The Outdoor Adventure Center has taken advantage of Southern Idaho’s abnormal snowfall this winter through trips and events which Idaho State University student can get involved with.
The OAC helps those who want to engage in any outdoor activities including cross-country skiing and snowshoeing by renting out equipment and sponsoring trips, such as the cross-country ski trip to West Yellowstone this past weekend.
“It works really good for us because it gets people excited about playing outside,” said OAC director Justin Dayley. “It’s been several years since we’ve had a really good snowpack.”
The OAC plans to take a group on a trip up to Yellowstone to help monitor the buffalo herds. A schedule can be found on the OAC’s website.
“It’s a great thing for students to take part in as a part of environmental awareness,” Dayley said. “They do ski and snowshoe while they’re up there, but they get to be part of this environmental project as well. It’s a great opportunity to get out and experience a regional ecosystem.”
The OAC also runs trips and rents out yurts for private use which are owned and operated through the university.
ISU owns four yurts which range from beginner to advanced backcountry.
“The yurts themselves are great for camping out while you’re skiing and snowshoeing,” Dayley said. “Once you get up there the structure is already set up for you, they have a wood burning stove, bunk beds and a cooking facility. It’s pretty pleasant to go to in the winter time.”
The Pocatello Adaptive Ski School helps skiers with various disabilities ski by providing special equipment and teaching.
Student employee Allison Trcka is learning how to be one of those specially trained teachers of disabled skiers.
“It’s my first time, but it’s not too difficult to learn,” Trcka said. “We had training earlier, and you just have to learn to control where you’re going and to not go too fast. You have to learn all the different ways to teach people with whatever equipment they’re using.”
Dayley is an avid outdoor sportsman, and says that he likes to do a little bit of everything.
“I like cross-country skiing, downhill, I like snowshoeing, I like to backcountry ski; just anything to be outside,” Dayley said.
This semester, the OAC had a horseback riding event at Sweet Talk Ranch, an avalanche awareness workshop, a weekend trip to the Catamount Yurt which overlooks the Marsh Valley and Portneuf and Bannock mountain ranges, for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and a trip to West Yellowstone.
Upcoming events include a cross-country ski and snowshoeing trip to the Inman Yurt – Feb. 11-12 – a trip to the Jackson Creek back-country Yurt – Feb. 18-20 – a cross-country ski trip to Mesa Falls – March 4 – and the aforementioned Buffalo Field Campaign – March 10-12.