What makes a hero?

Great video by TEDEducation on the Hero’s Journey. Every client or student of wilderness therapy will recognize this pattern as their own.



Adventure Moduals

Legacy’s adventure modules are solidly based on the concepts of “Safe, Fun, and Meaningful”.  We engage our clients in activities that encourage individual participation, build group cohesion, develop self-confidence and self-efficacy, and provide meaningful challenge and a sense of accomplishment. Treatment goals are deliberately addressed through impactful adventure activities.  Adventures last 5 days followed by 2 days to stand down, engage in therapy sessions, and re-outfit for the next adventure. Some of our most common adventures include:

Technical Canyoneering:

Canyoneering is the activity of descending technical canyons by hiking and rappelling down obstacles.  People travel from around the world to go canyoneering in Legacy’s course area.  We have the equipment and expertise to guide our client teams down through some of the most spectacular canyons in the world; right here in our own backyard!  Some of our favorites include Chimney Canyon, Eardley Canyon, Little Iron Wash, Baptist Draw and Upper Chute Canyon, and our “secret” gem, Pete’s Dragon, which we scouted and pioneered ourselves.

Adventure Backpacking:

Legacy operates in some of the most spectacular mountain and desert terrain in the world.  We hike across 11,000 foot plateaus and through deep canyon gorges.  The beauty and solitude of the Sweetwater Canyon defies description.  The grandeur of the Chute of Muddy Creek leaves a powerful impression on anyone who has ever visited.  The areas where we hike and camp are the areas you see on postcards and panoramic photos of the desert southwest.

Mountain Summits:

TWe have several mountain summits within our course area that serve as solid objectives for an adventurous group of young men to conquer.   Mt Hilgard (11,533 ft), Mt Ellen (11,522 ft), and Mt Terrill (11,547 ft) are some of our regular targets.  These summit adventures involve a one or two day approach hike followed by the actual summit attempt day.  The exhilaration and sense of accomplishment a young man feels standing “on top of the world” is difficult to describe.  Sharing the experience with a team of brothers makes it even more powerful.

Backpack Fishing Trips:

Boulder Mountain has over a hundred fishable lakes, most of which are accessible only by foot.  Our fishing adventures are relaxing and gratifying.  Hike, fish, camp, repeat.

Wildlife Adventures:

We plan specific adventures around wildlife observation during peak seasons.  We observe and photograph wild horses in the Link Flats area of the San Rafael Swell.  We hike into the Fishlake Mountains to call and observe rocky mountain elk during the rut in September.  We watch desert bighorn sheep jousting and head-butting during their rut in November.  There is a large free ranging herd of American bison in the Henry Mountains that we locate and observe.

Mountain Biking:

Central and southern Utah has some of the best mountain biking routes in the world.  People travel from afar to enjoy what we have at our doorstep.  We ride in the San Rafael Swell, the Henry Mountain desert, and on top of Boulder Mountain.  Riding bikes is fun but we make sure we include the meaningful part too.

Ten Years after; Gary Ferguson Interviews Former Wilderness Clients

Gary Ferguson’s Keynote speech given at the NATSAP 2008 conference in Savannah, Georgia.  In this address Gary shares the journey of the students who he wrote about in Shouting at the Sky, 10 years after they finished the program.

Gary Ferguson – Interviews Students From the Book 10 Years After AAA from Troy Faddis on Vimeo.

Canyon Adventure

Crack CanyonEach week the clients and staff are given a position for the week.  We have Expedition leader, Equipment Coordinator, Lead cook, Navigator, Safety Officer, Expedition Photographer, Assistant Cook, and expedition Assistant.    These change from week to week.

At the beginning of our week we sat down with the team and determined we wanted to do Temple Mountain, and some canyon.  We planned the route with the Navigators help looking at the Maps and reading descriptions of hikes.  We planned meals with the cooks.  Talked to the safety officer to go through any issues we may run into, and what our roads mean with the expedition leader.

We found many challenges this week, including the weather and fatigue. We did Ding and Dang Canyon quicker than we expected and worked together well in helping each other over large cracks working on bridging and stemming.  We got a late start to Crack and Chute canyon due to slick conditions, fatigue and lake of time.  The group together made the c all to head back down crack canyon instead of doing the entire loop through chute.  The last canyon we did was Little While Horse, it was our only sunny day, which made for a lot of running water.  We ended at a great sport next to a running stream, that was great for meditation.

Two peak experiences stand out for us this week, week one beginning in dang canyon , we stemmed over 20ft crevasses a few of the clients were a little anxious around it, but with the help of teammates   we were able to make it down very safely. The second is a fire clinic put on by Client (JA). The client learning has some serious difficulty learning how to build a fire, after 3 hours no one had even bust a coal. So client (JA) had to make the fire that night.  The next morning, Client (JJ) woke early and busted a coal into flame, that night client (RW) busted a coal into flame, both over coming and doing what they didn’t think they could.

We dealt with a lot of weather this week, a few days of snow and one night of rain. We came together as a team to get proper shelter up, to stay dry and warm, making sure we were using the proper layering with our clothes, working at a team to get fire in a time of need.   The team became each other allies working together to ultimately accomplish more.

Crack Canyon