Exploring the mountains with Outward Bound provides an ideal challenge for teenagers seeking opportunities for achievement, teamwork and leadership. Explore the Pasayten Wilderness nestled in the North Cascades – some of the most pristine and least traveled wilderness in the United States, nicknamed the “American Alps” for its lush and rugged beauty. Set and achieve goals as a crew by learning and practicing technical and teamwork skills that will help you set your sights on the summit. Learn backpacking skills such as navigation using maps, camp craft and natural history. This course also teaches rock climbing skills such as knots, belaying and climbing technique. The experience is designed for students to learn trust, open communication skills, decision-making skills and guided group values to strengthen everyone’s leadership and teamwork attributes.
This course is closed for the season. 2020 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.
During the alpine backpacking section of the course, students will work together to explore the high mountain landscape of the North Cascades. Heading into the high country that surrounds Ross Lake, students will learn the essentials of backcountry mountain travel necessary to carry them into remote meadows and high mountain vistas, including navigation with map and compass, Leave No Trace camp craft and backcountry cooking. Depending on the group and the conditions, students may attempt to summit one of the many rugged alpine peaks in the area. Peak attempts often start pre-dawn and require a high degree of personal and group tenacity.
During the expedition, students will rock climb at local crags, where they learn the basics of climbing technique, belaying and knots. Rock climbing is a physically, mentally and sometimes emotionally demanding activity. For many students, rock climbing is the high point of the course. For others, it is a major mental challenge to face. Courses generally include 1-2 days of rock climbing depending on individual course itineraries and student groups.
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 students. 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, 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.
This course provides an opportunity for students to learn and practice the ideas of leadership, character development, and service that are integral to Outward Bound. Students will develop and apply these skills in an expedition setting so that they can continue to grow once they return home. Instructors will work to challenge each student to try new things and step outside their comfort zones, as well as provide feedback that can be acted upon before course end. As a team, each group will work together to complete difficult tasks necessary for backcountry travel and expedition living.
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 stunning 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 famous backpacking routes in the Pacific Northwest. Our backpacking programs operate in the Pasayten Wilderness, Sawtooth Wilderness and North Cascades National Park on the east side of the Cascades, which receives significantly less rainfall than the western coast of Washington. Temperatures typically range from freezing to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
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.