- Listing Type: Summer Programs
- Destination: United States
- Program Delivery: Residential
- Session Start: July
- Session Length: Three Weeks
- Entering Grade: 10th, 11th, 12th
- Gender: Coed
- Category: Outdoor Adventure
- Sub-Categories: Rock Climbing, Hiking
- Selective: No
- Ages: 16, 17
- Accreditation: Gap Year Association - Program
Find new challenges rock climbing in the mountains. On this course, join a group of your peers and dive into learning leadership and rock climbing in one of the United States’ premier mountain ranges for climbing. You’ll start by backpacking deep into Wyoming’s Wind River mountains, where you’ll set up a base camp and learn the basics of outdoor living.
This expedition takes place in Wyoming’s Wind River Range, blending rock climbing with the fundamental outdoor skills required to live comfortably in the wilderness. The Wind River Range is a rugged, glacier-carved range renowned for its sheer granite and world-class climbing. Ultimately, you’ll learn the skills necessary to travel in the mountains long after your expedition is over.
You’ll start with basic camping and travel skills: cooking and stove use, map reading, Leave No Trace practices, and techniques for hiking and camping in grizzly bear habitat. A foundational course goal is building an inclusive community with your peers. Learning the value of teamwork, you will tackle group challenges and achieve common goals. Once in the mountains, you’ll establish camps where you’ll base your climbing activities for up to five days at a time.
Your climbing instruction starts with the fundamentals, including tying knots, rope handling, belaying, protection placement, anchor building, and rappelling. After you’ve spent time top roping, you’ll be introduced to more advanced climbing. Topics may include vertical-cliff rescue, fixed-line ascension, the fundamentals of lead climbing, and multi-pitching. During this part of the course, it may be possible to follow an instructor up climbs that are several hundred feet long and take most, or all, of a day to complete. Additionally, if you demonstrate proficiency with all necessary techniques, you may have an opportunity to lead climb. By the end of this course, you’ll have the skills and experience to pursue a lifetime of climbing adventures.
*Duration: 21 days (8–10 hiking days, 10–12 climbing days)
*Average group size: 12–15 students and 3–4 instructors
*Average age: 16-17
*Average pack weight: 50-65 pounds
*Introduction to wilderness living and travel
*Extensive rock climbing curriculum, including basic rescue skills
*Potential to lead and climb multi-pitch routes
*Black and grizzly bear habitat