"I cannot begin to describe the feeling of triumph and elation when I crested that pass. I stood on a saddle between two peaks marveling at the beauty before me, knowing that I could do whatever I put my mind to from that moment on. And even though I still struggled at times on the rest of the trip, I knew in my mind that it was nothing compared to what I had triumphed over on that pass. A piece of inhibition had broken free inside me, and I was faced with the revelation that I could do absolutely anything I put my mind to." - Elias Hudson, Outward Bound alumnus
The few who are willing to work hard can access secret stashes of epic wilderness mountaineering the Colorado backcountry. As the course progresses, use your backpacking skills to travel into remote technical terrain where you’ll need tools like ice axes or fixed ropes to finally reach the summit. The San Juans are very steep and receive significant amounts of snow that can persist year round. You and your team will need to backpack far enough into the range to approach the alpine zone. Once you reach tree line, you’ll focus on more technical climbing including ascending fixed lines, belaying and rappelling.
|CCXM-842||7.21.18 - 8.4.18||15||16 - 18||$3,595||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.
Are you ready to take a journey that will change your life? You won’t look at day-to-day drama the same way after you’ve conquered a high mountain ridge, made a boat obey your command in windswept waves or slept under the stars watching bats swoop overhead. Joining an Outward Bound expedition changes you. Your crew, your Instructor, your route and your adventures will have a profound and lasting impact on you as you rise to meet exhilarating natural challenges in some of the country’s wildest places.
After you come home, many of the character, leadership and service traits you uncovered on your expedition stay with you, helping you navigate your daily life with more resilience and success.
Mountaineering is perhaps the most rugged and exciting forms of backcountry travel, granting access to secret stashes of epic wilderness to the few who are willing to work for it. On this course, students will practice mountaineering techniques like kicking steps, glissading and ascending fixed lines over mixed routes of snow, ice and rock. As the course progresses, students use backpacking skills to travel into remote technical terrain where they’ll use ice axes and advanced techniques to reach summits 13,000 feet or even 14,000 feet in elevation. The challenges are significant but the rewards are great.
The expedition includes at least one technical peak 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.
Rock climbing is the ultimate opportunity to challenge oneself physically, mentally and emotionally. Contrary to common belief, upper body strength is not the determining factor in being able to climb well. Learning new body mechanics, balance and energy maintenance techniques will help students climb efficiently and unlock the incredible feeling of flowing up a route. There are many ways to climb the same rock, allowing each climber to solve the puzzle in their own individual way. Students will learn basic climbing techniques, helmet and harness use, climbing commands and belaying, placing gear, setting up top ropes and may have the opportunity to attempt multi-pitch ascents.
Service to others and the environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Participants follow Leave No Trace ethics as service to the environment and do acts of service while leading and supporting fellow participants. Designated service projects are coordinated with land managers like the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service to collaborate on land restoration projects. Some projects are more social services based, and participants may visit a nursing home or hospital to provide service there. Students develop a value of service, seeing the impact of their actions firsthand and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home.
In order for profound learning to take place, there must be time to reflect on the experience. Solo is that opportunity, and that time can range anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours or more, depending on the length of the course. Weather and time permitting, the Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition and gives students the opportunity to reflect on their Outward Bound experience. Many students use this reflection time to make decisions about their future, journal and enjoy the beauty of their surroundings unencumbered by the constant external stimulation of modern life. The duration of Solo depends on the course length and type, as well as the competency and preparedness of the student group. With all the food, skills and supplies they need, participants are given a secluded spot to reflect alone and are monitored by staff throughout the experience to maintain safety. Students find that Solo provokes profound and powerful learning in a short period of time and often becomes one of the most memorable parts of their Outward Bound experience.
Whether you go on an 8-day course or an 80 day course, all Outward Bound expeditions are focused on building character and leadership skills. Short courses are a great option for students looking for an introduction to the outdoors or for those who need a quick recharge. On shorter courses, you’ll learn camping and expedition basics, as well as the skills specific to your course activity such as climbing or rafting. You’ll get to know your fellow crew mates surprisingly well as you share this immersive and intense experience.
On longer courses, your Instructors will progressively hand over more of the decision making and leadership of the expedition to you and your crewmates, allowing each person to test the new technical and interpersonal skills they have learned. On semesters, you will learn advanced technical skills and on some courses, earn certifications. Longer courses give your crew the opportunity to get past the “honeymoon” stage where individuals show more of their “real” selves. Through the dynamics of an evolving group setting, you will have more freedom to investigate who you are and how you want to develop personally, and to start that inner journey. Longer solos will give you more time to reflect on your course and your life direction. All along the way, you will experience a wide variety of some of the most beautiful wilderness in the US and the world.
The South San Juans are some of Colorado's most spectacular sections of the Rocky Mountains with many cascading streams and rugged granite peaks rising above alpine lakes. The mountain range has many 13ers (13,000 foot high peaks) and an abundance of local wildlife including bears, moose and mountain goats.
The San Juan Mountain Range is the largest range in Colorado by area. This remote range was primarily used for mining until the early 20th century as many of the peaks contain precious minerals. This rugged area does not have many roads and, as a result, some courses are resupplied by train. A narrow gauge railroad runs straight through the heart of the mountains, providing a unique opportunity to get students some fresh food and treats.
These rugged mountains are also home to sheepherders as the high alpine meadows provide ample opportunities for grazing. Lucky students will get a glimpse into the days of the old West as they see shepherds on horseback working their flocks with help from their sheepdogs.
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.