This course includes travel through incredible geography carved out by the glaciers, rivers and weather in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, high on the east slope of the Cascades.
The North Cascades Mountaineering courses explore the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, one of Washington State’s most remote and beautiful alpine environments. Here you will have the opportunity to escape your usual routine, explore stunning wilderness areas and enjoy yourself to the fullest. Students will learn wilderness skills such as setting up tarps, cooking, backpacking, climbing and navigating using map and compass. The course also includes an emphasis on leadership, character development and an ethic of service. Wilderness travel can be challenging, but with appropriate pre-course preparation, using tools we provide, adults of various ages and body types can be successful. You don’t need to have any previous experience, but arriving as physically fit as possible and excited for the opportunity for personal development will enhance your experience and allow you to take full advantage of the expedition.
NOTE: For details on current COVID-19 policies, including vaccination, please contact an Admissions Advisor at the National Admissions Office at 866-467-7651.
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For detailed information on course availability statuses and what they mean, click here.
This course starts within the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to assess the possibility of applying for this course!
APPLY NOW This means a course has several open spots and is actively processing applications.
APPLY NOW – Almost Full This means there are three or fewer currently available spots left on a course. To secure your spot click Apply Now to begin an application!
Once a course has reached capacity, three waitlist spots will become available. In the event a spot becomes available, those on the waitlist may have an opportunity to secure the available spot. To join a course’s waitlist, click “Join Waitlist” to begin the application process. Upon completion of your application, a $500 deposit is required to reserve the waitlist spot. If you choose to remove your application from the waitlist, or if a spot does not become available, you will be refunded the $500 deposit. If a spot becomes available and you elect not to take it, Outward Bound will keep $150 of the deposit.
Waitlist spots are prioritized in the order of returned paperwork, not in the order applications are received, so be sure to return the initial paperwork as soon as possible! Please be aware that waitlist spots may become available up to two weeks before the course starts. While cancellations do occur, we cannot guarantee a spot will become available. Applicants may only be listed on one waitlist. If there is another course that still has availability and is also of interest to you, we recommend applying for that course instead. If you have questions, please call 866-467-7651 to speak with one of our Admissions Advisors.
CALL TO APPLY This means a course is very close to its start date. Although it is unlikely to secure a spot this late, you can call the National Admissions office at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
COURSE IS FULL When a course has reached maximum capacity, meaning all spots and the three waitlist spots are occupied, a course will read “Course Is Full.” This means applications are no longer being accepted.
CLOSED As a course nears its start date, the availability status may read “Closed.” In this event, a course roster has been finalized and applications are no longer being accepted or processed.
Classic Courses for Adults
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.
Build skills, form connections: Meet like-minded peers and make connections as you work through priorities and adventures together, learn outdoor skills at the hands of expert Instructors, and earn every good night’s sleep.
Value strengths and strengthen values: Re-discover your inner strength, renew your natural leadership abilities and practice adapting to new environments. Tap in to your trust and compassion as you tackle obstacles with a support crew standing beside you.
Demonstrate mastery: As you awaken your wilderness skills and dig deep to rise to the physical and mental challenges, the bulk of the expedition’s leadership and decision-making responsibilities transfer from the Instructor to the crew. Work together to achieve team goals, solve problems and succeed both individually and together.
What you’ll learn: Watch, try and share more difficult outdoor skills that you’ll master on your expedition. Discover and then remind yourself that there’s more in you than you know. Having taken the risks, learned from and adapted to all sorts of new situations and environments, you’re ready for whatever life hands you going forward.
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.
of Jake Anderson
of Jake Anderson
of Jake Anderson
of Judith Robertson
of Luke O'Neill
of Luke O'Neill
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Mountaineering courses move through high mountain terrain and focus on preparation for a peak attempt. Successful peak climbs require patience, efficiency, and teamwork to reach the summit, and may involve roped climbing on snow and/or rock. Students will start by learning backpacking skills, map and compass navigation, and Leave No Trace ethics, and progress to basic mountaineering skills. The instructor-to-student ratio is never more than 1:5 during this section, allowing for personal coaching from our expert climbing and mountaineering Instructors on the physical techniques of mountaineering, as well as tailoring the curriculum to the interests and aptitudes of individual course participants. The course will likely include at least one peak attempt depending upon the weather and the group’s physical preparedness. Peak attempts are day-long enterprises often entailing pre-dawn starts. Successful peak climbs often involve roped climbing on snow and/or rock, and require patience, efficiency and teamwork to attain the summit
Service to others and to our environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Groups follow Leave No Trace ethics as they engage in acts of service while leading and supporting fellow participants. Students see the impact of their actions firsthand, and may develop a desire to continue service in their home communities.
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 an appropriate amount of independence is a powerful educational tool. During the travel sections of this course, Outward Bound Instructors purposefully and gradually transfer certain leadership responsibilities to the students culminating with the “Final Expedition.” Near the end of course—if the group has demonstrated the necessary leadership, team problem solving and wilderness living skills—students may have the opportunity to travel without Instructors immediately present. Many students feel this phase of the course is the most rewarding, as the group learns to work as a team, problem solve, and accomplish a goal independently, while utilizing all the skills they have acquired.
Courses typically end with a Personal Challenge Event—an individual final physical push. This might take the form of a run or a triathlon-style challenge.
Outward Bound promotes character development, leadership, and service in the most engaging classroom possible – the wilderness. In real time, students experience the effects of their decisions on themselves and the other members of their group as they work to complete difficult tasks necessary for wilderness travel. Instructors challenge students to try new things and step outside their comfort zones. They also provide feedback that students implement on course and when they return to their communities. Adult courses offer a unique opportunity to disconnect from everyday life and reconnect with one’s self and others. Regardless of age or life stage, Outward Bound believes that everyone can benefit from opportunities to experience challenge, adventure, and to work within a supportive environment to gain a greater sense of self.
of Jake Anderson
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. This course area hosts some of the most scenic alpine climbing and backpacking routes in the United States. Temperatures typically range from freezing to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Early-season courses (May and June) may spend time camping on snow, while mid-summer courses tend to have more moderate temperatures. These regions are the ancestral lands of the Syilx tmixʷ (Okanagan), Yakama, Nłeʔkepmx Tmíxʷ (Nlaka'pamux), Methow, np̓əšqʷáw̓səxʷ (Wenatchi), Coast Salish, Skagit, Tulalip, Entiat, Chelan, Skykomish and Nuxwsa'7aq (Nooksack) nations.
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.