Canoeing and Rock Climbing in the spectacular North Cascades is an ideal course for younger students, and will give you the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful and pristine wilderness in the United States as you paddle on crystal-clear Ross Lake in the heart of the mountain range nicknamed the “American Alps”.
We know that younger students represent a diverse group. For some students, Outward Bound is their first time away from home; others are veteran travelers. We plan Youth courses to set students up for success no matter where they are starting on the spectrum of wilderness experience. The mental social and physical challenges they will encounter are very real and meeting them is a very real accomplishment. Depending on the course area and activity that may mean base camp time to acclimatize, or a highly structured environment with clear expectations and a daily routine. For our youngest students (12 – 13), we offer both coed and girls-only course model to maximize emotional wellbeing and personal growth.
Your instructors will pick you up at the Seattle airport and head to a campsite where you will sleep under tarps from your first night on course. You will have a chance to get acquainted with your new surroundings and start building the teamwork and other technical skills needed to travel into the backcountry. Your small group of 7-9 gets to know each other quickly with the guidance of your experienced staff that are always there; dedicated to making this trip a success for you.
On day 2, students will begin a multi-day canoe trip into the heart of North Cascades National Park. Students will learn how to navigate, organize and prepare all their meals with everyone lending a hand, and learn about the local forests and wildlife in the adjacent Pasayten Wilderness. Emerald-colored Ross Lake is surrounded by high peaks and flanked by blankets of lush green cedar and fir forests. Students will hike down to the lake with overnight gear and food and then paddle a short distance to the first established campsite along the lake. Students will encounter unforgettable natural wonders including waterfalls flowing into the lake from the glaciers above, eagles circling overhead in search of trout and acres of clear blue water. Following your canoeing expedition, you will have the opportunity to rock climb at our excellent front-country climbing sites where you will learn the basics of climbing technique, belaying and knots as well as developing trust in team members and confidence in yourself.
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 to travel, navigate and camp together every day. Throughout Outward Bound’s 60-year history, we strive to deliver new perspective on compassion and being of service to others.
All Outward Bound Courses in Washington integrate service. Our Canoeing & Rock Climbing Courses often perform the invaluable service of removing invasive species from the Ross Lake ecosystem in partnership with the National Park Service.
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.
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 canoeing programs operate on Ross Lake in North Cascades National Park on the east side of the North Cascades and receive significantly less rainfall than the western coast of Washington.
AIR TRAVEL FOR YOUTH COURSES
Virtually all airlines require that passengers age 14 or younger that fly without a companion over the age of 18 pay for their “Unaccompanied Minor” service. This fee ranges anywhere from $40 to $75 each way. In most cases, the Unaccompanied Minor service is OPTIONAL for travelers between the ages of 15-17. For logistical reasons, we recommend that you DO NOT choose unaccompanied minor service for students over 14. If you have additional questions, please contact your course advisor.
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.