Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada will give you the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful 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 mountaineering 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!
Mountaineering is distinct from backpacking in that your peak attempts require technical assistance and the travel may be more challenging. The rewards of your hard work are beautiful views and the knowledge that you’ve pushed yourself to your limits.
Your multi-day mountaineering 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. Mountaineering courses cover a wealth of technical skills including: navigation, basic knots and hitches, and technical climbing on snow and rock.
In addition to technical skills, your Outward Bound instructors will teach and facilitate the interpersonal skills that will allow the group to function effectively as a team to accomplish your goals. Outward Bound courses are team environments where you and your group work closely together in order to meet new challenges every day.
Mountaineering courses include the opportunity for a peak attempt. Peak attempts are daylong enterprises often entailing pre-dawn starts. Peak attempts on this course typically require the use of technical gear such as ropes.
As you near the last days of course, you and your teammates will be able to maximize your independence and decision making as your instructors empower you to use your newly acquired confidence and skills to make the decisions that will see you through the final days of your adventure.
Each Outward Bound course in California includes a 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.
Our courses also include a service component. Service projects range widely depending on the course, but may include projects such as trail repair, removal of invasive species, or doing service at a community farm.
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.
High Sierra Mountaineering courses are best suited to participants who already have some backpacking or rock climbing experience and are ready for a serious challenge. If you do not have previous outdoor experience then Outward Bound strongly recommends that you be very physically active and highly motivated to attend as these courses are designed to be more challenging and move at a quicker pace than other High Sierra courses.
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 Mountaineering programs operate in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park 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!
To apply for this course click the apply button next to the course dates that work for you. The non-refundable application fee of $125 is due at the time of application . For full fee schedule and process, click here . Course tuitions listed do not include our application fee or transportation fee.