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.
This all-male identified course will give you the opportunity to develop your leadership, learn outdoor skills and challenge yourself - all a great start to wilderness travel. As a single gendered course, your group will be able to focus on positive risk taking, working through conflict and communicating about emotions, all within in a peer group who is at the same developmental stage.
Yosemite National Park receives 4 million visitors every year yet this course will take place in treasured areas away from the crowds so you can discover the lifelong benefits and perspective that only wilderness travel can offer.
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, 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 David Montero
of Rikki Dunn
of Kenja Griffin
This course provides an introductory experience in the art and craft of backpacking while exploring a rich national treasure. No prior experience is necessary, as Instructors will teach the crew how to cook, set up tarp shelters and conduct on-trail navigation. With alpine backpacking, students will venture off-trail and sometimes above treeline or on snow.
Instructors also facilitate activities and lessons focused on teamwork, communication, and self-discovery. Each young person is capable of more than they know, and this course will help 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.
of Rikki Dunn
of Rikki Dunn
The course starts with several days of rock climbing; students will 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 with 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. Participants follow Leave No Trace ethics 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. As they see the impact of their actions, firsthand, students develop a value of service, and transfer this desire to serve their communities once they return.
Outward Bound believes, in order for profound learning to take place, there must be time to reflect on the experience. Within course, the 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. Participants have 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, participants will receive an intro to leadership skills, strength of character and a desire to serve. On longer courses, the same outcomes and benefits are achieved with the ability to reach a more profound level of mastery. Longer courses allow for more opportunities to 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 tourists’ attractions of the valley, dramatic alpine scenery can be seen in the horizon like peaks rising 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. Our course area has some of the most famous, though often underutilized, alpine climbing and backpacking routes for participants to experience.
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
Course end and transportation to the airport
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.