Geared up for the powder days

Claire Young

Ski season is just around the corner, and Weber State University students are gearing up to hit the slopes. Campus recreation, specifically the Outdoor Adventure program, offers countless resources to promote student involvement during winter.

Weber State University Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center entrance. (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost)
Weber State University Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center entrance. (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost) Photo credit: Paige Mckinnon

With WSU being so close to the mountains and surrounded by several ski resorts, winter sports are a key component of campus recreation services. Their goal is to provide the services, equipment and resources that students need to safely participate in these activities.

The Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center on the Ogden campus features an equipment rental center where all Weber State students receive a 30% discount on everything year-round. They offer a variety of winter sports gear including alpine, backcountry and cross-country skis, snowboards, avalanche equipment, splitboards, snowshoes and even sleds.

Current winter hours at Weber State University Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center in 2021. (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost)
Current winter hours at Weber State University Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center in 2021. (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost) Photo credit: Paige Mckinnon

WSU’s outdoor program also works with several ski resorts to get various student discounts and passes. Powder Mountain Ski Resort has offered free ski passes to all students who live in Residence Hall 1 on campus. They, as well as Snowbasin and other resorts, have also created a few Weber State ski days when all students who provide their ID may ski for free at that resort all day.

Snowboards and boots ready to be rented at Weber State University Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center. (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost)
Snowboards and boots ready to be rented at Weber State University Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center. (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost) Photo credit: Paige Mckinnon

The Outdoor Adventure program also offers several guided trips throughout the season, including backcountry ski and snowboarding trips and snowshoe hikes. Some are single-day trips, most of which are completely free for Weber State students. Others extend overnight or multiple nights, which require a small fee.

Snowboards for rent at Weber State University Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center. These can be rented out by students. (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost)
Snowboards for rent at Weber State University Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center. These can be rented out by students. (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost) Photo credit: Paige Mckinnon

“We prepare and provide all of the gear and food and take care of all the travel necessities, and students just come along for the ride,” Amy Knight, an outdoor program coordinator for campus recreation, said. “We try to do at least one or two trips each month in the winter season. We also run courses like avalanche rescue and safety courses, which students and community members can participate in.”

Helmets ready for students to rent at Weber State University Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center. (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost)
Helmets ready for students to rent at Weber State University Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center. (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost) Photo credit: Paige Mckinnon

These trips are often student-led and are one way for students to connect with others with similar interests. It’s also a supportive space for first-timers to become familiar with the sport in a safe way, guided by experienced mentors.

“Almost all of the program, trips and activities here are created by and for students to help them get involved, to make friends and to appreciate what Utah’s landscape has to offer,” Knight said.

Ski and snowboard rentals at Weber State University Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center on campus in Ogden. (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost)
Ski and snowboard rentals at Weber State University Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center on campus in Ogden. (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost) Photo credit: Paige Mckinnon

Not only do these activities promote student involvement, but are also a convenient way for students to develop a healthier lifestyle, to connect with nature and to become more familiar with the area surrounding campus.

“Skiing gives a peace of mind, gives you time away from worldly things and lets one build on a skill and surround themselves with the beauty of nature,” Makena Mecham, a WSU student and ski enthusiast, said.