Expand your outdoor skills away from the crowds in unforgettable Yosemite.
On this expedition, you’ll backpack in Yosemite National Park, what John Muir called "nature’s temple," and rock climb granite in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. If you are looking to develop your leadership skills and challenge yourself, this is a great course to discover what wilderness travel can offer.
Yosemite National Park receives 4 million visitors every year yet this course will take place in treasured areas away from the crowds so students can discover the lifelong benefit and perspective that only wilderness travel can offer.
This course starts within the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to assess the possibility of applying for this course!
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, heard the echoes at the edge of a vast canyon, 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 into 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 Middle School students, heading away from home means taking on new responsibilities and expectations with crewmates who are strangers when you first meet and trusted teammates by the end of your expedition. It’s all about confidence.
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 Rikki Dunn
This course provides an introductory experience in the art and craft of backpacking while exploring a rich national treasure. As no prior experience is necessary, instructors will teach the crew how to cook, set up of tarp shelters and on-trail navigation. Instructors facilitate activities and lessons focused on teamwork, communication and self-discovery. Each young person is capable of more than they know, and this course helps students realize their own potential and return to their day-to-day lives with increased confidence, work ethic and self-awareness.
Please note: Students carry both personal and group gear, which means packs can be heavy. Students should be physically able to hike with a 40-pound backpack to be successful on this course. If the applicant is under 5 feet tall and/or 85 pounds, please call Outward Bound prior to enrollment.
The course starts with several days of rock climbing where students learn the basics of climbing technique, belaying and knots, while building trust with team members and confidence in themselves. During this section, students challenge themselves physically on solid rock cliffs, and push their mental strength during a free hanging rappel with stunning views of the surrounding granite domes.
Service to others and the environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Students follow Leave No Trace ethics and complete acts of service while leading and supporting fellow crew members. Designated service projects are coordinated with land managers like the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service to collaborate on land restoration projects. Students develop a value of service, see the impact of their actions, firsthand, and transfer this desire to serve their communities at home.
Outward Bound believes, in order for profound learning to take place, there must be time to reflect on the experience. During course, Solo is that opportunity. It is a chance to experience solitude in the wilderness without distraction while also taking a break from the physical rigors of course. Students are separated from their group for a period of time which depends on course length and Instructor assessment of group capability. Solo sites are chosen to provide solitude. Students are provided with all necessary equipment, food and water. On this course, the Solo time will not exceed 12 hours.
Our courses vary in length from 4 to 85 days. On shorter courses, students will receive an introduction to leadership skills, strength of character and a desire to serve. With longer courses, the same outcomes and benefits are achieved but reach a more profound level of mastery, as there are more opportunities develop technical skills, receive and implement feedback and further personal development.
Yosemite National Park, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, is famous for breathtaking views of waterfalls, massive granite domes and peaceful alpine meadows. Yosemite is home to some of the world’s most treasured landmarks. While this course steers clear of the crowded tourist attractions of the valley, dramatic alpine scenery can be seen in the horizon such as peaks that rise from the valley to elevations above 12,000 feet.
The Sierra Nevada offers fairly stable and beautiful weather. Spring can bring snow and cold temperatures. As summer advances, temperatures tend to become more moderate. Summer temperatures are in the 70s to 80s during the day and 30s to 50s in the evening. This course area has some of the most famous, though often under-utilized, alpine climbing and backpacking routes for students to experience. These regions are the ancestral lands of the Northern Paiute, Western Mono/Monache, Me-Wuk (Central Sierra Miwok), and Me-Wuk (Southern Sierra Miwuk) nations.
Course start, introductory lessons to camp craft
Intro to rock climbing, belaying and rappelling
Anchor building and rock protection, mock leading
Main expedition, alpine peak attempt, solo
Final expedition: Focus on leadership among group members
Personal challenge event, gear clean and de-issue, 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.