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Been outside lately?

If you like to hike, boat, climb or just like spending time in nature, the Portland State Outdoor Club has you covered. Offering these activities and more, the club is the perfect way to exercise those unused muscles which have been wasting away over the winter months.

With the snow beginning to melt and the weather beginning to heat up, the Outdoor club has turned its attentions to activities such as white-water kayaking and rock-climbing. The group even offers classes in kayaking for those with little or no experience in the sport.

For $285, students can learn the ins and outs of white-water kayaking from a local expert during a month-long intensive course. The class, designed for beginners, takes the students through the basics of kayaking and culminates in a white-water kayaking trip. It is too late to sign up for the current class, but according to Outdoor Club member Joe Johnson, if enough students express interest, the class will be offered again.

If you like experiencing the outdoors in a group, the club offers rafting trips. They are currently planning a trip to the Klikitat River in Washington and are working on arrangements for an outing on the Rogue River later this term.

As far as the rock-climbing scene goes, the Outdoor Club is definitely scaling high above the competition. Earlier in the year, the group took a trip to Smith Rock in Bend, which they plan to return to as well as an excursion to Broughton Bluff near Sandy. Both locations offer opportunities for beginners to hone their skills and give experienced climbers the option of a complicated route.

Most of the expeditions undertaken by the club are offered to students at reasonable rates, according to Johnson. Prices for trips range from $40 to $90 depending on the nature and length of the activity.

For those who don’t have the time to take a couple days away from school to go rock climbing, the Outdoor Club is currently working on a solution. A rock wall proposal was recently okayed by the vice president of finance and administration, George Pernsteiner.

According to Johnson, the wall will be a huge asset to the Portland State campus and is long overdue.

“We’re totally psyched about the rock wall,” Johnson said. “The need is there. It’s definitely going to be worthwhile.”

Elizabeth Fowler, former advisor for the Outdoor Club, was the one who initiated the project, forming a rock wall committee to undertake the monumental task. Various individuals have carried on her work, in particular PSU student development advisor Alex Accetta.

Accetta is optimistic about the benefits of having a rock wall on campus.

“There is a huge bevy of students who are climbers,” Accetta said. “It will be another community place for people to come and gather.”

Working with Michael Strong of the University of Oregon and Kristie Deschesne of Oregon State University, Accetta put the proposal together and was ecstatic when he received the message just a few days ago, informing him that the plan had been accepted and funding had been allocated for the undertaking. All that is left now is the actual design and instillation of the wall, which will take the place of one of the racquetball courts in the Peter W. Stott Center. Unfortunately the wall may not be completed until winter because Accetta and others want to produce a facility that can be utilized by students for many years.

“We were really lucky,” Accetta said. “We want to make sure we do it right.”

For more information about the Outdoor Club, contact them at 503-725-5668 or visit their office in the Smith Center. For more information on the rock wall, contact Accetta at 503-725-8787.