Women's outdoor yoga class.

REI Announces 2017 Outessa Retreats Designed To Connect Women with the Outdoors Through Experiences, Inspiration and Adventures

Three summer events in California, Oregon and New Hampshire

Feb 22, 2017

SEATTLE – REI, the outdoor co-op and national specialty retailer, announced its 2017 REI Outessa retreats with three immersive, three-day outdoor adventures designed to connect women with the outdoors in a supportive learning environment. Now in its second year, the getaways are filled with activities and inspiration, offer access to coveted gear and products, serve up great food and wine, and create the environment for making new friends and lasting memories.

“Whether you are an experienced outdoors person or someone who’s thinking about trying new activities, Outessa is about getting away from it all and reconnecting with the outdoors,” said Susan Viscon, REI senior vice president of merchandising and board member of Camber Outdoors. We heard some amazing stories from participants last year and we are expanding the retreats in 2017. This fun environment is designed by – and for – a supportive community of women who like adventure.”

More than 20 of REI Outdoor School’s top female instructors will partner with leading outdoor brands to host a full range of adventures, including hiking, trail running, mountain biking, rock climbing, trail photography, paddle boarding, kayaking, climbing, yoga, backpacking, wilderness survival training, outdoor cooking and more.

Registration for REI Outessa is $799 per person, which includes classes led by REI’s professional guides, use of on-site gear, chef-prepared meals, wine and beer, evening entertainment, inspirational speakers, and a goodie bag packed with products and gear.

2017 REI Outessa events will be held at three breathtaking mountain playgrounds. Destinations were chosen for their inspirational alpine environments, sweeping views, pristine lake, and adventure-ready terrain with miles of trails for running, hiking and mountain biking. Each offer resort hospitality and proximity to major airports, making travel easy for participants. The dates and locations are:

  • July 14-16: Kirkwood Mountain Resort in Kirkwood, California near South Lake Tahoe
  • August 18-20: Mt. Hood Skibowl in Government Camp, Oregon and 12 miles from the Mt. Hood National Forest
  • September 22-24: Waterville Valley Resort in Waterville, New Hampshire in the White Mountain National Forest

Customized Retreats

REI Outessa attendees will customize their weekend from start to finish. They will choose accommodations from three options: resort rooms or condos; “fancy camp” deluxe camping with fully-outfitted canvas tents, amenities and a concierge; and DIY camping at Camp REI, where guests bring their own gear. Participants will also select their daily schedules from more than 200 activities based on personal interests, outdoor goals and skill levels.

Each morning, women will start their day with a full breakfast before heading out on the trail, crag or water for small group adventures. Evenings are filled with chef-prepared meals and fire-side relaxation complete with s’mores, wine and beer, inspirational speakers, and conversations that reflect on the day.

“Last year, REI Outessa was a transformational experience for hundreds of women. Together with our brand partners, we helped women tap into an emotional and profound connection to the outdoors,” said Sally Johnson, the events manager for REI who helped create the Outessa series. “The beauty of these weekends is that every women discovers something about herself physical or emotional. Women leave with a supportive tribe to draw boundless inspiration and encouragement from and a new appreciation for living a life outside.”

REI will again be joined by more than 20 companies that represent some of the best outdoor brands and lifestyle products. Major sponsors include Big Agnes, Hydro Flask, Igloo, KEEN, Leatherman, Nuun, OluKai, Osprey, Petzl, Pro Bar and Salomon. Every company at the three-day weekend will engage with participants through experiences, product samples and brand ambassadors who share their passion for the outdoors.

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 23 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 184 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.