Visit ORC for outdoor adventure

One columnist encourages students to utilize the Outdoor Recreation Center



An Outdoor Recreation Center group takes in the view on April 15, 2017, from Mount Rainier’s Panorama Point. The ORC offers many outdoor trips like the one pictured above, as well as clinics and various certifications.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

Most students are familiar with the Student Recreation Center, or SRC — the endless gym equipment, multiple basketball courts, elevated running track and a pool all available for free to WSU students. But it has a ‘sister’ building, also run by University Recreation. The Outdoor Recreation Center (ORC) has a lot for students to take advantage of.

Maybe you’ve seen the ORC, the small building across the street from the SRC. The much smaller one-story building arguably has just as much to do as the Rec. The ORC offers everything from a backcountry bear safety class to a backpacking trip through the Grand Canyon.

A great benefit for students provided by the ORC, especially bike commuters, is the “WSU Fix It Bike Shop.” This is where students can repair their bikes. The shop provides tools to rent, work stations and educational material, all for free! The shop is open Monday through Friday 12-7 p.m. and is inside the ORC.

Also offered is invaluable training for the great outdoors, such as wilderness first aid, a two-day course that teaches participants how to make sound decisions in medical emergencies in backcountry. Or sign up for a clinic which includes the basics of slacklining, bouldering orientation or learn primitive fire and shelter skills.

What I think are the most exciting opportunities for students are the trips offered. Take a hiking trip through Glacier National Park in Montana, go whitewater rafting in Idaho or go backpacking through the Grand Canyon.

Most trips have a registration fee that ranges in price depending on the activity and place. But even more expensive trips like the Grand Canyon trip offered in November, which is $465 for students, are prices that might be too good to pass up as a student.

Trips offered through the ORC are open to WSU students and faculty as well as members of the community who are at least 17 years of age and meet the trip-specific physical conditioning requirements.

But don’t be scared off by conditioning requirements. Trips range from lower levels of physical conditioning and no experience or technical skills necessary to trips for beginners to more advanced trips for experienced adventures.

Whatever your outdoor adventure needs may be, I encourage you to check out the ORC.