As parents, we were nervous for our son based on his anxiety and the physical challenge in front of him. Despite this, he undertook a journey, which initially seemed like a small segment of his life, but turned into an evolutionary experience which, quite literally, he takes with him every day. He was instilled a willingness not to yield to physical and mental obstacles encountered, and he grew with a compassion and respect for the world and people around him. Nothing taken for granted, ever. The accomplishment and physicality didn't quite seem possible at first, but the incredible leaders and group fostered a support and encouragement he's now able to implement in his own everyday college life and engage others just like him. How is all of this possible in three weeks? He's made good decisions in his life, but when asked, he'll tell you Outward Bound was his best.
High Sierra Alpine Backpacking expeditions travel on and off trail to explore lesser known backcountry. The course will challenge new and experienced backpackers as your crew travels above 9,000 feet in elevation and completes several high mileage days. The length of this course, together with its single focus on backpacking, allows for longer travel distances and additional opportunities to implement feedback from Instructors and crew.
You’ll learn technical skills like navigation and leadership skills like effective communication and conflict resolution. Your group will learn and practice with the granite domes, alpine lakes and starry skies as your classroom.
This course is closed for the season. 2019 courses coming soon.
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.
This backpacking expedition will take students into the heart of the Sierra Nevada where 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. Students will spend time hiking on and off-trail, both in forested areas and in the alpine environment above tree line, often camping next to alpine lakes where students can swim after 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. Challenges on course are designed to compel students to draw upon inner resources and develop trust in one another which they’ll need for the peak attempt. With lighter packs, participants will start before sunrise to summit a mountain and be rewarded with 360 degree views and an incredible sense of accomplishment.
As skills and experience increase, Instructors will turn over more responsibility to the crew. Students will eventually make navigation decisions, plan routes and set up camp
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.
Outward Bound believes in order for profound learning to take place, there must be time to reflect on the experience. Within course, the solo is that opportunity. It is a chance to experience solitude in the wilderness without distraction while also taking a break from the physical rigors of course. Students are separated from their group for a period of time which depends on course length and Instructor assessment of group capability. Solo sites are chosen to provide solitude. Participants have all necessary equipment, food and water. Solos range in length from 12 hours to 72 hours.
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 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. Outward Bound 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 temperature tends 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.