Campus Recreation’s Outdoor Program gears up for the winter season on Nov. 2 when the Bloomington Canyon Yurt registration begins.
For Wildcats who live for back-country skiing, hiking and snowboarding, the Bloomington Canyon Yurt near Bear Lake, Idaho is the place to be.
“The snow is wonderful around the middle of January, and Bloomington is one of my favorite snowboarding spots,” interior design major Bri Smith said. However, she points out, it’s for experienced backcountry enthusiasts.
It’s a seven-mile hike to get to the yurt, a type of shelter that lies somewhere between a cabin and a tepee. Once there, it provides for a safe place in the heavy snows. It sleeps up to 10 people and comes with a wood-burning stove and solar-powered lights.
“Friends and a guide can really make the trip,” Smith said.
Students, staff and faculty can reserve dates for the season starting Monday. It is $80 a day for students.
The yurt is in the middle of three hiking and skiing areas and snowmobiles can be rented at Bear Lake starting at $180 a day.
For those who are not ready to commit to the yurt, there are other ways to enjoy the winter outdoors.
The WSU Outdoor Program has an equipment rental program for skis, boards, snowshoes and any additional equipment needed to make winter sporting safe and enjoyable.
Skis are the most expensive rental at $33 a day, but that is top shelf and includes everything you need, except the rental insurance of $3. Snowboards are available for around $25 a day and snowshoes are $7.
There are many different types of equipment and styles to choose from as well as the rates for how long you want to rent. The list, and how to secure your rental, is online at weber.edu/outdoor/rentalcenter.html.
There also are plenty of WSU student discounts on day passes from different ski resorts, so don’t hesitate to ask for one.
The trails that students enjoyed during the summer become a whole different experience once the snow falls. Snowshoeing can provide access to those trails. Small snowshoeing trips can help prepare outdoors lovers for bigger and longer snow adventures by revealing physical limits, how much food and water will be needed and of course, how to use the bathroom in the outdoors.
The WSU Outdoor Program in Annex 9, next to the stadium, has more information about where to go and what to learn to gear up for the yurt. Students can even stop by and schedule a guided trip to the yurt.
“With most equipment you need to schedule two weeks in advanced to make sure you can get it, but with our guided adventures we need at least a month and four people to plan and succeed at a trip everyone will enjoy,” said Mike Henderson, the outdoor program assistant coordinator.