High Sierra Assistant Instructor

Job Description

The High Sierra Assistant Instructor (AI) position is a seasonal instructional position that carries out the mission of Outward Bound with students in the field. The AI works under the direct supervision of the Instructor or Course Director and is responsible for supervising, teaching and facilitating meaningful experiences for  students in the field throughout the course. High Sierra courses include backpacking, rock climbing and/or mountaineering activities. AI’s in the High Sierra program deliver a variety of engaging programs, ranging from 5-65 days. These programs and expeditions focus on leadership, service, and character development and take students into new and challenging outdoor environments.

Outward Bound California is part of a national network of experiential and outdoor education programs for youth and adults. We use the inherent challenge of the wilderness and urban outdoor spaces to teach people of all ages to be compassionate leaders, serve their communities, and build character to ultimately reveal the full potential within all of us. With a 50 year history in the US, we provide extended, expeditionary style rock climbing, backpacking, mountaineering, urban, and service courses, serving ages 12 and up, including adult and veteran programs. As a non-profit, more than 2/3 of our students receive partial or full scholarships to go on a course with us in the High Sierra, Joshua Tree and in the Bay Area.


You have Interpersonal and Educational Skills

  • Comfortable giving and receiving feedback
  • Able to work effectively with a wide variety of age groups and populations from diverse backgrounds
  • Able to use assertive, clear and effective communication
  • Able to effectively build rapport with both students and co-workers
  • Demonstrate cultural competency, role-model inclusive behavior and facilitate a positive group culture
  • Use a variety of teaching techniques to meet different learning styles
  • Able to effectively frame, facilitate, and debrief course activities in alignment with the Outward Bound mission
  • Able to structure lesson plans and educational progressions to effectively transfer responsibility to students

You have Backpacking Skills

  • You can navigate with map and compass on and off-trail through a variety of terrain and environmental conditions
  • Assess and identify route options through off-trail and alpine terrain
  • You have familiarity with basic campcraft, including MSR Whisperlite stoves, tarp set up and Leave No Trace principles
  • Manage self-care and energy in the backcountry for extended periods of time
  • Exercise sound judgment and decision-making. Assess and mitigate hazards

You have Rock Climbing Skills

  • You can place protection and build multi-directional anchors using artificial and natural protection
  • You can lead climb placing traditional protection at a 5.6 grade level or higher
  • You can instruct and demonstrate belaying and rappelling techniques

You also

  • Are 21 years or older
  • Will Pass a criminal background check and undergo Live Scan fingerprinting
  • Possess negative Tuberculosis test results from within the past three years
  • Hold or will obtain a current California Food Handler certification
  • You have or are willing to obtain a valid certifications in WFR (Wilderness First Responder), CPR and CA Epinephrine certifications before start date.
  • You have 2-3 years prior field experience in outdoor education programs or similar educational settings
  • Are able to maintain ample energy and focus to aid students and instructors. Ability to carry pack weights up to 70 lbs and able to run up to 6 miles on trail or road
  • Can be on feet most days – sometimes for up to 16+ hours a day, or possibly more in the case of an emergency
  • Able to work outdoors regardless of weather and season


  • Have experience working with diverse student ages and populations
  • Have an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor (SPI) certification
  • Have Technical Mountaineering Skills: Assess hazards and choose appropriate route option on 4th class terrain; Assess and determine appropriate site for fixed line use; Familiarity with basic snow travel, self-arrest, and group management on steep snow


  • Participate in New Instructor Training and Technical Skills Training (15-days)
  • Participate in Student Management, Diversity Training and All Staff Orientation (3-days)
  • Assist in course planning, including development of educational and technical curricula, route planning, food and equipment organization and packing.
  • Assist in the design and facilitation of programming in line with Outward Bound mission, educational framework and required components
  • Manage student group in emergencies, or in the Instructor’s absence, and adhere to all local operating procedures, safety policies and emergency procedures outlined in the staff manual
  • Locate and use communication systems in the event of an emergency.
  • Consistently strive to give and receive feedback with co-workers and supervisor
  • Demonstrate professionalism in attitude and appearance. Act as a role-model for students.


  • Competitive salary consistent with like-minded experiential education youth-development organizations: Starting wage is $86/day, with opportunity to advance in the pay scale after one season
  • Room and board in a communal living situation provided while on contract
  • Eligible for Pro Deal program, an opportunity to purchase outdoor gear at a discounted price
  • Eligible to apply for funds for professional development
  • Opportunity to enroll in supplemental insurance for coverage in case of accident or injury
  • Highly energetic and supportive work environment in a mission-driven organization
  • Paid training beginning May 14th , 2018


Job Availability: 

Position closes January 1st, 2018

To Apply

•Please submit your resume, field log and cover letter at www.obca.org/connect/careers/

•Application closes January 1st, 2018

Application Closing Date: 
January 1st 2018
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Midpines, CA
Job Experience: 
3 - 5 years
Job Starting Date: 
May 14th, 2018

Job Details

Job Details: 
Experiential Education
Group Facilitation & Processing
Outdoor Education Center
Seasonal Program

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