Students return from 5th annual REC Mt. Bachelor trip

With the arrival of Spring semester, just about every office on campus has something in store for the upcoming weeks. The Office of Student Involvement’s Recreation office is no exception. Since their move to the annex, the recreation office has been getting settled in their new-found space with a full trip itinerary for students. After planning and preparing all of fall semester, the crew and 85 students and friends experienced Recreation’s “trip of the year,” according to Phil Babcock, student involvement specialist.

The 5th annual trip to Mt. Bachelor was, Jan. 23-25, and it was full. Trip cost for students was $180 and $230 for non-students. Mt. Bachelor is one of the biggest-budgeted trips that OSI Recreation and Associated Students of WSU Vancouver, provides for students through a partnership. Babcock believes it is “one of the coolest ways to get to know other students on campus.”

“The Mt. Bachelor trip is one of the top, premier trips that OSI Recreation does every year. It is one of the trips I believe every student should try and attend in their time at WSU Vancouver at least once,” said Babcock.

This year many changes were made to ensure safety and overall success of the trip. Unlike past trips, transportation was provided this year and included in the trip cost to and from Bend, Ore. on two large charter buses. All attendees who wished to take advantage of this offer were welcome. Babcock believed the buses would not only increase trip safety but increase the opportunity for students to interact with one another and build a better sense of community on the trip. The charter buses also provided transportation to and from the city of Bend to the Mt. Bachelor ski resort  every 30 minutes.

Also included in the trip price was the cost of ski and snowboard rentals provided by the Recreation office. Two day passes on Mt. Bachelor and two nights of lodging at the Doubletree by Hilton were also included. A gourmet lunch Saturday afternoon was also included. After lunch everyone joined for a group picture in the sunlight. Each attendee received a custom Mt. Bachelor 2014 shirt and the lime green color could be spotted scattered across the mountain slopes. This weekend would cost the average person over $400, saving attendees about half of the price.

With January almost over, mountain resorts and snow-lovers are praying for more snow in the coming weeks of winter. “Spring conditions” were what Babcock described as the predicted conditions. Cloudless blue skies and a blaring sun that reached around 50 degrees both Saturday and Sunday surrounded students. Sunscreen, t-shirts and sunglasses were all in demand.

Groomed slopes shielded skiers and snowboards from the ice-packed snow banks on the mountain. Once the sun had time to melt the ice a hidden layer of powder emerged. Students traversed the summit, followed the sun and found the powder. They flew through the trees, skied through the park and improved their techniques.

The city of Bend is known for their seemingly endless recreation opportunities such as mountain sports, rafting, biking, hiking and camping. The active night scene downtown keeps the entertainment lively for residents and guests. Groups of Cougars and friends explored places like McMenamins, the Summit Stage and Saloon, Deschutes Brewery, the Crux and more local venues blocks from one another. A few VanCougs enjoyed dumplings from a downtown food cart. As one of the only stands still open at the late hour, the gentleman running the stand encountered more than one VanCougar over weekend.

Sore muscles followed many home and a good night’s rest is in order to get ready for class the next day. Mt. Bachelor 2014 was a success that tipped off the Spring semester recreation season. Much more is in store for the recreation office in the coming weeks. Two trips to Mt. Hood Skibowl are planned on Friday, Jan. 31 and Friday, Feb. 14. Important to note, based on bleak snow conditions, Skibowl is only tentatively running their lifts this season.

Head to the Recreation office located in the southeast side of campus in the annex for all trip details and outdoor rental opportunities. The annex can be reached via phone at 360 546 9532, or by email at osi.outdoorintern@vancouver.wsu.edu.

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Photo Credit: Kevin Alvarez

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