Summer Experience Trips

Yes, this is actually what the Sierra looks like!  Picture of the Yosemite High Country from Matterhorn Peak

Once snow camp comes and goes and class 10 rolls around the adventure isn't over! In order to qualify for what is quite honestly the most awesome patch and certificate awarded by an all volunteer wilderness instruction organization in the greater LA area you have to get out and complete two experience backpacking trips to use the skills we've been covering in class.

What qualifies as an experience trip?
  • An overnight backpack involving significant cross country travel.
  • At least one (of the two you're required to do) must involve a peak.
  • Trips can be either published official Sierra Club trips or a private trip organized by students.

Other than that there's a ton of flexibility. You have until October (the graduation party weekend to be exact!) to complete them.  Options range from easy two day excursions in the local mountains or desert all the way to technical epics into the deep Sierra and everything in between.

Once you've done your trips please email pictures of your completed card to the OC Registrar at

Where To Find Trips:

Orange County Led Trips 

Most if not all of these will be found on the WTC outings list but you'll see them here before they finish going through approval.  That means you have a good chance of getting on them before anyone else!

Wilderness Travel Course Outings

These are almost always trips that count as experience trips.  As mentioned above OC trips will eventually show up here as well.

How To Apply:

Send an email to the leader(s) and be sure to include the information:

1. The name of your group and the name/contact information of the group leader (used as a reference to make sure the trip is a good fit).
2. A "hiking resume" including recent hikes and backpacks, classes you've taken, and conditioning. Don't worry if there isn't too much on it beyond WTC - many trips are targeted at students and you will be able to add more as you do trips over the summer. Look in your WTC notebook for more details and a sample resume.
3. Any other information requested in the trip description. This might include whether you have a high clearance or off-trail vehicle, a recipe for happy hour, specific types of hiking experience beyond WTC, or anything else the leader needs to know to put you on the trip.

The leader should get back to you letting you know if you're on the trip or the wait list, and typically sends all the trip details out a few weeks in advance.

All trips require a medical form be filled out and provided to the trip leader. The form can be found here.


Q: How do I get credit for a private experience trip?
A: There's a form in your WTC handbook page A-1 that needs to be filled out and then either mailed or scanned and emailed to our registrar

Q: But what if I didn't like snow camp?
A: Don't worry! It's a long summer and there's plenty of trips without snow!

Q: But what if I did like snow camp?
A: Plenty of snow trips out there too!

Q: What if I don't have time off?
A: There's plenty of trips ranging from quick Saturday and Sunday outings to week long mule pack epics.