You don’t need to have previous mountaineering experience. We will teach you everything you need to know to travel comfortably including how to pack appropriately, identifying and managing risks in the wilderness, tie knots, set up tarps, and navigate the mountains. After joining your group in your appropriate location, you will travel by van to an entry point. You will get to know your group, learning wilderness skills and practicing safety procedures. Then you will begin your expedition.
You will be in the wilderness, camping, traveling, sleeping and eating outdoors for most, if not all, the days and nights you are here. Wilderness travel is demanding. It can literally take every waking moment to get from point A to point B.
Wilderness travel is demanding. It can literally take every waking moment to get from point A to point B. From getting up early to pack your bags and cook breakfast, to hiking with a loaded backpack for hours, to climbing peaks, traveling in the wilderness can be hard. Past vets and instructors agree that arriving physically fit will enhance your experience and ability to do well on the course and ultimately allow you to take full advantage of the expedition.
Central Cascades, OR – In Central Oregon, volcanoes dot the spine of the Cascade Mountains, rising up to over 10,000 feet above the forests, lakes, and rivers. These glaciated peaks run north and south and create perfect mountaineering objectives for you and your team. This range is home to the Three Sisters (North, Middle, and South Sisters), Broken Top, Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack and Mt. Jefferson. Four 10,000+ foot glaciated volcanoes are present in this course area, with a total of eight major volcanoes. The west side of the range is lush while the east side is drier. Central Oregon is a high desert that experiences extremes in weather conditions at varying times throughout the summer. There is potential for you to be traveling in rain, snow, or sun for the duration of your time in the mountains. Some of the peak ascents will necessitate glacier and roped-team travel.
Sample Itinerary – The following is an example of what your 6-day itinerary may look like. Your actual course plan will vary according to weather, student skills and abilities, and instructor preferences.
Day 1—Meet at designated location and travel to course start. Introduction to Outward Bound staff and course overview. Issuing of gear and food in preparation for course.
Days 2-4—Leave from designated trailhead and begin learning skills associated with mountaineering. Travel through various terrain types practicing skills in preparation for a summit attempt on one of the local peaks
Day 5—Finish the course hiking out of the wilderness then return to base for the de-issuing of equipment and a BBQ.
Days 6—Course end and transportation back to meeting point.
Mountaineering – Travel by foot into the Central Oregon Cascade range, where students will have the opportunity to climb 10,000-foot glaciated volcanoes for a bird's-eye view of the spectacular surrounding terrain. Mountaineering courses move through high mountain terrain and focus on preparation for an attempt to summit a peak that may require the use of ropes, technical equipment and possibly rock climbing. During the mountaineering section, students will learn backpacking skills such as on and off-trail travel, map and compass navigation, cooking and campsite selection. You will also learn basic mountaineering skills like route finding and various terrain travel, including rock climbing skills. In September, snow and glacier travel is still possible, but less common than with the earlier season courses. Students will have the opportunity to attempt a major peak ascent, dependent on weather conditions and group dynamics.
Service – Service is an integral part of the Outward Bound curriculum. We encourage service to the environment in the form of leaving campsites cleaner than we find them and practicing Leave No Trace ethics throughout the course. We coordinate service projects with land managers (US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, local land trusts, etc.) as well as with select social service agencies (nursing homes, hospitals, etc.). During your course, you may have the opportunity to participate in a trail work or other service project.
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.