The Oregon to India Rafting and Trekking course is an extraordinary expedition combining beautiful environments and challenging activities in Oregon and India. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to escape your usual routine, explore stunning wilderness areas, and enjoy yourself to the fullest. You might bring a friend you enjoy spending time with to make the trip even more memorable. Your expedition begins on either the Salmon River in Idaho where you explore the renowned “River of No Return,” or the wild and scenic Deschutes River in Oregon. On the river, you will build critical skills in rafting, teamwork, group dynamics and camp craft that you will implement while rafting in India. Transitioning to the first mountain section of your course, you will trade your wet shoes for hiking boots and explore diverse mountain habitats among the volcanoes of the Central Cascade mountain range. During this section, you implement teamwork and camp craft skills learned on the river, and learn basic mountaineering and backpacking skills. Once you have built your foundation for rafting and backpacking, you will travel to New Delhi, India. This international expedition connects to local culture and communities. You will trek in the Himalayan mountains and raft the Ganges River. The course ends in New Delhi, India, giving you the opportunity to extend your time in India and travel on your own if you choose. 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. 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.
This course is closed for the season. 2021 courses coming soon.
Most College Savings Plans, including the 529 College Savings Plan, may be used to attend an Outward Bound expedition, thanks to a partnership with Western State Colorado University. Anyone can register – you do not have to be a current Western State Colorado University student. Registration is easy! Click here to learn more.
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.
Outward Bound is accredited with the American Gap Association and is the longest running program in this elite group dedicated to providing safe, meaningful and high-caliber educational experiences to students.
Students travel on the river in four to six person paddle rafts, learning to “captain” (maneuver) their paddle raft team through Class II to IV rapids. After lessons in basic river travel and safety, students learn to read currents, anticipate obstacles, scout rapids and negotiate technical portions of the river. Students learn river hydrology, swimming in currents, paddle techniques, and expeditionary travel. On the rafting expedition, there may be the chance for short day hikes.
Mountaineering and trekking courses move through high mountain terrain and focus on preparation for a peak attempt that may require the use of ropes, technical equipment, and possibly rock climbing. During this section of the course, students start by learning backpacking skills including on and off trail travel, map and compass navigation and campsite selection. In India, students embrace the tradition of large expeditions using horses and support staff to move through the mountains, allowing participants to travel with light day packs and enjoy the surroundings without the burden of a heavy pack. Please note that peak attempts are dependent upon variables such as weather, group dynamic, and course outcomes.
During this course, “town days” provide opportunities to explore the area and take care of personal needs. In Oregon, the course will visit the town of Bend. In India, there is an urban navigation exercise in the town of Rishikesh, followed by the opportunity for students to explore the area in small groups. Rishikesh is known as “the gateway” to the Garhwal Himalayas and is the yoga capital of the world. In Rishikesh, the course attends the evening ritual observance of the Ganga. Students also have the opportunity to travel south from New Delhi to the town of Agra to see the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India." It is one of the world’s most celebrated structures and a symbol of India’s rich history.
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 , develop an appreciation of service, and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home.
In order for profound learning to take place, students must spend time reflecting 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 course length, 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 a top priority.
Outward Bound courses vary in length from 4 to 85 days. On shorter courses, participants will receive an introduction to leadership skills, strength of character and a desire to serve. On 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. On the Oregon to India Rafting & Trekking course, students get to revisit rafting and mountaineering skills learned in Oregon during the international section of the trip.
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 water flow and cold water. Excellent geologic evidence is present all around this area. Courses generally travel anywhere from fifty to one hundred miles along the Lower Deschutes. The rapids on the Deschutes are rated up to class IV, but are mostly class II-III, and are excellent for learning paddling skills and teamwork. The group camps each night along the banks of the river.
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 section of the 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 this region, with a total of nine major volcanoes in the area. 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.
Kuari Pass Trek, Garhwal (Uttaranchal), India
The trek over the Kuari Pass was the route followed by Eric Shipton and Bil Tilman in 1934 on their way to the Rishi Gorge, and by other mountaineers in route to the peaks on the Indo-Tibetan border. Also known as the Curzon Trail, this trail was named after Lord Curzon, who was a keen trekker, and it is said that the path was specially improved so that he could do the trek. The crossing of the Kuari Pass is a fitting conclusion to a trek that takes in three lesser passes and crosses five major rivers - the Pindar, Kaliganga, Nandakini, Briehiganga and the Dhauliganga. This trek takes students over mountain passes, through dense forests of oak, pine, rhododendron, fir and deodar, traversing bugayals - wide open meadows typical of the region which serve as high altitude summer grazing grounds - and numerous streams. Throughout the trek, students will experience truly spectacular views of the Himalayas.
Alakanda/Ganges River, India
Students will raft the Alaknanda River to its confluence with the Bhagirathi, and from there on to the Ganga River. Getting a feel of the grand river and its environs, students camp on sandy beaches, check out small villages and look for elusive bird and wildlife as they negotiate the challenges of some amazing Class III and Class IV whitewater.
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.