By Joe Bailey ’15
Originally founded more than 50 years ago, The University of Rochester Outing Club promotes outdoor adventures in all forms. Whether it’s skydiving or backpacking, ice climbing or kayaking, the Outing Club stands as a bastion for rugged outdoorsmen and women here at the University. The club has also acted as a nucleus for the formation of two other spinoff clubs: Alpine Skiing and, more recently, UR Rock Climbing Club.
One trip which has become a staple in the club’s semester itinerary is backpacking in the high peaks region of New York’s Adirondack Mountains. The Adirondacks State Park is the largest state park in the nation, and is said to rival many national parks in its scenic beauty. One of the principle draws is the allure of climbing all of the park’s 46 high peaks over 4000 feet. The club is fortunate to be in close contact with a seasoned “46er,” John Miller, who works right here in the River Campus machine shop. He acts as a guide on trips, as he is familiar with all the trails in intimate detail. Also, he ensures the club follows all standard camping rules, including campfire safety and the proper storage of food in black plastic bear canisters.
Another slightly less intense aspect of the club are its frequent warm-weather excursions along the Genesee River in kayaks. These trips usually include stops at Genesee Valley Park along the way. There have also been unconfirmed reports of otter and other wildlife sightings. The club will also offer kayak training in the pool in the athletic center once it becomes too cold for boating outdoors.
The Outing Club also goes on other smaller day trips. These include excursions to parks like Letchworth State Park, Grimes Glen, Stony Brook Falls, or Chimney Bluffs. Those on the trip arrive in the morning, hike during the day, bring a bag lunch, and return that evening. Drawn to these outings, the club in past years attracted up to 100 active members, but involvement has declined in recent years.
Now, club leaders are seeing a resurgence in hiking enthusiasts at the UR. New members have shown an increased interest in the outdoors after going on UR Foot hikes, such as Ryan Spooner ’16. The club is planning a major backpacking adventure in the Adirondacks over fall break. Graduate students, faculty, and staff are all welcome to join the club. Club meetings are largely held depending on upcoming trips, every other week in Haven’s Lounge in Wilson Commons at 8:30 p.m.. The club is led this year by Sarah Salvucci ‘14, president, Joey Wagner ‘15, business manager, and Joe Bailey ’15, equipment manager.
Students interested in participating in the Outing Club are encouraged to contact Joe Bailey via email (jbail14
Editor’s Note: Rochester alum Jon Foster ’59, was kind enough to report that 1960 wasn’t the year the Outing Club was founded, as he was a member of the Outing Club while an undergrad. Our article was updated to address that error.