While most people are still asleep, the Ogden Dawn Patrol enjoys an early morning of untouched powder and serene sunrises.
“Basically, we get up super early and we go skiing,” said Mike Henderson, Campus Recreation Outdoor Program assistant coordinator. “We ski uphill until dawn, and as soon as there’s daylight, we take our skins off, and we ski down.”
Throughout the winter, the Weber State University Campus Recreation Outdoor Program will host weekly Ogden Dawn Patrol ski trips.
Every Wednesday at 4:30 a.m., a dawn patrol trip will depart from the Outdoor Program and return at 9 a.m.
“They’re designed to have you back at work or class when you need to be,” said Derek DeBruin, Campus Recreation Outdoor Program assistant coordinator. “You can roll into class, slump down in a desk and think, I’ve already been skiing for a couple of hours today, and that was rad.”
Henderson said he wanted to create a dawn patrol after coming to Utah from Colorado.
“I wanted to develop the community of backcountry skiers,” Henderson said. “Once we start doing that, we can all start sharing knowledge and ideas and the area can only grow.”
The Ogden Dawn Patrol is free for anyone who wants to participate. The patrol covers moderate to difficult terrain, so the only requirement is that participants are in good physical condition.
“The price of admission in this case is just getting up early,” DeBruin said. “We want it to be accessible since we’re trying to build community and get as many people involved as we can.”
DeBruin said the dawn patrol can also be a great way to further develop backcountry skills.
“If you have it as a goal to get good at backcountry skiing or snowboarding, this is a really great way to do it,” DeBruin said. “We are professionals in this field. We have these resources, and we want to share them.”
The first dawn patrol was on Jan. 7. Trips are expected to continue weekly until April 8 or when the snow runs out.
“You’re moving, you’re being active and you get to see the world in kind of a different way,” Ryan Mulcahy, a WSU senior, said of the dawn patrol trips. “It enables you to get up, get your exercise in, get out in the mountains and get your mind right.”
Those interested can register for a dawn patrol trip online at www.weber.edu/outdoor, over the phone by calling 801-626-6373 or in person at the Outdoor Program, located at Annex 9. To find out what the dawn patrol experience is like, check out the Outdoor Program’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wsuoutdoorprogram.
“Some people drink coffee, some people do yoga, but if you go out and experience the mountains before you’ve got to meet your day, it’s a pretty good way to start,” Mulcahy said. “You get to ski some good snow and then go on with your day, whether it’s school, work or whatever else.”