Good Job: Off to Alaska
During the month of July, Mission Cliffs staff member, Jacob Harrington participated in a two week Outward Bound
mountaineering course in Alaska. Mission Cliff’s manager Donna Dunlap as a recognition bonus gave the course to Jacob. The course took place on the Harding Ice Field located in the Kenai Fjords National Park.
Jacob was joined by ten other college age participants from across the U.S. The duration of the trip was spent learning techniques such as roped glacial travel, snow camping, crevasse rescue and ice climbing. The trip also included numerous ascents of technical peaks, solo assignments and a service project.
Some of the biggest challenges the group faced weren’t even from the course, but were environmental. Learning to adapt to near 24hrs of daylight was difficult, as well as the storm that enveloped the region for the later half of the class. “Despite near zero visibility, and rain coming in sideways, we were still out there climbing and exploring. We were practically living in a cloud for a week!” recalls Jacob.
His most memorable experience came when he was lowered 30’ into a crevasse and was able to ice climb out on untouched glassy ice. Outward Bound teaches not only the acquisition of technical skills but of personal understanding as well. “I walked away from this course with a changed perspective on what things I feel are important in my life. Often when one gets wrapped up in the trappings of life, it’s important to have experiences like this to look back upon.”
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