Ideal for highly motivated individuals, this course develops skills, test limits and rewards tenacity with vast panoramic views from remote peaks. Learn to navigate in the backcountry; perfect the art of backcountry cooking and shelter creation; practice Leave No Trace ethics and develop leadership skills. As the course progresses and your group’s skill and experience increase, instructors turn more responsibility over to the students. During this final phase, your crew determines each day’s challenges and works together to complete the course – an opportunity to make the expedition your own, unique experience.
This course is closed for the season. 2018 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 course begins with 1-2 days of rock climbing. Participants will learn the basics of climbing technique, belaying and knots, while building trust with team members and confidence in themselves. This will provide participants the opportunity to learn movement on rock and comfort in exposed terrain, as well as rope systems that will be used on technical mountain travel later in the course.
Mountaineering is distinct from backpacking in that the peak attempts climb steep, exposed routes and require the technical protection of ropes. The multi-day mountaineering expedition will take participants into the heart of the Sierra Nevada and cover skills like navigation, knots and hitches and travel on rock and snow, depending on seasonal weather patterns.
In addition to technical skills, instructors will teach and facilitate the interpersonal skills needed for participants to function effectively as a team, accomplish goals, and tackle new challenges every day. Challenges on course are designed to impel participants toward taking calculated risks, drawing upon inner resources and developing trust in one another. One example is a peak attempt. With lighter packs, participants will start before the sun rises to summit a mountain. The reward is a 360-degree view and an unforgettable sense of accomplishment.
Service to others and the environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Participants follow Leave No Trace ethics as service to the environment and do acts of service while leading and supporting fellow participants. Designated service projects are coordinated with land managers like the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service to collaborate on land restoration projects. Participants develop a value of service, seeing the impact of their actions firsthand and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home.
In order for profound learning to take place, there must be time to reflect on the experience. Within course, the solo is that opportunity; it is a chance to experience solitude in the wilderness without distraction while also taking a break from the physical rigors of course. Participants are separated from their group for a period of time that depends on course length and instructor assessment of group capability. Participants will have all necessary equipment, food and water. On this course, the maximum time for solo is 72 hours.
Outward Bound courses vary in length from 4 to 85 days. On shorter courses, participants will receive an intro to leadership skills, build strength of character and cultivate a desire to serve. With longer courses, the same outcomes and benefits are achieved with the ability to reach a more profound level of mastery as there are more opportunities develop technical skills, receive and implement feedback and further personal development.
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, 20 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.
"By the end of my mountaineering course, we actually operated on our own. In the beginning, the instructor guided us. I realized that there were no instructors cooking, we set up the tarps, we went to bed on time. Something in me became resourceful and independent and I felt really strong. The Outward Bound course is the greatest experience I ever had - where I was able to find myself and appreciate where I am and what I can offer the world."
- Alfred Lin
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.