This expedition will take you 97 miles through the beautiful desert river corridor of the Deschutes River, carved through volcanic basalt and schist. You’ll get to experience wild and scenic environments that the Deschutes River is known for as it flows from the snowcapped Central Cascades to the Columbia River basin. Traveling down river for the first six days of the course, you will learn paddle captaining skills, river hydrology, river safety, teamwork, campsite set-up, backcountry cooking and Leave No Trace principles.
During the second half of the course, you will hike into the Central Cascades. 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. Building on the skills of teamwork, communication and leadership that you developed on the river, you will begin preparing for your peak attempt by learning backpacking skills including on and off trail travel, map and compass navigation, and campsite selection. In progression, you will learn basic mountaineering skills like route finding, snow travel, ice axe use, and potentially technical travel. In late July through August, snow and glacier travel is less likely, though may be traded for fixed-line travel over rock. Please note that peak attempts are dependent upon variables such as weather, group dynamic, and course length.
This course is closed for the season. 2019 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.
Students will travel on the river, for four to seven days in four to six person paddle rafts, and learn to “captain” (maneuver) their paddle raft team through Class II to Class IV rapids. After lessons in basic river travel and safety, students will progress into learning to read currents, anticipate obstacles, scout rapids, and negotiate technical portions of the river. Students will also learn river hydrology, swimming in currents, paddle techniques and expeditionary travel. While on the rafting expedition, there may also be an opportunity for short day hikes.
The mountaineering section of this course moves through high mountain terrain and focuses on preparation for a peak attempt that may require the use of ropes, technical equipment and possibly rock climbing. Each day presents a different focus, with ample time for experiential learning. The instructor-to-student ratio is never more than 1:5 during this section, allowing for personal coaching on the physical techniques of mountaineering, as well as catering the curriculum to the specific interests and aptitudes of individual course participants.
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. Students develop a value of service, seeing the impact of their actions firsthand, and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home. On longer courses, students have the opportunity to do a formal service project with a local agency. Common projects include working with the Pacific Crest Trail Association doing trail work, assisting the local food pantry and other local non-profit organizations. Service projects can be a couple of hours up to a full day.
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.
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.
Deschutes River, Oregon
The Deschutes River is part of the national Wild & Scenic Rivers System. The river flows north from the Oregon Cascades to the Columbia River and then on to the Pacific Ocean. The Lower Deschutes is a popular river for both whitewater rafting and fly fishing. The river is spring-fed, which results in an unusually constant, cold-water flow year-round. Excellent geologic evidence is present all around this area. Courses generally travel anywhere from 50 to 100 miles along the Lower Deschutes. The rapids on the Deschutes, rated up to Class IV, are mostly Class II-III, and are excellent for learning paddle skills and teamwork. The group camps each night along the banks of the river. The Deschutes region has a colorful human history , including the presence of a railroad that borders much of the length of the Lower Deschutes.
Central Cascades, Oregon
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 this course area, with a total of nine major volcanoes. 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.