Nicknamed the “American Alps,” the North Cascades are one of the world’s premier mountaineering destinations. You will build backpacking prowess as your group travels from the trail head deep into the heart of the range and off the beaten path. There, you will learn what you’ll need to reach summits: teamwork, tenacity and leadership. You will learn belay, rock climb, rappel and ascend a fixed line. If you’re traveling in June, students will learn to use ice axes to travel on steep snowy slopes. All the learning comes together for summit days, where everyone’s efforts are critical to reach the top. This course will give you a chance to unwind and connect with other women in a peaceful yet challenging setting.
This program runs on the eastern side of the North Cascades, an area that receives significantly less rainfall than the western coast of Washington.
Benefits of a Single-Gender Course
This course will travel in the alpine of the cascades with the special camaraderie that happens in an all female group. Women specific courses are an enriching and empowering environment to learn and do things outside of your comfort zone. It's a time to connect, reflect, and process with other like-minded women. Through mountaineering, you can find the confidence to overcome challenges in a supportive and compassionate group on course and transfer it to life at home.
This course is closed for the season. 2019 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.
The North Cascades offers some of the most spectacular mountaineering in the world, with views of jagged, snow-covered peaks, alpine waterfalls and remote mountain flora and fauna. On this classic Outward Bound course, our expert climbing and mountaineering Instructors will demonstrate safe and efficient travel techniques for the mountains. In order to explore remote technical terrain, much of the course will be spent backpacking through the wilderness learning and practicing skills for peak attempts.
Activities include: leadership and communication skill seminars, rock climbing and mountaineering, peak ascents and traveling through mountainous terrain both on and off trail. Leave No Trace camping techniques, navigation and first aid are additional skills students will learn. Students will travel over terrain that may reach up to 9,000 feet in elevation.
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, patience, efficiency and teamwork to attain the summit.
Service to others and the environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Participants follow Leave No Trace ethics as service to the environment and do acts of service while leading and supporting fellow participants. Designated service projects are coordinated with land managers like the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service to collaborate on land restoration projects. Additionally, students may have the opportunity to work alongside select social service agencies like nursing homes, hospitals and organic farms. Participants develop a value of service, seeing the impact of their actions firsthand, and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home.
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.
On course, students 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. The expedition may only last a short time, but the strength and impact of the experience lasts a lifetime.
Mountaineering and wilderness navigation techniques are great practice for the essential skills and habits that help prepare for new challenges at work, home and in the community. Outward Bound expeditions encourage students:
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 unspoiled 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. The Outward Bound course area hosts some of the most stunning alpine climbing and backpacking routes in the United States. Our backpacking programs operate in the Pasayten Wilderness and North Cascades National Park on the eastern side of the Cascades, a region that tends to be moderately dry; however, rain and thunderstorms can arise. 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.