Travel on- and off-trail through the wildflowers and pine forests of Oregon’s Central Cascades.
This backpacking expedition will take students along the crest of the Cascade Mountains of Central Oregon. While exploring diverse and beautiful mountain habitats, you will learn basic backpacking and campcraft skills. The course also includes an emphasis on leadership, character development, and an ethic of service. From getting up early, packing your bags and cooking breakfast to hiking up a mountain, wilderness travel is demanding. You do not need to have any previous experience, but arriving physically fit 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.
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.
Build skills, form connections: Learn and practice wilderness, teamwork and leadership skills. Find connections with your crewmates based on support and respect (and fun too!), and in the thick of challenges, discover there is more in you than you know.
Value strengths and strengthen values: Uncover your unique character strengths, develop your leadership abilities and learn how to let compassion in to everyday life by pushing your own limits and working alongside your peers.
Demonstrate mastery: As you gain confidence in new skills, take on more decision-making responsibilities. Work together to achieve team goals, solve problems and succeed both as individuals and as a group.
What you’ll learn:For High School students, the opportunities to carry more weight (literally and figuratively) and make impactful decisions with accompanying consequences fills the expedition as you go through numerous trials and triumphs. It’s all about independence.
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.
of Eli Mauksch
of Mitch McCune
of Eli Mauksch
of Trevor McKee
of Alice Burgess
of Alice Burgess
of Colby Blue
of Jeremy Fox
of Colby Blue
Our backpacking courses focus on wilderness skills such as navigation, natural history and living in the remote and beautiful backcountry. Activities include: leadership and communication skill seminars, peak ascents and traveling through mountainous terrain both on and off trail. Leave No Trace camping techniques, navigation and first aid are additional skills students will learn. You will travel over terrain that may reach up to 9,000 feet.
Depending on the group and the conditions, an attempt to summit one of the many rugged alpine peaks in the course area can be made. The peaks we attempt are often day-long ventures, they are challenging and beautiful, and often require scrambling skills, taught by experienced Instructors. On backpacking courses, peaks that require technical gear or ropes are not attempted.
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, and may develop a desire to continue service in their home communities.
Courses typically end with a Challenge Event—an individual final physical push. This typically takes the form of an endurance run or triathlon-style challenge
In order for profound learning to take place, students 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 promotes character development, leadership, and service in the most engaging classroom possible … the wilderness. In real time, students experience the effects of their decisions on themselves and the other members of their group as they work to complete difficult tasks necessary for wilderness travel. Instructors challenge students to try new things and step outside their comfort zones. They also provide feedback that students implement on course and when they return to their communities.
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. The Central Cascade Range is home to the Three Sisters, Broken Top, Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, and Mt. Jefferson. Active glaciers, traces of avalanches, and the volcanoes themselves are the perfect setting for learning the more technical aspects of backpacking.
Course start, welcome and introductions, gear check, course overview
Travel to mountain trailhead, learn how to pack a pack, treat water and trail etiquette.
Camp breakdown, lessons on how to travel in mountain environment, navigation and map reading, camp craft skills, cooking and hygiene. Lessons on group dynamics, leadership, and communication.
Depending on group cohesion and interest there is an opportunity to climb one of the mountains in the course area.
Personal Challenge Event, de-issue gear, de-brief, course end celebration and graduation
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.
To secure your spot on a course you must submit an enrollment form and $500 deposit that is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 non-refundable enrollment processing fee.