At altitudes of 2,500 to 7,500 feet, this journey takes you to crags and peaks of the vast Mesa de Anguila, the Sierra Quemada, the Chisos or the Bofecillos Mountains. Working as a cohesive crew, you’ll hike both on and off trail, cross mountain passes, explore immense canyons and traverse a rugged desert where atmospheric clarity and wide-open spaces make distances deceiving and navigation challenging yet rewarding. Enjoy the wonders of nature as you cross smooth slabs of water-eroded rock and climb large boulder formations that overlook miles and miles of desert and open skies. Discover more about yourself and your abilities as you take on challenges in the company of your peers and world-class Instructors. Learn technical outdoor skills and hone important life skills in problem solving, perseverance, self-confidence and teamwork. At the end of each day, enjoy the satisfaction of a backcountry meal, the comradery of your team and well-earned sleep.
|VRTB-821||12.30.18 - 1.6.19||8||16 - 18||$1,925||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.
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.
On the Texas-Mexico border, students explore the Chihuahuan Desert, crossing rugged mountain ranges, and traveling through water-polished canyons. At elevations ranging from 2,500 to 7,500 feet, students learn to backpack and camp in both desert and mountainous terrain. Expert Instructors help students learn techniques for safe desert travel and environmental preservation, teaching strategies for finding and managing the most vital resource to desert life - water. Travelling between these seldom-visited water sources, or “tinajas”, into remote corners of Big Bend State and National Parks, students experience desert life in a way that few others attempt. Venturing into the massive canyons and crossing vast and beautiful desert mesas, students reap the rewards of this remote adventure when the brilliant starlit sky illuminates the darkness of the desert night.
On the scenic cliffs of the Rio Grande overlooking the mountains of Mexico is Black Rocks – a beautiful climbing site in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Known mostly to locals, this seldom-visited spot gives participants a unique opportunity in back-country rock climbing. These 30 to 80 foot cliffs offer a variety of beginner and intermediate climbs that provide an ideal introduction to rock climbing. Regardless of a participant’s rock climbing and rappelling background, everyone is sure to find challenge and success as they spend a half day at Black Rocks.
All Outward Bound rock climbing and rappelling experiences are carefully supervised and employ safety systems aligned with national standards. During climbing days, participants learn about rock climbing equipment, safety and etiquette, belaying techniques and climbing rescue techniques. Encouraged and supported by their group, participants push their perceived limits and expand their comfort zones in a safe, fun and non-competitive environment.
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. Some projects are more social services based, and participants may visit a nursing home or hospital to provide service there. Students 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 or more, depending on the length of the course. Weather and time permitting, 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. Many students use this reflection time to make decisions about their future, journal and enjoy the beauty of their surroundings unencumbered by the constant external stimulation of modern life. The duration of Solo depends on the course length and type, as well as the competency and preparedness of the student group. With all the food, skills and supplies they need, participants are given a secluded spot to reflect alone and are monitored by staff throughout the experience to maintain safety. Students find that Solo provokes profound and powerful learning in a short period of time and often becomes one of the most memorable parts of their Outward Bound experience.
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 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:
Big Bend State and National Park, Texas
The Texas course area is one of the most remote and geologically interesting in the Outward Bound system. Along the US-Mexico border in southwestern Texas, the Rio Grande River carves a huge, sweeping bend where Big Bend National Park earns its name. This 750,000-square mile wilderness is the eighth largest national park in the lower 48 states and a desert backpacking and rock climbing paradise. In this region, delicate desert flowers exist alongside fossilized trees millions of years old and mountain passes give way to steep-walled canyons and cliffs. Much of this rugged land has remained unchanged for centuries. Hundreds of species of birds and a healthy diversity of other animal and plant communities thrive within the splendid isolation of ancient limestone canyons, juniper and mesquite-covered mesas and coal-black night skies.
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.