Student group offers outdoor travel activities

The UK Outdoor Pursuits Program has kicked off the fall semester with new goals and additional offerings.

The program consists of two components: the rock wall and adventure trips. Located in the Johnson Center, the rock wall is open to students seven days a week.

In addition to daily climbing opportunities, adventure trips are offered throughout the year. Outdoor climbing, hiking and whitewater rafting are among the offered excursions.

The trips go on sale anywhere from two weeks to a month in advance, and are opento all UK students, Mark Lattin, the director of Outdoor Pursuits, said.

The trips range from $10 for hiking to $120 for whitewater rafting. Equipment rental, travel, tour guides and food expenses for overnight trips are included in the cost.

“The idea is to get students on the trip for as low-cost as possible,” he said.

New to Outdoor Pursuits this year is a rental program, which allows students to rent equipment overnight or for the weekend.

Students can rent two or four person tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, ground pads, cook sets and stoves at no cost.

“The rental program is to provide service and give people the opportunity to try it out,” said Daniel Marshall, a graduate assistant for campus recreation. “We are always looking for ways to help students and get them outside.”

Josh Tatum, an art studio sophomore, attended some of the adventure trips during his freshman year.

“It was really awesome,” he said. “I had never been outside to climb before.”

Tatum said the trips inspired him to further pursue climbing. “They did a really good job of being safe and teaching the right steps to climb,” he said.

Lattin said their goal for the 2011-2012 school year is to increase student participation.

“We want students that are working hard in their academics here at UK to have the opportunity to go try something new that they have not done, and to get a glimpse of whats available to them, blow off some steam and have fun,” Lattin said. “But at the same time, maybe that will become a hobby or a pursuit they can take with them for life.”

For more information about UK Outdoor Pursuits and upcoming events, visit their website or their Facebook page.