Leading X is a weeklong backcountry adventure that takes place from the cockpit of a sea kayak or the hull of a canoe.  Learn the fundamentals of traveling by boat, navigation, and camping while gaining leadership skills, developing personal responsibility, and forming community bonds that will serve you for years to come. Carry everything you need as you navigate river and sea to break camp at new destinations every night. 

You should be prepared to challenge yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally with the task of living outdoors with a small group for a week, but no previous experience is required. In fact, we love finding creative ways for nearly anyone to be successful on their trip. 

Make nature your classroom, and immerse yourself in new breathtaking environments with a group of your peers.  Enjoy hiking, fishing, talking by campfires, and some of the most satisfying work you’ll do this year. This is the kind of trip you’ll never forget.

If you are in the bleeding disorder community, and you can get yourself to one of our four unique Leading X course areas, the rest of the trip is free! Learn about all the course areas below.


may 7-13, 2017

Green River, utah

canoe expedition

Meandering through the Stillwater and Labyrinth Canyons, the calm waters of the Green River make up some of Utah’s most beautiful scenery. We will paddle a 50-plus mile stretch of flat water, following the rolling desert hills of eastern Utah into the majestic depths of Labyrinth Canyon. We’ll travel through the ancient times and history of the landscape as we view the ruins and rock art sites of the Pueblo Indians. Small hikes will get us close to the red cliffs, desert sunsets, and the warmth of the rocks as we create this memorable experience. 

Click through to gallery

Click through to gallery

 

May 7: Grand Junction, CO

• Arrive into Grand Junction

• Stay the night in Grand Junction

May 8-12: Labyrinth Canyon of the Green River

• Shuttle to Ruby Ranch, Utah on the river’s edge

• Canoeing Expedition on the Green River

• We will move camp each day, with a possible layover day

• Swimming, canoeing, hiking and more…

• Take off the river on May 12th

• Afternoon shuttle back to Grand Junction

May 13: Departure Home

• Participants either fly or drive home


June 18-24, 2017

Upper missouri river, MONTANA

 Canoe Expedition

The Missouri River is the longest river in the United States. We will explore this majestic waterway following in the footsteps of the 1805 expedition of Lewis and Clark. The Upper Missouri has a rich and interesting history, including Lewis and Clark campsites, century-old pioneer homesteads, Native American rock art and tipi (or teepee) rings, fur-trading sites, and steamboat landings. This flat-water float features cottonwood trees, sandstone cliffs rising from the water, and natural rock sculptures before entering the Montana Badlands, where erosion has carved a three-dimensional tapestry. Wildlife abounds throughout the area where elk, mule and white-tailed deer, bighorn sheep, coyotes, and pronghorn antelopes can be seen. In this journey we will experience, in an intimate way, the vast and historic Western Plains. 

Click through to gallery

Click through to gallery

 

June 18: Great Falls

• Arrive into Great Falls

• Stay the night in Great Falls

June 19-23: The White Cliffs of the Upper Missouri River

• Visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

• Shuttle to Coal Banks Landing on the river’s edge

• Canoeing Expedition on the Upper Missouri River

• We will move camp each day, with a possible layover day

• Fishing, swimming, canoeing, hiking and more…

• Take off water June 23rd

• Shuttle back to Great Falls

June 24: Departure Home

• Participants either fly or drive home


september 10-16, 2017

san juan islands, WASHINGTON

Sea Kayak Expedition

Nestled between the three great cities of Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria, British Columbia, are the San Juan Islands. Encompassed by the waterways of Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Rasario Strait, these islands are often referred to as the “Rain Shadow” of the Olympic Mountains, offering an average of 247 days of sunshine annually. With over 200 rocky, forested islands to explore, the area has become a world-renowned kayaking destination. These pristine waters are host to over 85 resident orca whales. Other treasured wildlife sightings may include minke whales, harbor and Dall’s porpoises, seals, river otters, and a variety of birds including auklets and herons. The region also boasts the second-largest bald eagle breeding population in the continental United States. The temperate climate, marine wildlife, and dynamic shoreline make the San Juans a paddler’s dream. 

Click through to gallery

Click through to gallery

 

September 10: Seattle

• Arrive into Seattle mid day

• Stay the night and intro to program

September 11: Anacortes to Lopez Island

• Arrive into Anacortes by the morning

• Late morning ferry to Lopez Island

• Evening Camping Spensor Spit

September 12-15: San Juan Islands

• Sea Kayaking Expedition around the San Juan Islands

• Itinerary will be dependent on weather and tides.

• We will move camp each day, with a possible layover day

• Fishing, crabbing, kayaking, hiking, and more…

September 16: Departure Home

• AM departure for the ferry

• Return to Anacortes by 10 am

• Arrive in Seattle to fly out in the afternoon


October 22-28, 2017

Black Canyon, COLORADO RIVER, NEVADA

Canoe Expedition

Las Vegas is our gateway to the Black Canyon canoe expedition. Starting our trip at the base of the Hoover Dam is truly a breathtaking experience and is subsequently followed by several miles of high cliff walls and stops at hot springs along the way. After leaving the canyon the beautiful desert landscape awaits with gorgeous views of mountain peaks in the distance.


This trip is fantastic for beginners to backcountry travelers and provides some really unique opportunities to experience hot springs very close to the river. Access to campsites from the river are very easy as we camp on beaches most nights. One of the hot springs that we visit is up a steep embankment (Sauna Hot Spring) and another (Arizona Hot Spring) is accessed by a 15ft tall ladder. There are also a few fun slot canyon hikes that we can explore as well but if you choose not to join, stunning views at camp along the crystal clear water will be worthwhile. Paddling can be a bit strenuous on this river stretch because water flow is controlled by the release of water from the dam and is generally very slow. We also enter the upper parts of Lake Mohave so paddling can be more intense in these low flow sections of water. 

 

Click through to gallery

Click through to gallery

 

October 22: Las Vegas

• Arrive into Las Vegas at a pre-determined time

• Stay the night in Boulder City

October 23-27: The Hover Dam and Black Canyon

• Put in below the Hoover Dam

• Canoeing Expedition on the Lower Colorado 41 miles

• We will move camp each day, with a possible layover day

• Swimming, canoeing, hiking, hot springs and more…

• Take off water October 27th

• Shuttle back to Las Vegas

October 28: Departure Home

• Participants either fly or drive home


Whether accepted into this adventure or not I just want to thank you for offering this amazing once in a lifetime opportunity to people of the bleeding disorder community. There aren’t many people that hold excursions like this for us and give us the chance to not only come together but also to learn from other people just like us. You really do make a difference and are inspiring to younger individuals like myself. Simply just thank you for caring about this select community and making a difference in our lives.
— Leading X Applicant

DETAILS

• Trip Cost Per Person: This Leading-X program is fully funded by Pfizer. Participants are responsible for their own travel accommodations to and from the course area.

• Limited Space: These highly desirable trip can only accommodate 9 participants. Interested individuals should send their applications in immediately! 

• Trip Includes: Lodging, expedition food, guide service expenses, leadership training, tents, sleeping bags, gear.

 

• Guides: Qualified guides will provide a safe, fun, and meaningful adventure.

• Medical: A nurse with bleeding disorders experience will attend every trip. Several of the guides and programmers have Wilderness First Responder certifications. Participants are responsible for supplying their own bleeding disorder treatment and extra emergency doses. We carry several well supplied medical supply kits.

 

 

• Participants: Adults 18 + years of age

• Tents: We sleep in 2-3 person high quality tents.

• Canoes: We paddle sturdy expedition Royalex 17’ and 21’ canoes.

• Clothing: A guide will go over the clothing that you bring and supply you additional items, if appropriate.

 

 

• Gear: We will provide sleeping bags and all necessary camping and paddling gear for participants.

• Cuisine: Healthy fresh food, vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and meats. We accommodate dietary needs. This is seriously good backcountry food, folks.

• A documentarian will attend each trip. 

 


You may only attend a Leading X program if you arrive with an appropriate treatment plan and medication for the trip. Leading X trips will involve many hours a day of repetitive motion (including walking, bicycling arm motion, bending at the waist, squatting, torso twisting, etc...). This may mean enough factor to assure coverage for 6 consecutive days of sustained moderate intensity activity (6 hours each day) and treatment of 1 to 2 joint bleeds and a head injury. We assess this preparedness together with our attending nurses. Anyone arriving at the course area without enough medication may not be admitted into the backcountry as a part of the Leading X group. We want to work with you beforehand to make sure that every interested person has access to Leading X. There is inherit risk in any expedition, and we make this requirement to protect the safety and wellbeing of the entire group. After applying to Leading X, you will be contacted by a program nurse to make a plan. It can sometime take a long time to gather enough medication to be adequately prepared for a trip like Leading X. Please reach out to us if you're having trouble preparing or if have any questions.  

You are accepted only once you submit proof of a travel plan (this may be a plane ticket, train ticket, driving plan, etc...). Your spot is not secure (and you may be placed on a waitlist) until you submit your travel plan. Prepare and submit your travel plan quickly, before your spot goes to another participant.


Leading X is an intensive backcountry expeditions. Once we enter a course area, we expect that every group member will complete the trip. Evacuations are reserved for necessary circumstances. If a group member sustains a small injury or common illness, they may need to finish out the week. 


Meet the GutMonkey LEADING X Facilitators 

CHRIS 

JOE 

HAELYNNE


GutMonkey is proud to work with Breakwater Expeditions to outfit and collaborate on all of our Leading X expeditions. 

info@breakwaterexp.com

 

BREAKWATER Expeditions

TODD MCKIBBEN

Todd McKibben, lead guide and operations director of Breakwater Expeditions, is passionate for the outdoors, environmental awareness, and service learning. For more than 15 years, Todd has worked within the outdoor industry, creating positive and impactful wilderness experiences for adolescents and families.

Lars Hall

Lars Hall, lead guide and cofounder of Breakwater Expeditions, has honed his skills as an outdoor leader and guide in some of the world’s most awe-inspiring classrooms. For 18 years he has developed, facilitated, and guided therapeutic experiences in a variety of settings ranging from the mountains to the sea, and he’s logged more than 1500 days in the field working with adolescents, adults, and families.

 


Click below to drop us a line with questions and applications. We love finding creative ways to make Leading X work for nearly any adult in the bleeding disorders community.