Outdoor Program prepares for summer

The Portland State Outdoor Program is heading into its summer season by shifting to more hot-weather oriented events.

“This is our second summer running trips. Last year we had them, but we had no funding. We had a lot of response from students who wanted to run trips during the summer, and now we’re subsidized to run them, so the costs will be comparable to the costs during the rest of the year,” said Program Coordinator Elizabeth Fowler.

The Outdoor Program has been offering students and non-students classes and trips for reasonable fees since 1966. The program is maintained entirely by students and has university resources, equipment and facilities at its disposal.

“We’re also available to any student groups or organizations that might want to arrange a private trip. We’re trying to get student groups to utilize us more,” Fowler said.

The trips for spring quarter will take place this weekend. June 2 and 3, the Outdoor Program is sponsoring a kayaking and rafting trip on the Deschutes and a rock-climbing trip at Smith Rock. Although the Smith Rock trip has been full since the middle of the term, the Deschutes trip still has openings.

Students must pre-register with the Outdoor Program to participate in trips, and attend the pre-trip meetings, tentatively scheduled for the Wednesday before each trip at the program office in Smith Center 114.

In other seasons, the program offers trips such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and mountain biking. Rafting, hiking and rock climbing are offered year-round.

Trips do have limited capacities, and preference is given to participants who have paid in full.

“On the trips we usually take about 8-15 people out. Sometimes we’re able to accommodate more, if it’s a hike or if there are structured campsites. But on the extended rafting trips we have to keep it down as part of the ‘Leave no trace’ policy that we work under,” Fowler said.

The summer schedule is not yet final, but the program has many activities planned. The final summer schedule should be posted by June 4.

“We’re going to have mountaineering, up at Mt. Adams, Sisters and St. Helens. We’ll be backpacking at the Hoh rainforest. We’re going to have rafting and kayaking trips on the upper and lower Deschutes. We’re planning a six-day sea-kayaking trip. We’ll also have a lot of hikes,” Fowler said.

The program has also been offering kayak-rolling sessions in the Stott Center pool Tuesday from 8:30 to 10 p.m. These sessions are not classes, but opportunities for independent practice. They will end with spring term but will be available again in the fall.

Two whitewater kayaking classes are scheduled for summer quarter, one in late June and another in late July. Space is also limited for these classes.”We like to have both trips that are more introductory, or seminars, and trips for those who already know how to do it. We offer a wide range of activities to accommodate various skill levels,” Fowler said.

The Outdoor Program also has resources for people who want to take trips independently. Students can rent gear from the program to use on their own adventures.

“We’ll also do bike repair clinics, or clinics for waxing and tunings skis and snowboards, to teach people how to maintain their own gear,” Fowler said.The Outdoor Program is also looking for people to participate in the organization.

“We’re always looking for people with guiding experience, and people who want to get involved with the organization,” Fowler added.

To register for trips or classes or for further information, contact the Outdoor Program at (503) 725-5668, stop by the office, or visit them on the Web at www.odp.pdx.edu. The Web site also contains links, an event schedule, information and forms for renting gear from the program.