Fly into beautiful San Francisco with the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance where you meet your Moondance leaders and the rest of the group! We’ll use these days to get to know one another and learn the basics of packing a backpack before our first adventure – backpacking in Yosemite National Park.
Home to some of the best rock climbing and backcountry hiking in the country if not world, Yosemite is an adventurers paradise. As Leader of the Day, or a member of the evenings cook group, or perhaps as a route-finder, you will have the opportunity to demonstrate the necessary leadership skills and teamwork that is responsible for every successful expedition. While in Yosemite National Park, we will spend the next few days starring at and climbing to features like El Capitan, Half Dome, and Tuolumne Meadows.
After all of the knowledge you have gained from your backpacking excursions, trade in your hiking boots for a pair of rock climbing shoes. Our new strength gained from the alpine valleys and ridges in Yosemite National Park will come to good use as we head to southern Yosemite to tackle some of the steep granite. Assisted by professional guides you will learn the art and basics of rock climbing. You will be amazed at how quickly you learn skills like: top-rope belaying, rappelling, and efficient movement on rock. Imagine the thrill of searching the rock in front of you for the handhold or foot placement when there’s nothing but wind at your back or air under your heels!
After a day of rest and travel, we’ll find ourselves on the Middle Fork of the American River, which will host us for two days and two star-filled nights while we learn to navigate its exciting Class III and IV rapids! Professional raft guides will walk us through proper paddling techniques before we take control of our raft, journeying through the intense Tunnel Chute, a 90-foot long rock tunnel! We will spend the evenings cooking meals and celebrating our successes together.
All of our skills we’ve learned on our Yosemite Classic journey will help us prepare for the most climactic moment of our adventure – a summit bid of Mt. Shasta. After we meet our Shasta Mountain Guides and learn the basics of mountaineering like how to use our crampons and ice axes effectively and how to be an important part of a rope team, we’ll spend two days making our way to the top of this 14,179 foot jewel of Northern California’s crown. With the encouragement of your teammates and leaders and a positive attitude, you’ll be able to check this amazing climb off your list of life-changing accomplishments. The view from the top, and the realization of your capabilities, will take your breath away!
As your trip is coming to an end you will have a couple more days to enjoy the California beaches. Travel to Half Moon Bay where you will surf and camp the next two days. You won’t waste any time as you spend a few hours in the morning with surf instructors who will work with you at the basics of surfing and how to stand up on a board. They will cater to everyone’s developing skill levels as you encourage one another along the way. Lunch will likely be spent beachside but the excitement for the Redwoods may drive you to decide to change location first. Either way, the afternoon will be spent amongst some of the tallest and most massive trees in the world. Be prepared to be blown away.
Our time in sunny California draws to a close and once we take care of final details (like exchanging addresses and phone numbers!) we’ll celebrate the end of a successful adventure with our signature banquet dinner.