The wild mountains of Western Maine and Eastern New Hampshire are calling you for an unforgettable rock climbing and backpacking adventure.
This backpacking and rock-climbing expedition challenges you on the remote stretches of the iconic Appalachian mountain range and the craggy granite cliffs of the region. Instructors introduce you to beginning, intermediate and advanced skills in mountain navigation, rock climbing and belaying, woods craftsmanship, weather observation and campsite selection as you live with and rely on your group and what you can carry on your backs. Weaving multiple climbing days into the backpacking expedition, you’ll learn self-reliance and build technical skills and knowledge beyond an average backpacking expedition. Regular group discussions allow for reflection on each day’s progress and ensure that leadership and responsibilities are shared so that every crew member is integral to planning the next day.Through living and working closely together, your group will practice more than wilderness travel skills.
This course is closed for the season. 2021 courses coming soon.
IMPORTANT UPDATE ON SUMMER COURSES
With the utmost regard for the safety and well-being of our students and staff, we have made
the very difficult decision to cancel all summer Classic and Intercept courses. Please check
back for fall 2020 and 2021 courses. Read our complete update.
This course melds the dynamic relationships required when supporting, living and working closely as a team with the individual experience of being on a rock face. By actively engaging in the natural world, youth learn to live in the moment and build physical strength and self-control. By providing students with real decisions to make and real opportunities to succeed… and sometimes fail, students will learn resiliency and leadership skills to carry with them beyond course. Students will develop deep and meaningful connections as they become comfortable living and working together in the wilderness. Students will leave feeling inspired to take on real challenge and return ready to fully participate and positively engage at home, at school and in their communities.
Outward Bound Classic expeditions traverse some of the wildest, most rugged, awe-inspiring landscapes in the world. Students work for every technicolor sunset; every super-fresh morning; every breathtaking vista. And when they arrive at their destination, and pause to take it all in, they know, without a doubt, that they earned their place there. By the time they finally drift to sleep, our students have put in a full day of moving their bodies, learning, cooperating as a team, puzzling through problems, and digging deep to find what really lies within – always, inevitably, more than they know.
Although each expedition is unique, certain key components are a part of every Outward Bound Classic Expedition. The expedition begins with hands-on, progressive training in a variety of expedition and personal skills. As students learn to cook, sleep, stay warm, navigate and select routes together, crew members not only do their part; they also take turns leading and following. The idea that students are “crew, not passengers” is central to the Outward Bound learning approach. Wilderness living does not encourage students to contribute to the group; it requires it. After all, on an Outward Bound expedition, awareness of others is not optional; it is necessary for success.
Throughout the expedition, students build, practice, and reflect on skills, conduct service projects and also tackle at least one challenge element - rock climbing, a peak ascent or a big whitewater day - that pushes them to find undiscovered strength. During the expedition's final phase, students experience a rare gift and highlight of the course: time to think and reflect on the Solo. With sufficient food, equipment and skills, individuals spend three hours to three days alone at an assigned campsite – with Instructors periodically checking in on them. As the course nears the end, Instructors may gradually transfer leadership responsibilities to the students, culminating with a Final Expedition. During the Final Expedition, students work as a team and utilize the skills they have acquired to solve problems and make group decisions, while Instructors maintain overall risk-management for the group with check-ins and advanced scouting.
Backpacking is an ideal combination of team and individual elements. The mountains of Maine are jagged and densely wooded, and the trails are remote, narrow and often steep. Students travel on wilderness footpaths; navigating on and off trail throughout the journey. On clear days, the group is rewarded with spectacular views from atop mountain peaks. Living and traveling with just a backpack is a simple existence, in which small choices can make deceptively great differences. To live well in the wilderness, all crew members must share the chores that turn a camp into a home, including setting up tents and tarps, creating a kitchen area, taking turns fetching water and cooking satisfying meals.
of Hannah Baker
of Jack Rokous
of Hannah Baker
of Hannah Baker
of Hannah Baker
of Jack Rokous
Rock climbing is the ultimate opportunity to challenge oneself physically, mentally and emotionally. The mountains of Maine and New Hampshire provide rocky granite crags that offer beginning, intermediate and challenging rock climbing. During climbing days, participants learn about rock climbing equipment, safety and etiquette, belaying techniques, climbing rescue techniques and rappelling. Students test their balance, control and mental strength on the vertical rock faces nearby. In addition to stretching the limits of what they think they’re capable of, climbing hones their coordination, flexibility and grace on the rock. These skills will be put to the test over several days of progressive climbs on different sites to which students and the crew will travel and be rewarded with spectacular views.
Depending upon the expedition route, technical rope activities may include a “via ferrata” or “Tyrolean traverse”. There may be the opportunity to attempt multi-pitch ascents or work through a high ropes obstacle course together. These uniquely structured activities provide opportunities not only for self-reliance, but also for communication and collaboration as participants confront and work through their fears. Climbing presents many individual challenges for students, while the team must work together to set systems up, communicate clearly and support each other throughout the climb. Students do not need prior climbing or backpacking experience for this course, just an open-mind and willingness to learn new skills!
of Hannah Baker
of Hannah Baker
Service projects are often incorporated into Outward Bound courses through coordination with local land managers, conservation groups, government or social service agencies. While in the wilderness, students are encouraged to practice service to the environment and their team by sharing responsibilities and following Leave No Trace ethics throughout the expedition.
The Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition to give students quiet time to reflect on the Outward Bound experience. With the basics of food and equipment, and with safety a top priority, students will take some time away from the group to be alone at sites of their own, using the wilderness skills learned during the first parts of the course. Often located along beautiful lake shorelines or peaceful rivers, Solo sites are chosen to offer as much solitude as possible (yet be within emergency whistle-signaling distance of other group members). Most students spend their Solo time journaling, drawing or just thinking and resting as they process lessons learned and focus on their goals for the future. Instructors check on each participant at regular intervals. The time students spend on Solo depends on the length of the course.
The mountains of western Maine and northern New Hampshire comprise the northern end of the Appalachian mountain range. Within this region, the White Mountain National Forest, the Appalachian Trail, the Carter-Mahoosuc Range, the Grafton Loop Trail, and the Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness all offer classic backpacking terrain, and numerous vertical crags, making the region a rock climber’s destination. These spruce-fir and hardwood forests are home to hundreds of species of birds as well as moose, deer and black bear. Rushing waterfalls, clear twisting streams and spectacular views from rocky summits reward backpackers ready for adventure.
Travel to course, welcome, equipment issue and check, introduction to camping
Begin backpacking expedition with rock climbing introduction
Final expedition, return to basecamp
Personal Challenge Event, equipment clean-up and de-issue
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.
To secure your spot on a course you must submit an enrollment form and $500 deposit that is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 non-refundable enrollment processing fee.