This expedition features a rafting trip down the Deschutes River and an alpine expedition in the Central Oregon Mountains. Students choosing the three-week version of this course should be prepared for challenge and high altitude. Regardless of course length, this course is best suited for motivated teens ready to take on challenge and go home ready for success.
This wild and scenic designated river with rapids to Class IV, flows from the Oregon Cascades to the Columbia River and then to the Pacific. A popular river for both whitewater rafting and fly fishing, the river is spring fed, which results in unusually constant water flow and cold water even in the summer. A third of the Lower Deschutes is bordered by Warm Springs Reservation. Excellent geologic evidence is present all around this area.
Courses travel 50 to 100 miles depending on the length of course, age and course outcomes. The environment is a very dry and arid desert, which equals very hot summers. Wildlife in the area includes ospreys, bald eagles, deer, bighorn sheep, rattlesnakes, waterfowl such as mergansers and mallard.
The Central Cascades, Oregon
This range is home to the Three Sisters, Mount Washington and Mount Jefferson Wilderness areas. Four 10,000+ foot glaciated volcanoes are present in this course area with a total of eight major volcanoes. Courses will attempt to climb at least one major peak in the area. The west side of the range is lush, and the east side is dryer.
Snow travel is definite on courses beginning in May to mid-July; it is likely through the end of August. On 22-day courses, several of the peaks will necessitate glacier and roped-team travel. Peaks include: Broken Top, South Sister, Middle Sister, North Sister, Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Jefferson, The Husband
The Outward Bound Difference
Our courses are based on more than just wilderness skills; they are designed to deliver life skills. Students will not only practice leadership skills, they will learn in an environment where instructors role model compassion and environmental stewardship. They will learn in an environment where challenge and adventure lead to a sense of accomplishment and a genuine feeling of pride. Students are expected to learn and master skills; to exercise craftsmanship; to try their best; and are asked to consider their experience in group conversations and through an emphasis on reflection and bringing learning home.
This course may be the hardest thing you have ever done. Outward Bound philosophy maintains that by facing the challenges the course offers, you will emerge physically and mentally stronger with an increased mastery of expedition skills and a better understanding of your own capabilities. We think the payoff is well worth the work, but you should be aware of what you're getting into and excited about the challenges.
Service & Compassion
Outward Bound courses are team environments where you and your group work closely together to travel, navigate and camp together every day. Group living can be challenging. Inevitably students learn about one key facet of human interaction - compassion. Throughout Outward BoundÕs 60-year history until the present, we strive to deliver new perspective on compassion and being of service to others. Today most courses include a half to a full day of community service, and we hope your experience with us translates into a desire to engage in service to others when you return home.
Your course consists of 4 to 6 days of whitewater rafting on the Deschutes River beginning at Mecca Flats. You will begin with lessons in safety and river travel then progress to reading currents; anticipating obstacles; scouting difficult rapids; and working as a team to negotiate technical portions of the river. You also will learn about river hydrology, swimming, paddle techniques, captaining the raft, expeditionary travel and take short day hikes. You get the chance to travel through historic Native American lands.
Then you will trade in your water shoes for hiking boots and head into the Central Oregon Mountains. You and your team will be introduced to backpacking skills like backcountry travel; map and compass navigation; and cooking and gear selection. You will learn basic mountaineering skills, including rock climbing skills in the 1 to 3 days of rock climbing. You and your group will participate in 1 to 2 peak ascents depending on the weather and group dynamics. It is possible you will learn about snow travel in the early season; use an ice axe; and glacier travel in rope teams. Students also will have the opportunity to reflect during a solitude period titled solo.
NOTE: 22-day courses are more challenging. They will include technical peak ascents which means higher altitude and heavier group gear.
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.