First, take on Class II to Class IV rapids on the wild and scenic Deschutes River, which flows from the snowcapped Central Cascades to the Columbia River, and features a consistent water flow throughout the year. Learn paddle captaining skills, river hydrology, river safety, teamwork, campsite set-up, backcountry cooking and Leave No Trace in a beautiful desert river corridor carved through volcanic basalt and schist. During the second half of the course, head into the Central Cascades, where glaciated peaks run north and south and create perfect mountaineering objectives for this course. Building on the skills of teamwork, communication and leadership developed on the river, prepare for a peak attempt. Learn backpacking skills, map and compass navigation and campsite selection as well as basic mountaineering skills like route finding, snow travel, ice axe use and potentially rope team travel.
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.
Students travel on the river in four to six person paddle rafts, and learn to “captain” (maneuver) their paddle raft team through Class II to IV rapids. After lessons in basic river travel and safety, students progress into learning to read currents, anticipate obstacles, scout rapids and negotiate technical portions of the river. Students also learn river hydrology, swimming in currents, paddle techniques and expeditionary travel. While on the rafting expedition, there may also be an opportunity for short day hikes.
Mountaineering courses move through high mountain terrain and focus on preparation for a peak attempt that may require the use of ropes, technical equipment, and possibly rock climbing.
Expert climbing and mountaineering instructors will demonstrate safe and efficient travel techniques for the mountains.
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.
Acquire a taste for adventure. Courses shorter than two weeks in length provide a perfect introduction to the Outward Bound experience, reminding students of their connection to nature and leaving them feeling inspired to take on real challenge. Through these condensed experiences, students become more comfortable living and working together in the wilderness while practicing the values of Outward Bound. Longer courses provide the opportunity for full immersion into the Outward Bound experience, with more time for the personal growth that comes from facing both successes and failures. On these longer experiences, students are able to really implement the skills they’ve learned before heading home, where they can build upon them and continue to grow and develop after course.
Deschutes River, Oregon
The Deschutes River flows north from the Oregon Cascades to the Columbia River and then on to the Pacific Ocean. A popular river for both rafting and fly-fishing, the river is spring-fed, which results in an unusually constant water flow and cold water even in the summer. Excellent geologic evidence is present all around this area. Courses generally travel anywhere from 50 to 100 miles along the Lower Deschutes depending on age, course length and course. The environment is a very dry and arid desert, which contributes to very hot summers. Wildlife in the area includes ospreys, bald eagles, deer, bighorn sheep, rattlesnakes and waterfowl such as mergansers and mallard.
Central Cascades, Oregon
The Central Cascade range is home to the Three 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 nine major volcanoes. One can find a unique blend of dry east side and moist west side weather conditions, which allow diverse types of vegetation to flourish. The area has a complex geologic history that continues today. Active glaciers methodically carve away the mountains and the dramatic traces of avalanches can be found throughout. Depending upon the peak, summit attempts may necessitate glacier and roped-team travel. Snow could potentially factor into a substantial portion of this section of the course.
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.