Learn why the mountain range is nicknamed the “American Alps” – and experience its lush and rugged terrain firsthand. Walk along grassy ridge tops, cross snow-fed streams, scramble to rocky summits and use an ice axe when necessary. Expect to travel on and off trail through wildflowers and fir-forests. Along your journey, learn to set up shelters, cook, navigate and administer basic first aid. As the course progresses, instructors give more and more responsibility to students. By the end of the course, you and your crew will be ready for instructors to step back and allow the group to make route-finding decisions, cook, travel and camp as one capable team.
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.
Backpacking courses focus on wilderness skills such as navigation, natural history and living in the backcountry. Students spend time both on and off trail, and travel to remote and alpine basins that serve as ideal Outward Bound classrooms.
If weather, terrain, and student abilities permit, the course includes a peak attempt. Peak attempts are day-long enterprises that often entail pre-dawn starts. On backpacking courses, crews do not climb peaks that require technical gear or ropes, but the peak attempts are challenging and rewarding.
Solo is an important part of the Outward Bound experience and allows students time to rest, recharge and reflect on their own development towards the end of the course. Solos may vary from a few hours up to three days depending on the length of the course, age and maturity of the students and itinerary of the expedition. During Solo, students set up their own independent campsite near their instructors and spend their time resting, writing in their journal, enjoying the quiet of the wilderness and reflecting on their experience. Instructors will check on the students throughout their Solo. For many students, Solo is both a challenge and a respite and is often a highlight of their course.
The North Cascades, Washington
The North Cascades are called the “American Alps” for their rugged beauty and glaciated peaks. They remain some of the wildest and most untrammeled wilderness in the United States. The North Cascades host the greatest concentration of glaciers in the “Lower 48” and are full of high mountain meadows peppered with wild flowers. Our course area hosts some of the most famous alpine climbing and backpacking routes in the United States. Our backpacking programs operate in the Pasayten Wilderness and North Cascades National Park on the eastern side of the Cascades, a region that tends to be moderately dry; however, rain and thunderstorms are not unusual. Temperatures typically range from freezing to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
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.