Outdoor Pursuits includes a wide range of educational, cultural and leadership experiences, programs and resources designed to connect students with one another, their institution and the great outdoors. Outdoor Pursuits provides student led adventures that include new skills, safety, teamwork and leadership in diverse, sometimes challenging, environments.
OP includes the following ways to get involved:
- Instructional outings with Outdoor Adventure
- Recreation and engagement with the Pathfinder Leadership Development Program
- Teambuilding services and group facilitation with Adventure Leadership Programs (ALP)
- Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) for outdoor Rental Shop and trip planning resources
- Open climbing and climbing instruction on the Climbing Wall
- Online resources for trip planning
- Loaner gear for classroom presentations at no charge
- Learning, leadership, and research information
- Student-staff leadership development
- Volunteer and outdoor service opportunities
Go climbing, meet people, learn new skills, get involved.
The OP Adventures program provides great opportunities for MSU Denver students to try new things, learn new skills and get started with outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing and canoeing. OP Adventures provide a “hard skills” approach to learning in the outdoors – that means we focus on how to do it, specifically the skills needed to become an independent outdoors person. There’s no better way to get started with a lifetime of joy in the outdoors.
OA offers instruction in a wide variety of human-powered outdoor adventure activities including:
Rock and ice climbing
Bike tune clinics
Canyoneering and more!
CityScape is a brand new urban/local/cultural/social/fun program of activities that will include walks, art events, tours, talks and more. Check back for more info and the fall 2018 schedule.
The Campus Recreation wall provides the Auraria Campus community
with a place to gather, meet other climbers, boulder and top rope, and learn to rock climb
The climbing wall is open when the Fitness Center is open
A modest wall, 22 feet high and 40 feet wide, provides approximately 900 square feet of climbing space
Summer OPC hours - Monday through Friday, 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Welcome to the Outdoor Pursuits Center Rental Shop
Serving MSU Denver students, faculty, staff and alumni and Campus Recreation members.
Fall 2018 Hours
Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
|Cook Kit (backpacking pan kit)||$4||$5||$9|
|Crazy Creek Chair||$3||$4||$7|
|Headlamp (batteries not included)||$3||$4||$7|
|Helmet (aquatic, bike & climbing)||$3||$4||$7|
|PFD (aka life jacket)||$5||$7||$14|
|Stove (two burner for car camping)||$7||$12||$20|
|Tent (3 – 4 person)||$12||$18||$32|
|Tent (2 person)||$7||$12||$20|
The Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) rental shop is the place where student staff work to plan and prepare for the stuff we do outside - canyoneering, rock and ice climbing, snowshoeing, hiking, etc. It also provides students with a place to meet one another and share their interests in the outdoors.
The OAC rental shop is student fee supported, staffed by students, and serves the Auraria Campus community with affordable rentals of high quality outdoor gear.
Please visit the OAC located in the PE/Event Center, Room 002
or call 303-615-1499 for more information!
Pathfinder is an experience-based program of activities designed by students for students. Activities are student led and organized. Check out the new list of activities planned for fall 2018 (coming soon). Get started this fall and continue to enjoy outdoor fun for the rest of your MSU Denver experience and beyond!
Avalanche Safety - The Four Factors
If you like to snowshoe or backcountry ski, you might consider getting involved in our hands-on avalanche safety class. We will meet over two days to cover the “Four Factors” of human interaction in avalanche terrain. Topics include terrain, weather, snowpack and people.
Every outdoor program has it’s premier experiences and we consider our Moab Canyoneering trip over spring break among ours. If you’ve ever wondered what it like on the other side of the railing at those scenic overlooks, now is the time to find out! Climb over the railing and join us as we find safe ways to explore spectacular technical canyons of the desert southwest. Fees include instruction, gear (even clothing if needed), and lodging.
RTD Ride and Hike @ Trails to Tread This is a resource that helps connect students to RTD buses and trains that service outdoor adventure locations. This is just a sample of the many outdoor adventures you can enjoy once you get started!
We also include seasonal wildflower and photo hikes.
Local Ice Climbing
Denver is the only major city in the contiguous US that offers ice climbing within a 20-minute drive. So, why not take up ice climbing? It’s a great winter sport and we can get you started at a very affordable student price.
The Outdoor Adventure mountaineering programs provide a progression that address’s the combination of activities commonly referred to as mountaineering. We suggest that mountaineering is not a stand alone set of techniques in the same sense that rock climbing is. Rather, it describes the mindset of participants and the environment where the activity takes place. Mountaineering is “big feature” oriented, typically summit but also significant mountain features such as arêtes, pinnacles or gendarmes.
The mountaineering progression provides a participant with a basic skill set that supports further participation in increasingly technically advanced skills. No particular skill set is more important than another – all are important to the mountaineer.
The philosophy behind the design is that participants have the opportunity to learn the skills listed within each activity (i.e. learning outcomes are the priority). Activities are not particularly strenuous, they are not anymore physically demanding than is necessary for learning and practicing the skills. Consequently, climbing a mountain or “summiting” something is not generally included in the outcomes.
Ouray Ice Climbing
One of our premier challenges and a great learning opportunity, the annual outing to the Ouray Ice Park is the perfect opportunity to get started with this incredible sport or to hone your skills, if you already climb. Experienced staff provide expert safety and instruction and you can’t beat the Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs for convenience and comfort. Just about everything is included in the price - lodging, transportation, gear, warm clothes, and instruction.
There is no better way to get started rock climbing than with this student-fee supported program. We teach both indoors and outside, and topics include knots, belaying, anchor building, risk assessment, and climbing technique. Each rock climbing session within the series can be taken individually or in sequence. Click the link for learning outcomes for each session and for more information.
Outdoor Adventure rock resources:
OA knot list
Outdoor Adventure rock lesson info and outlines:
Rock Climbing Information
Research and Learning
Challenging Conventions in Outdoor Education
Outdoor Pursuits is an aggregate of instructional, leadership, teambuilding and research programs. In addition to learning hard skills such as rock climbing and avalanche safety with OA or leadership and teamwork with Pathfinder, there is a broad knowledge base that goes along with participation in outdoor activities. Not always necessary for success in the outdoors, knowledge can make participation more enriching and enjoyable.
We function on a philosophy of inquiry, here at OP. That means we don't take much for granted and we can sometimes challenge convention within the outdoor education world. OP staff engage in literature review, new knowledge research and theoretical exploration from a questioning perspective.
We welcome student engagement in research projects and suggestions for topics we might pursue. Examples of previous projects can be seen below, on this page. Previous projects include pull-testing ropes and knots and studying learning and teaching strategies.
Student Involvement and Research
Research and Innovation
We welcome student engagement in research projects and suggestions for topics we might pursue. Examples of previous projects can be seen below, on this page. Projects include pull-testing ropes, knots and climbing devices and systems, and learning and teaching strategies.
Select the drop-down menus below for additional research and resources.
For more information, please email Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Outdoor Pursuits has been involved in various research project. Here are links to some of those projects and links to work we found particularly interesting and germane to outdoor education. If you have an idea or suggestion for a research topic, please let us know.