Brace yourselves, winter is coming. Whether you’re thinking of skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or have another winter activity in mind, the AS Outdoor Center is prepared to get you ready for the upcoming snow season.
The Outdoor Center offers equipment rentals and learning opportunities designed to get students outside. Students can rent a variety of gear including ski and snowboard equipment, ice climbing boots, snowshoeing equipment, camping equipment and snow safety equipment. Students are also invited to use the tool bench at the Outdoor Center. Access to the bench costs only $2 and includes wax and other tools for students who need to repair, wax or edge their skis and snowboards.
The center will also be offering avalanche safety trainings taught by the American Alpine Institute at the beginning of winter quarter. Students who have completed a certified avalanche safety course can check out pieces of avalanche safety gear, including transceivers and probes, for free.
The office will also offer Wilderness First Responder training throughout the month of December.
Right now, the Outdoor Center is buzzing with activity as staff members work to get all the gear ready to go. They are ordering new equipment, waxing snowboards and prepping skis with skins.
Equipment Shop Coordinator Brian Bates recommended that students stop by early to reserve their equipment for the weekend, since there is a limited supply of popular items like skis and snowboards.
“Snowshoes are our most popular equipment, they typically sell out before the weekend,” said Bates. “We’ll be buying more of those in preparation for this season.”
All of the equipment is offered at low prices so students can afford the gear they need to get out and enjoy the local wilderness.
“Our goals here are to get you outdoors, not to make money,” said Bates. “$22 for a weekend ski rental is a Monday price… This is a really good deal.”
Bates recommended that for those looking for an even better deal, rentals are even cheaper on the weekdays.
In addition to offering every piece of equipment you need before you head into the snow, the center also boasts a knowledgeable staff who can answer questions, offer advice and help with equipment rentals or trip planning.
“Everyone who works at the Outdoor Center wants to be here, but they also love being outdoors, so they know their stuff,” said Bates.
If you’re ready to have a day with Jack Frost, head down to the Outdoor Center on the first floor of the Viking Union. More information including events, excursions and equipment, visit as.wwu.edu/outdoor.