The mountains make great mentors.

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The Outdoor Program

The Outdoor Program is intrinsic to your Cate experience.

Everyone participates in outdoor activities, taking full advantage of the breathtaking surroundings. Whether you’re scaling a mountain or surfing in the ocean, you’ll find your favorite way to stay active on the Mesa.

In the fall, you’ll spend your afternoon surfing, surf-kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, stand-up paddle boarding, or hiking—counting towards your athletics credit. In the winter, you’ll focus on specific activities, either surfing or rock climbing. In the spring, you’ll dive into the water for surfing and stand-up paddle-boarding, plus experience rock climbing and hiking at the level that’s right for you.

Outings Week

Outings Week takes place each fall and is designed to give your class the chance to come together while enjoying the beauty and challenges of California’s wilderness.

As a freshman, you’ll travel to Pyles Camp in the Sequoia National Forest, where you’ll hike during the day and spend the evening together around the campfire. During your sophomore trip, you’ll carry in all your food and gear on a backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park.

As a junior, you and your accompanying faculty head to the Kern River for a 40-mile-long, full-pack camping trip. When senior year rolls around you have the option of a week of college visits, a camping trip on nearby Santa Cruz Island, or as a leader on an underclassman trip.


Cate’s coastal California location means you are just minutes from some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and beckoning backcountry.

You can see the Channel Islands National Park from your dorm balcony, and gaze at magnificent mountains behind you. While here, you have the opportunity to hike, climb, surf, kayak, and adventure across the Central Coast.

On campus you can use the Claire Andriveau Drake Memorial Ropes Course located in a grove of eucalyptus trees. There is a climbing tower and a bouldering house for practicing your skills before off-campus climbing excursions. And when you’re ready to head out on an adventure Cate has backpacking and camping gear, surfboards, kayaks, rafts, and mountain bikes for your use.

Weekend Trips

In addition to athletic options, you’ll get to experience weekend adventures throughout the year, both day trips and overnights. You can backpack in the Los Padres National Forest, go hiking and kayaking on Santa Cruz Island, surf in Big Sur, or ski in Sierra Nevada. Groups head out almost every weekend to California’s stunning locales, giving you plenty of options to spend time in nature with friends.

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The Mountains Make Great Mentors