Most of this course will be spent backpacking the spectacular high country of the Western Sierras – alongside lake basins and granite peaks. As a beginner rock climber or if you’re advancing your skills, this area has some of the best climbing granite around. With a longer format, you’ll have more training and attention from Instructors, so you can implement feedback and practice technical and interpersonal skills. This will lead to deeper understanding of strengths, a more independent and self-directed crew and greater levels of confidence in yourself.
As your technical and leadership skills advance along with the group, you’ll move through a progression, gradually taking on decision making on navigation, route finding, sharing of duties and setting-up camp. This is the group's opportunity to make the course its own unique experience.
This course is closed for the season. 2019 courses coming soon.
Do you ever want to unplug, step away from the daily grind to take on new challenges? Are you ready to conquer harder skills and remind your senses (or discover for the first time) what it’s like to crest a mountain peak, hear the echoes at the edge of a vast canyon or feel the rush of white water spray on your face? Take a break from your routine, radically change your surroundings and test your tenacity. Put some “firsts” in front of you and find moments of unexpected discovery along the way. Experience Outward Bound as an adult and prepare for an injection of adventure, awareness and adaptability that sticks with you long after you unpack your backpack.
Return home with newly expanded wilderness abilities, an energized outlook, a rekindled allowance of empathy into situations and relationships and an eye toward the future.
The course starts with several days of rock climbing where students will learn the basics of climbing technique, belaying and knots, while building trust with team members and confidence in themselves. During this section students challenge themselves physically on solid rock cliffs and push their mental strength with a free hanging rappel with stunning views of the surrounding granite domes.
Following the climbing portion, students will begin a backpacking expedition that takes them into the heart of the Sierra Nevada range. Here students will learn Leave No Trace camping and travel skills, outdoor cooking techniques, map and compass use, route finding and how to set up shelters in the backcountry. They will spend time hiking on and off-trail, both in forested areas and in the micro-climates of an alpine environment high above tree line, often camping next to icy alpine lakes that offer the opportunity to swim and rinse off after days of hiking.
In addition to technical skills, Instructors will teach and facilitate the interpersonal skills needed for students to function effectively as a team, accomplish goals and tackle new challenges every day. Challenges on course are designed to guide students toward taking risks, drawing upon inner resources and developing trust in one another. One example is the peak attempt. With lighter packs, participants will start before the sun rises to summit a mountain and be rewarded with 360 degree views and an incredible sense of accomplishment.
Service to others and to the environment are core values of Outward Bound and they are integrated into each course. Participants follow Leave No Trace ethics as part of their service to the environment. Students develop an ingrained appreciation of service, seeing the impact of their actions firsthand, by multiple small acts of service with and for their crewmates while leading and supporting each other throughout the journey.
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. It is a chance to experience solitude in the wilderness without distraction while also taking a break from the physical rigors of activities. Students experience short periods of time away from their group throughout the course for reflection. These “mini-solos” are at solo sites chosen by Instructors to provide as much solitude as possible (within emergency whistle-signaling distance of other group members). Participants have all necessary equipment, food and water during their Solo time, and safety is always the top priority.
Outward Bound courses vary in length from four (4) to 85 days. On shorter courses, participants will receive an introduction to leadership skills, strength of character and a desire to serve while activities fill most of the time and the pace is quick. With longer courses, the same outcomes and benefits are achieved with the opportunity to reach a more profound level of mastery as there are more chances to develop technical skills, receive and implement feedback and further personal development. However many days the expedition lasts, the strength and impact of the experience lasts a lifetime.
Backpacking, rock climbing and wilderness navigation techniques are great practice for the essential skills and habits that help prepare for new challenges at school, work, home and in the community. Outward Bound expeditions encourage students:
The Sierra Nevada range is California’s backyard and wonderland of wilderness, waterfalls, lakes and peaks. It’s an enormous range – spanning more than 400 miles from north to south and 70 miles east to west. Courses take place in the southern and western parts of the Sierras: Ansel Adams Wilderness, Yosemite National Park and Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park.
Summer in the Sierras is mostly sunny, with occasional rain and cold evenings. Snowfall is unlikely, though June courses may traverse atop lingering winter and spring snow. Summer temperatures tend towards the 70s and 80s during the day dipping into the 30s to 50s in the evening and overnight.
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.