2 Weeks Ages • 14-17
Just like all Wilderness Adventure trips, Over & Under is an entirely outdoor experience designed for the high school aged climbing and caving lover. Though no climbing or caving experience is necessary, we definitely want you to come pumped to learn, to get out of your comfort zone, and to thrive outdoors with an incredible set of new friends. You will camp in backpacking tents, cook backpacker style meals on Whisperlite stoves, and share the accomplishments of each day with your group and leaders by the fire each night.
Over & Under is designed for kids who are seeking a deeper understanding and experience in all things rock climbing and caving. Over the course of 2 weeks, you’ll work with both our climbing and cave instructors to learn everything from belay practices and anchor set-ups to cave ecology and technical cave skills. Our Karst area of Virginia is littered with incredible climbing and cave sites thus offering you an amazing experience both above and below ground! To top it all off, a summer adventure course wouldn’t be complete without time in or on the water. So after a full day of dirt and sweat, we’ll look for great opportunities for your group to cool off in a nearby waterfall or a relaxing float on the river.
Over & Under begins on Base Camp with a thorough introduction to teamwork practices and an exploration of your group's dynamics…after all, you’ll be spending the next 2 weeks learning to trust each other and in turn, build lasting friendships. For these first few days, you’ll learn backcountry camping practices & techniques while also taking part in comprehensive rope-management classes, belay certification, and an introduction to anchor set-ups and climbing techniques on our climbing wall. Between technical classes, your cave instructor will guide you through interactive cave ecology classes, bat house construction, and cave-map reading.
Finally, it’s time to put your learned techniques to practice. The group, comprised of up to 12 participants, 1 female leader and 1 male leader, will then venture off-site to explore the regions various crags and caves. It’s here that you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about various climbing methods such as sport climbing and traditional climbing. You’ll place anchors, lead climb (on back-up belay) and test your physical abilities on vertical rock. Underground, you’ll take time to explore larger caves, wiggle through passages, experience a vertical cave, and practice rescue scenarios. Between it all, you’ll have time to laugh, play, and splash with your group in nearby waterfalls and river floats.
Finally, you'll return to Base Camp, invigorated, exhausted, and inspired where you'll enjoy a Friday full of WA's traditional festivities: the 900' Zip Line, Spaghetti Dinner, Closing Campfire, and the WAlympics for all groups!
Just like all of our trips at Wilderness Adventure we provide all of the gear needed for the trip. You can check out our Packing List for more information about what you might need to bring to camp. For the Over & Under trip we recommend a good pair of water shoes and an extra set of shoes for caving that you don’t mind getting super muddy!
Each week, participants will work to develop many outdoor living skills such as:
efficient backpacking techniques
daily campsite set-up and breakdown
backcountry meal preparation and stove operation
risk management and backcountry safety procedures
Leave No Trace Principles
lead-climbing experience (on back-up belay)
exploration of various cave types
cave rescue scenarios and practice
waterfalls, canoeing, and tubing opportunities
Throughout the week, participants will rotate through various leadership rolls that will help them grow in our 4 core areas for leadership: