Perhaps getting hit by that freak snowstorm a few weeks ago is an omen of things to come for Portland. We might actually have a white Christmas this year instead of dreaming of one like the city has been doing since 1995.
If it doesn’t snow, the Portland State University’s Outdoor Program has a very cool alternative to sitting at home and watching the rain. The Portland State Outdoor Program will be putting on some cool activities this winter term.
The Outdoor Programs puts on a lot of good activities throughout the whole year, but during the winter term it seems so much more exciting due to Portland’s natural lack of snowfall. Outdoor lovers can bet that this winter, the Outdoor Program will definitely give the students what they want for this upcoming winter term.
In the winter term, the Outdoor Program will be provide many events ranging from cross- country skiing to kayaking. They hope that students who love or are interested in winter activities will get involved.
The program will also be offering classes for students to take so that they can hone their skills. A white-water kayaking class will be provided for crazy student who like to get in the water during the season. Student will be able to learn the correct ways to paddle, roll across the rapids and keep themselves afloat just in case their kayak tips over. Students will have the opportunity to take part in day long beginners rafting rips along the Wilson and Clackamas rivers, just in case they are not really ready for kayaking.
Students will also have the opportunity to take part in a back-country skiing clinic for people who enjoy not skiing down a mountain. Back-country skiing takes place in areas that are not heavily populated by lodges and ski resorts. Students will then be able to ski and snowboard on smooth, unmoved snow. It’s a great opportunity to learn essential skills that would come in handy during an emergency situation in the snow. Training includes how to tell if a slope is prone to avalanche, learn how to cook, set up camp, and dig snow caves to sleep in.
A trip will be offered to Mt. Rainier where they can learn and practice back-country skiing. The Outdoor Program will also provide beginner, intermediate and expert trips during the winter term. The outdoor program is also planning a week long trip to Colorado for spring break. At that trip students will be able to climb mountains and white-water raft. These trips should be very fun for students. Neil El-Tobgy recalls his experience two years ago and explains how much fun he had. “There was three and a half feet dumped on us in two days. We got to ski down the mountain with fresh snow… The sight of it was beautiful. It was really fun,” he said.
During Spring Break the Outdoor Program will be offering a woofer class. A woofer class provides adventurers with the knowledge and skills necessary to deal with emergency situations in snowy, icy areas. Student will learn how to using a ski pole as a splint for a broken arm or leg. The staff of the outdoor program are very enthusiastic about the activities that they will be putting on for the winter term. Neil El -Tobgy believes that the services that outdoor program provides is great and that it provides the same type services that students would get from a major skiing resort.
“I think it’s huge!” El-Tobgy said. “The amount that student pay for our trips is not even half of what the professional companies would charge…this is a huge service where they can go out and experience Oregon in ways they’ve never seen before.”