In addition to many recreation opportunities on campus, Weber State University offers many off-campus adventures. The WSU Outdoor Program hosts activities every month that are open to both students and the general public, including whitewater rafting, hiking, backpacking, kayaking and rock climbing. Many trips have a price, but others are free to students.
“A lot of our trips for the Outdoor Program have some fees attached to them, but the goal is to keep that very minimal,” said Campus Recreation director Teri Bladen. “Any of the fees that we have will always be discounted to students. If we allow the community or faculty staff to come in, they will pay more. Our primary user is the students, and we want to make it affordable for them.”
In addition to trips, the Outdoor Program has quality equipment available for students to rent. The equipment is available at a discount to students who want to make their own trips.
“First of all, the discounts for students, because we are student-fee-funded — they are pretty impressive,” said Outdoor Program assistant coordinator Tim Nguyen. “If you look at some of the prices, on average, students are getting 20 percent off the community rate. For price comparison, to give you an idea, we run an inflatable single-person kayak that retails from about $950 to $1,000, and we rent it out to students for $50 a day.”
The program also offers a ropes challenge course that focuses on team-building and experiential education. The Stromberg Gym also offers a climbing wall, and the Outdoor Program hosts a variety of trips throughout the year.
“Our fall break will be a trip down to Moab,” said Outdoor Program coordinator Daniel Turner. “It will be a climbing, biking and rafting trip. We also are offering a Snake River rafting trip in September. We will be running a Labor Day climbing trip. We will also be running other clinics and classes pertaining to rock climbing throughout the fall.”
The trips offer the chance for outdoor enthusiasts to explore Utah and the surrounding areas, as well as find others who share their interests.
“The great thing about trips such as these for students is that they are really designed to really open up that dialogue and build camaraderie,” Nguyen said. “Some students come by themselves, some come with friends, and we want them to engage and interact with each other.”
The Outdoor Program also offers discounts on skiing passes for Powder Mountain, Snowbasin and Wolf Mountain.
The first major trip of the fall semester will be a weekend trip to Snake River in Wyoming, Sept. 9–11. The trip will cost $95 for students with Wildcat ID. That Saturday, participants will have the opportunity to ride the river twice in one day.
“This section that we run is one of the most commercially guided sections in Wyoming,” Nguyen said. “There are hundreds and hundreds of people that run it every day. It is relatively low-risk. There is some danger to it, but this is definitely one of the rivers that you want to experience for your first time.”
For those who want to buy their own equipment, the program will also hold its annual gear swap meet on Oct. 11. Vendors from all over the state will come to campus to sell their equipment at discount or sellout prices. Students can also come and sell their own gear.
More information on the Outdoor Program and price listings for trips are available at www.weber.edu/outdoor.