The Outdoor Adventure Program is one of the untapped resources
for students who have yet to try outdoor sports. If you are wary of
going out into the wilderness without any experience it also offers
a wide range of classes to get you ready for your first
“We do alpine ice-climbing, rock climbing, backpacking classes
and more,” said senior John Kelley, who works at the OAP.
The OAP also offers white-water kayaking courses. This would
have come in handy to me before I ventured out for my first
kayaking experience in the middle of the summer.
I went with some friends who were experienced kayakers and so I
was confident that they would help me if I got in any trouble. I
couldn’t get a big kayak (they’re recommended for beginners because
they are more stable) instead I got what’s called a toy boat (a
smaller one that is used for tricks).
We went up to the Poudre River and found our entry point. The
water was high and fast but I had nothing really to compare it to
so I got in my kayak and waited in the still water for everyone to
Well that’s what I wanted to do. What I actually did was get
swept away with the river to find myself alone and ahead of
everyone in my group. Suddenly, I was hauling ass towards a rock
face while screams of “Go left, go left” came from behind me.
It’s not that I didn’t want to go left, I had my kayak facing
left but I just kept going towards the jagged rocks on the cliff
face. The river was moving so fast that there were some big waves
from the water hitting the rock face and bouncing back.
One of these waves hit my little kayak and threw me upside down.
With my face in the water, I hit my head and started traveling down
the river upside down. I kept trying to flip my kayak the right way
up but only succeeded in hitting my head on the back of it.
Eventually I got to the point where I had to inhale water
because I had simply run out of breath. At that point I realized
that I needed to get out of the kayak before I drowned. I focused
enough to pull on the string that lets you out of the kayak (I was
a little slow but I’m like that sometimes).
Anyway, I was thankfully pulled to safety by my friend’s cousin
and went on to throw up on the bank while my friends whizzed by. I
then had to walk barefoot down the road hoping that someone would
stop and give me a ride to where everyone was getting out of the
river (nobody stopped).
The moral of the story is that if I had taken advantage of a
potentially lifesaving class before I went off to try my hand at
something new, I could have avoided the whole ordeal.
The OAP is located at the north end of the lower level of the
Lory Student Center. It offers many programs and is a place that
each student should visit before he/she graduates.