SUU Outdoors plans to host a cross-country skiing trip to Deer Hollow on Jan. 28 as the third outing of the spring semester. Due to Monday classes being canceled in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, sign-ups will open on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at noon at Basecamp, which is next to Chick-fil-A in the Sharwan Smith Student Center.
Due to limited space, SUU Outdoors employee Amberly Mikkelson encourages students to arrive early to sign up. Trip registration typically opens two Mondays before any trip at noon but according to Mikkelson, “people start lining up by 11:30 a.m.”
This trip is free and beginner friendly. Equipment rental from the outdoors center is included when students sign up. SUU Outdoors will provide attending students with skis, boots, poles and gaiters, as well as optional helmets and goggles.
At resorts like Brian Head, lift tickets and gear rental can amount to a significant cost. SUU Outdoors aims to keep the outdoors accessible to students with free or low-cost trip options like this one.
When downhill skiing, adventurers ride on people movers or ski lifts to reach the top of a hill, then fly downhill only to ride up again. Cross-country skiing involves traveling uphill as well as down and is a great alternative for hikers when trails are snowed over.
When asked to describe cross-country skiing, Mikkelson says this sport provides a unique opportunity to get to places you wouldn’t see if you went to a traditional ski resort. The nature of the sport is such that there is more opportunity to explore destinations than with traditional downhill skiing.
If you miss this trip, the center is hosting an overnight cross-country skiing trip to Puffer Lake Yurt on Feb. 4 and 5 with registration on Jan. 23. Otherwise, southern Utah has plenty of destinations to try this sport out with gear rented from SUU Outdoors.