The Oregon Pacific Crest Trail Backpacking and Service course is designed to prepare and train you to tackle the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) on your own, should you choose to do so, following the successful completion of the course. The timing of this course is laid out so that you can continue north on the PCT, on your own, once your course is complete. In 28 days, you will learn to backpack, navigate, camp and plan food drops along the PCT. With a focus on a minimalist approach to backpacking, this course will teach you to hone your skills for lightweight backpacking including specific food, cooking and shelter systems. A variety of service projects will be planned in coordination with the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) at various points along the trail, allowing you to learn more about trail maintenance, the PCT itself and land stewardship.
The course is a stunning journey through the varying landscapes along the Northwest portion of the PCT. Although there will be times for rest and reflection during the course, it is still a very intense experience: four weeks of skill development, backcountry living and physical and mental challenges. Depending on the group fitness level the course could complete close to 300 miles of the PCT!
|WOAB-861||8.24.18 - 9.20.18||28||18 and up||$5,500||ENROLL|
This course may be full or preparing to leave in the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
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 Pacific Crest Trail (commonly abbreviated as the PCT, and officially designated as the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail) is a long-distance hiking and equestrian trail closely aligned with the highest portion of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges, which lie 100 to 150 miles east of the U.S. Pacific coast. The trail's southern terminus is on the U.S. border with Mexico and its northern terminus is at the edge of Manning Park in British Columbia. The PCT corridor heads through the states of California, Oregon and Washington in the United States. The Pacific Crest Trail is 2,663 miles long and ranges in elevation from just above sea level at the Oregon–Washington border to 13,153 feet at Forester Pass in the Sierra Nevada. The route passes through 25 national forests and 7 national parks.
Thru hiking is a term used when referring to hikers who complete long distance trails from end-to-end in a single trip. The Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail and Continental Divide Trail were the first three long-distance trails in the U.S. Successfully thru-hiking all of these three trails is known as the Triple Crown of Hiking. Thru-hiking is a long commitment, usually taking between four and six months, that require thorough preparation and dedication. Although the actual number is difficult to calculate, it is estimated that around 180 out of approximately 300 people who attempt a thru-hike complete the entire trail each year.
The backpacking section of this course focuses on moving light and efficiently along the PCT. Students will learn skills such as lightweight backpacking, navigation, camp-craft, Leave No Trace principles, hiker etiquette, diet for long distance hiking and trail safety. Each day presents a different focus, with ample time for experiential learning. The Instructor-to-student ratio is never more than 1:5, allowing for personal coaching along the trail, as well as catering the curriculum to the specific interests and aptitudes of individual course participants.
Service to others and to the environment are core values of Outward Bound and they are integrated into each course. Participants follow Leave No Trace ethics as part of their service to the environment. Students develop an ingrained appreciation of service, seeing the impact of their actions firsthand, by multiple small acts of service with and for their crewmates while leading and supporting each other throughout the journey.
On this particular course, students will partner with the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) and participate in some form of trail work to give back to the trail. Potential projects could include: rebuilding a section of trail, moving rocks to create water diversions on the trail or reinforcing the trail with gravel and dirt.
In order for profound learning to take place, there must be time to reflect on the experience. 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 time students spend on Solo depends on limitation of the itinerary and Instructor preference. On this course Solo experiences can last up to 72 hours. 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 courses vary in length from four (4) to 85 days. On shorter courses, participants will receive an introduction to leadership skills, strength of character and a desire to serve while activities fill most of the time and the pace is quick. With longer courses, the same outcomes and benefits are achieved with the opportunity to reach a more profound level of mastery as there are more chances to develop technical skills, receive and implement feedback and further personal development. However many days the expedition lasts, the strength and impact of the experience lasts a lifetime.
Backpacking, thru-hiking and wilderness navigation techniques are great practice for the essential skills and habits that help prepare for new challenges at school, work, home and in the community. Outward Bound expeditions encourage students:
Central Cascades, Oregon
Volcanoes dot the spine of the Cascade Mountains, rising over 10,000 feet above the forests, lakes and rivers of the surrounding region. These glaciated peaks run north and south and create perfect mountaineering objectives for this course. The Central Cascade range is home to the Three Sisters, Broken Top, Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack and Mt. Jefferson. Four 10,000 foot glaciated volcanoes are present in the nearby area, with a total of nine major volcanoes in the region. One can find a unique blend of dry east side and wet west side weather conditions which allow diverse types of vegetation to flourish. The area has a complex geologic history that continues today. Active glaciers methodically carve away the mountains and the dramatic traces of avalanches that altered the landscape can be found throughout.
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.