Below are highlights of the trips you'll be taking as part of the Wilderness Travel Course. For more details, click on the links to the right, where information will be updated as plans are finalized.
Sunday, January 8: Introductory Hike
Hike in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Sunday, January 22: Full Day Hike
An all-day hike in the local mountains.
Saturday-Sunday, February 4 and 5: Cross-Country Travel and Navigation
The bus leaves from Los Angeles EARLY on Saturday morning and you will be in Joshua Tree by mid-morning. This trip is an overnight "car-camp", meaning you don't have to haul all your earthly belongings in your backpack—the bus will drop you off right at the campsite.
On Saturday we will learn and practice rock-scrambling skills and then climb a nearby 3rd-class peak where your new skills will be put to the test.
On Sunday, we'll be breaking into small groups to practice navigation in the Joshua Tree desert. If no one gets lost, the bus departs mid-afternoon on Sunday and you can expect to be back in LA by sometime in the evening.
Sunday, February 19: Snow Travel Day
Another full-day hike in the local mountains...this time on snowshoes. We'll be practicing snow travel skills in preparation for the upcoming snow camp. There will be an optional dinner afterwards at a nearby restaurant.
Friday-Sunday, March 3-5: Snow Camp
Time to put all your new skills to the test! The bus will leave Friday morning for a trip to the Sierras near Bishop, CA. On Friday afternoon the group will be hiking into camp with backpacks, prepared to spend the next two nights in the snow.
Saturday will be a full day out in the snow with a day hike, practice building emergency snow shelters and the always entertaining snowshoe race!
On Sunday we'll be packing up and heading back to civilization with a detour in Bishop for pizza!
Summer Experience Trips
With all your new skills and knowledge, you'll be ready to sign up for Sierra Club trips throughout the summer and fall. Other than an ocassional small permit fee, these trips are free and led by experienced volunteer Sierra Club outings leaders. There are really easy trips...and really gnarly ones. To graduate, you'll need to do at least two trips.
October: Graduation at Joshua Tree
After the lectures and the field trips and the experience trips...well that's when the real fun begins. In October we'll all reconvene in Joshua Tree to do a little hiking and a lot of celebrating at the annual Wilderness Travel Course graduation ceremony.