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OAPI offers slate of outdoor adventures

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 adventures for campus and community members to enjoy.

Activities will kick off on Jan. 30 with a dog sledding adventure. Participants will talk to the mushers, help harness the dogs, go for a ride, and enjoy a warm, delicious lunch. The public is invited to attend and may register for this adventure beginning Jan. 24. The registration deadline for this event is Jan. 28 at noon and the cost to attend is $40.

A snow-shoeing adventure is next on the agenda for the outdoor enthusiasts on Feb. 11. The public is encouraged to come enjoy the snow as OAPI explores the trails at Aroostook State Park. The cost for this event will be $5 and no experience is required. Those interested in participating are asked to meet at Gentile Hall for a 1 p.m. departure.

OAPI ventures out for its Winter Ascent of Mount Bigelow from Feb. 19 to Feb. 21. Attendees will ascend one of Maine’s 4,000-footers by climbing over 2,750 feet, and hiking over 12 miles round-trip on the Appalachian Trail to the summit of the mountain. Hiking experience is recommended and an above-average level of physical fitness is required. The trip will also include winter camping and exploration of the surrounding area. Cost for the public to attend is $65 and those interested may begin registering for the trip beginning Feb. 7. The registration deadline is Feb. 16 at 4 p.m.

On Mar. 4 OAPI invites participates to experience the peace and quiet of Aroostook State Park as they explore the woods on cross country skis. Equipment will be available for free, and there is no experience required. Those needing equipment should plan to meet at Gentile Hall at 12:30 p.m. The van will depart from Gentile Hall at 1 p.m.

Activities continue on Mar. 11 with an opportunity to participate in biathlon target practice at the Nordic Heritage Sports Center facility – home of the 2011 Biathlon World Cup. Local elite biathletes from the Maine Winter Sports Center will provide guidance in teaching rifle and range safety, target practice, and biathlon drills. The cost to participate is $10 and the public may register for this event after Feb. 28. The deadline to register is Mar. 9 by 4 p.m.

From Mar. 20 to Mar. 23, OAPI will lead its Saddleback Resort Ski and Ride Get Away Trip. Participants will travel to one of Maine’s premier ski resorts and ski or ride for three days. Accommodations include an on-mountain condo with ski-in/ ski-out access. The public may sign up for the getaway beginning Feb. 21 with the registration deadline being Mar. 2. The registration fee for this event is $255 for the public, with a $100 deposit due at time of registration and the rest of the balance to be paid in full prior to departure. The registration fee covers 3-nights lodging, a 3-day lift ticket, and also includes food and transportation.

April will bring a number of exciting events as well, beginning with a Wilderness First Aid Certification class offering on Apr.16 and 17. If you spend time in the outdoors, then this course is for you! Registrants will learn the basics in wilderness first aid through scenario-based, hands-on practice of essential skills for care and treatment of injuries and illnesses in the backcountry. The registration deadline is Apr. 12, and the cost is $125. For more information, contact Anja Whittington at 768-9537,

Two additional trips are anticipated for April including a trip to Grand Falls, NB where attendees will zip line over the Grand Falls gorge, and a kayak roll class in the Gentile Hall pool. The costs and dates of these trips are yet to be determined.

The spring semester events schedule wraps up on May 7 with Outdoor Rock Climbing in Acadia National Park. The rain date for this event is May 8. The public is invited to join PCIA rock climbing guide, Lenny Cole, and explore the cliffs of Acadia National Park. The public may attend this event for $55 and can begin signing up beginning Apr. 25. The registration deadline is May 4 by 4 p.m.

Snowshoes, skis, tents, sleeping bags, canoes, kayaks, etc. may be rented for a nominal fee, including a $20 deposit at time of rental, through OAPI. Those wishing to rent gear are advised to check on availability and reserve gear in advance through Kim McCrea, Assistant Director of Gentile Hall and Manager of OAPI.

For more information about any of these events contact McCrea at 768-9401, or