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Oregon Cascades & Idaho Salmon River Leadership SemesterThe Oregon Cascades & Idaho Salmon River Leadership Semester course is the longest course offered in the Northwest, and provides the greatest depth of personal and group leadership, technical and interpersonal skills. In 65 days, you will learn to mountaineer, rock climb, and whitewater raft in the wildest and most scenic areas in the United States.
The course will begin the moment students are picked up at the airport in Redmond, Oregon and will continue through the trip into the Salmon River in Idaho. From Redmond, students will head to rock climb at Smith Rock State Park, one of the best climbing sites in the United States. The semester finishes with whitewater rafting on two of the most renowned rivers in the west, the Salmon River in Idaho and the Deschutes River in Oregon. Although there will be times for rest and reflection during the course, it is still a very intense experience: seven weeks of skill development, backcountry living, and physical and mental challenge.
As most wilderness educators know, backcountry travel is demanding. It can literally take every waking moment to get from point A to point B. From getting up early to pack up and cook breakfast, to hiking up a mountain, paddling a raft or navigating, traveling in the wilderness can be hard. Past students and instructors agree that arriving physically fit is essential to the experience and ability to do well on the course and ultimately allow students and the group to take full advantage of the expedition.
This range is home to the Three Sisters, Mount Washington and Mount Jefferson Wilderness areas. Four 10,000+ foot glaciated volcanoes are present in this course area with a total of eight major volcanoes. Courses will attempt to climb at least one major peak in the area. The west side of the range is lush, whereas the east side is dryer.Snow travel is a possibility. Several of the peaks will necessitate glacier and roped-team travel. Peaks include: Broken Top, South Sister, Middle Sister, North Sister, Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Jefferson, and The Husband.
Smith Rock State Park, Oregon – Smith Rock is a world-renowned climbing destination that attracts climbers of every ability level. It is widely considered to be one of the top sport climbing areas in the country. Smith rock is a uniquely beautiful area that commonly graces postcards and calendars. The Crooked River lazily winds its way through the canyon, cutting a path through the cliffs and spires. To the west, the snow-capped volcanoes of the Cascade Range rise on the horizon, above the flat checkerboard of irrigated plains. One of the most striking features is a prominent spire, Monkey Face. Given the dry and temperate climate, rock climbing is feasible most of the year.
Lower Salmon River, Idaho – Starting in Whitebird, Idaho, the Salmon River has created the second deepest river gorge in North America (deeper than the Grand Canyon!) It is also the last free flowing river in the United States, and because there are no dams, sand is carried downstream from high creeks and tributaries and deposited in the form of beautiful white sand beaches providing idyllic camping conditions. The river meanders through the second largest protected wilderness area in the contiguous United States, The Frank Church Wilderness. The entire trip includes seventy three miles of river travel and many rapids up to Class IV. The river journey ends on the lower end of the Snake River in Hell’s Canyon, the deepest canyon in the country. Our seven day trips allow students to explore the many historical and cultural sites that the Lower Salmon has to offer, from houses lived in by Chinese miners to Native American pictographs.
Oregon Cascades & Idaho Salmon River Leadership Semester - (Ages 18+)
The Oregon Cascades & Idaho Salmon River Leadership Semester course offers the greatest depth of personal and group leadership, technical and interpersonal skills of any course we offer. In 65 days, you will learn to paddle, mountaineer, rock climb and whitewater raft in the wildest and most scenic landscapes of Oregon and Idaho.