Outing Club encourages amateurs

Leaders aim to plan weekly outings, teach members new skills, adjust for experience


KIERA CLUBB | The Daily Evergreen

Senior and club President Connor Mullady climbs the Student Recreation Center rock wall after a club meeting Wednesday.

SYDNEY BROWN, Evergreen reporter

Since its origins in 1927, the Outing Club has come and gone in spurts. The club wants to increase membership and regular trips.

Kyle Wells, vice president of the club and a junior in construction management, said years passed before there was a distinct Outing Club.

It did not come back until spring 2016 when Wells and Connor Mullady, the new club president and a senior in geology, grouped up to develop the plans. Dylan Blair, a senior and treasurer of the club, was also interested and helped in the resurrection.

All three had some experience in mountaineering, but there was the task of making the Outing Club both engaging and inviting.

Once the club was truly re-established, Mullady and Wells focused on getting the word out. The Outing Club is meant to appeal to those with very limited skills in mountaineering, camping and rock climbing, Mullady said.

KIERA CLUBB | The Daily Evergreen
Vice President Kyle Wells says the club is a fun place to hang out
and make friends through camping and engaging in regular outdoor activities.

“We want anyone to feel like they can join,” Wells said. “The point is to bring people in, and we don’t want them to feel intimidated because they don’t know what to bring or how to climb.”

During the meetings, Mullady asks every member for their input of where to go and what schedules would work for everyone. The meeting environment is relaxed. Planning out the weekly trips, times and carpooling is managed by Wells and Mullady. Weather conditions and necessary gear are discussed.

If anyone requires help with packing gear or acquiring equipment, Wells and Mullady encourage them to ask, Mullady said.

“I’m not here to force a schedule,” he said. “I’m here to help people learn and hope they have as much fun with it as we do.”

The close friendship between the members of the club is clear to anyone on the outside, and Wells, Mullady and Blair agreed it was due to the number of outing trips they’ve taken together.

“What makes a trip great is the comradery between all of us,” Wells said. “There is always something to look forward to, and that can be the difference between a great week and a bad week.”

The club goes anywhere within about five hours of Pullman. Locations are meant to be accessible to anyone. Previous locations include Mt. Stuart and Mt. Hood, but the collaboration amongst group members allows for a variety of ideas in deciding where to go next, Wells said.

Usually the group leaves Friday afternoons and they drive back that following Sunday. Once at the location, those on the trip spend the day hiking, cooking and climbing, Mullady said. This all depends on the experience of those in attendance.

KIERA CLUBB | The Daily Evergreen
Mullady plans this weekend’s trip to Idaho hot springs.

If a new member is only comfortable with an easy hiking trail, then that is where the club goes, Mullady said.

“I remember my first few times camping,” Blair said. “I was clueless at first, but it is more fun to learn as you go.”

A lot of planning goes into one trip, and this is why learning through experience is the best way to grasp the skills, Wells said.

“The outdoors is more fun with your friends,” Blair said.

The outdoors is an entertaining way to experience the learning of new skills — gaining strong friendships is an added bonus, he said.

The club meets at 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday in the Student Recreation Center by the rock climbing wall.