A diverse and exciting program designed to keep everyone interested and busy throughout their stay, balancing plenty of action, learning, social and free time.
WEEK 1: ORIENTATION
Orientation is a bit like your first week at college. You will get to know the local area, learn local customs and culture, get to know your program mates, and really absorb the plan for your program. Your Pure Exploration program leader will lead you on tours, challenges, games and practical tasks to help turn you into a team, immerse you in Mexicoan culture, learn ‘how things are done round here’ and help you find your way around town! By the end of the week you’ll feel as though you’ve known your program mates for a lifetime, and will be getting used to sharing daily life with them!
Of course, you will also start your outdoor adventure! There's an overnight hike in the area planned, as well as a practice day to learn or improve your river crossing, fire lighting and shelter building skills.
MONTH 1: INTRODUCTION TO ADVENTURE SKILLS
INTRODUCTION TO ADVENTURE SKILLS & LEADERSHIP HIKING, CLIMBING, & GUIDING
Time for an introduction to the disciplines that will become your bread and butter for the next twelve weeks. You’ll get an in-depth briefing on hiking and guiding, giving you the core skills needed for the training ahead. You’ll begin developing technical skills in navigation and bush walking. We’ll build on your existing knowledge of equipment, weather, and nutrition, then introduce you to essential training in group management, risk analysis, and leadership.
ROCK CLIMBING - LEARN THE ROPES
Start your journey into the vertical world with an introduction to rock climbing & abseiling equipment, techniques and get hooked! For the first part of the program, you will be in the center of a world-class rock climbing area in northern Mexico known worldwide for its famous big wall sports climbing walls, called El Potrero Chico or EPC. You will have the opportunity to climb not only in EPC but also the local historical climbing area in Huasteca Park, where the principles of local climbing began in the late 60’s. We’ll start with top rope rock climbing in El Potrero Chico and single pitch lead climbing in Huasteca Park.
For the first part of the hiking module, you will have an immersive hiking/camping experience in Sierra de Santiago which is part of Sierra Madre Oriental, the biggest mountain range in northeastern Mexico. We will have the opportunity to gradually acclimatize our body to the altitude by going on a 3 day hike in the local mountains of Sierra de Arteaga, the highest section of the Sierra Madre Oriental.
CORE SKILLS GUIDING
You’ll learn about risk assessment, leadership theory, nutrition, weather analysis and group dynamics among much, much more. This module includes some classroom elements to introduce theoretical components of professional instructing & guiding. This short stage is followed by full-on practical tasks, challenges and field assignments.... Intensely practical, fun and learning by discovery.
MONTH 2: BECOME AN EXPERT
BECOME AN EXPERT
At this point of the program, we take it up a notch. It’s time to test your limits and push those new skills. We take you to a few more challenging locations where you’ll have to pull together as a team to get through, and where you’ll really start to see the value in ensuring processes are followed and back-up plans are in place!
WILDERNESS FIRST AID
Professional guiding is a little different to what most hobby outdoors people think - a lot more involved than just the skills required for the sport! That's why you will spend some time gaining Advanced Wilderness First Aid skills during a training course, preparing for the unexpected.
ROCK AND TREKKING
During this time you’ll be given an introduction to top rope and lead sport climbing while also furthering your trekking knowledge and skillset on more advanced hikes. So at the end of this module, you will have received training to satisfy Bush Leader and Rock Leader qualifications.
Time in the saddle can’t be beaten in regards to preparation, and you’ll experience a range of weather conditions, situational scenarios and group simulations to prep you for anything. This is the true nuts and bolts of the course where you’ll emerge a true leader, skilled practitioner and confident and enthusiastic outdoor expert!
MONTH 3: PEER ASSESSMENT AND EXAMS
ADVANCED HIKING MODULES
Your last month will have you dive deeper into the heart of Sierra de Santiago with a 10 day excursion that's split into 2 multi-day hikes. You will be based in the small town of Potrero Redondo in Nuevo Leon, from where you will explore surrounding trails and set up camp along the way with the help of the local guides. Ramble down the trails and scramble over boulders to hidden swimming holes and waterfalls.
Throughout your program we will facilitate time to jump into guiding! You’ll have the opportunity to lead one another and practice teaching your new found rock and bush skills! Each individual will have a minimum of 5 days as a lead or associate guide in bush walking and rock climbing.
Buckle down and consolidate your learning in preparation for your assessments. We’ve had a fantastic pass rate so far of 98%, so as long as you do the hours and are fit and healthy and raring to go, you’ll be sweet!
As well as completing your 2 x disciplines to qualification standard (as discussed on the previous page), you’ll also complete an International Wilderness First Aid Certificate to add to your repertoire.
After assessments are over, there is some great time at the end of program to rest, reflect on your adventure, celebrate at a fun graduation dinner and start planning your next epic international mission with your new best mates! We absolutely love seeing where our Pure Ex grads end up, some in guiding roles, some continuing travelling, some back to study or their careers, some joining us to work for us or our partner company Pacific Discovery! Some find the trajectory of their life has completely changed post-program, and head off to climb more mountains with new friends, new priorities and new values. The journey is just beginning!
This is a sample guide to what you can expect to do on the program. Please note that treks, locations and the order in which the activities occur may be subject to change, due to seasonality, operational requirements or health & safety.