Trek to Mount Bachelor one of many adventures

With a ton of snow already fallen on Mount Bachelor and more in the forecast, Taylor Canoles decided it was time to make his first trek to the central Oregon resort.

So the University of Oregon undergraduate put up a sign-up sheet on a clipboard in the Outdoor Program office, organized a pre-trip meeting and helped make the trip happen on a March Saturday. Thirteen people piled into a big Ford van, with their gear strapped to the roof-top rack, and made the 3 1/2-hour trip to Bachelor, where they were greeted with 15 inches of new snow.

The trek to Bachelor is one of about 150 trips organized each year through the UO Outdoor Program, a student-led organization founded in 1967, making it one of the oldest outdoor programs in the country, said Dan Geiger, program coordinator.

About 1,650 people — students, faculty, staff and community members — went on Outdoor Program trips in 2009-10 school year, he said. In addition to trips, the program offers clinics and events, rents gear and operates the UO Bike Program.

Trips are organized by students such as Canoles, who post an idea for a trip in the Outdoor Program office and see who signs up. The program calls them “trip initiators,” rather than trip leaders, Geiger said.

“They’re volunteers who facilitate trips,” he said. “They’re not like guides or trip leaders. They’re essentially facilitators. We view our trip board as a wilderness ride board.”

The groups makes decisions by consensus, and trip expenses are shared equally, he said.

Trips are organized nearly every weekend during the school year. Most are day trips or weekend trips, but program participants have gone rafting in the Arctic, climbing in the Himalayas, sea kayaking in Thailand and cycling in Cuba.

“If you can dream it, we can help you make that happen,” he said. “There’s no limit on how big a trip you can do."

Tim Christie