OPR offers a variety of equipment for student use

Gabriel Strasbaugh, Staff Reporter

Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals (OPR) continues to provide students with equipment for their trips. As the leaves begin to turn from green to its fall attire, more students are finding themselves strapping up their hiking boots in the pursuit of adventure. From paddle boarding to hiking, students have multiple options to choose from to go outside for the day. 

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, OPR offered guided trips throughout Kittitas Valley. OPR works hand in hand with the Recreation Center allowing students to partake in many different amenities including a 50-foot climbing rock wall. 

“We’ve rented a lot of paddle boards and inflatable rafts this late summer,” Coordinator of OPR Bradley Gasawski said. “With the temperatures cooling people are doing a lot of hiking. So, we’ve had some backpacks, tents and sleeping bags for folks who want to go backpacking.”

Restrictions due to COVID-19 have been taken into account, according to Gasawski.

According to Gasawski, these practices are part of the university’s plan to ensure students remain safe and healthy. Part of these practices include a curbside pickup for equipment rentals. Once finished there is also a procedure to return it in the same fashion. This will then allow for OPR employees to properly sanitize the equipment for another to use later. Reservations are an option for students to make sure they get exactly what they need. 

“We are required to follow the requirements put forth by not just the governor, but the university,” Gasawski said. “We were open for the summer and will continue to remain open and continue to follow the same best practices as the summer.”

Some students prefer cold weather for outdoor activities. Third year public relations major Noah Wooster said the cold air is perfect right after the Ellensburg summers.

 “I personally like cooler air more just because my house doesn’t have A/C, so during this time in fall I like to get out as much as I can,” Wooster said. 

Wooster said hiking is a perfect activity to zone out from the stress of classes. 

“I have been to lake Cle Elum and I love to put in some headphones and listen to music,” Wooster said.

As the months go on, the weather may bring more opportunities such as skiing at Snoqualmie or some places locally. OPR will remain open year-round and welcomes students to walk in with safety continuing to be accounted for.