For More Info Call:  503-946-3404

Oregon to India Rafting & Trekking - (Ages 18+)

Photo Credit: David Moskowitz

Course Details

    Location: Oregon, India
    Activities: Backpacking, Rafting
    Tuition & Fees: $7295
    Financial Aid Available: Yes

The Oregon to India Rafting and Trekking course is an extraordinary expedition that combines beautiful environments and challenging activities in two locations. This course is ideal for those who wish to explore the wild rapids and volcanic landscape of the Pacific Northwest, followed by an international expedition that puts these newly acquired skills into practice in the Himalaya Mountains and on the Ganges Rivers of India.

Available Courses

  • Available DatesCourse LengthAgeCourse Number
    10/5/2016 - 11/18/201645 days18+WIAM-671Reserve Your Spot TodayLearn More

  • Questions? Call (503) 946-3404 for more information.

How to Enroll

Steps to becoming a Northwest Outward Bound course participant:
Step one: Complete the online enrollment by clicking on Reserve Your Spot Today (above), or call to enroll (866-467-7651 or 503-946-3404, option 3)
Step two: You will receive a personalized Registration E-Mail from your Course Advisor within 48 hours.
Step three: Complete the paperwork that we have directed you to on this website.
Step four: We may need a couple of weeks to review your enrollment packet and approve your participation.

Enrollment Packet & Course Information

Enrollment Packet Deadline Policy: All applicants must adhere to the due dates listed in their Registration E-Mail. If you are unable to meet the requested deadlines, please be sure to contact your This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Otherwise, your spot on the course will be opened up to another student.

Adult Application

Physician Exam Form

Admissions & Enrollment Policies

Note: Supplemental Forms may apply if we need more specific information about you. Refer to your Registration E-Mail to determine which supplemental forms are required for your enrollment packet.

This section contains details that are key to the specific course you have enrolled on. This information will come in handy when packing, planning, and preparing for the adventure you have chosen. Please read these documents CAREFULLY and contact your This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  if you have any questions.

 Travel Details - 45 day - Oregon to India

 Course Description - Oregon to India

 Gear & Footwear - Oregon to India

Attending Outward Bound

Course Preparation & Physical Fitness

Information on Completing & Returning Forms

Supplemental Forms & Scholarship

Refer to your Registration E-Mail to determine if any of the following forms are required for your enrollment process. AGAIN, note the DUE DATE in your Registration E-Mail.

The Northwest Outward Bound School offers financial assistance in the form of Needs-Based Scholarships. The scholarships typically do not exceed 1/2 of the base cost. In order to receive an award offer, you will have to enroll in your chosen course, go through the enrollment and medical screening process and be officially cleared to participate on the course. There is a $500 deposit that must be paid at the time of enrollment, which is refundable if your scholarship award does not meet your needs. Please note that all scholarship applicants are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and awards are strictly based on need and scholarship money availability. The application form is available below. Please contact Skye Clifford (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) if you have any questions regarding the Needs-Based Scholarships, and/or other questions regarding financing for your course.

Need-Based Scholarship Application

Course Description

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 the Deschutes River in Oregon where students build their group dynamic, learn rafting skills, dial in personal systems and prepare for an international rafting expedition. After the rafting section, you and your team will transition to the first mountain section of your course and explore the diverse mountain habitats among the volcanoes of the Central Cascade mountain range. For the second half of this course we will travel to India and be joined by instructors from Outward Bound Himalaya. Once in India we will travel to the Outward Bound Himalaya field base to begin our expedition planning. From there we travel north to begin our exploration of the great Indian Himalaya. The Kuari Pass trek offers amazing views of the Himalaya and a complete immersion into all aspects of mountain culture in the area. After the challenge of the mountains we travel down to embark on the final river expedition. We start our river expedition on the Alaknanda River, a tributary of the Ganga, and float to its confluence with the Bhagirathi River. From the confluence we then raft the actual Ganga River. The course will end in New Delhi, India. This gives you the opportunity to stay in India and travel on your own if you chose to do so. 
You do not need to have any previous experience. We will teach you the necessary skills for each activity.

Whitewater Rafting– 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 progress into learning 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– 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 gives the opportunity to enjoy the surrounding without the burden of a heavy pack. Please note that peak attempts are dependent upon variables such as weather, group dynamic, and course outcomes.

Solo– Lasting anywhere from a few hours to an overnight, solo provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition. With sufficient food and equipment, you’ll spend time alone at an assigned campsite to rest, reflect, and practice the camp craft skills you have been learning throughout the course. We choose your solo site to offer as much solitude as possible, within hearing distance of other group members. You will not travel during this time and your instructors will check on you occasionally. You will be primarily alone for the duration of your solo. Many students are initially nervous about this aspect of the course, but most are ready for the solitude and break from activity when the time arrives. The duration of solo is based on the length of the course, weather variables, student condition, and instructor judgment.

Service– Service is an integral part of the Outward Bound curriculum. We encourage service to the environment in the form of leaving campsites cleaner than we find them and practicing Leave No Trace ethics throughout the course. 

Cultural Immersion/Town Days- During this course there will town days provided to explore the local area and take care of any 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 Yoga capital of the world. While in Rishikesh the course will attend the evening ritual worshipping the Ganga. 

Before our departure the course will 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. 

Course Area

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 water flow and cold water. Excellent geologic evidence is present all around this area. Courses generally travel anywhere from fifty to one hundred miles along the Lower Deschutes. The rapids on the Deschutes are rated to Class IV, mostly Class II-III, and are excellent for learning paddling skills and teamwork. The group camps each night along the banks of the river. The Deschutes region has a colorful human history, and a railroad borders 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 you and your team. 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. You’ll find a unique blend of dry east side and moist west side weather conditions which allow diverse types of vegetation to flourish. The area has a complex geologic history that continues today. You can find active glaciers methodically carving away the mountain and the dramatic traces of avalanches that altered the landscape. It is these features of the volcanoes that create a challenging playground from which you and your team will learn the more technical aspects of mountaineering and backpacking. Depending upon the peak, your summit attempt may necessitate glacier and roped-team travel. 

Kuari Pass Trek, Garhwal (Uttaranchal) India

The Kuari pass trek, a classic route also called ‘Curzon’s trail’ is an amazing trial that wanders through mountain villages, forests of oak and rhododendron, into the deodar belt and onto the high meadows with breathtaking views of the Himalaya.  After crossing the Kuari Pass (3,658m/12,000ft), we will then have an opportunity to summit Pangarchulli (5,000m/16,404ft). Frank Smythe, who came this way in 1931 en route to Kamet (7,757m/25,443ft), the second highest mountain in this region, summed it up beautifully. "We breasted the slope and halted, silent on the path. No words would express our delight. The Himalaya were arrayed before us in a stupendous arc". Some of the mountains seen are Kamet, Nilkanth (7,141m/23,425ft), Dunagiri (7,067m/23,182ft) and Changabang (6,864m/22,516ft), with even Nanda Devi herself visible if you walk along the ridge for a while. The blinding vision of snow peaks make all the effort worthwhile, for it is often said that this is one of the greatest mountain views in the world. 


Alaknanda/Ganges River, India

After the challenge of the mountains we then head to the Alaknanda River, a tributary of the Ganga and follow this river to its confluence with the Bhagirathi, from there, we raft the actual Ganga river. Getting a feel of a grand river and her environs, we camp on sandy beaches, check out small villages and look for elusive bird and wildlife as we negotiate the challenges of some great white water. In Hinduism, the river Ganges is considered sacred and is personified as a goddess known as Ganga. It is worshipped by Hindus who believe that bathing in the river causes the remission of sins and facilitates Moksha (liberation from the cycle of life and death) the water of Ganga is considered very pure. 

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