OUTDOOR ADVENTURE CENTER HELPS STUDENTS CONNECT WITH NATURE

OAC topLucas Gebhart

Staff Writer

The Outdoor Adventure Center provides students with opportunities to explore the wilderness through overnight trips and equipment rentals.

As the leaves change colors and winter sets in, the OAC gears up for their winter trips, one of which include an overnight cross country ski trip to Yellowstone National Park.

Students will have the opportunity to stay at a local bunkhouse and explore the nation’s first national park on cross country skis.

Joel Adams is a career path intern for the university and the OAC.

“Not a lot of people get to experience Yellowstone in the winter,” Adams said. “To experience it on a cross country trip you would really have a different experience because you get to access a lot of different areas that you normally wouldn’t get to access.”

These trips are not only a great way to get away from school, but are also very affordable.

The student fee for the Yellowstone trip on Dec. 5-6 is $35 in total. The $35 will cover transportation, skis, a ski pass and lodging.

Students will have to attend a mandatory meeting where required information will be given out.     

“The Outdoor Adventure Center does a really good job of minimizing costs,” Adams said. “We’re not here to make a profit. We are here to get participants.”

These trips are rated from level one, the easiest, to level three, the most difficult. The Yellowstone trip is rated as a level one trip, meaning anybody who wants to go on the trip can.

“It is a great way to get exposed to it,” Adams said. “The students and staff that lead these trips have experience.” 

All trips are on weekends and therefore students will never have to miss school to attend.

Typically there are two trips per month. Day trips are on Saturdays and overnighters are Saturday and Sunday.

Claire Jorgensen has been on the Yellowstone cross country ski trip in the past.

“In the winter everything seems like it’s closed down, but it’s not because there are so many opportunities,” Jorgensen said. “It’s a whole new dimension. It’s a different kind of beauty.” 

If you are the type of person who loves to be outside and can bear the elements of winter like Jorgensen, then these trips might be for you.

“You have to enjoy the winter first before you go on a trip,” Jorgensen said. “If you prepare yourself to be in the snow, it is very memorable.”

The Portneuf area has five yurts and the Outdoor Adventure Center can give students everything they need to experience them to the fullest. Students can ski or snowshoe to the yurts which have a wood burning stove, tables and bunks.

“People will spend one or multiple nights up there. It’s a pretty cool venue if you like winter sports,” Adams said.

A yurt is a circular tent that is made out of felt and animal skin.

Jorgensen has many reasons she attends and continues to attend the trips.

“You’re out away from campus. It’s nice to get away from that solitude,” she said. “That trip was really relaxing. It was a stress-free time and it was nice to get away.”

Jorgensen has brought some of her own friends, reconnected with old friends and made some new ones on the trips.

Coming to the Yurt and having a warm fire, preparing your food on your own and being with friends is what Jorgensen says is the most memorable.

“It’s necessary to spend time outside, especially in our rushed, fast-paced society,” she added.

Even if a student is going out into the elements on their own, they can still rent gear from the OAC.

“We have all the gear that is required to go on our trips,” Adams said. “You’re not going to have to hunt down gear.”

For the upcoming trip to Yellowstone, the registration deadline is Dec. 3. There are also fall break trips featuring kayak touring at Lake Powell in Utah (Nov. 21-25) and rock climbing in St. George (Nov. 21-25). For the Lake Powell trip the deadline is Nov. 17 and for the rock climbing opportunity the date is Nov. 19. Further information is available at the Outdoor Adventure Center office located on the bottom floor of the Pond Student Union Building.

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