were nervous for our son based on his anxiety and the physical challenge in front of him. Despite this, he undertook a journey, which initially seemed like a small segment of his life, but turned into an evolutionary experience which, quite literally, he takes with him every day. He was instilled a willingness not to yield to physical and mental obstacles encountered, and he grew with a compassion and respect for the world and people around him. Nothing taken for granted, ever. The accomplishment and physicality didn't quite seem possible at first, but the incredible leaders and group fostered a support and encouragement he's now able to implement in his own everyday college life and engage others just like him. How is all of this possible in three weeks? He's made good decisions in his life, but when asked, he'll tell you Outward Bound was his best.
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.