COURSE OVERVIEW

CUTR-222: Southwest Rafting

Course Code: CUTR-222

Start Date: 8/4/22

End Date: 8/11/22

On this course, you descend through carved gorges filled with both calm and wild water. You will dig your paddle to avoid rocks and frothing waves, and exploring memorable viewpoints, as well as yourself. You don’t need to have previous rafting experience to fully embrace this expedition which combines a stunning environment, learning technical raft skills, and developing leadership, community, and personal strength (not just physical).

We know that younger teens represent a diverse group. For some students, Outward Bound is their first time away from home; others are veteran travelers who have attended Outward Bound before. We plan our youth courses to set students up for success no matter where they are starting on the spectrum of the wilderness experience. The mental, social, and physical challenges you will encounter at the Colorado Outward Bound School are real, and facing them is a real accomplishment. These courses provide a structured environment with clear expectations and a daily routine that give you direction so that you can learn and exercise personal responsibility and group leadership skills.

Course Areas and Land Acknowledgement

Cataract Canyon, Utah

You hear “ALL FORWARD!” shouted above the roar of the rapids by the captain of your raft (that could be you). Next thing you know, you’re digging your paddle blade in deep to meet some of the biggest and best whitewater of the West. One of the most rugged and beautiful canyons in the West, Cataract Canyon takes you through the heart of Canyonlands National Park. You will learn how to guide a whitewater raft as you float past natural wonders and ancient ruins to the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers while preparing for what awaits downstream.  The Colorado River roars through 29 exciting rapids that rate with those of the Grand Canyon in power and difficulty, including the famous Mile Long Rapids and “the Big Drops.”  In the nearby canyons, fantastic rock shapes carved by the whimsical forces of nature await you as your group ventures off-river to jaw-dropping views. This region is located within the ancestral lands of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute).

 Photo: Olivia Schneider |📍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

Activities

Rafting

On the river, each day is spent learning to navigate various obstacles and how to anticipate the forces of the current from upstream. You and your companions will work to become a team, coordinating your spacing and paddle strokes. You will have an opportunity to be the captain of your crew and put to use what you’ve learned as you maneuver your raft through Class II-III rapids. Interspersed between the rapids are flat-water sections where there is a current, but no whitewater. At times, you will take advantage of this calm water to hone your skills and enjoy the view. Time in a raft is ideal for getting to know each other and forming boat pride, laughing your way downriver as you relax into river life. Afternoons can bring strong up-canyon winds, which create a challenge as you dig in to reach the camping destination. Rafting connects you to the river: the oasis of flora and fauna (including humans!) that rely on the river to survive in the desert. The soaring canyons complement the roar of whitewater, as well as the silences that can only be found in such remote beauty.

Photo: Curtis Huey |📍Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute), Diné, and Pueblos lands

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

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 as service to the environment and do acts of service while leading and supporting each other. Understanding leadership through service is an outcome of activities that require working together to meet and navigate challenges throughout course. 

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: Course Start
Day 2-7: River Launch, Whitewater Rafting, Day Hikes, Solo, Possible Service project
Day 8: Course End and 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 a link in your admissions emails, 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.

COVID and Your Course

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