This 12-day expedition combines the adventure of backpacking in the Andes and the cross-cultural experience of working alongside indigenous populations to complete service projects. Learn how to travel in the varied terrain of the oldest national park in Argentina, the Nahuel Huapi. Hike past volcanic rocks, deep, clear lakes and the flora and fauna of a temperate forest. Throughout the expedition, learn outdoor travel skills including backcountry cooking, camp craft, Leave No Trace principles and safety techniques. Along the way, complete a series of local service projects – and learn from the local populations' strong cultural traditions of a simple lifestyle, emphasis on family, close ties to the earth and the satisfaction of working with your hands. After some long, challenging days, return home with a huge sense of accomplishment and lifelong memories. No prior experience is necessary. Participants just have to be willing to dig deep, embrace the moment, and tackle the challenge.
No two Outward Bound expeditions are ever quite the same. Every crew is unique; every route is distinct; and every adventure is dynamic. But one thing remains the same. On each course, students rise to meet exhilarating natural challenges in some of the country’s wildest places – and find strength and determination along the way.
- Build core skills: Learn and practice wilderness, teamwork and leadership skills. Form a crew that supports and encourages one another, and in the thick of challenges, discover there is more in you than you know.
- Practice Outward Bound values: Learn to incorporate Outward Bound values into everyday life by pushing your own limits and seeking challenge as an opportunity for personal growth.
- Demonstrate mastery: As the course nears the end, take on more leadership and decision-making responsibilities. Work together to apply new skills and achieve team goals during this final phase of the expedition.
- What you’ll learn: Return home a stronger, more resilient individual. Discover increased self-confidence, improved leadership, and a desire to make a difference.
During the backpacking portion of this course students travel through the Nahuel Huapi National Park and can expect to complete an alpine expedition with elevation shifts between 2,500 and 8,000 feet. Instructors teach participants about map and compass navigation, expedition planning, first aid, emergency procedures, weather forecasting and how to minimize the impact on the land by using Leave No Trace techniques. After practicing these skills, the instructors step back and let the crew work together to collectively navigate through the wilderness.
Service projects for this course change to meet the needs of local community partners and may include such activities as, building fences, painting homes, harvesting fruit and building structures with local farmers. Participants can receive service learning hours for attending course and simply need to alert their instructors prior to the course start.
Patagonia, South America
One of the least populated regions in the world, Patagonia is a semi-arid plateau covering over 250,000 square miles, mainly in Argentina but extending partially into southern Chile. Patagonia’s unusual wildlife has attracted many scientific expeditions over hundreds of years, including those of Charles Darwin. The terrain is incredibly diverse with snow-covered volcanic peaks flanked by glaciers, ice slopes and permanent snowfields. The Patagonian steppe is one of the windiest and driest climates in South America, a sharp contrast to the western slopes of the Andes that receive some of the highest rainfall of anywhere in the world.
This course begins in San Carlos de Bariloche, usually known as Bariloche. The city of Bariloche (population 108,205) is situated in the foothills of the Andes on the southern shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake and is surrounded by the Nahuel Huapi National Park. The park was established in 1934 and is the oldest national park in Argentina and the largest in the region, with an area of nearly 2 million acres. Its landscapes represent the north Patagonian Andean Zone, which is dominated by the high mountain chain of the Andes, many lakes and rivers, waterfalls, snow-clad peaks, glaciers and extensive forests.
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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. Click here to learn more about the complete enrollment process.