About CLC

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Cascade Leadership Challenge is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that provides outdoor adventures and leadership opportunities to teenagers and young adults ages 14-25. Our events and expeditions challenge members to develop skills, persevere through difficulties and stretch themselves into highly capable people. Along the way, members build confidence, cooperation and trust.

Cascade Challenge members travel throughout mountains, rivers and marine environments of the Pacific Northwest. Our most ambitious expeditions have taken us to Alaska and Nepal, specifically Denali and the Mt. Everest region.

Our youth and advisers are constantly planning new adventures. By being in constant motion, Cascade Challenge is able to offer exciting experiences for both our experienced adventure travellers and our brand new members.


CLC’s program year has two seasons. During the school year, September-May, short events of one or two days are planned for nearly every weekend. During the summer months, the focus is on expeditions lasting one to four weeks. Events during the school year stand on their own as exciting and rewarding experiences. They also serve as training and preparation for the big expeditions of summer.

Cascade Challenge has three crews, each specializing in a form of adventure travel: Backcountry, Rock & Alpine and Watersports. Youth may go on outings organized by any of the crews but must chose one crew as "home base."

Additionally, our Explorer in Residence (EiR)program supports truly epic expeditions, which, like all of CLC’s events, are youth-led and adult-advised.

How We Fund Our Youth Program

Cascade Leadership Challenge is a non-commercial, not for profit organization, run by an excellent group of volunteer leaders. Our members pay a nominal annual fee of $40, and we run our trips on a break-even basis. By sharing costs with the people who are participating in the event we manage to keep costs down to $25-$50 per day, depending on the specific needs of a trip.
We operate on a “pay what you can, get in the van” mind set. We believe it’s more important to make sure everyone who wants to go gets to, so we keep the opportunity to learn leadership skills in an outdoor environment open to all youth. We will do everything possible to include any youth who wants to participate in CLC regardless ability to pay.

To fund Scholarship Trips and cover operating and equipment expenses we hold an Annual Auction. It’s a fun night with the leaders, crews and youth, and we invite individual contributors, local businesses and charitable foundations to financially participate in the success of these great kids and the community.

If you’d like more information on Community Sponsorship opportunities or to find out how you can volunteer, please contact us and find out what you can do to support CLC’s skills and leadership training work with Seattle’s urban youth.