Outdoor Program offers nontraditional winter recreational opportunities

Courtesy Kirsten Atkinson

Boise State’s Outdoor Program offers opportunities for students and the public to expand their winter recreation with gear rentals, courses and trips.

“Snowshoes is probably our biggest rental for winter,” said Ahva Mozafari, an Outdoor Program staff member.

The Outdoor Program also offers many other types of winter gear such as cross country skis, telemark skis, avalanche beacons, and snowboards to name a few.

In comparison to summer, the Outdoor Program does not see as much rental traffic.

“For winter gear, most people want downhill skis and we don’t have them because you need technicians and we don’t have any,” Mozafari said. “It seems that people are not into cross country skiing or things like that as much as rafting, so we’re not super busy over the winter.”

However, for avid skiers like the Ski and Snowboard Club treasurer and Outdoor Program staff member, Hana Goodrich, having access to other winter sport gear is beneficial.

“Most people will only have downhill skis and those other activities are something that people want to try. It helps for branching out of the downhill skiing realm. It’s also at a great rental price,”
Goodrich said.

The Outdoor Program prides themselves on having affordable prices.

“We’re definitely cheaper. We can do that because we are part of the state but we still have to limit ourselves. We can’t be that much cheaper because we’re not supposed to be viewed as competition to other companies,” Mozafari said.

Members of the Student Recreation Center can benefit from additional discounts over what is offered to the public.

Ben Brock, the Riverstone International School Outdoor Program director is a frequent renter at the Outdoor Program

“I’m renting for a large group of middle school and high school kids,” Brock said. “Boise State can accommodate everything. They let me come into their back rooms and help me grab whatever I need. They’ve always been ready for me and really helpful.”

Another feature the Outdoor Program offers is courses such as avalanche safety training, Wilderness First Responder (WFR), and Wilderness First
Aid (WFA).

“We (Ski and Snowboard Club) promote courses that are offered at the Outdoor Program because if you are going to be outdoor people, you’re going to need these basic skills,” Goodrich said. “It’s a student opportunity so they are discounted in comparison to going through places like REI.”

Safety is crucial to the Outdoor Program.

“There are certain things that we won’t send out to beginners, like avalanche beacons. If you don’t know how to use an avalanche beacon, since it is a safety concern, we can’t just tell you how to use it,”
Mozafari said.

The Outdoor Program staff are not only trained to be able to use the gear, but also in wilderness safety.

“I know they’re really competent. When I have done WFR recertifications, I’ve gone through Boise State frequently and have been in classes with a lot of the students that are running the rental shop. I know that they are very well qualified beyond just being a staff member,”
said Brock.

A deal is being offered over Winter Break where during their closure from Dec. 22 to Jan. 2, they will only charge a six day
rental charge.

For those that have their own gear, the Outdoor Program offers opportunities for you to tune up and wax.

“There is a ski and snowboard tuning class on Dec. 4, it is only $7. We also offer waxing for skis and snowboards and that is between $10 and $12,” said Mozafari.

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