Sep 242006
 
Authors: EMILY MORRIS The Rocky Mountain Collegian

It’s here.

Saturday marked the first day of fall, and with it the arrival of winter sports and activities.

Travis Tyner, a junior political science major, has been counting down the days until he gets his Steamboat season pass.

“(Snowboarding) is about the only outdoor winter activity there is unless you’re crazy and go ice fishing,” he said.

Those involved in the Outdoor Adventure Program would disagree.

The Outdoor Adventure Program offers courses, for credit and non-credit, engaging students as well as non-students with alternative outdoor activities like alpine ice mountaineering, whitewater rafting and rock climbing.

Rodney Ley, assistant director of the program, explained that most courses are offered “just to add to your life.”

The OAP lists multiple hikes ranging in difficulty level on its Web site to give students a variety of adventurous escapes.

The hiking trips “are doable until Thanksgiving and then make good snow shoe trips,” Ley said.

Matt Connor, a junior economics major, enjoys the escape to the rough country that snowshoeing provides.

“Snowshoeing is a great opportunity to get out and be by yourself to take in the outdoors and the wilderness,” he said.

As enticing as the ski and snowboard season sounds, Ley suggested alternative winter sports such as ice fishing, snowshoeing, kayaking and ice mountaineering.

He also added that the right equipment for any outdoor activity makes for easy transition and better safety, which he stresses when exploring the outdoors.

The biggest concern, he said, is that students will underestimate the weather and its potential to change dramatically.

“The biggest difference is 911,” he said, “and the lack of immediate emergency access if someone has a problem.”

Hikers should also be on the lookout for animals.

“Rattlesnakes are the biggest concern,” Ley said. “But there’s no direct cougar or bear problem here. The bears are more in Boulder.”

The most important part of transitioning from summer outdoor sports to winter, Ley said, is preparation: respect potential problems, understand the environment and the adventure will fall into place.

Staff writer Emily Morris can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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More information on preparing for winter activities:

-Outdoor Adventure Program Web site: http://campusrec.colostate.edu/default.cfm.

-Always bring adaptable clothing and appropriate shoes. Bring an over-the-counter pain reliever and athletic tape, which is a must-have for all its uses.

-Snow Conditioning through the Student Recreation Center

Registration Fee / Dues: $40

Registration Location: Student Recreation Center Service Desk, (970) 491-6359

Meeting Day: 8:15 to 9:15 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, Sept. 26, 2006 to Nov. 16

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