Thursday, October 18, 2012

Red River Gorge Autumn 2012

Hold up, hold up, hold up! Outdoor Pursuits went to the Red River Gorge for three days? 

That’s right, Son.  Check the flyers, we traveling.

How was the climbing?

I’m getting there, I’m getting there.  Don’t rush me (takes a deep breath).  

Here we go:  Day One - What’s a trip to the Red without fueling up on some classic cuisine.  Hillbilly Hot Dogs was our first stop, hot dogs any way you can dream.  Go with the taco dog; you won’t regret it.  

From there we continued straight to the Red.  Pouring rain during the drive had our spirits low but we trudged on hoping for better weather.  We pulled into camp and the weather seemed to break slightly, but there was a weird ruckus going on down the creek, so we went to inspect.  A crow had been snagged by a fishing line and was dangling above the river trying to get free.  

Horrible, right?  

Don’t worry, the crew went to action: a pocket knife here, clipping pole there, wet boots, creek crossed, a t-shirt to hold the crow, and he was free.  

You’re thinking, Wow, that had to be a good omen for the trip, right?  Everything would get better for our good deed, right?  Wrong.  That crow should’ve died.  It rained on us the rest of the night.

Later, sitting under the cooking canopies we decided it was time for action, so we headed to Miguel’s Pizza, the climbing hub of the Red, for a little grub and nourishment.  After some delicious pizza and several Ale 8’s -- Kentucky’s famous soda -- we went back to camp, had a fire and hoped for better conditions the next day.

Saturday morning arrives:  Still soaked… sigh.  We dally around camp fueling up and weighing options for areas that might be dry enough to climb.  Around 9:30 a.m. we head out in search of greatness -- as it happens, so did every other climber in the Red!  Muir, Lady Slipper, and Long wall were all mobbed, and I mean MOBBED.  So we headed to Pebble Beach with fingers crossed, nobody was there (holla!); we owned the crag.  Oh, it was wet but that didn’t stop us.  Five fun was the order of the day and quickly we put up route after route, trying to make up for our lost afternoon. New climbers got to touch outside rock for the first time; old climbers got to revisit old friends; and REALLY old climbers were there… Not sure why they were there, being so old and all (shrug).  We crushed and thrushed till the late afternoon and returned to camp for some well earned R & R.  We settled in that night, gathered around the fire with new stories to tell, and had a well earned sleep that night.

Sunday, final day:  We woke up early and packed camp.  Lady Slipper-Global Village was the choice of the day.  This is a beautiful crag with 80-foot plus climbs and great views to reward you with a send.  As with the day before, routes quickly went up and the fun began.  Vision, an 80-foot crack quickly became a favorite with the climbers for its hand jams, sunshine, and view of the gorge from the top that’s hard to beat.  We climbed till the early afternoon and packed it up, but we couldn’t leave without one more trip to Miguel’s.  A few more Ale 8’s and a sweet potato, artichoke, and ricotta cheese pizza (sounds good, right), and it was time to head home.  (By the way, it WAS good.)

The Red River Gorge has been a wonderful trip:  Beautiful views, world-class climbing and making new friends have been the payoff.  If you missed out on this trip, don’t worry; just keep your eyes on the watch for future excursions.  It’s a trip you’ll never forget!

                                                                      written by: Ryan Scott

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bike Rides For Free!!

Starting tomorrow, Thursday September 27th, Outdoor Pursuits will be bringing you the opportunity to go on bike rides for free! Every first and last Thursday of the month for the rest of the school year there will be a free guided bike ride from 12-2pm. Tomorrow we will be enjoying a scenic ride along the HockHocking Adena Bike Path. Bring your bike and a helmet if you got it, but don't worry if you don't because O.P. Staff will hook you up for free!!!

Meet at the the Student Center Rock Wall and we'll be seeing you tomorrow at noon!

Red River Gorge Climbing Trip

This weekend Outdoor Pursuits will be heading to Red River Gorge for some awesome climbing in Kentucky. We will be leaving from the Student Center on Friday September 28th at 10am (if you have class on Friday we can get you an excuse letter so you can get out of class) and will be back on Sunday September 30th. All gear will be provided but if you have your own shoes, harness, and camping equipment you should bring it. It will be cold this weekend so make sure to dress warm. The trip is $50 but this does not include meals, so make sure you bring food and snacks for the weekend and some extra money for if we stop somewhere on the way down and back. There is a MANDATORY meeting Thursday September 27th at 7pm at the rock wall. If you are planning on attending this weekend you MUST COME TO THIS MEETING.

Any other questions please contact Shane West at 740-753-6541 or email him at

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Coopers Rock Bouldering Trip

If you don't have any plans yet for the weekend you should come on a climbing trip with Outdoor Pursuits! This Saturday, September 22nd, we have a day bouldering trip planned to Coopers Rock State Park in West Virginia. Meet at the Student Center at 6:30am and plan on being gone all day, because we won't be getting back until 11pm or Midnight. Make sure to bring some water, food for the day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), climbing shoes, chalk, and some extra cash on you in case we stop somewhere on the way down or back. If you don't have shoes or chalk, don't worry! Outdoor Pursuits can hook you up! We will also be bringing Hocking's crash pads so you can hop on any boulder problem you want. Outdoor Pursuits staff will be there for spotting and will surely give you some positive encouragement!

The trip is $15 and make sure to contact Shane West at 740-753-6541 or email him at if you want to spend this Saturday on some awesome boulders!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fall Semester 2012 Trips

Hope everyone had a great summer and are getting back into the swing of things for the new semester! We have some awesome trips planned for this semester. Be sure to check them out! Here are the dates:

September 22nd Coopers Rock State Park Bouldering Day Trip in West Virginia

October 26-28 Seneca Rock Multipitch throw down weekend in West Virginia!

November 17th Vertical Adventures Gym climbing day trip in Columbus, Ohio.

So mark your calendars, check here for updates and more info about the trips and contact Shane West at 740-753-6541 or email him at for more details and to get signed up! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Are you bummed that you missed out on the surf trip to Florida? I don't blame you, but have no fear! There are plenty more opportunities for you to get involved with Outdoor Pursuits and come on some sweet trips in the very near future!
Registration is currently open for the following trips, so contact Shane West at (740)-753-6541 for more details and to get signed up!

February 8th is an All Employee Learning Day at Hocking meaning... no classes!! What better way to spend it than with OP for a day full of rock climbing at the fabulous and fun Energy Rock Gym in Charleston, West Virginia!

February 18th we have a special, one-day ski trip planned to the beautiful mountains of western Maryland at Wisp Resort. So whether you ski or snowboard, don't miss out on this AWESOME opportunity to get the best of Winter and shred some slopes!

And don't miss out on a fun and relaxing day-hike at the beautiful Hocking Hills on Sunday, March 11th!

If you're interested in registering or just have more questions regarding any of these trips, call Shane and get the info you need so that you can be a part of the next awesome OP trip!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Winter Surf Trip 2011!!!

During this winter break, Outdoor Pursuits ran a winter surf trip to the top-secret, most consistent surf spot on the East Coast -- New Smyrna Beach, Florida (don’t tell nobody).  
The trip started on Friday, December 16, at 5 A.M.  Twelve tired but excited people entered the van at the student center and prepared for a 12-hour drive to epic surf.  We arrived at Tomoka State park in Ormond Beach around 4:45 P.M. and set up camp. After setting up, we explored a bit and hit the sleeping bags early to prepare for some “ripping” the next day.  
Day two: we got up early and headed to New Smyrna to rent some boards and get some Dunkin Donuts of course, the breakfast of surf champs. After renting from Red Dogs surf shop, we hit Inlet Charlies for an extra board and were off to the races.  The surf was epic, solid chest to head high and smooth glassy lines.  The drive to the inlet seemed to take forever, especially because we got stuck in the sand with a van and trailer. Luckily, an old fisherman and his wife towed us out of a hole within 5 minutes of getting stuck (if you’re out there brave hero, thank you again). Finally, with a winter season beach pass purchased and the van parked in the inlet parking area, it was time.  We suited up and speed-walked/ ran the boardwalk to the waves.  The first five participants bravely stepped up and listened to some advice and safety instructions about the ocean and surfing, and then it was go time…a.k.a. time to get worked.
Throughout the day, the surf crew would surf until they had Wet Noodle Arm Syndrome and would pass off a board to someone primed to go.  The surf instructor would paddle out with each group and give helpful tips on reading waves and not opening your mouth to swallow water J (btw, I think he’s related to Kelly Slater).  Another nice feature of the day, besides the incredible surf, was a surf competition going on at the inlet.  We surfed all day until the sun went down at 5 p.m.  Then we packed our gear and made for a grocery store and then camp.
Day three: we woke up and headed back to the inlet, and the surf had taken a turn.  The waves were bigger and meaner, not quite the clean beauties we had the day before, but still super fun.  The surf was pushing 6-8 ft range on the outside break and was like a washing machine on the inside, rideable but a lot of work to stay in the break. A certain surf instructor was enjoying life on the outside break.  Once again, despite tough conditions, the crew stuck it out and we surfed till dark.  Days like this day make you appreciate very clean and smooth days like Saturday.  Despite the conditions, the crew steadily showed improvement catching, and standing up on waves, even if only for a micro-second.  Another full day of waves under the belt and we headed back to camp for some grub and showers (which btw Tomoka has one the most excellent bathroom facilities this camper has ever seen just FYI).
Day four:  We decided to try a change of pace and drove down the south to Bethune Beach for a different type of wave, and boy did we get it.  Bethune beach has a wave that breaks very steep and hollow, allowing surfers to get barreled, making extremely fun to ride.  For the inexperienced, though,  it presents quite a challenge.  So while Kelly’s distant relative was getting slotted, others in the crew were getting worked J.  Every type of wave the ocean presents is a unique challenge and a lesson -- the more you surf, the more your repertoire grows.  Today the crew learned about taking it on the head and sandbar backrubs, just stash that in your back pocket for later, it’s a valuable lesson we all learn throughout our surfing careers.  We headed to the world famous JB Fish house in Bethune for one the best seafood dinners you will ever taste. The dinners included raw oysters, blackened gator, grouper, clams, shrimp, hushpuppies, crabcakes, and the best key lime pie money can buy.  It didn’t hurt that we got to watch the sunset off JB’s back deck on the river, either.
The next morning we voted on a sunrise surf session in the morning known as “dawn patrol”.  We woke at 5.50 in the morning and hit the break at Ormond Beach.  We arrived at 6.45 just before first light.  A few brave surfers hit the chilly water before the sun came up and enjoyed the 3-5 foot surf as it rose.  Words really can’t describe how beautiful it is to watch the sun rise while in the water with waves breaking. The wind was slightly offshore so when the waves broke the wind would blow spray over the back of the wave, and if you were in front of this, you could see the sunlight through the lip of the wave and then the rainbow effect of the spray dancing off the sun.  It was hard to wake up so early, and even harder to put a damp cold wetsuit on when its 50 degrees out, but it is a sight and feeling you will never forget.  We grabbed some breakfast across the street from the park at Alfies restaurant and hit the surf again.  The waves were phenomenal.  Everyone paddled out and was able to catch waves and stand and ride them for a  distance.  The waves were slightly wedged providing easier takeoffs and good power.  By 1 p.m., everyone had caught a king’s share of waves, and smiles were prevalent all around (even Ben managed one).  Today was by far the best day for the crew and it was only half over.  For the afternoon we switched gears to give our “wet noodles” a break. We hit a few local surf shops, and then it was time for some epic put-put action.  The battle was heated, Austin slotted a hole-in-one and Chad and Grace were taking no prisoners.  In the end, Mr. Paben proved victorious and was crowned Pirates Cove Champion. 
Day five:  We took a road trip to the legendary Cocoa Beach, home of Ron Jon’s Surf Shop, and 11-time World Champ Kelly Slater, also in the area just off shore NASA’s space center.  We hit Ron Jon’s first thing, and with the help of a sweet old lady, we went to a breakfast spot called Something Delicious and that it was, omelets any way you can dream up and a variety of pastries and coffees to choose from.  After fueling our bellies, we hit the break at Patrick Air Force Base.  The surf was pumping, solid 6-9 ft wedges on the outside and 3-4 wedges inside.  A few of the crew surfed the inside and the rest tried their hands on the outside.  The waves were intimidating but just spectacular to watch break.  The ocean has such power;  it’s awe inspiring. After another day of surfing till dark, we drove back up the coast and stopped at a seafood restaurant called Hidden Treasure for some food. 
Day six:  The last day of the trip we woke at 6 a.m. for maximum time spent in the surf.  We’re going all out today.  The waves are breaking 3-4 ft today and really wedgie.  Perfect conditions for the crew.  We paddle out and right away the group is getting rides, not just standing for a second or two, really riding the waves.  The smiles were infectious, it didn’t matter if you got worked or got a great ride, it was all fun.  We had to be out of the water to leave by noon but the crew was enjoying themselves so much they didn’t leave the water until 11:59.  With sad hearts and heavy arms we packed up, returned our boards, and headed back to camp for showers.  We broke down camp and headed back home for Ohio.
The van was filled with extremely tired surfers reminiscing waves caught and sandbars kissed.  They graduated from “kooks” to “noobs” and loving every minute of it.  The winter surf trip was a huge success and hopefully another one can be put into the works.  If you missed this one, don’t miss the next -- it’s an experience you’ll never forget (p.s., my skin smells like I miss surfing).

-Ryan Scott