Backpacking through the spectacular Three Sisters Wilderness will give you the opportunity to explore one of the most beautiful and pristine areas in Oregon’s Central Cascades. Backpacking courses carry less weight then mountaineering courses and focus on covering greater distances with more time for exploration. Along your journey, you’ll learn to set up shelters, cook, navigate using a map and compass and administer basic first aid. As the course progresses, you are empowered with more responsibility for wilderness living. By the end of the course, you and your crew will be ready for Finals, when Instructors allow the group to make route-finding decisions, cook, travel and camp as one capable team. Past students and Instructors agree that arriving physically fit will enhance your experience and ability to do well on the course, and, ultimately allow you to take full advantage of the expedition.
This course is closed for the season. 2020 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.
Backpacking courses focus on wilderness skills such as navigation, natural history and living in the backcountry. Backpacking courses spend time both on and off trail, and travel to remote and beautiful places that are ideal Outward Bound classrooms. Activities include: leadership and communication skill building activities, peak ascents and traveling through world class mountainous terrain. Leave No Trace camping techniques, navigation and first aid are additional skills students will learn. Students will travel over terrain that may reach up to 9,000 feet in elevation.
Service to others and to the environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Groups follow Leave No Trace ethics as part of their service to the environment and engage in acts of service while leading and supporting fellow students. Seeing the impact of their actions firsthand, students develop an ingrained appreciation of service and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home.
In order for profound learning to take place, students need time to reflect 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 length of course, 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 student at regular intervals, as safety is always the top priority.
This course will introduce students to the ideas of leadership, character development, and service that are integral to Outward Bound. Students will begin to develop these skills in an expedition setting so that they can continue to grow once they return home. Instructors will work to challenge students to try new things and step outside their comfort zones. As a team, each group will work together to complete difficult tasks necessary for backcountry travel.
Central Cascades, Oregon
Volcanoes dot the spine of the Cascade Mountains, rising as high as 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 you and your team. 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. You’ll find a unique blend of dry east side and moist west side weather conditions which allow diverse types of vegetation to flourish. The area has a complex geologic history that continues today. You can find active glaciers methodically carving away the mountain and the dramatic traces of avalanches that have altered the landscape. It is these features of the volcanoes that create a challenging playground from which you and your team will learn the more technical aspects of backpacking.
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.