Tag Archives: recreation

Friends and Fun at the Climbing Wall

Patrick Hanlon

Patrick Hanlon,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 27 September 2014

The rock climbing wall here at Ohio University may seem like the climbing wall at any other school, but it really isn’t. See, people who aren’t regulars at this second home of mine may miss out on the close community we have developed in the Ping Center. Friends of all ages and years of school come together and have a great time together and work out and rock climb.

Sometimes school gets stressful, and when it does there is always a cushiony place to fall into, and it’s not the rubber padding at the bottom of the wall. In fact, it’s the people who are there for you the entire way up that plastic, hold-covered wall. I have to say that most of my friends outside of my engineering courses have been made here, and they are all wonderful.

Here at Outdoor Pursuits, there is not just a climbing wall. There are plenty of hidden adventures any student can go on if they’d like. There’s anything from back-country backpacking trips to canoeing adventures to even rock climbing expeditions. For anyone who would like to get their fix of outdoor adventures while still managing to be successful in school, Outdoor Pursuits is the place to go.

ALT

Springtime for Ohio

Steven Crane

Steven Crane,
Senior, Engineering Technology and Management

Athens, OH 16 March 2014 – Good moooooooorning students!

It’s spring time for Ohio and Engineering! Even though it’s still chilly (because of this freaky winter we’ve all been experiencing) Athens, Ohio still has many activities to do. This past weekend I went for a hike at Stroud’s run, which is only 5 minutes away from campus.

Stroud's Run

With such a nice part just minutes from campus, I like to use Strouds Run as a way to unwind. After completing a 5 mile hike around the park, I felt much better! It’s week 12 in the semester and it can get frustrating at times.

It’s important to remember why it’s important to take a step back sometimes and breath; if you don’t, you just might burn out.

Stroud's Run

The semester is finally winding down and projects are starting to approach their due dates. I’m looking forward to the next time I go on a hike, because the next time I go on a hike the semester might be over.

Stroud's Run

I’m looking forward to what the summer holds in front of me. Right now I’m looking at working Gosiger for an internship, night school for the first half of the summer, and knee surgery (yay!). I’m going to be very busy this summer, but that’s the way I like it!

I hope that all have a good summer ahead of you: whether it’s working, extra-curricular practice, or just enjoying it!

Stroud's Run

Good news is…I only fell once!

Faculty-Student Wiffle Ball

Scott Kostohryz

Scott Kostohryz,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 9 April 2014 – As the year comes to a close, it was a sight to see our Department Chair, Dr. Kremer, sliding into home off a hit into left field. With the faculty out of their element today and on the field, the Mechanical Engineering professors and some students had an exciting game of Wiffle ball outside of the Convocation Center. Outside of the research, papers and assignments, the professors and students enjoyed an exciting Second Annual Mechanical Engineering Student Advisory Board Student/Faculty Wiffle Ball Game.

Through all of the bumps and bruises, it was great to see us all “out of our element” and strengthening the bond outside of the classroom. This isn’t the first thing the faculty has done with the Mechanical Engineering students but it will be a highlight for me. I don’t know of a campus where you can have this kind of interaction with professors. It was quite a thrill.

Wiffle Ball

Today was also a great day for our Senior Design team. We delivered our project to ATCO for a test run with the clients. It was excellent to see the smiles it brought to the advisors’ faces and how excited the clients were to use it. This new metal cleaning machine will replace removing ink by hand, pressure washing, and will now allow those with disabilities to be part of the cleaning. All while improving the cleaning process and allowing ATCO to clean year-round. All the hard work and energy was worth it to see one of the clients, Eathan, light up and excited to use our new machine.

ME Senior Design

Caving Trip

Ben Taylor

Ben Taylor,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 9 April 2014 – I’m sure many people wouldn’t typically associate the terms “engineer” and “outdoorsman” with one another. And in my case, many people would be spot on with that assumption; I am an engineer, but by no means am I an outdoorsman. Sure, I love being outside on a nice day or playing a little sand volleyball in the summer months, but you certainly won’t find me running a 5k or hiking up a mountainside.

As my career at Ohio University is winding down, I thought that I needed to go outside of my comfort zone a little bit. One of my roommates is an outdoor recreation major and at the end of last semester he suggested that I enroll in a caving class for the current spring semester. He had gone on one of the trips before and said that it was quite an experience, so I decided to pull the trigger and sign up.

After a quick two weeks of classes in late February to early March, myself, eight other students (my roommate included), our teaching assistant (TA) Hunter, and our professor Matt (a super cool PhD student) were in a van driving to Radford, Virginia to face a weekend worth of camping and caving. After setting up camp and spending the night on Friday, we woke up early Saturday morning and drove to our first cave, Starnes.

Starnes is a cave deep in a hillside that is located on a farmer’s property just outside of Radford. We hiked about a half-mile through the farmer’s property and then rappelled down into the cave (after first obtaining the farmer’s permission, of course). The moment I entered the cave and got out of the sunlight, I could feel the presence of the cave’s immense darkness set in. Once you get a few hundred feet into the cave, climbing over rocks and through crevices, there is absolutely zero light and only darkness.

We all wore headlamps and carried two forms of backup light as a precaution, along with lunch, water, extra batteries, extra clothes, and empty bottles in case a bathroom transaction needed to be made (you can’t just go anywhere in a cave).

The experience of climbing through these caves with this group of students I barely knew was exciting and truly enjoyable. The instructor Matt did a great job making sure that we were all comfortable and led the group so that we not only were able to explore the caves ourselves and make our own decisions about where to explore, but also so we were able to get to know one another along the way and trust one another to have each other’s backs when we needed help.

The caves were extremely wet and the terrain was a constant struggle. You had to be very conscious of every step you took. Also, there were some areas, called “squeezes,” which were extremely narrow areas where you had to crawl army-style to get to the next open area (talk about claustrophobia). There was one particular squeeze that was so tight that you had to put one arm in front of you and one arm to your side and essentially nudge your way inch-by-inch through a 15-foot passageway into the next room. If I learned anything about myself on this trip, it was that I am not claustrophobic like I thought I was!

Caving truly was an incredible experience and I am glad I was able to take on the challenge with my roommate and other students from Ohio University. I will always remember that weekend in Radford, Virginia.

Spring Break Skiing

Grant Rhue

Grant Rhue,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 14 March 2014 – One of my favorite times of the year as a college student is Spring Break. Whenever this time comes around, I can’t wait to go to Breckenridge, Colorado, with my family for some downhill skiing and time together. It takes a little time to get used to the elevation change–9,000 at Breckenridge compared to Ohio’s average of 800 feet, but I usually adjust quickly.

Breckenridge

Breckenridge actually reminds me quite a bit of Athens, with its main street lined with small businesses and restaurants. There are also many unique venues to explore while trying to recover after a long day of boarding or skiing. Each year when we visit, we have a family tradition of walking down Main Street after dinner to the small outdoor Crepe A La Cart, where we all get our favorite variety of dessert.

When I began skiing during my junior year of high school, I found that many skiing skills were transferable from my years of playing hockey. It helped me to develop some decent skiing skill on downhill trails. After taking some lessons, I progressed from green trails up to the lower level black diamond courses.

Now, I can take on the steeper, upper altitude bowls and peaks that can range from 10,000 to 13,000 feet. This year, I covered more terrain than I had ever before–skiing from one mountain boundary all the way to the other side, covering 5 different peaks and a variety of runs along the way. Skiing is a great way to enjoy the mountains and to get away from the demands of school.

Backpacking Weekend with Outdoor Pursuits

Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 24 February 2014 – This past weekend was an opportunity for me to try something new – I went backpacking! Ohio University Outdoor Pursuits is an organization based within the Ping Recreation Center and is best known for operating the climbing wall at the entrance. They also offer many other services such as equipment rental and several trips of varying lengths and difficulty throughout the year. I’ve wanted to give backpacking a try for a while now so a (very reasonably priced) weekend Intro to Winter Backpacking trip sounded like just what I was looking for. Outdoor Pursuits supplied the food and any gear that I didn’t have and we were off to Zaleski State Forest.

The trip was even better than I had hoped. Despite the hike I signed up for, the weather was the surprise beautiful weather that Ohio sometimes decides to tease us with in February. The group had varying levels of experience, and we took the hike at a leisurely pace that gave us all a chance to stretch our legs after being cooped up inside during the last few cold weeks. We hiked out to a campsite and stayed the night there before traveling on to the site where we would camp Saturday night. Saturday afternoon was also probably the best nap of my life. Sunday morning we hiked out and were able to make it back to Athens about half an hour before it began to sleet. Can’t complain about that luck!

Outdoor Pursuits

Being unplugged from society for a couple of days was a fantastic escape from the fast-paced life of a college student. The seven of us were able to create our own schedule, spend unchecked amounts of time sitting admiring the fantastic views of Southeast Ohio, and swap stories while cooking simple meals around a campfire. It was refreshing to get away before coming back and getting a re-energized start on studying for midterms.

Winter in Athens

Claire Hall

Claire Hall,
Junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 17 February 2014 – Winter in Athens is great because there’s still so many ways to get outside and have fun. As long as it’s not too far below freezing there are plenty of things to do to not be cooped up inside. This year I’ve gotten to go sledding, go hiking out on a frozen Dow Lake and make a great snowman! (There have been a lot of good snowmen and forts around town from our snow days this year.)

Snowman

Sadly there aren’t many ski resorts very close to Athens. Mad River Mountain, about 2 hours away, is a place near Bellefontaine, Ohio which luckily has great deals for college students. Every Friday of the season Mad River has college night where lift tickets and rentals are fairly cheap for anyone with a college ID. I’ve had the chance to go a couple of times this winter which always ends up a fun time. So as everyone prepares for their trips to Panama and Daytona this Spring break, myself and a group of ten other engineers will be heading west for a week of snowboarding and skiing! Instead of adventuring south for a week of lying on the beach in the sun we’ve opted to head to West Virginia to brave the wild mountains at Timberline Resort.

No matter how mild or crazy the winter is, this time of year is still fun in Athens and it’s always easy to get outside and avoid cabin fever.