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OAPI offers slate of spring events

Monday, 01 February 2010

With winter in full gear and warmer weather in the future, the University of Maine at Presque Isle's Outdoor Adventure Program International (OAPI) is offering a series of spring adventures for campus and community members to enjoy, including a winter mountain climb, cross country and alpine skiing, snowshoeing and rock climbing.

Activities kick off on Wednesday, Feb. 10 and again on Feb. 24, March 3, March 10 and March 17 when OAPI offers free rides to Big Rock Ski Area in Mars Hill. The mountain offers free Wednesday night lift tickets and OAPI provides the free transportation to the site. Rentals are available at Big Rock. The shuttle departs from Gentile Hall at 4 p.m. and returns by 9:45 p.m. Organizers will cancel if driving conditions are unsafe and if the campus is closed.

Outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to enjoy the natural light of the full moon on the snow as OAPI explores the trails at the Nordic Heritage Center in PI during a free Full Moon Snowshoe and Potluck on Friday, Feb. 26. No experience is required. After the snowshoe, participants can warm up near the fire with homemade goodies. Meet at Gentile Hall at 5:30 p.m. to join OAPI for this event.

On Friday, March 12, OAPI will experience the peace and quiet of Aroostook State Park as they explore the woods on cross country skis. The park has great trails that provide an awesome workout. Equipment will be available for free and there is no experience required. Those interested should plan to meet at Gentile Hall at 2:15 p.m.

OAPI ventures out for its Winter Ascent of Mount Katahdin from Saturday, March 13 to Sunday, March 14. Hiking experience is recommended and some level of physical fitness is required. On Saturday, the group will leave campus and travel to Abol Bridge near Baxter State Park on the West Branch of the Penobscot. From here, with the professional guiding service of Mountain Sense Guides, the group will snowshoe into Abol Campground. Weather permitting, Sunday is going to be a long day of snowshoeing and mountaineering as the group attempts to summit Maine's highest peak. Cost for UMPI students is $160; $175 for non-students. Registration deadline for this trip is Friday, Feb. 26. A mandatory pre-trip meeting will be held on Thursday, March 4 at 7 p.m.

From Monday, March 22 to Thursday, March 25, OAPI will lead its Mont Sainte-Anne Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding Spring Break Trip. Ski or board the slopes of Quebec's jewel of ski resorts. With over 65 trails, numerous quad chairlifts and a vertical drop of over 2,000 feet (625 m) this is more than your average mountain. The registration deadline for this trip is Friday, Feb. 5 with a $100 deposit due at time of registration. Cost is $220 for students, $250 for non-students. Trip price includes 3 nights lodging, 3 day lift tickets, food and transportation. Participants may also choose to cross country ski (reducing the price for that person).

A Wilderness First Aid Certification will be offered on Saturday and Sunday, April 17 and 18. This certification covers CPR and First Aid plus advanced skills for outdoor emergencies. Registration deadline is Monday, April 12. Cost is $100. For more information, contact Anja Whittington at 768-9537.

The spring events schedule wraps up on Saturday, May 8 with Outdoor Rock Climbing in Acadia National Park. Rain date is Sunday, May 9. Get outside and climb real rock with a certified rock climbing guide. No experience is required. The group will leave Gentile Hall at 5:30 a.m. and return by 10 p.m. Cost for UMPI students is $30; $40 for non-students. Registration deadline is Monday, May 3.

For more information about any of these events, contact Amanda Morin at 768-9401.