Why Wilderness Orientation?
Become part of Sierra Nevada College’s Wilderness Orientation Program and share in a once-in-a-lifetime experience with other incoming SNC students! Wilderness Orientation serves as an introduction to life at SNC and the pristine alpine environment of Lake Tahoe where you will be living. The Sierra Nevada backcountry is a perfect place to form new friendships, discuss hopes and fears about college life, and enjoy an exciting adventure.
- Ease transition into college.
- Learn basic wilderness and backpacking skills.
- Become familiar with Lake Tahoe.
- Create opportunities to discuss college life and the unique features of an SNC education.
- Greater consciousness through wilderness challenges.
- Awareness of the natural environment.
While Wilderness Orientation does not require backpacking experience, participants need to be fit and have a positive attitude. Outdoor skills in backcountry travel, community living, and the ethics of Leave No Trace will be covered. Over the course of their journey, students should expect to hike approximately 5 miles per day with a backpack filled with personal and group items at elevations ranging from 6,000-10,000 feet. Students will have the opportunity to visit alpine lakes, learn from backcountry rangers, and participate in a field service project. Through a shared experience of living and traveling together in the backcountry, Wilderness Orientation-eers are better prepared for a successful transition into college life and beyond.
Dates & Times
Special early check-in only for new students participating in the wilderness orientation course will take place in Patterson Hall from 9am to 3pm on Wednesday, August 7th. These few hours are for students to simply check into their dorm room and quickly drop off their belongings. Students will have ample time to unpack and set up their room once they return from the course on Sunday afternoon. Wilderness course instruction starts promptly at 3pm on August 7th and students will be under the guidance of the trip leaders from this time until after lunch on August 11th.
Orientation starts on the SNC campus and then branches out to our trails in the nearby Sierra Nevada backcountry. Participants spend four days exploring the lakes, mountains, and majestic wonders the wilderness has to offer.
Our trip leaders are a dedicated group of experienced outdoor enthusiasts who know the Tahoe backcountry. SNC Outdoor Adventure leaders take great pride in providing a meaningful experience for their participants. Through training in navigation, First Aid, risk management, group dynamics and leadership, our leaders are able to present an enjoyable journey for the group.
Cost and Equipment
The cost of $200 covers food, transportation, instruction, group equipment (tents, stoves, cooking gear, and maps), as well as any needed personal gear (sleeping bag, backpack, headlamp, and sleeping pad).
* Any equipment item listed in bold may be checked out for free on August 8th. Note: students are encouraged to utilize personal equipment.
Wool, fleece, polypropylene, or other synthetic materials are preferable over cotton garments.
All of these items should be packed into an identifiable medium-sized duffle bag or in your backpack when you meet at 3pm on August 8th.