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  • Annelise Mason, Staff Writer

Free gear, ice caves trip in the works for ODP’s spring

Updated: Apr 15

A person hiking through the forest. Art by Eli Fukuji

The Outdoor Program (ODP) will bring new opportunities to students to explore ice caves, camp at an old World War II-era fort and get free gear this spring semester. After a slow start to the semester caused by weather conditions resulting in multiple trips getting canceled, the ODP is finally successfully offering trips. 

After its ziplining trip on April 6, the ODP will offer three trips: Fort Stevens beach camping, white water rafting and the Guler Ice Caves hike. Excursions range in price from $15 to $60 and are open to all students. Scholarships are available through the program if financial support is needed. 

Fort Stevens lies near Astoria on the Oregon coast. It used to be a military installation that was utilized from the Civil War until World War II to guard the Columbia River. The fort now has a museum that details its history as well as a shipwreck on the beach which visitors can explore. Fort Stevens also offers hiking trails, a freshwater lake and the opportunity to see wildlife. This trip runs from April 12 through 14 for $45. 

White water rafting is set to run on April 27 for $60. 

The ice cave trip has been long awaited by the Willamette community. The Guler Ice Caves are located in Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington. The ice caves are the result of lava tubes, a natural tunnel formed in a lava flow, where ice is able to form. The cave, open to the public, is roughly 650 feet long and is full of ice stalagmites and floors year-round. There is a rich history behind the caves. This trip runs on April 28 for $15. 

Ingrid Asoved, an assistant coordinator of the ODP, believes the white water rafting trip and the Guler Ice Cave hike are expected to have high turnouts. 

The ODP is also offering supported trips, a semi-new part of the program that allows clubs to reach out to the ODP to create outdoor opportunities. Supported trips create a collaborative effort between the club and ODP which allows students to have more opportunities for getting involved and outside. This semester the Non-Traditional Student Union collaborated with the ODP for a trip to an aquarium, but many other trip ideas can be offered. 

The ODP continues to offer free gear for rent this semester and wants students to utilize the service before it possibly disappears next year. Equipment ranges from tents to sleeping bags to paddle boards, which can be used for personal trips. Next semester, rentals will most likely again include a fee.

The ODP is also offering its bike shop this semester, so if you are experiencing issues with your bike, you can visit Montag to have it looked at. 

The ODP will offer trip ideas for the fall at the end of the semester which students can vote on,  and they are also taking suggestions via email.

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1 Comment

Apr 15

Wonderful story! lots of information, Great to see that you have things for the students explore!

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