The Oregon to India Rafting and Trekking course is an extraordinary expedition that combines beautiful environments and challenging activities in Oregon and India. This expedition begins on either the Salmon River in Idaho where you explore the renowned “River of No Return,” or the wild and scenic Deschutes River in Oregon. While on the river, your time will be spent building critical skills in rafting, teamwork, group dynamics and camp craft. This learning will serve as a foundation and the skills will carry over to the rafting you will do in India. As you transition into the first mountain section of your course, you will trade your wet shoes for hiking boots and explore diverse mountain habitats among the volcanoes of the Central Cascade mountain range. During this section, you will put to use the teamwork and camp craft skills learned on the river while learning basic mountaineering and backpacking skills.
Once you have built your foundation for rafting and backpacking, you will travel to New Delhi, India. As an extension of the technical skills you have built in Oregon, this international expedition provides a connection to the local culture and communities. You will trek in the Himalayan mountains and raft the Ganges River. The course will end in New Delhi, India, giving you the opportunity to extend your time in India and travel on your own if you have chosen to do so.
This course is closed for the season. 2021 courses coming soon.
Most College Savings Plans, including the 529 College Savings Plan, may be used to attend an Outward Bound expedition, thanks to a partnership with Western State Colorado University. Anyone can register – you do not have to be a current Western State Colorado University student. Registration is easy! Click here to learn more.
Do you ever want to unplug, step away from the daily grind to take on new challenges? Are you ready to conquer harder skills and remind your senses (or discover for the first time) what it’s like to crest a mountain peak, hear the echoes at the edge of a vast canyon or feel the rush of white water spray on your face? Take a break from your routine, radically change your surroundings and test your tenacity. Put some “firsts” in front of you and find moments of unexpected discovery along the way. Experience Outward Bound as an adult and prepare for an injection of adventure, awareness and adaptability that sticks with you long after you unpack your backpack.
Return home with newly expanded wilderness abilities, an energized outlook, a rekindled allowance of empathy into situations and relationships and an eye toward the future.
Outward Bound is accredited with the American Gap Association and is the longest running program in this elite group dedicated to providing safe, meaningful and high-caliber educational experiences to students.
Students will travel on the river in four- to six-person paddle rafts, and learn to “captain” (maneuver) their paddle raft team through Class II to IV rapids. After lessons in basic river travel and safety, students will learn to read currents, anticipate obstacles, scout rapids and negotiate technical portions of the river. Students will also learn river hydrology, swimming in currents, paddle techniques and expeditionary travel. While on the rafting expedition, there may also be an opportunity for short day hikes.
Mountaineering/Trekking courses move through high mountain terrain and focus on preparation for a peak attempt that may require the use of ropes, technical equipment, and possibly rock climbing. During this section of the course, students will start by learning backpacking skills including on and off trail travel, map and compass navigation and campsite selection. While in India, we will embrace the local traditions of large expeditions and use horses and support staff to move through the mountains. This will allow participants to travel with light day packs and enjoy the surroundings without the burden of a heavy pack. Please note that peak attempts are dependent upon variables such as weather, group dynamic and course outcomes.
During this course, “town days” will be provided to explore the local area and take care of any personal needs. While in Oregon, the course will visit the town of Bend. In India, there will be an urban navigation exercise in the town of Rishikesh, followed by an opportunity for students to explore the area in small groups. Rishikesh is known as the gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas and is the Yoga Capital of the World. While in Rishikesh, the group will attend the evening ritual worshipping the Ganga. Also, students will have the opportunity to travel south from New Delhi to the town of Agra to see the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India." It is one of the world’s most celebrated structures and a symbol of India’s rich history.
Service to others and to the environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Students follow Leave No Trace ethics as part of their service to the environment and engage in acts of service while leading and supporting fellow participants. Seeing the impact of their actions firsthand, students develop an ingrained appreciation of service and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home.
In order for profound learning to take place, students need time to reflect on their experience, and Solo is that opportunity. The Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition and gives students the opportunity to reflect on their Outward Bound experience. With sufficient food and equipment, students will set up camp at sites of their own, using the wilderness skills they learned during the first portions of the course. The amount of time students spend on Solo is based on length of course, weather, student condition, age and Instructor preference. Solo campsites are chosen to offer as much solitude as possible (and still be within emergency whistle-signaling distance of other group members). Most students spend their Solo time journaling, drawing, reflecting, thinking and resting as they process the lessons they’ve learned and focus on their goals for the future. Instructors check on each student at regular intervals, as safety is always the top priority.
Outward Bound courses vary in length from 4 to 85 days. On shorter courses, students will receive an introduction to leadership skills, strength of character and a desire to serve. With longer courses, the same outcomes and benefits are achieved with the opportunity to reach a more profound level of mastery as there are more chances to develop technical skills, receive and implement feedback and further personal development. On the Oregon to India Rafting & Trekking course, students will get to revisit rafting and mountaineering skills learned in Oregon during the international section of the trip.
Deschutes River, Oregon
The Deschutes River is part of the national Wild & Scenic Rivers System. The river flows north from the Oregon Cascades to the Columbia River and then on to the Pacific Ocean. The Lower Deschutes is a popular river for both whitewater rafting and fly fishing. The river is spring-fed, which results in an unusually constant cold water flow. Excellent geologic evidence is present all around this area. This course will travel the entire 96-mile stretch of the Lower Deschutes. The rapids on the Deschutes are rated to Class IV, mostly Class II-III, and are excellent for learning paddle skills, hydrology and teamwork. The group camps each night along the banks of the river. The Deschutes River Canyon borders the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs for the first 60 miles, and follows a railroad for much of the length of the Lower Deschutes.
Central Cascades, Oregon
Volcanoes dot the spine of the Cascade Mountains, rising over 10,000 feet above the forests, lakes and rivers of the surrounding region. These glaciated peaks run north and south and create perfect mountaineering objectives for students. The Central Cascade Range is home to the Three Sisters, Broken Top, Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, and Mt. Jefferson. Four 10,000 foot glaciated volcanoes are present in this course area, with a total of nine major volcanoes. Active glaciers carve away the mountain while avalanches leave dramatic traces that alter the landscape. It is these features of the volcanoes that create a challenging playground from which students learn the more technical aspects of mountaineering and backpacking.
Kuari Pass Trek, Garhwal (Uttaranchal), India
The trek over the Kuari Pass was the route followed by Eric Shipton and Bil Tilman in 1934 on their way to the Rishi Gorge, and by other mountaineers en route to the peaks on the Indo-Tibetan border. Also known as the Curzon Trail, this trail was named after Lord Curzon, who was a keen trekker, and it is said that the path was specially improved so that he could do the trek. The crossing of the Kuari Pass is a fitting conclusion to a trek that takes in three lesser passes and crosses five major rivers: the Pindar, Kaliganga, Nandakini, Briehiganga and the Dhauliganga. This trek takes students over mountain passes, through dense forests of oak, pine, rhododendron, fir and deodar, traverses bugayals—wide open meadows typical of the region which serve as high altitude summer grazing grounds—and numerous streams. Throughout the trek, students will experience truly spectacular views of the Himalayas.
Alakanda/Ganges River, India
Students will raft the Alaknanda River to its confluence with the Bhagirathi, and from there on to the actual Ganga River. Getting a feel of the grand river and her environs, students camp on sandy beaches, check out small villages and look for elusive bird and wildlife as they negotiate the challenges of some amazing Class III and Class IV whitewater.
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.