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Trip Information & FAQ

About OAP Trips
The Outdoor Adventure Program, part of the Campus Recreation Center, seeks to offers a variety of outdoor trips for the university community. Our trips are designed for beginners who may have never hiked, camped, or paddled before. We seek to offer trips to meet every person's skill level in order to challenge each person to grow through the experience but also to have fun and develop relationships along the way. Below is more information about trip policies and procedures. To learn more information about specific trips we offer, see below. 

 Hiking

hiking acadia

Trip Description:

Some of the most picturesque mountains are only a few hours away from UMass Lowell. No matter the season, we explore these great locations. We hike up mountains like Mt. Moosilauke and Mt. Monadnock to watch the flaming fall colors or fresh green of spring. We experience the wonderland of winter on our winter day hikes. At times, we travel further afield to enjoy some other spectacular hiking locations such as Acadia National Park. Whether it is your first time or 50th, these hiking trips are packed full of fun and adventure.

Physical Exertion:

Low to Moderate- due to elevation changes, weather, and some steep trails and uneven terrain at times. No experience necessary.

 Backpacking

Trip Description:

We are surrounded by mountains: from the Adirondacks in the South, the Appalachians in the West, the Green Mountains in the Northwest, and the White Mountains in the North, the wilderness is all around us! On these trips, we each pack a 5000 cubic inch pack with all we need including food, clothing, and shelter, before hitting the trail to spend our days and nights in the woods. Hiking in this manner allows us to go deeper into nature than we could on a day hike, and allows us to summit mountains or discover waterfalls that are only accessible by foot. We camp at established camp sites, shelters, or tent platforms- depending on the location. We sleep in tents, cook gourmet meals on backpacking stoves, and drink water we treated from local streams. Backpacking trips offer an opportunity to discover so much about ourselves, as we spend day and night in the wilderness, carrying only what we have in our packs.

Physical Exertion:

Moderate to High: due to elevation changes and uneven terrain to negotiate with heavy packs. No previous backpacking experience necessary. We recommend you be in good physical condition and have some experience hiking.

 Biking

biking

Trip Description:

Our biking trips range from day trips road biking to overnight biking trips. There are many scenic areas nearby for us to enjoy by bike. This is an experience everyone who likes biking should try, no matter how good a biker you are. On day trips we enjoy local greenways like the Nashua Rail Trail or the Minuteman trail, biking a total of 20-30 miles. On overnight trips, we may travel to places like Cape Cod, Portland Maine, or Acadia National Park. We bike a total of 20-30 miles on scenic roads and greenways taking breaks to enjoy the beaches, light houses, parks, and small towns we pass along the way. After a fun day of biking, we meet our shuttle staff at the campground, enjoy some yummy food and some relaxing time around the fire or at the beach before heading to our tents for bed.

Physical Exertion:

Moderate - due to some hilly conditions. We can provide bikes to participants, but you must know how to ride a bike.

 Surfing

Trip Description:

Our surfing trips typically travel to Hampton Beach, NH in the fall, and Narragansett, RI in the spring. Anybody can surf, and we welcome beginners and experienced enthusiasts on our surfing trips. Wetsuit, surfboard, and instruction are included in trip cost. When we arrive at the beach we will suit up, and beginners spend the first 1-1.5 hours with a surfing instructor starting on land then getting into the water. The rest of the time is available to catch waves. You need to feel comfortable swimming and in the ocean, though that comfort level can vary. Some newer participants prefer to catch waves after they break and closer to the shore, while those with more experience move out past the breakers to deeper water and the longest rides. Make sure you know how to swim and can go under waves; we will teach you the rest on our fun days on the beach!

Physical Exertion:

Moderate - physical exertion will depend primarily on how hard and how much you want to surf that evening.

 Indoor Rock Climbing

Trip Description:

Indoor rock climbing gyms offer the chance to learn a skill and hone climbing skills no matter the weather or season! OAP Staff and participants will develop belay and climbing skills on these evening trips off campus. We will travel to a local indoor climbing gym where we will climb and boulder to our heart's content. This is a great trip to try a new activity, improve technique, and meet others with an interest in climbing. No experience is necessary. Depending on the trip date, we climb at various local gyms including Vertical Dreams of Nashua and Central Rock Gym in Worcester, Mass.

Belay Clinics: Participation in a Belay Clinic is mandatory for indoor rock climbing trip participants

Belaying is a system by which an individual, or belayer, (attached to a climber who is ascending rock) employs techniques on a rope to create friction, which stops or slows the fall of climber. That way climbers can safely ascend long distances with limited risk of injury from a fall. Belaying is an essential skill that anyone who climbs should learn and practice correctly. 

Indoor climbing walls have regulations about who can belay, and usually require belayers to take a "belay test" to ensure technique is safe for the climber while in their gym. Belay Clinics offer 2 hours for beginners to learn and practice proper belay technique from trained staff. Clinics are offered on a separate day from the climbing trips to allow for more opportunities to climb on the day of a trip, and to allow beginners plenty of time to learn and practice. If you register for an indoor climbing trip and already have belay experience, you can be assessed by a trip staff at the beginning of a Belay Clinic and, if technique is accurate, you will be excused from participating in the full two hours.

Belay Technique:

We practice the PBUS, or Pull, Break, Under, Slide, belay technique and ask that participants practice this technique on our trips. Rock and Ice Magazine provides a great article about how to belay, and Climbing Magazine provides a great instructional video on this technique as well.

Physical Exertion:

Moderate - physical exertion will depend primarily on how hard and how much you want to climb that evening. climbing routes meet a range of ability levels from beginner (5.5-5.6 on the Yosemite Decimal System) to advanced (5.10+)

 Outdoor Rock Climbing Day Trips

Trip Description:

outdoor rock climb crow hillWhether you are looking to try something new, or to hone your skills on real rock, our outdoor rock climbing trips are for you. Our highly popular climbing trips will venture up to OAPs favorite local top-rope climbing sites such as Crow Hill in Leominster State Forest, and Quincey Quarries. This beginner friendly trip is designed to teach basic climbing skills such as: climbing technique, proper and safe belaying, climbing site etiquette, and much more all within a beautiful natural environment.

Physical Exertion:

Moderate - physical exertion will depend primarily on how hard and how much you want to climb. Climbing routes meet a range of ability levels from beginner (5.6-5.7 on the Yosemite Decimal System) to advanced (5.10+)

 Whitewater Rafting

Trip Description:

Whitewater Rafting is Nature's roller coaster. For those looking to get their adrenaline pumping, who don't mind getting wet or swimming through a few rapids, this is a great trip! We travel to West Forks, ME to explore some of the NorthEast's best whitewater. Depending on the season, participants may wear wetsuits, and gather in groups of 8-10 per raft. Each participant is taught then expected to help paddle and maneuver the 15 foot rafts through moving water and waves on the river. Anyone can participate in this trip!

Physical Exertion:

Low to Moderate - anyone can come on this trip; expect to paddle while on the river, and relax while when you get off 1the water.

 Downhill Skiing/Snowboarding

Trip Description:

New England Winters are known for the snowfall. Our skiing/snowboarding trips take advantage of winter conditions to get participants out on the white. We spend one weekend at a popular location like Killington, VT which offers a wide variety of trails. While there, we spend the night at local luxury condos, and two full days on the slopes. We spend an evening/night on the slopes at Crotched Mountain, which also offers bonfires and live music to enjoy in addition to the slopes.

Physical Exertion:

Varies - physical exertion will depend primarily on how hard and how much you want to ski or snowboard.

 Cross Country Skiing/Snowshoeing

Trip Description:

Winter offers opportunities to try new and fun activities including cross country skiing or snowshoeing. February is a great time to explore the gentler slopes and trails in the area. We travel to the Monadnock Region of Southern New Hampshire to enjoy the beautiful landscape of farmland, forests, streams and ponds. The ski area offers trails for people of all skill levels. This pleasant day trip has something to offer everyone.

Physical Exertion:

Moderate - to to some hilly conditions and weather.


Frequently Asked Questions

What forms do I Need to fill out?

Please complete a waiver before arriving to the trip. Please bring a completed paper copy of the medical questionnaire on the day of the trip or pre-trip meeting. Both can be found on our Required Participant Forms webpage.

When do we Leave and Return?

Departure and return times vary depending on the trip. We typically leave between 7-8 a.m. for most weekend trips, and return between 5-6 p.m. For trips leaving on Fridays we leave as early as possible depending on the schedules of the group members, typically around 5 p.m. For information on the specific departure and return times, first check the trip handout which includes an itinerary. Trip handouts can be found on the Trip Calendar page; by clicking the name of the trip you are interested in, you can view a PDF with a lot of trip-specific information on it.


Do I Need Previous Experience?

For most trips, no previous experience is required. We design trips with beginners in mind, and love to introduce people to new experiences. Some trips do require some previous experience, such as the Grand Canyon Spring Break trip. To find out if the trip you are interested in requires previous experience, review the handout for that specific trip by clicking the trip name on the Trip Calendar page. You can also contact the trip leaders listed on the trip handout with any questions or concerns.


What Does the Trip Cost Include?

  • Transportation: typically 12-passenger van, traveling together is an important aspect of trips; it gives us time to get to know each other and helps us stay on time.
  • Meals: for all overnight trips, excluding meals on the road
  • Instruction and Leadership: our trained staff will teach you the skills you need to know to be successful!
  • Equipment: From head lamps and sleeping bags to climbing shoes, you are covered. *Skis on downhill skiing trips are not included in trip cost
  • Accommodations: campsite, entrance, and permit fees

How Physically Demanding are the Trips?

Each trip has a physical exertion rating ranging from light, moderate, and vigorous. Exertion levels are estimates based off of individuals who regularly fulfill the US Department of Health & Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines and have no major limiting conditions. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding the physical exertion level of any of our trips.


What are Pre-Trip Meetings?

All overnight trips and some day trips have a mandatory pre-trip meeting. This meeting includes a review of trip policies, emergency procedures, itinerary, logistics, packing list review, meal planning and equipment issue. Attendance at this meeting is required. If you are unable to attend the meeting due to a conflict, it is very important that you contact us. If a pre-trip meeting is required, the date and time is listed on the trip calendar page.

If there is no pre-trip meeting, the trip leaders will contact the participants individually the week of the trip to confirm the details of the trip. Please make sure your email and telephone contact information is correct when registering for any trip so we can effectively communicate with you.


What is Transportation Like?

We provide transportation for all of our trips in 12 passenger vans with a few exceptions. We expect that the group will ride together. This is because an important part of our trip is giving participants a chance to get to know other people and the travel time allows great opportunities to do this. Traveling separately also often causes logistics issues and makes it more difficult to stay on track with time. Another perk is that, after a day full of outdoor activity, everyone can relax on the drive back to the Outdoor Adventure Center.


Registration Information

You can register by clicking the "register now" link on the trip calendar or visiting the welcome desk at the campus recreation center. If the trip you wish to attend is full, please register free of charge to be placed on the wait list.


Eligibility

Current students, faculty, and staff members of UMass Lowell are eligible to participate in Outdoor Adventure Program trips and events. Any of the aforementioned individuals may invite one guest to register for the same trip who has no affiliation with university. Students who are under 18 years of age must have forms signed by their parent/legal guardian before being eligible to participate in a trip. If you are unsure of your eligibility please contact us.


Cancellation/Refund Policy

Due to needs of trip planning and reservations, cancellations must be made 14 DAYS PRIOR TO TRIP DEPARTURE to receive a full refund. Cancellations that occur within 14 days of trip departure will receive no refund, unless another participant on the waiting list can be found to take the open spot. 100% of your payment will be refunded if a trip is cancelled by Outdoor Adventure Program staff (due to weather or other circumstances). Some longer and specialty trips/events may have separate cancellation and refund policies, which will be outlined at the time of registration. Participants are expected to be responsible for arriving on time and prepared for trips. Those who register for a trip but do not show up on time for a trip cannot receive a refund.


Guest Policy

Each Student/Faculty/Staff member is allowed to bring 1 non-university guest with them per trip. Guests must be accompanied by the sponsoring participant.  All guests must be 18 years of age or older. Guest must register for trip at the guest price. You may contact the Outdoor Adventure Program with questions.

Wait List Policy

When a participant signs up on the wait list for a trip, they are indicating interest in participation in this trip. Participants on the wait list are not charged for trip costs, although they may have entered their card information online. If a spot opens up on the trip, the first person on the waiting list will be contacted by Outdoor Adventure Program Staff. They will have set amount of time (1-2 days) to complete their registration for the trip before the next wait listed person is called. If they are no longer available to participate or do not complete their registration in 2 days, the spot will be opened up to the next person on the waiting list.