“I will tell people that it was simply amazing! I’ve learned not to give up during difficult times and that life won’t be easy at all sometimes.” – Nicole, Alumna
“A positive highlight of my course was challenging myself beyond my wildest expectations. I learned I can do anything I set my limits to. It was really hard, but I grew so much as a person and I highly recommend it!” – Alumnus
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 camaraderie of your team and well-earned sleep.
|VRTB-821||12.30.18 - 1.6.19||8||16 - 18||$2,025||ENROLL|
|VRTB-921||12.30.19 - 1.6.20||8||16 - 18||$2,050||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 is a cornerstone of every Outward Bound experience. From the seemingly small daily acts of service to the environment to the regular tasks of being part of an expeditionary team, students have ample opportunities to experience the value of giving back to the larger community. On the expedition, students are encouraged to practice environmental stewardship in the form of Leave No Trace ethics — leaving campsites and trails in better condition than they found them. Students also practice regular acts of service for their team by preparing and serving meals, securing drinking water, setting up camp, and giving your crew plenty of support.
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, students 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.
High school students will experience a sense of accomplishment as they learn about perseverance (or grit), risk taking, self-identity and self-reliance. Students will learn to trust themselves and push themselves harder as they own their choices and advance toward mastery in their skill development. Group adversity will teach each student critical thinking skills, collaboration and decision-making. They will experience leadership in action as they see their potential become reality while practicing empathy and compassion towards others.
Backpacking and wilderness navigation techniques are great practice for the essential skills and habits that help prepare students for new challenges at work, home and in the community. Outward Bound expeditions encourage students to:
Big Bend State and National Park, Texas
Along the US-Mexico border in southwestern Texas, a powerful river and a mountainous desert unite in Texas’ Big Bend National Park. The Texas course area is one of the most remote and geologically interesting in the U.S. 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 is a desert backpacking paradise. In this region, delicate desert flowers exist alongside fossilized trees millions of years old. Mountain passes give way to steep-walled canyons and cliffs. The land itself is awe-inspiring, with canyons towering 300 to 1,200 feet over the right. It is one of the last true desert regions in North America. 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.