We woke up really early to hike to Dog’s Tooth, where we planned to rock climb. We hiked all the way to the top and then lightning came, so we couldn’t rock climb. We had to return back to camp and on our way, we stopped at an alpine lake near Courtright Reservoir. The clouds were hiding the sun – so we waited until the sun came out, and then we jumped in! The water was freezing cold! Then this big cloud came over us and it started to hail. We all remember that day – it bonded us. Nature is unpredictable, but that unpredictability brought us together.
- Summer Stewart
You’ll experience world class alpine rock climbing and backpacking on this 10- day course in the spectacular Sierra Nevada Mountains. Multiple activities provide new challenges to test your personal limits and practice leadership in this shorter course format.
The Sierra Nevada is considered one of the United States' premier backpacking and rock climbing locations because of its high-quality granite and stable, frequently sunny summer weather. With sweeping views of jagged, mountain peaks, freezing dips in alpine lakes and bright star flecked skies, students will be inspired to push themselves and succeed together.
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.
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.
The course begins with several days of rock climbing where students will learn the basics of climbing technique, belaying and knot tying, while building trust with team members and confidence in themselves. During this section students are challenged physically on solid rock cliffs and push their mental strength on a free hanging rappel with stunning views of the surrounding granite domes.
Students will backpack deeper into the heart of the Sierra Nevada range and eventually attempt to climb a technical alpine peak in the backcountry. This will give students the chance to practice their climbing skills in a more remote setting, rewarded with 360 degree views of the surrounding peaks and alpine lakes.
Students may also have the opportunity to rappel off the summit of Dogtooth Peak, one of the highest peaks in the area with breathtaking views. The crew will then continue to backpack on and off trail after this peak attempt, with the possibility of additional rock climbing toward the end of the expedition.
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 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.