SOLE looks forward to outdoor trips, outlines on-campus services

August 29, 2017

Quinita Thomas

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    Colorado is known for its outdoor activities, and the people who live here enjoy taking advantage of the state’s natural wonders every day.

    For students eager to explore Colorado and Colorado Springs, it is essential to know how to plan your trip, bring the proper equipment and have the necessary outdoor skills to ensure safety and fun.

    Students will get the chance to explore Rocky Mountain National Park during Backpacking in the Rockies, hosted by the Student Outdoor Learning Experience, Sept. 2-4.

    Students will visit alpine lakes, waterfalls and the Continental Divide during UCCS’ extended labor day weekend. The three-day trip costs $75 per students and includes transportation, hiking gear and meals.

    Chris Ertman, outdoor program and trails coordinator, is excited about the variety of events that SOLE will offer to students this semester, including this weekend’s backpacking trip and Skydiving with High Adventures, which will take place Sept. 9-10.

    “With the venues such as skydiving and stand boarding at the sand dunes, we feel that these are experiences that students might not get better deals on anywhere else,” said Ertman.

    SOLE, located in the Gallogly Recreation & Wellness Center, provides students with a variety of on-sight services, rental equipment and organized excursions off campus.  

    Every year, SOLE plans excursions for students to take part in such as night hikes through the Garden of the Gods, star gazing, ski and soak, standup paddle boarding and more.

    Senior mechanical engineering major Chad Frankenberger says that these excursions vary in size; usually six to 15 students attend.

    Frankenberger suggests that students register for SOLE events early so that they have a spot reserved for them on the trip. Registration can open as early as two to three weeks before the excursion date.

    Once a certain number of people have registered the SOLE Office will request vehicles for the trip. Then, the trip leaders email all the participants informing them of what to expect when going on the trip as well as what to bring.     

    But, the trips are not free for students. According to Frankenberger, trips can cost as little to $10 or as much as $100 depending on the quality and duration of the trip.

    For those who are staying on campus, on-sight services include bike and ski workshops, equipment rentals for items like tents, paddleboards and mountain bikes and educational clinics. A full list of prices for rental equipment can be found on the SOLE website.

    A 27-foot wall for rock climbing will also be added to the center in mid-October, according to Ertman. This wall will replace the previous bouldering wall.     

    Ertman said that the Center expects to grow with the installation of the new rock-climbing wall and how SOLE hopes to strengthen student’s outdoor skills.

    “We will be offering clinics and classes for beginners so they can learn how to rock-climb and eventually take those skills outdoors,” said Ertman.

    For more information on rental equipment, upcoming events and the free services SOLE has to offer students, visit, or contact their office at [email protected].