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Hop on board with OPR shuttles

Derek Shuck, Assistant Sports Editor - January 9, 2013

With winter descending on Ellensburg, the mountains are a popular destination for snowboarders and skiers alike. But icy conditions on the road can make getting to those mountain passes difficult. Fortunately, Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals has an alternative for students who want to get to the pass.

OPR is offering a Ski and Snowboard Shuttle to Snoqualmie Pass every Tuesday and Wednesday throughout winter quarter.

Trips cost $8 per seat, depart at 3 p.m., and return when the mountain closes; no later than 11:30 p.m.. For students wishing to take advantage of the shuttle frequently, a season pass is $80.

“$8 is a pretty good deal to get all the way there and back,” said Devin Dykes, a senior environmental studies major who works at OPR. “ It definitely saves a lot of gas money.”

The appeal of resting on the way to the pass, rather than dealing with the snowy weather, is what attracts many students to the shuttle service.

“It helps to just be able to sleep on the way up and focus on snowboarding,” said Ethan Wright, an undeclared freshmen using the shuttle this quarter. “It’s cool how it’s all taken care of, you just have to show up.”

To sign up for the shuttle, students simply go to OPR to pay and pick a date. From there, it’s as simple as showing up outside the SURC when their shuttle is scheduled to arrive.

It’s a great opportunity for students without a vehicle to still get their skiing or snowboarding fix.

“My car blew out three weeks ago so this is definitely pretty cool, “ freshman undeclared Hunter Lotts said.

The two Shuttles used by OPR can fit up to 17 people, but normally carry around eight per trip.

OPR is also offering custom “Six- Pack” trips, in which six or more students can arrange their own personal shuttle ride to Summit at Snoqualmie Pass, Mission Ridge, Stevens Pass, or White Pass. “Six-Pack” trips must be set up at least two days in advance and still cost $8 per student.

Discounted lift tickets to these resorts are also available at OPR. Students can save anywhere from $5 to $10 by going through OPR rather than purchasing from a resort directly.

For groups looking for something more, OPR is also willing to plan custom trips this quarter. With two weeks notice, OPR will help students arrange a trip of their choosing, providing a shuttle van and appropriate pricing.

Some students take the cramped quarters of the shuttle as an opportunity to meet fellow snowboarders and skiers.

“It’s a good chance to ride with new people you wouldn’t really meet otherwise,” Lotts said.

“Talking to people, you can learn new routes down the mountain or whatever,” Wright said.

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