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. 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 course begins with one to two days of rock climbing. Students learn the basics of climbing technique, belaying and knots, while building trust with team members and confidence in themselves. This provides students the opportunity to learn movement on rock, 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 takes students into the heart of the Sierra Nevada and covers a wealth of skills like navigation, knots and hitches, and travel on rock and snow, depending on seasonal weather patterns.
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.
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.
"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.