Outing Centre offers climbing trip

By Genevieve Diesing

Today is the deadline to sign up for the NIU Outing Centre’s second indoor climbing trip of the semester.

The trip will be to the Northlander indoor climbing area in Rockford, and will cost $15 for NIU students. A maximum of 10 students and three team leaders will attend. The group will depart from the Outing Centre Friday at 5:30 p.m. and will return at 10:30 p.m. Students should arrive between 5 and 5:15 p.m.

Outdoor Coordinator for Recreation Services, Dan Swan, feels this trip, among others provided by the Outing Centre, is a great opportunity for students who like the outdoors.

“If you take a trip on your own, and you don’t already have the stuff, you’re spending a lot more money than if you do it this way,” Swan said. “If you’ve never done something like this, it’s a good opportunity. [If] you go out on your own, it does cost a lot more.”

The $15 fee for the trip covers transportation, equipment rental fees and food. Swan said if one were to cover all these expenses individually, the prices for a similar excursion could range anywhere from $50 to $70.

The Centre aims to ensure the presence of at least one team leader for every three students during trips and also provides information to attending students about the activity. Each team leader has undergone first aid wilderness survival training. Swan has a degree in sport management.

“We’re here to provide information,” Swan said. “We also try to make sure everybody has a good time and get away from their books.”

The Centre has been successful in the endeavor. Although participants usually vary, the Centre has acquired a few regulars. The team leaders also usually have memorable experiences on their trips.

“So far, the Devil’s Lake weekend, climbing and camping – that was pretty fun,” said Tim Crichton team leader and junior finance major. “The people that went on it were pretty fun as well.”

Junior special education major Jacqueline Glynn’s favorite trip so far was the Sept. 11 spelunking excursion in Northern Iowa.

“We went to the Maquoketa Caves, which were really muddy on the bottom,” Glynn said. “Three of us went down to the Wye cave and started having a mud fight.”

Glynn believes the trips are fun because they’re about bonding and learning.

All who are interested must sign up at The Outing Centre by 6:30 p.m. today. One must provide a medical statement and sign a liability waiver before they sign up.