Wilderness Based Orientation (WBO)

August 14-18, 2015

REGISTRATION IS NOW FULL!! Please call 970.943.7051 to be added to our wait list!​

Meanwhile, check out our retro WBO video to get stoked about next year:

Begin your college career at Western with an outdoor adventure! With WBO you will be part of a group of new students discovering what the great outdoors has to offer in the Colorado backcountry. Each WBO course is led by some of our finest students who will give you instruction on adventure activities and life in college.

The purpose of Wilderness Based Orientation (WBO) is to provide an opportunity for you to meet other new students and make meaningful connections, build friendships and get to know the incredible recreational opportunities that Gunnison has to offer before you begin your first semester here at Western.

All 2015 WBO trips are 5 days long. Participants may move into on campus housing Thursday, August 13th, before their trip departs.  Each trip costs $495. 

Financial assistance is available through the​ WBO Scholarship.

Rock Climbing

Take part in one of the most popular sports at Western- rock climbing. This course caters to the beginner and intermediate climber alike. Your trained instructors will take you through the basics of climbing equipment and technique to help you develop your skills. Experience first-hand the most beautiful places in the Gunnison Valley while having fun...and building new friendships!




Multi-Sport Adventure

Having trouble choosing just one course? Enjoy a sample of what WBO has to offer with this multi-sport adventure. This course will take you mountain biking on world renowned trails, hiking through majestic alpine vistas and flying high on a challenge course on Mt. Crested Butte.  You can do it all!





The Gunnison Valley, located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, is an ideal place for an introduction to mountaineering. This trip will teach you the essentials for a successful mountaineering trip including trip planning, rock climbing, navigation, backpacking and alpine climbing. This fast-paced and rewarding course requires carrying a large backpack at high altitudes (12,000 feet plus). Expect to be physically challenged, learn new skills, and build an effective team.


Whitewater Kayaking 

Experience firsthand one of the fastest growing adventure sports—whitewater kayaking. Your instructors will guide you through the training process, equipping you with the essential expertise, techniques, and safety precautions necessary to venture down the rapids. Beginner and intermediate paddlers are welcome. Tackling the challenge of navigating the rivers of the Gunnison Valley will surely be a rewarding experience!  Register early - this trip is sure to fill and is limited to 8 participants.



Sea Kayaking

Explore Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado's largest body of water, touring atop the flat water in your personal sea kayak. Carry within the kayak all that you need to camp along the water's edge. This relaxing trip will be a great way to have a unique adventure, learn valuable skills, and spend quality time with your peers. Be prepared to paddle yourself several miles a day through the beautiful landscape.



The Lake City area, just south of Gunnison in the heart of the San Juan mountains, is famous for its wildflowers and views. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn the skills necessary to enjoy camping and traveling in this beautiful backcountry setting. Be prepared to hike several miles a day over passes and peaks at altitudes over 11,000 feet. And remember— bring your camera!



Please feel free to contact us with your questions:
WBO Office  970.943.7051 or Director Christie Hicks 970.943.7107