- Listing Type: Summer Programs
- Destination: United States
- Program Delivery: Residential
- Session Start: June, July
- Session Length: Four Weeks
- Entering Grade: 10th, 11th, 12th, PG, College
- Gender: Coed
- Category: Outdoor Adventure
- Sub-Categories: Rock Climbing, Hiking
- Selective: No
- Ages: 16, 17, 18, 19+, 19
- Accreditation: Gap Year Association - Program
Find new challenges rock climbing in the mountains. On this course, you’ll join a group of your peers and dive into learning leadership and rock climbing. Backpack deep into Wyoming’s Wind River mountains and spend half your time climbing, and half your time moving to new camps to test your skills.
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.
Initially, your instructors will focus on 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 from which to base your climbing activities for five or six days at a time.
Then, you’ll start learning the basics of climbing, including tying knots, rope handling, belaying, protection placement, anchor building, and rappelling. Climbing is a perfect way to push your limits, develop confidence, build strength, and have fun.
After you’ve spent time top roping, you’ll be introduced to more advanced climbing. Topics may include vertical-cliff rescue, fixed-line ascension, aid climbing, 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: 30 days (14–17 hiking days, 13–16 climbing days)
*Average group size: 12–15 students and 3 instructors
*Average age: 18 / minimum age: 16
*Average pack weight: 50-65 pounds
*Introduction to wilderness living and travel
*Extensive rock climbing curriculum
Potential to lead and climb multi-pitch routes
Black and grizzly bear habitat
Opportunity for students to travel in small groups independent of instructors (based on instructor discretion)