Learn why the mountain range earned its “American Alps” nickname. Walk along grassy ridge tops, cross snow-fed streams, scramble to rocky summits and use an ice axe when necessary. Expect to travel on and off trail through wildflowers and fir-forests. Along your journey, learn to set up shelters, cook, navigate and administer basic first aid. As the course progresses, Instructors give more and more responsibility to students. By the end of the course, crew members will be ready for Instructors to step back and allow the group to make route-finding decisions, cook, travel and camp as one capable team.
This course is closed for the season. 2020 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.
Backpacking courses focus on wilderness skills such as navigation, natural history and living in the backcountry. Students spend time both on and off trail, and travel to remote alpine basins that serve as ideal Outward Bound classrooms. If weather, terrain, and student abilities permit, the course includes a peak attempt. Peak attempts are day-long enterprises that often entail pre-dawn starts. On backpacking courses, crews do not climb peaks that require technical gear or ropes, but the peak attempts are challenging and rewarding.
Service to others and to the environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Groups follow Leave No Trace ethics as part of their service to the environment and engage in acts of service while leading and supporting fellow participants. Seeing the impact of their actions firsthand, students develop an ingrained appreciation of service and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home.
In order for profound learning to take place, students need time to reflect on their experience, and Solo is that opportunity. 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. With sufficient food and equipment, students will set up camp at sites of their own choosing, using the wilderness skills learned during the first portions of the course. The amount of time students spend on Solo is based on length of course, weather, student condition, age, and Instructor preference. Solo campsites 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, reflecting, thinking and resting as they process lessons of the course to focus on their goals for the future. Instructors check on each participant at regular intervals, as safety is always the top priority.
Outward Bound believes that creating space and time to unplug, discover new perspectives, step out of routines, and challenge oneself is essential to lifelong development. Our one-week Adult courses are perfect opportunities for you to recharge, develop new skills and explore new strengths among a group of like-minded adventurers. No previous experience is necessary—all wilderness skills are taught from the beginning. Students will only need to be physically fit and motivated to live, learn and work as a team. The expedition may only last a week but the power of the experience will last a lifetime. The expedition encourages students to: remain engaged and present, giving every challenge their best effort, even when the goal seems beyond their reach; form a team and focus on the team effort; share responsibilities, communicate and lead; and find reserves of tenacity and compassion.
The North Cascades, Washington
The North Cascades are called the “American Alps” for their rugged beauty and glaciated peaks. They remain some of the wildest and most untrammeled wilderness in the United States. The North Cascades host the greatest concentration of glaciers in the “Lower 48” and are full of high mountain meadows peppered with wild flowers. Our course area hosts some of the most scenic alpine climbing and backpacking routes in the United States. Our Alpine Backpacking courses operate in the Pasayten Wilderness and North Cascades National Park on the east side of the North Cascades and receive significantly less rainfall than the western coast of Washington. Temperatures typically range from freezing to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This part of the course area is on the eastern side of the Cascades, and thus tends to be moderately dry. Early-season courses (May and June) may spend time camping on snow, while mid-summer courses tend to have more moderate temperatures.
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.