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CSU-Pueblo program offers inexpensive fun to students

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With its wondrous mountains and various rivers slicing through high-country valleys, Colorado is a haven for outdoor activities.

The Outdoor Pursuits program is here at Colorado State University-Pueblo to allow students to take advantage of the opportunities that Colorado’s landscape affords. 

During the winter, most of the trips are linked to the snowy Rocky Mountains, including skiing and snowboarding, cross-country skiing and ice climbing. Early fall and spring trips include hiking, rafting, mountain biking and backpacking. 

The trips are led by students at CSU-Pueblo, who also happen to be employees of the university. Each student employee is enrolled in the Wilderness Education Association leadership program. 

“It can take all of school to be certified,” Outdoor Pursuits employee Jonathon Freehling said.  “The speed of the program depends on your skill level. Each activity that is taught is very detail oriented so it can be rigorous for some to complete.” 

Students earn their WEA certificate by completing the Outdoor Education Class, attending five orientation trips and a wilderness first aid course. 

Student fees cover most expenses and for most trips transportation and equipment are provided. 

Outdoor Pursuits has several big trips planned for February. The next ski and snowboard trip to Monarch Ski Resort will be on Saturday, Feb. 7. The trip will include transportation, a lift ticket and lunch. 

“We usually take vans on the ski trip, but we can accommodate as many people that want to make the trip,” Freehling said. 

On Saturday, Feb. 14, Outdoor Pursuits will sponsor an ice climbing trip to Cheyenne Canyon. Transportation and the equipment necessary to ice climb will be provided. 

If students are interested in outdoor activities, but can’t find the time to partake in the weekend trips, Outdoor Pursuits has several activities for students to participate in on the CSU-Pueblo campus. 

The climbing wall in Massari Gym allows students to get their rock climbing fix in a closed and safe environment. The wall is open 5 to 9 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday, and on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. 

In addition to outdoor programs, Outdoor Pursuits rents outdoor equipment. 

Students can pay a $25 fee and receive unlimited rentals for the entire semester. The equipment available for rental includes camping, backpacking and weather related gear. 

For additional information regarding upcoming trips, prices and equipment rentals, visit Outdoor Pursuits in the southwest corner of the Student Recreation Center or call 549-2085.