Specifically designed for young adults searching for a direction in life, this course offers a purposeful, wilderness approach that builds leadership, character and an ethic of service. Learn critical backcountry expedition techniques; learn to rock climb; learn about your crew and yourself; and attempt to summit a Rocky Mountain peak. Then, head to Ecuador, where you’ll prepare for a trek through the Andes. Use a sustainable local farm as a base from which to explore the area, learn about the people and participate in a local service expedition. Next, travel to the Ecuadorian Inca Trail, where you’ll explore ruins and ancient history or hike to the glaciated flanks high on the volcanoes. Along the way, encounter rural Ecuadorian communities and take in the current-day culture. At every step of the journey, focus on leadership skills such as communication, collaboration, decision-making and conflict resolution. Finally, return home with clear values, priorities and goals.
|CEP6-761||3.29.17 - 4.27.17||30||18 - 25||$6,295||CALL|
|CEP6-861||3.28.18 - 4.26.18||30||18 - 25||$6,395||ENROLL|
This course may be full or preparing to leave in the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
Our Pathfinder expeditions are designed for young adults who are recent high school graduates, college students, or young adults seeking personal, educational, or professional direction. Throughout these 30-day expeditions, students focus on increasing self-knowledge, clarifying values, strengthening decision-making skills and processes, and setting goals – all life skills to help chart a path toward independence with confidence and passion.
The expedition begins in the wilderness of Colorado. Students learn critical backcountry expedition techniques including leadership skills, teamwork, navigation and backcountry living skills. Students backpack in the valleys and long ridges, camp in basins with unparalleled views, and stop along the way to explore microclimates and alpine ecosystems. Most importantly, students get to spend time in an incredible area of the mountains, sleep under the stars, feel the sunshine on their face, maybe watch a few sunsets over this magical landscape and make countless memories.
After the first section of wilderness, students spend three to five days at the Leadville Mountain Center where they complete a Wilderness First Aid certification class, as well as attend professional life coaching sessions.
During the mountaineering section of the course, students learn skills to climb technical peaks that require harnesses, ropes and ice axes to successfully summit. Instructors train students to use all equipment necessary for technical mountaineering. During this course, students can expect to travel on and off trail over wooded and alpine terrain that can be rough, demanding, steep and exposed, and may at times require the use of ropes and ice axes to traverse a slope or ascend a pass.
Peak Attempt: The expedition includes at least one peak ascent attempt. Peak attempts, with or without the use of ropes and technical gear, are major enterprises and typically require early morning starts and take all day to complete. Weather or other factors including group dynamics and physical ability may preclude even an attempt to ascend a peak.
In the mountains, or on the river, students spend a day experiencing the thrill and grace of rock climbing or the control and exhilaration of rappelling. This is a great opportunity for students to challenge their fears and push themselves to places they never thought possible. Rock climbing/rappelling instruction is for all levels and includes basic climbing techniques, helmet and harness use, climbing commands and belaying.
Students perform service for at least two days in the upper Arkansas Valley. While helping local groups with needed projects, they learn more about the community and space they have been traveling in and around. Past projects have included working on a goat farm, building trails and naturalizing open space by cleaning trash and debris.
The group flies to Quito, Ecuador, where they stay on a sustainable local farm and prepare for their Andes trek. Here, they participate in a service expedition that explores the relationship between self and community. There are ample opportunities to work on extended service projects, such as helping out on the local farm and to learn about the people and the area.
After the service expedition, students pack up and head out on a backpacking expedition through the paramo amongst the glaciated volcanoes of the Andes. Along the way, students encounter rural Ecuadorian communities and take in the current-day culture.
Students learn the basics of undertaking a high altitude glacial mountaineering expedition, with several chances to summit volcanoes higher than 5,000 meters (16,400 feet). Students often feel like they are standing on a floating island as they take in 360-degree views from the snow-cloaked summits above the clouds, looking down into villages and farms in the high valleys and across to other spectacular volcanic peaks.
The course ends with the final expedition, during which the crew heads back out into the mountains to put all their newly acquired skills into practice. Depending on the team’s ability levels, instructors step back during this section to allow the crew to take over decision-making responsibilities for navigation, time schedules, communication and general leadership. The course ends in Ecuador, which gives students the opportunity to stay on in Ecuador and travel on their own if they choose to do so.
Outward Bound courses vary in length from 4 to 85 days. On shorter courses, participants will receive an intro to leadership skills, strength of character and a desire to serve. With longer courses, the same outcomes and benefits are achieved with the ability to reach a more profound level of mastery as there are more opportunities develop technical skills, receive and implement feedback and further personal development.
The Rocky Mountains, one of the most famous mountain ranges in the world, stretch 3,000 miles from Alaska to New Mexico. They have provided the inspiration for legend and have had a profound influence on the development of the continental United States. It is in and around these majestic mountains that your Outward Bound Wilderness course will take place.
Ecuador is often referred to as the Jewel of the Andes and is a small paradise of biodiversity, with a wealth of landscapes and climates. With the Pacific Coastal beaches to the west and the steamy rainforests to the east, the Andes run north to south through Ecuador, creating a dramatic spine of mountainous highlands and peaks. The Ecuadorean Andes are home to the largest concentration of volcanoes in the world and are a vivid landscape of imposing glaciated volcanoes rising from misty cloud forests and lush valleys. Our Ecuador portion of the semester explores the length of these highlands - from the historic capital city of Quito, through the high valleys and into the highest peaks of the country. Students have the opportunity to experience the wonderful culture of Ecuador.
“My 30-day excursion through the Ecuadorean backcountry with the Outward Bound can be viewed as nothing less than the catalyst for a life fully lived.” – Darylann, Pathfinder Colorado Rockies to Ecuador alumni
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.