Experience the outdoors in November

Westminster students hiking in the San Rafael Swell through the Muddy Creek. These students participated in the May Term Wilderness Education course. Photos courtesy Leah Hapke

Westminster students hiking in the San Rafael Swell through the Muddy Creek. These students participated in the May Term Wilderness Education course. Photos courtesy Leah Hapke

Just because the Fall Break trip with the Outdoor Recreation Program is full doesn’t mean other trips aren’t available for students to jump in on.

During the month of November, the Outdoor Recreation Program will be hosting two climbing and hiking trips. Each trip will last one weekend.

“I think [the trips] come at a time in the semester where people need a break,” said Tiana White, assistant director for the outdoor program. “People are often pleasantly surprised by how good getting away [feels] and how much more productive it [makes] them.”

The trips take place after midterms and right before the “rush” of finals, White said.

 

Westminster College students hiking in the TrachyteCanyon during the Fall Break 2014 trip. These trips are beginner friendly and give students a chance to see Utah. 

Westminster College students hiking in the TrachyteCanyon during the Fall Break 2014 trip. These trips are beginner friendly and give students a chance to see Utah. 

Utah National Park Trip:

Although the exact location hasn’t been decided, this trip will be located at one of Utah’s National Parks from Nov. 13–15.

This trip will require a one-hour, pre-trip meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. in the Outdoor Recreation Program office. The $65 cost will include transportation, equipment, food, instruction and entrance into the National Park.

St. George Trip:

Before the winter weather hits, students can join outdoor rec. on a climbing trip to southern
Utah from Nov. 6–8. 

This trip will require a one-hour, pre-trip meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 5 p.m. in the Outdoor Recreation Program office. The cost is $65 and will include transportation, equipment, food and instruction

During these trips, students can expect to see classic Utah red-rock desert, have good food and meet new friends, White said.

“I signed up for the Fall Break trip [last year], didn’t know anyone and now most of those people are my close friends,” said Leah Hapke, a sophomore who is actively involved with the Outdoor Recreation Program.

 Westminster students involved in the 2014 Fall Break backpacking trip take a moment to enjoy the water.

 Westminster students involved in the 2014 Fall Break backpacking trip take a moment to enjoy the water.

Hapke has been on several different trips with the outdoor program, some of which include ice climbing, backpacking and the National Park trip.

“On these trips, you don’t have cell phones, Facebook and homework distracting you, so you’re really in the moment,” Hapke said.

Students who are nervous about climbing or hiking have no need to worry. These trips are very beginner friendly, said White, the assistant director.

“It’s really easy to accommodate the whole spectrum of experience levels,” White said. “Zero experience is fine.”

Just ask Bridger Layton, a sophomore who has gone on outdoor rec. trips in the past.

“Coming into school [my first] year, I definitely knew that I loved being outside and had some experience outdoors,” Layton said. “It was fairly limited, as far as technical skills go.”

By attending more outdoor recreation trips, Layton said he’s been able to expand his skills.

If students are interested in these trips, White advises contacting her for information and signing up sooner rather than later.

“Every trip fills and, sometimes, they fill early,” White said.

Students like Hapke, a leader for the Fall Break trip, are the ones who fill up these trips. For students still unsure about signing up, Hapke’s advice is “just do it; you’re not going to regret it.”

To sign up or find more information about these trips, visit westminstercollege.edu/outdoorrec.