By: Karen Wray –
From February 6-8, Tim Lohrenz, the Outdoor Rec. Director, brought a group of 20 Rocky Mountain College students on a fantastic ski weekend. This class accounted for one credit, making it especially popular with the students.
The weekend started when the group of complete strangers left on Friday at 4:00 p.m. Two Rocky vans patiently awaited the students so that we could get on the road en route to Red Lodge Mountain. We swiftly drove to the cabin that we stayed in on Friday evening. When we arrived we proceeded to make food and take part in a number of activities. It was a great start to the weekend as we played games and went to the pool. This really gave us a chance to get to know each other.
The original plan for the weekend was that we were going to have a ski or snowboarding lesson on Saturday Morning and then ski or snowboard the rest of the weekend. Unfortunately, the Montana weather forced us to move over to the contingency plan. We all woke in a bit of a panic on Saturday morning at 6:00 a.m. to get ready and prepare for the day ahead to find out that all the electricity in our cabin was out due to a tree knocking out the power lines. We gained keys to another house close by where we showered and got ready for the day ahead. All prepared, we arrived at Red Lodge Mountain anticipating a great day of skiing. As we pulled up, the parking lot was rather dead and we were unfortunately informed that the Mountain was closed due to winds gusting at 85mph. Everyone was a bit disappointed; however, this did not ruin the day.
We went back to the cabin and created two contingency plans for the day. These included a van going to Steep World Climb- ing Walls in Bozeman and the second was a trip to Cody, Wyo. to see the Buffalo Bill Museum and also the Japanese Internment Camps. Although the day didn’t go as originally planned, all of the students were still in good spirits. When we got back to the cabin, Tim and his new intern, Cami Seed, praised all the students on how we didn’t complain about the changes of plan, and they were very impressed with everyone’s participation.
On Sunday, the weather was a lot better and we got to go to Red Lodge to have our ski and snowboarding lessons in the differ- ent categories and skill levels. Having never really seen this amount of snow before in my life, this really was a different experience for this Northern Irish girl. I was rather nervous to begin with and stuck with the bunny slopes until I got the hang of turns and “pizza” stops. Getting a lesson from an instructor really was helpful and he took me up to two green level tracks, which I thought was great progress for a beginner. There were a few members of our group who were more experienced who went on some of the black slopes. Everyone on the weekend took care of each other using the buddy system, and everyone pushed themselves to try new things out of their normal comfort zone.
Overall the weekend was a great experience for all who went on it. To begin with, I know a lot of the group were anxious as we didn’t really know each other; however, from this experience we all definitely made new friends. The outdoor rec. trips are fantastically organized and they really do encourage participation from all the students. Tim Lohrenz, Cami Seed, and Audrey Henderson really are owed a big thanks from everyone who went on the trip and everyone who borrows equipment from the great outdoor rec. program. I would really recommend the trips that are run by Tim and his crew, and I really hope this article encourages participation within some of these events. If you wish to find out more details of other trips, the Outdoor Rec. desk is located outside the Grill. They offer trips and activities most weekends of the year, so I encourage you to stop by and find out what activities are going on.