Get outdoors with CWU’s OPR

Derek Harper, Staff Reporter

Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals (OPR) is open and offers gear for students to rent with plans for local excursions. If someone is looking to rent gear and go enjoy the snow, OPR has them covered. 

According to OPR’s Coordinator Bradley Gasawski, OPR is offering all sorts of gear for rent and in the two weeks it’s been open so far he said, “it’s been busy and that’s fantastic.” 

Some of the gear OPR offers includes snow tubes to go sledding, cross country skis, alpine touring skis, snowshoes, avalanche beacon probe and shovel, avalanche pack and more. It also offers camping gear including cookstoves, backpacking stoves, backpacks, tents, sleeping bags and more.

“Most of what we have is available for rent,” Gasawski said.

Due to the pandemic restrictions put forth by Gov. Jay Inslee, all excursions through OPR will be local as they don’t yet have permission to transport students to White Pass, Suncadia and Snoqualmie. He said they follow the protocols put in place by Inslee and CWU so they can be open to rent gear to students.

Despite the restrictions however, they did get permission to offer a few things. He said the golf course in town is a spot where people like to go sledding, but that there are also sno-parks along the I-90 corridor that allow sledding and tubing.

One important piece of information Gasawski had for those who rent equipment and head to the mountains is for students to be familiar with the equipment and understand avalanches happen. Gasawski said they should check the Northwest Avalanche Center for the avalanche and weather forecast for the area where they want to travel. Once out there, he said they should just make good decisions.

He said it’s a good way to socially distance, but it depends on where you go and recreate. According to Gasawski, some areas are very busy right now, while others are not. 

On Saturdays in February, assuming there’s snow in town, OPR is planning to offer cross country skiing at Rotary Park. They’re currently planning a trip in early March to Manastash Ridge to go hiking or snowshoeing depending on snow conditions. For more information on that, Gasawski said students can go to their website and click on recreation then get involved then OPR. 

OPR is also hosting a clinic on avalanche beacon training every other Wednesday evening from 6-9 p.m. 

For those who wish to learn more about OPR, Gasawski says the best way to do so is to visit. He said students should come in and say hi, talk to the student staff that work there as well as himself and find out what they’re about. For students who might be interested in working at OPR, Gasawski said they’re part of the recreation center so they go through their hiring process.