This year marks the 39th year of the Whitman College Scramble Program. This year we have 20 trips planned with 63 student leaders and roughly 192 spaces for incoming first year students to go out into the field. Scrambles will travel as far as the San Juan Islands, WA to sea kayak and the Salmon River, ID to kayak and raft. Backpacking trips will be divided up amongst the Strawberry Mountains, OR, Elkhorn Mountains, OR, Wallowa Mountains, OR, Olympic Peninsula, WA, and North Cascades, WA while canoers will cross Ross Lake, WA and rock climbers will climb at Smith Rock, OR. The average trip length will be 8-9 days. 

We currently have two spots remaining in our 2016 Scrambles Program. We have one spot available on a regular rock climbing trip and one spot available on an early backpacking scramble.

An early scramble trips would be ideal for you if one of the following applies:
-you're an international student
-you're a varsity athlete with pre-season training before school starts
-you want to participate in the SCORE program AND Scrambles program
-you're able to go back home between the end of your scrambles trip and the start of orientation.

If you would like to register for either scramble, please begin the registration process on Compass at and also contact our Scramble Coordinator directly at

The scramble booklet below is for information only. In order to register for a scramble, you will need a Whitman College email address. You will get the ID number and information you will need to create a Whitman email address in the mail sometime during the week of May 16th. Accordingly, registration for Scrambles will open on May 18th.

Click here to access all detailed 2016 information via the online Booklet!  

Important Scholarship Information: We do not want cost to be a barrier to anyone hoping to participate in the Scrambles Program, so we offer scholarships to students receiving significant need-based financial aid. All students that apply to the scrambles program will automatically be checked to see if they qualify for a percentage of financial. There is a fund administered by the Scrambles Program that will cover up to 50% of the Scramble cost, depending on your level of need-based financial aid. However, if you for any reason cannot pay the $300 deposit fee, please do not hesitate to contact the Dean of Students Office at (509) 527-5158. If you qualify, the Dean of Students Office will look at your need and work hard to assist you in paying the $300 deposit fee and possibly more. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please don't hesitate to contact the Scramble Coordinator, Eva Geisse, directly by phone at (415) 827-4664 or by email at

What is a Scramble?

Start your Whitman career off right by participating in a Scramble! Each August, small groups of incoming first-years join three upperclass student leaders on an outdoor adventure in the Pacific Northwest. Incoming students are introduced to the region surrounding Whitman and Walla Walla, and have the opportunity to meet fellow first-years and older students during their week-long experience of a lifetime.

Scrambles provide an excellent opportunity for incoming students to meet current students, learn about Whitman, and gain a greater understanding of what to expect when they begin college. Scrambles also ease the transition from summer activities to college life by giving first-years the chance to meet new friends before school begins. So, how about taking a week before school starts for a wilderness adventure?

In 2016, the Outdoor Program will offer 20 Scrambles. These trips will include backpacking in the Wallowas, Olympics, Strawberrys, Elkhorns, Mt. St. Helens, and the North Cascades, sea kayaking in the San Juan Islands, canoeing on Ross Lake, rock climbing at Smith Rock, and whitewater kayaking and rafting on the Salmon River.

Most trips are designed for participants with little or no outdoor experience, but there are some strenuous trips for the more seasoned outdoor adventurer. 

There is also one early Scramble offered for athletes, international students and SCORE participants. That trip will return with time for students to make most commitments to their sport, orientation, and/or program.

The North Cascades Navigators - Scrambles 2013 video thumbnail. Image of trees and mountains.

Watch the video North Cascade Navigators-Scrambles 2013 HERE!

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