Learn New Skills -- Make New Friends -- Experience New Adventures
For over 25 years, the Wilderness Travel Course (WTC) has prepared students for unforgettable wilderness experiences. Because instruction is dependent upon ideal desert and snow conditions, WTC is offered just once a year – January through early April – in four SoCal areas: Long Beach-South Bay, Orange County, San Gabriel Valley and West Los Angeles.
WTC is more than a backpacking course. Experienced volunteer leaders and instructors review the basics in a classroom setting before introducing you to a variety of outdoor terrain, from desert to mountain snow, and under varied conditions and weather. But you are prepared for extremes because WTC’s instructors show you how to stay safe, warm and, above all, found – through your newly acquired map and compass navigation knowledge.
The culmination of the course is a three-day snow camp, usually in the Sierras. But don't be alarmed by the prospect of camping in the snow. By the time snow camp rolls around, you know that if you eat, pack and wear the right things, you will stay warm and comfortable. In fact, snow camping has been known to cause a lot of smiles!
Following the 10-week course, in order to graduate, students flock to more than 100 WTC-sponsored trips each spring and summer. Graduates go on to participate in adventurous cross-country backpacks with family and friends or on Sierra Club outings. Some climb peaks in the Sierra Nevada or attempt trekking the John Muir Trail; others go on to summit Mt. Shasta or Mt. Rainier or Mt. Kilimanjaro – and beyond. Some of our graduates join the WTC staff and become rated outings leaders for the Sierra Club. Others simply do what they were doing before WTC; they just do it more wisely, more carefully and more enjoyably.
REGISTRATION FOR THE 2016 COURSE is OPEN. For more information about the course, please visit WTC's website.
[header photo of WTC Orange County Snow Camp by Matt Hengst]