Contemplative Backpacking Trip – 4-Day (CBT-4): September 16-19, 2022
Have you ever tried backpacking to places you can’t reach by car? If you have, have you ever backpacked for days in the woods with the intention of walking on sacred ground and encountering God’s presence? Have you ever been guided into this kind of experience? If you have not experienced anything like this but are curious, then great. Curiosity, openness, and the ability to walk a few miles a day with some weight on your back is all you need. A 4-day Contemplative backpacking trip is our longest and most immersive “Creation Encounter” experience. It is a backpacking trip like no other, because it invites you to experience every aspect of the journey in divine contemplation.
More details and descriptions of CBT-4 :
Our next CBT-4 trip will be September 16-19, 2022 in the Cascade mountains of Washington State USA. You will be part of a group of no more than six participants led by two guides experienced in wilderness respect and safety, as well as, guiding contemplative practices and rhythms. We will be backpacking 5-8 miles per day on relatively modest trails with plenty of time for contemplation and conversation in both the stillness and movement of each day. We will camp and eat in community, and give ourselves to listening-prayer practices, journaling, and conversation before, after, between and during our walks on the trail. In our daily rhythm we hope to echo the monastic rhythm of ora et labora, prayer and work, and that in each element —travel, community, camp chores and contemplation—you will discover a more intimate experience of God.
If You Haven’t Backpacked Before—Will You Be In Over Your Head?
We are designing this trip to accommodate a wide range of participants, including those with limited backpacking experience, without gear of your own, or without prior experience in contemplative practices. If you are in generally good physical health with good mobility, you should be able to participate successfully. The terrain—and our pace—will be relatively modest, but be aware that you will be traveling up to six miles a day with a backpack weighing 30-40 pounds, carrying clothing, tents, and our group cooking gear. Backcountry camping is spartan—sleeping in sleeping bags on inflatable pads, eating without tables, using rudimentary pit toilets at campsites (or even the woods themselves!). Beyond appropriate clothing (e.g., well-fitting boots, a good rain shell, insulation layers), while you are welcome to bring your own backpacking gear, we have some equipment resources and can help you find what you need for the journey (including backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, pads). It is also important to recognize that although your guides make a conscious and thoughtful effort to mitigate risk using reasonable judgment, wilderness travel involves certain risks and you will be accepting those risks, confirmed by signing a liability waiver.
Your Trip Leaders
There will be at least two guides on your trip who between them will have certified training in Wilderness First Aid, significant experience in wilderness guiding and significant experience in guiding contemplative experience. Our leaders are committed to your safety and comfort on the trail, to your growth in skills and confidence, and to a rich and meaningful experience of contemplation in community.
Current and potential guides for our 2022 trips include:
- Eric Krumland: Eric lives in Leavenworth, WA and has 6 years of experience as mountain guide & wilderness program manager with a deep interest and focus on spiritual growth in a wilderness setting… He is also trained as a spiritual director through Soul Stream (Selah’s sister organization and the origins of our “Living From The Heart” Course)
- David Casson: David is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church, and also currently guiding wilderness trips through REI. He is a wilderness (and wilderness gear) enthusiast with lots of experience in the outdoors and prefers sleeping on camping hammocks to sleeping in tents.
- Kirk Webb: Kirk is a psychologist who also founded the Celtic Spirituality Center which contributes to our contemplative awareness through its emphasis on the relationship between humanity, spirit, and nature. As a guide, Kirk enlightens nature’s path with a Celtic lens.
- Troy Fenlason: Troy is a psychologist and contemplative guide who has been a leader in the Selah contemplative community for many years. He loves being in the outdoors and its constant reminder of the natural order of life. Besides contemplative backpacking he also guides “Ancient Paths” groups into the woods for 24hrs of prayerful solitude.
- Beth Griffin: Beth is a Mental Health Counselor and Spiritual Director. She has also been a leader for the Selah Center’s “Living From the Heart” program. She is outdoor enthusiast and has the capacity to travel farther into the woods and hire up the mountain then must of the rest of us.
- Adriana Haberlach: Adriana is a massage therapist who loves hiking the outdoors. She has a thoughtful appreciation for nature and natural foods, and a delightful capacity to notice and draw intrigue to things in the woods and an uncanny ability to spot mushrooms.
I’m Interested, What Are the Details?
We are hoping to field two different groups of six participants on the same dates. One group will travel along the east rim of Ross Lake in the North Cascades National Park, the other on an itinerary elsewhere in the Cascade Mountains still to be determined. The cost of the trip will be $350 with meals provided. Participants will be expected to provide their own transportation to and from the trailhead, their own appropriate footwear and clothing, and a personal stash of trail snacks (we will provide a detailed packing list). Participants are also responsible for bringing or arranging their own backpacking gear (we have some gear we can loan you, if you are missing stuff, let us work with you to find what you need). This includes backpack, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. A couple of pre-trip planning meetings will be scheduled after the registration period is completed.
Registration requires either a downpayment of $150 or the full amount of $400. Registration deadline is July 1st 2022. It is non-refundable after August 15th so that food can be purchased.