Learn to responsibly navigate snowy terrain while enjoying some of the greatest winter views in the Rocky Mountains.
This winter expedition in the Colorado Rockies will teach you the fundamentals of traveling responsibly in snowy terrain. Through hands-on learning in the field, learn to assess avalanche conditions, observe winter weather patterns, and perform companion rescues. By the end of course, you and your crew will put your new skills to the test on a backcountry touring expedition: practicing risk assessment, traveling on variable terrain, and route finding. Enjoy spring snow conditions among pine trees and high peaks. Spend your nights warming up by the fire with your crewmates at our basecamp. Return home with the fundamental skills needed to assess and manage risk during winter in the mountains.
NOTE: Outward Bound strongly recommends that all students be vaccinated against COVID-19 and up to date as defined by the CDC prior to arriving to their course start. For all open enrollment courses beginning on or after April 15, 2023, Outward Bound will no longer require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. For questions regarding this policy please see this page or call us at 866-467-7651.
For detailed information on course availability statuses and what they mean,
Thank you for your interest in Outward Bound!
This course starts within the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to assess the possibility of applying for this course!
APPLY NOW This means a course has several open spots and is actively processing applications.
APPLY NOW – Almost Full This means there are three or fewer currently available spots left on a course. To secure your spot click Apply Now to begin an application!
JOIN WAITLIST Once a course has reached capacity, three waitlist positions become available. To join a course’s waitlist, click “Join Waitlist” to begin the application process. A $500 deposit is required. This $500 deposit includes a $150 non-refundable application fee and a $350 tuition payment. The $350 tuition payment is refundable only if you cancel your waitlist application or if an open position does not become available. If a position does become available, the applicant will be applied to the open position and the Application and Cancellation Policies of the Regional Outward Bound School will be followed, including forfeiture of the $500 deposit if you cancel 90 days or less prior to the course start date.
Waitlist applicants are encouraged to complete all required admissions documents while awaiting an open position. Positions may become available up to two weeks prior to the course start date. Applicants may only apply to one course. We recommend applying to a course with open positions instead of a course that is accepting waitlist applications. If you have questions, please call 866-467-7651 to speak with one of our Admissions Advisors.
CALL TO APPLY This means a course is very close to its start date. Although it is unlikely to secure a spot this late, you can call the National Admissions office at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
COURSE IS FULL When a course has reached maximum capacity, meaning all spots and the three waitlist spots are occupied, a course will read “Course Is Full.” This means applications are no longer being accepted.
CLOSED As a course nears its start date, the availability status may read “Closed.” In this event, a course roster has been finalized and applications are no longer being accepted or processed.
Course Start: introduction to living and recreating in snow.
Avalanche 1 Training: build snow pits and learn to make observations about snow, terrain, and weather. Practice companion rescues and both uphill and downhill snow travel.
Leadership in the Backcountry: utilize new skills and knowledge to lead a day of touring through the snow.
Course End: course end ceremonies and transportation home.
It’s time to make your own adventure. Outward Bound’s Classic expeditions for middle and high school students are built with you in mind. Make new friends, sleep under the stars, and learn skills like backcountry navigation and how to cook a delicious meal no matter where you are. You’ve got this! Whether you’re in a raft or on a mountainside, you’ll learn what you’re made of – and you’ll see first-hand how far teamwork can take you. Join us for an unforgettable challenge and discover a whole new way to get outside.
Build skills, form connections: Learn and practice wilderness, teamwork and leadership skills. Find connections with your crewmates based on support and respect (and fun too!), and in the thick of challenges, discover there is more in you than you know.
Value strengths and strengthen values: Uncover your unique character strengths, develop your leadership abilities and learn how to let compassion in to everyday life by pushing your own limits and working alongside your peers.
Demonstrate mastery:As you gain confidence in new skills, take on more decision-making responsibilities. Work together to achieve team goals, solve problems and succeed both as individuals and as a group. At the end of course, you and your crew will undergo a Final Challenge Event.
What you’ll learn: Your connections matter – working together to navigate challenges will quickly turn your crewmates into friends. Together, you’ll find opportunities to carry more weight (literally and figuratively) and make impactful decisions with accompanying consequences. It’s all about confidence, communication, and independence.
After you come home, many of the character, leadership and service traits you uncovered on your expedition stay with you, helping you navigate your daily life with more resilience and success.
The Colorado Outward Bound School is an American Avalanche Association Recreational Avalanche curriculum provider. Over several days of instruction in the field and at our Leadville basecamp, students will learn the Rec Level 1 curriculum. Crews will begin by learning to observe snow conditions, terrain, and winter weather patterns. Students will then learn to identify avalanche hazards and perform companion rescues. By the end of course, students will be empowered to lead a tour through the snow, assessing risks along the way. This training is an essential introductory course for anyone who wants to responsibly recreate in snowy, mountainous terrain.
Starting from our basecamp, students will explore snowy backcountry terrain. The crew will travel both uphill and downhill, touring on snowshoes, skis, or splitboards through dense pine forests and across vast fields of snow and mixed terrain. The method of travel will be determined by prior experience and proficiency – all levels of experience are welcome and if necessary, we will break into groups to accommodate different needs. Regardless of how you travel, sunny days offer clear views of the mountains and frequent snowstorms at night often provide crews with fresh powder in the morning.
Service to community and the environment is a pillar of the Colorado Outward Bound School experience. On each course, Students learn Leave No Trace ethics, and to recreate responsibly by preserving and respecting the fragile ecosystems they encounter. Students experience firsthand the social and emotional benefits of service, and they are encouraged to bring this ethic of care to their life back home.
Our expeditions help students grow into the best version of themselves.
We use challenge in the outdoors to empower students to discover their strengths and build authentic connections with their peers. Compassion for oneself and others is foundational to our educational approach. As students realize that they are stronger than they know, they develop confidence and resilience that will last a lifetime. Social and emotional learning outcomes include:
Belonging – students form deep connections founded upon respect, inclusion, and compassion
Reflection – students learn self-awareness and practice empathy towards others
Physical Engagement – students develop awareness and confidence in their bodies
Courage – students develop the confidence to speak up for themselves and persevere through challenges
Colorado Outward Bound School’s 600-acre property is located in Leadville, Colorado, one of the highest-elevation mountain towns in the country. We are located in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, surrounded by numerous mountains standing over 13,000 and 14,000 feet tall. Our basecamp encompasses mountain streams, fields, and forests. The Colorado Trail and Mount Massive Wilderness borders the property to the west. During the winter, basecamp is a winter wonderland. For much of the winter, the trees and cabins are covered in a blanket of fluffy snow. Snowstorms are often followed by bluebird days and clear nights. Some of the country’s finest backcountry skiing and snowshoeing can be accessed right from our doorstep. This region is within the ancestral lands of the Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Sioux, Eastern Shoshone, Jicarilla Apache, and Pueblos Nations.
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If you are ready to enroll on a course click the enroll button next to the course you wish to select or you can enroll over the phone by speaking with one of our Admissions Advisors (toll-free) at 866-467-7651.
To secure your spot on a course you must submit an enrollment form and $500 deposit that is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 non-refundable enrollment processing fee.