Alpine Backpacking Adventure

“This has truly changed my life! I will look back on this experience and think, wow, I truly did something magical.”

-Kevin, MWS Student

Get a taste of the expedition life as you backpack through remote areas of the Montana wilderness and develop MWS core outdoor skills in navigation, camping, backcountry cooking and teamwork. Learn about the natural world and develop a greater understanding of Montana’s wild places while challenging yourself and setting new personal goals. This expedition is an excellent introduction to backpacking in alpine environments and is specifically designed for 14 - 16 year old students.

Expedition Overview

Dates: August 4 – 13th, 2018
Ages: 14 - 16 years old
Group size: Max 10 students/2 instructors
Length: 10 days
Tuition: $2,100

Questions? Email Us.

Additional Resources Enroll Now

Expedition Highlights

  • Backpacking in remote wilderness areas
  • Adventurous alpine experiences
  • Possibility for Non-Technical Peak Ascents
  • Navigation, orienteering, and wilderness travel skills
  • Wilderness decision-making and communication skills
  • Experiencing abundant wildlife and ecosystems

Expedition Description

The Montana Alpine Adventure is our introductory expedition, specifically designed for 14 - 16 year old students. This multi-week adventure focuses on teaching students to be competent in fundamental outdoor skills such as cooking, camping and navigation while developing leadership skills as an individual and as a member of an expeditionary group. Students will be challenged physically, at appropriate levels, and will hike most days with heavy packs in a changing alpine environment. While navigating through mountain terrain, students will engage in lessons about Leave No Trace® camping principles and learn how to work as a team to accomplish common expedition goals. Each student will have an opportunity to be the expedition leader of the day and to use his or her newly acquired leadership skills. For more information about MWS core curriculum and expedition progression see Expedition Life  

Expedition Objectives and Learning Outcomes

Backcountry camping and navigation skills
  • Use safe backcountry kitchen practices to cook nutritious meals on a camp stove or fire
  • Demonstrate an ability to select an appropriate campsite and set up a shelter while minimizing impacts on the ecosystem
  • Understand and demonstrate how to stay healthy, warm, and comfortable in the backcountry
  • Understand and demonstrate techniques for camping and traveling in bear habitat
  • Use various navigation and route-finding tools and methods for both on and off trail travel
  • Travel efficiently in the alpine environment using map and compass skills
Teamwork and communication skills
  • Learn positive communication skills with diverse group members to create a healthy community, build trust, and make sound decisions in the backcountry together
  • Develop an expedition philosophy, apply it to the course, and understand how it can transfer back to the student’s home environment

Safety and wilderness based decision making
  • Backcountry hazard evaluation and risk reduction guidelines and tools
  • Learn to collaboratively make decisions in remote environments that prioritizes individual and group safety
Conservation Ethic
  • Use basic observational and interpretive skills to demonstrate an understanding and respect for the natural environment
  • Discuss the history, facts and potential solutions to pertinent environmental and social issues affecting the wilderness and public lands in the expedition area
  • Reflect upon and discuss the conveyance of wilderness conservation ethics into personal life and build a capacity for commitment and stewardship to wild places
  • Develop comprehensive understanding of Leave No Trace© ethics and apply them during the expedition
Technical Skills


  • Learn to properly pack and adjust a backpack
  • Become competent in backpacking in alpine environments
  • Travel off trail and discover unpopulated areas of the Montana wilderness

Snow travel (If conditions allow)

  • Safely travel on snow covered slopes
  • Participate in group snow school class learning about safe ice axe use, self arresting, and glissading
  • Effectively conduct self arrests with a mountaineering ice ace in various situations including while wearing a backpack
  • Basic awareness of avalanches and avalanche risk mitigation