COURSE OVERVIEW

CCTE-241: Colorado Rockies Alpine Backpacking & Rock Climbing

Course Code: CCTE-241

Start Date: 6/10/22

End Date: 6/24/22

Colorado has some of the best backpacking and rock climbing in the country. On this classic course you’ll experience the best of both worlds. Hike up to alpine meadows and camp below gorgeous cirques of peaks. As you transition to climbing, you’ll take on a whole new set of challenges. Physical, mental and emotional: both activities will provide insight into your strengths and abilities.

Course Areas and Land Acknowledgement

Sawatch Range, Colorado

The Sawatch sub-range of the Colorado Rockies is home to Colorado’s two highest peaks: Mt Elbert (14,439’) and Mount Massive (14,429’). The range is known for expansive, rolling alpine terrain and multiple high peaks, and encompasses the headwaters of the Arkansas River. The source of the name is somewhat disputed but some source it to Ute words meaning “green place” or “blue water.” These regions are within the ancestral lands of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) nation.

Photo: Terence Copeland |📍Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) lands

 

Leadville Mountain Center, Colorado

Colorado Outward Bound’s 600-acre property at the base of Mount Massive. Our base camp encompasses mountain streams, wild plants, fields and forests. Lake Fork Creek (that runs into the headwaters of the Arkansas River) runs near the east of our property and the Colorado Trail borders us to the west. If the timing is right, colorful wildflowers will brighten the trails through the LMC. You might share camp with elk, deer, chipmunks and myriad other wildlife. This region is within the ancestral lands of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) nation.

 📍Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) lands

What is a land acknowledgment?

At the Colorado Outward Bound School, we include land acknowledgments in our work as a formal way to recognize and respect the traditional territories and Indigenous Peoples as stewards of the land. It is important to understand and acknowledge the comprehensive past, present, and future of the places we travel and to seek to understand our role therein. To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation we give to the Indigenous Peoples who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. Read more about land acknowledgments at Outward Bound here

Turtle Rock

Nestled in the Arkansas Valley, Turtle Rock provides the perfect venue for learning the basics of rock climbing. With sweeping vistas of the Collegiate Range to the west, students will climb and rappel on weathered granite domes while camping among the pinon pines and sage brush, in this high alpine desert environment. The Turtle Rock Campground provides a great introduction to camping, while still allowing for some frontcountry amenities like pit toilets and potable water. These regions are within the ancestral lands of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) nation.

Photo: Bethany Frakes |📍Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) lands

Activities

Alpine Backpacking

Alpine Backpacking will develop a foundational outdoor skillset for students allowing comfortable living during course. Traveling mostly above treeline, students will carry everything they need - food, shelter, clothing and gear – allowing them to go deep into the wilderness where few people go. Backpacking provides a sense of freedom, allowing students to eat when hungry, set up camp when tired, and exercise complete control over what is accomplished each day. The simplicity of backpacking gives students the opportunity to focus both internally on their own thoughts, as well as externally to connect deeply with others as they talk, sing, play games and spend time together without distraction. With the Colorado Rockies as a backdrop, students are introduced to backpacking with lessons in basic travel and camping techniques. As this section progresses, students learn Leave No Trace techniques, map and compass navigation, camp craft, and obtain an understanding of the area’s human and natural history.

A group of students are hiking up a field of large, loose rock above treeline. They are wearing helmets and using trekking poles while carrying backpacks.

Photo: Dave Erbe |📍Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) lands

Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing creates opportunities for students to enterprise their curiosity, practice tenacity and perseverance, and learn skills which will progress them to greater heights. Climbing allows learning of new body mechanics, balance, and energy maintenance techniques which will help students climb efficiently and unlock the incredible feeling of flowing up a route. Students will learn there are many ways to climb the same rock, allowing each climber to solve the puzzle in their own individual way. During this section, students will learn basic climbing techniques, helmet and harness use, climbing commands and belaying, and anchor building principles. Depending on the length of the section, students may have the opportunity to attempt multi-pitch climbs or lead climbing.

 Photo: Joe Kubis |📍Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) lands

Guided Reflection and Transference

At Outward Bound we believe there is no learning without reflection. Throughout course, you will be prompted to reflect on what you’re experiencing on course, and what it means in the greater context of your life. Sometimes this is a journaling exercise, sometimes a group sharing experience, and sometimes a moment of solitude to sit and think. You spend focused time toward course progression end exploring how your new knowledge, skills and attributes can apply to your life after course.

Hiking

Course with hiking sections includes lessons in basic travel and camping techniques. Students will carry small backpacks from campsite to campsite as their heavier equipment is shuttled by our staff. This allows students to learn fundamental backpacking skills while keeping the level of physical challenge appropriate. Along the way, students learn Leave No Trace techniques, map and compass navigation and camp craft as they get a feel for the human and natural history of the area. The simplicity of hiking gives students the opportunity to be active and to focus both internally on their own thoughts and self-reliance, as well as externally to connect deeply with others as they talk, sing, play games and spend time together without distraction.

 

Solo

Depending on your course length and environmental factors, your solo may range from a few hours to an overnight experience. Solo provides an important break from the rigors of both the expedition and the distractions from everyday life. This is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With sufficient food and equipment, you’ll have time to journal, rest, reflect, and look ahead to future goals. Your solo site will be close enough to the Instructors in case of emergency, but far enough removed to assure your solitude. You will not travel during this time and your Instructors will check on you occasionally. Many students are initially nervous about solo, but later recall solo as one of the highlights of their entire course.

Service Project

Some projects focus on land restoration and are coordinated with partners and land managers like the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service. Other projects are grounded in social services, and may include visiting a nursing home or hospital. Past projects include working on a goat farm, building trails, cleaning trash and debris from natural spaces, working with a local community garden, and removing invasive species. Seeing the impact of their actions firsthand, students develop a value of service, and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home.

Peak Attempt

Peak Attempts present an opportunity for challenge, teamwork, and the need to pull together all of your learned skills for success. Your expedition will include at least one peak attempt. Peak attempts are major enterprises and typically require early morning starts and can take all day to complete. Weather, or other factors including group dynamics and physical readiness, may preclude even an attempt to ascend a peak.

Photo: Naomi Winard |📍Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) lands

Challenge Event

A Challenge Event may occur at the end of a student's course experience. These are opportunities to test the perseverance, endurance, and grit that you've developed on course. A challenge event might be individual, like long run or peak attempt. Your event might be a group focused challenge, including long final travel days or group challenges that require all of the skills and teamwork your groups has learned. The purpose of a challenge event is to help students realize the extent of their growth, physically, mentally, and emotionally, and to take home these learnings in an unforgettable way.

Sample Itinerary

Sample Itinerary


The following is an example of what your itinerary may look like. Your actual course plan will vary according to weather, your group’s skills and abilities, and Instructor preferences.
 
Day 1: Drive to Course Start

Days 2 - 6: Rock Climbing & Lessons
Curriculum includes:
Basic leadership
Basic team decision making
Basic camp craft and cooking
Outward Bound philosophy and history
Advanced top rope rock climbing skills
Belaying
Rappelling

Days 7-13: Backpacking and Peak Attempt
Curriculum includes:
Basic map and compass navigation
Basic first aid
Backcountry living
Group off-trail travel
Peer leadership
Time management
Self-Awareness
Conflict management
Reflection/Solo

Day 14: Challenge Event and Course End

Day 15: Transportation home
What You’ll Learn

In addition to the expedition itself and all of the skills and learning associated with it, Outward Bound’s time-tested curriculum includes education on the many aspects of personal growth and learning that can be found in each activity you undertake. You will learn four important Outward Bound Core Values:

  • Compassion
  • Integrity
  • Excellence
  • Inclusion and Diversity

You may find that the most important lessons you take home are learning about yourself and your community while acquiring backcountry skills and having an adventure. You’ll learn to protect and appreciate the unique, unspoiled environments through which you travel.

Successful completion of your course demands mastery of skills, trust, fitness, confidence, tenacity, leadership, initiative and compassion. The promotion of these qualities and the discovery of what’s in you is the purpose of Outward Bound.

Tuition and Payment

For your convenience, you may pay the balance of your tuition online through your invoice or make a payment by phone. 

Please have the student's name, course number, course start date and balance due when using this payment option.

In most cases, a $500 deposit has been paid when you applied. Please refer to your Enrollment Email to confirm your balance*. If you are unsure of your balance due, please call (720) 381-6589 or email [email protected].

If your payment is not received by the due date listed in your Enrollment Email, you will risk losing your position on the course and your $500 deposit. Please review the Admissions and Cancellation Policies.

Tuition:  $4,895.00
Tuition Deposit:    -$500.00
Remaining Balance Due*:   $4,395.00
COVID and Your Course

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