First look: Our 2023 trip schedule

The first iteration of our 2023 trip schedule is now live.

View it below, or open the full sheet in a new tab for easier viewing.

In this first iteration, I’ve settled on trip locations, trip dates, and trip types. And I’ve estimated the number of groups in each session, based on historical demand and our organizational limits.

Based on the interests and abilities of the applicant pool, which I will have a good handle on by the end of December, I will finalize the number of groups, trip intensities, and guide teams. A few details may remain up in the air until I can reserve backcountry permits in mid-January for the High Sierra trips and mid-March for the Washington trips.

This two-step scheduling process contains some uncertainty in its earliest phase, but its flexibility yields a better overall result, since I can adjust the schedule to better fit applicants, rather than trying to fit applicants to it.

Changes and updates for 2023

As of Friday, December 2, the website has not been updated with information about next season. It’ll be a top priority for next week.

If it works, don’t fix it. So changes to the program in 2023 will generally be small or expected, most notably:

  • Prices will increase, to accommodate increases in guide wages, and in travel and food expenses;
  • 11-day trips will be offered again in the High Sierra, but also in Utah, Alaska, and Washington;
  • A 7-day or 5-day technical canyoneering course may be offered in Utah;
  • Wilderness First Aid (WFA) courses, as a standalone 1-day course and as an integrated 7-day course, will be offered again in Utah, but also in Washington;
  • In addition to being assigned a Fitness Level, each trip will be assigned a Technical Level, because we have found that aerobic fitness is not reliably correlated with comfort on technical surfaces (e.g. slickrock, talus, scrambling);
  • The application window for the scholarship program will coincide with the application window for the trips, both starting on December 13.
  • The cancellation policy will be simplified, to achieve the same outcome but with more predictability to clients who must unfortunately cancel.

When to apply

We will accept applications starting on:

  • Tuesday, December 13

For the first two to three weeks, it’s an open application period, and applications received will be considered mostly equally.

The open application period will end at 11:59 AM MST (-7:00 UTC) on:

  • Utah (April): Tuesday, December 27, 2022;
  • Colorado (May): Tuesday, December 27, 2022;
  • Alaska (June): Tuesday, December 27, 2022;
  • California (July): Tuesday, January 3, 2023;
  • Washington (September): Tuesday, January 3, 2023; and,
  • West Virginia (October): Tuesday, January 3, 2023.

After the open application period ends, applications will be considered on a first-come first-served basis for remaining spots. If you missed the deadline, don’t despair — submit your application ASAP and I can almost assure you that we’ll find a spot eventually.

Posted in on December 2, 2022


  1. Mike D on December 2, 2022 at 6:04 pm

    What’s WFA stand for?

    • Andrew Skurka on December 2, 2022 at 7:04 pm

      Wilderness First Aid

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