This coming week is Spring Break, and the Weber State University Outdoor Program is ready to rent out equipment and offer suggestions as to where the hot spots are this March in Utah and the surrounding areas.
“If you are looking to ski, there are a lot of great things out here,” said Outdoor Program assistant coordinator Tim Nguyen. “If you are looking for warmer temps, down south is the place to go. Biking, climbing and hiking are great, and you don’t have to worry about snow.”
The Outdoor Program runs a trip to southern Utah every year during the break, but the trip is already full this year. However, Nguyen said there are still a lot of opportunities for students to get out and enjoy the outdoors.
“If it were up to me, I would send a lot of people down south,” he said. “Unless you are a skier and love the winter, everything down south is seeing extraordinarily warmer temps than normal. If you are willing to go down to Moab, Zion’s, St. George area, you are going to see a lot of fun recreation.”
For those who want to get one last winter vacation in, Nguyen suggested going to the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. The Outdoor Program had a trip planned to go to the mountains, but the trip was canceled due to lack of participants.
“The San Juan Mountains are in Colorado, near where we do our ice-climbing trip every year,” Nguyen said. “Colorado has been getting all of our snow. They have been receiving tons of snow. The San Juans are typically a guided area. It’s amazing ski terrain, especially for backcountry.”
For those seeking a spontaneous trip, the Outdoor Program also offers rentals for almost any type of outdoor activity. Student fees help subsidize the equipment, making it less expensive to rent than it would be in a typical shop.
“The Outdoor Program is four-fold,” said Outdoor Program coordinator Daniel Turner. “We offer a full-service outdoor equipment rental center for all four seasons — everything from rafts to kayaks to canoes, skis, snowboards and everything in between.”
Nguyen also suggested visiting some of Utah’s national parks, including Zion’s Canyon, Bryce Canyon and the Red Rock National Park near Las Vegas. For those who want to rough it, he said, camping equipment is always available at the rental center.
“If people are on the student budget, we have a lot of great stuff,” Nguyen said. “We have tents, negative-temperature sleeping bags, stoves. If they are not staying in hotels, they can save a couple of dollars here and there on whatever.”
The Outdoor Program has one more large event before the school semester ends. April 10-12 will be the Seventh Annual Climbing Festival. The main event will be on April 12, when a featured athlete will make an appearance.
“It’s a community event where we run a free demo on Friday evening,” Nguyen said. “Then on Saturday, which is our flagship day, we run an early-morning competition followed by some clinics. Then we take a mini break and we have an athlete that comes into town and we have a slideshow presentation, followed by an afternoon event.”
Post-graduation and summer activities are being planned right now. More information can be found for those activities at www.weber.edu/outdoor. The program also looks for suggestions on future events and offers private trips and guided expeditions.