This fall Rocky Mountain College’s Outdoor Recreation program is introducing their first Everest Challenge throughout the month of November.
The Outdoor Recreation program is for people who love the outdoors and are adventurous at heart. Their mission is to “provide recreational programs that challenge the individual and contribute to student wellness.”
For the Everest Challenge, participants will complete 142 miles worth of walking or running and 2,000 feet worth of technical climbing within a 40-day period. Once a student is signed up, they will track their progress on a shared Google Sheet. The Everest Challenge is designed to take all the aspects of actually climbing Mount Everest, and shrinking it down to size.
Outdoor Rec is also giving opportunities to help with the challenge by organizing free trips to Steepworld Climbing and Fitness, located in Billings, all throughout the month of November. All gear is also included. People who are not participating in the challenge are still welcome to go as well.
Katie Browning, an RMC senior education major and student Intramural Coordinator of Outdoor Recreation said, “This event is an opportunity [for students] to try something new and challenge [themselves] – mentally and psychically.”
Browning joined the program last October. She was originally just looking for work study but ended up attaching herself to the program and all that it offered.
“I wanted something with a meaningful purpose,” she said.
The Everest Challenge is inspired by the Iron Bair Challenge that occurs every spring semester. Tim Lohrenz, Director of Outdoor Recreation, Intramurals, Student Activities, and New Student Orientation, wanted to implement another fitness challenge in the fall that would be similar to the Iron Bear challenge that happens in the spring.
Lohrenz joined Outdoor Rec in 2006 and continues to improve the program every day for Rocky students.
Lohrenz said, “This [program] is for students to try something new. Who knows, they might end up liking something and actually pursue it…even if a student has no experience, we are there to guide them every step of the way from whatever starting point they are at.”
The members of the program are always finding ways to make a student’s experience “more accessible and [offer] accommodations” so that no student has to buy their own gear.
“And we have tons of gear for them to try things on their own,” Lohrenz continued.
Browning added that Outdoor Rec rented over 1,000 pieces of gear last year.
Lohrenz encourages students to get involved by checking the calendar on the website and through the kiosk in the Student Bair Center.
If anyone has further questions about the Outdoor Recreation program, contact Tim Lohrenz or Katie Browning via email.