Course Code: CCTX-2461
Start Date: 6/22/24
End Date: 7/21/24
Explore some of the most breathtaking mountains of the Colorado Rockies. Adventure over dirt, snow, ice, and rocks to reach seldom-traveled summits. Build confidence in using mountaineering tools like ice axes and fixed ropes. Then switch gears at hidden backcountry climbing sites, where Instructors will teach you to climb granite rocks high above the trees. Experience the incredible feeling of accomplishing a route and pausing at the top to enjoy the views from above the clouds. Every day on this expedition will be an opportunity to learn new skills, bond with your crew, and connect with the natural world. By the end of your expedition, you and your crewmates will be the leaders. Previous experience is not necessary, and you do not need to be an all-star athlete to thrive on this course. Enthusiasm for taking on physical and mental challenges is the most important thing to bring to course. At the end of it all, you’ll emerge a confident and resilient leader with the tools to be your best self on the trails and at home.
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
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Nestled in the southwestern corner of Colorado, the San Juan Range offers students a chance to explore one of the most rugged and picturesque mountain ranges in the state. This range is renowned for its colorful terrain, high alpine lakes, and a plethora of ridgeline trails. Adventurers can expect challenging trails, as well as the chance to learn about the region's abundant mining history. Lucky students may spot shepherds on horseback traveling with their herd. The range was prospected for minerals in the 1800s and students may hike past historic mining camps that have been long since abandoned. This mountain range lies within the ancestral lands of the Ute nation.
Photo: Ian McConnell |📍 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.
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 Rocky Mountains 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.
Photo: Dave Erbe |📍Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) lands
A rugged and exciting form of backcountry travel, mountaineering sections allow students opportunities for challenge and adventure, success and failure, and learning a progression of skills to acheive higher summits via more technical routes. Students will practice mountaineering snow techniques like kicking steps, glissading and self-arresting. Fixed line travel and roped belays will be used to ascend a mix of terrain. Snow and rock conditions can be expected, as the high country of the Rockies can be unpredictable. Mountaineering sections also have the opportunity to access backcountry rock climbing sites, where students can hone their climbing, belaying, and rappelling techniques. These sections will be challenging and the rewards are well worth the effort.
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.
Solo is a time when you’ll get the opportunity to spend time alone during course. With sufficient food and equipment, your Solo will be a chance to reflect on your course experience, journal, and connect with nature. Depending on your course length and environmental factors, Solo can range from 30 minutes to an overnight experience. You will not travel during this time and your Instructors may check on you occasionally. Your solo site will be close enough to your Instructors in case of emergency, but far enough removed to enjoy solitude. Many students are initially nervous about solo, but later recall it as one of the highlights of their course.
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
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.
Service is a pillar of the Outward Bound experience. On each course, students learn to practice intentional service to themselves, to others and to the environment. This may look like practicing self-care or supporting a crewmate who is having a hard day. Participants also learn to Leave No Trace ethics, practicing service to the environment by preserving and respecting the fragile ecosystems they encounter. Students experience firsthand the social and emotional benefits of acts of service. They are encouraged to bring this ethic of care to their life back home.
Day 1: Course Start
Course area familiarization and introduction to safety in the backcountry
Days 2-13: Backpacking and Rock Climbing
Develop skills in hiking, navigation, climbing in the backcountry, and camp craft
Days 14-25: Mountaineering and Rock Climbing
Learn mountaineering techniques to travel across technical terrain. Attempt to summit a peak. Increase skills in climbing and rope systems.
Days 26-28: Opportunity for solo experience and a student-led final expedition
Day 29: Challenge Event and Course End
Culminating Challenge (Group or individual)
Day 30: Transportation home
Our expeditions help students grow into the best version of themselves. We use adventure in the outdoors to help students discover their strengths and build authentic connections with their peers. Compassion for oneself and others is foundational to the Outward Bound experience. As students develop outdoor skills, they also gain confidence and leadership tools that will last a lifetime. Course outcomes include:
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You can pay your tuition online through your Applicant Portal or make the payment over the phone by calling 720-381-6589.
If your payment is not received by the due date listed in your Enrollment Email and on your Applicant Portal, you will risk losing your spot on course and your $500 deposit. Please review our Admissions and Cancellation Policies.
Airfare, travel costs, and non-refundable tuition payments are expensive. Insurance to protect your trip and course is strongly encouraged. We recommend insuring these costs from the third-party provider InsureMyTrip. This provider has coverage options that include travel costs and non-refundable tuition costs. For more information and to receive a free quote, click here.
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