Frequently Asked Questions
Who can register for this course?
This course is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors on a first come, first serve basis.
How physically fit does my child need to be?
This program is inherently physically strenuous. Participants do not need to have prior experience backpacking to sign up for this course, but should be physically active. At a minimum, participants should be able to hike four miles and carry a pack weighing 30% of their body weight. Above all else, it is important that participants have a positive attitude.
Will the group be co-ed?
The group will be co-ed. In order to ensure participants’ comfort in discussing and dealing with medical and general issues, will have a both male and female staff for this program.
What are the sleeping arrangements like?
Students will sleep in 4 person tents and will be separated by gender.
How will I know if my child is safe?
- The Program Lead on this trip is a Wilderness First Responder and has extensive experience with risk management in the backcountry as both a guide and program director. All program staff has a minimum of first aid and CPR training and have participated in an intensive week-long backcountry training in addition to general camp training.
- The Delorme inReach Explorer device that we will utilize is equipped with GPS tracking that will allow the Stone Canyon admin to track the group during their time in the backcountry. The device also has emergency communication capabilities that will allow the group to contact Stone Canyon and emergency services in the event of an incident.
- Stone Canyon Admin and the Meeker Ranger Station will have a copy of the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) that the group will follow in the event of an incident while on the trek. The EAP includes detailed information about potential risks and how to mitigate them, as well as protocol for dealing with an incident and detailed evacuation procedures.
- No communication is good communication. The group will have limited contact while in the backcountry. The Delorme inReach Explorer device will allow the group to contact and notify the appropriate agencies in the event of an emergency.
What equipment will my child need?
All food and group equipment is included in the cost of this program. Participants will be required to provide the following:
- Rain jacket and pants
- 1 warm jacket (fleece or down)
- 1 mid-weight non-cotton top (lightweight fleece, wool flannel or sweater, etc.)
- 1-2 non-cotton long sleeved shirts
- 2 non-cotton short sleeved shirts
- 1-2 pairs of non-cotton shorts
- 1 pair of non-cotton long underwear bottoms
- 1 pair of non-cotton hiking pants
- 3-4 pairs of non-cotton hiking socks
- Hiking boots
- Closed toed shoes to be worn at camp and for creek crossings
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad
- Backpack (fitted properly)
- Personal utensils
- Two 32oz water bottles
**We have partnered with Outdoors Geek in Denver to put together a rental package that includes a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and backpack for a discounted price. If you would like to take advantage of this package please indicate your choice when you register so that we can ensure that a package is reserved for your child.
What if there is inclement weather?
Although we will monitor the weather leading up to our departure, mountain weather is unpredictable. Our staff are trained to assess and manage risks, including weather related risks in the backcountry. In the event that the weather is too dangerous to continue, the group will alert the Stone Canyon Administration of a non-emergency evacuation due to weather using the Delorme inReach Explorer device and the group will return to the vehicles.
Will there be bears?
There is a variety of wildlife in the Flat Tops. Our Program Lead is working with rangers from the Meeker Ranger Station in the Flat Tops to stay up to date on wildlife activity in the area. While in the backcountry the group will follow Leave No Trace guidelines and food storage procedures to mitigate the risk of wildlife encounters. Although an encounter with a bear is unlikely for a large group, the group will carry bear spray as an added precaution.