Oct 272003
Authors: Luke Cornish

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

join me.

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.


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