Explore trips and clinics!
Looking to get out of Minneapolis for the day? A long weekend? Or a week? The Center for Outdoor Adventure offers day, weekend, week-long, and extended trips to help you venture out in a group setting.
Spend the afternoon paddling through Minneapolis’ Chain of Lakes and experience urban outdoor recreation at its finest. This is an excellent introduction to canoeing and canoe strokes, or just a great opportunity to spend some time outside on the water. No previous experience is required.
- 9/19/21, 1:00 - 5:00pm
- 10/10/21, 1:00pm - 5:00pm
- 10/16/21, 1:00pm - 5:00pm
- $30 student
- $40 faculty/staff
This day trip offers a “Northern Minnesota” experience right in the Twin Cities Metro area as we paddle through a series of lakes in Lebanon Hills Regional Park that are connected by short trails (portages). This trip is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to add a little spice to a day at the lake and is especially geared towards individuals who want to develop their skills in preparation for a trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) where portage canoe trips through glacially carved lakes are the norm. In addition to spending time on the water, this trip will teach essential skills including paddle strokes, water safety, packing and organizing a canoe for overnight travel, techniques for lifting and carrying canoes, and Leave no Trace ethics for canoe camping. No previous experience is required.
- 10/2/21, 10:00am - 4:00pm
- $40 student
- $55 faculty/staff
The Twin Cities have numerous high quality mountain bike trails. Learn the skills you need to take advantage of this great resource. Just because you can ride a bike, doesn’t mean you can mountain bike. Shorten the learning curve by getting the dedicated instruction and coaching this trip offers. You will learn the basics of bike handling, shifting and braking while enjoying the single track terrain, banked corners and rock gardens of Carver Lake Park. No prior mountain biking experience required, but must be competent riding a bicycle.
- 10/3/21, 12:00pm - 5:00pm
- $35 student
- $45 faculty/staff
Enjoy high quality climbing at Interstate State Park on the scenic Saint Croix River. This trip provides an invaluable opportunity to learn the fundamentals of outdoor climbing at a highly revered crag. This place allows us to teach you climbing technique by demonstration and getting your very own hands and feet on real rock with a wide variety of routes to incorporate novice and veteran climbers alike. No previous experience necessary.
- 9/18/21, 10:00am - 4:00pm
- 10/17/21, 9:00am - 4:00pm
- $55 student
- $70 faculty/staff
Take your rock climbing to the next level with the Intermediate Rock Climbing Trip. You will experience the climbing at historic Robinson Park in Sandstone, MN which features many high quality routes that are sure to challenge and inspire intermediate and advanced climbers alike. Climbers will have the chance to top rope a variety of climbs and learn some of the fundamentals of outdoor sport climbing. Your guides will work with you to identify routes that meet your interest and ability level. Previous outdoor climbing experience is not required, but we encourage participants to have some indoor climbing experience before this trip.
- 10/9/21, 10:00am - 4:00pm
- $55 student
- $70 faculty/staff
Take the first step towards climbing outside on your own by learning to build climbing anchors. We will spend one evening learning about the risks of climbing outdoors, essential knots, anchor theory, and basic anchor systems at the Climbing Gym. After familiarizing ourselves with the basics, we will apply this knowledge in the real-world setting of Interstate State Park, one of the most popular climbing areas in the state. We will learn the fundamentals of placing artificial protection and spend the day building climbing anchors. There will be ample time for practice and feedback. This clinic is designed for individuals with previous climbing experience who are looking to learn the skills and risk management practices to climb outdoors on their own. NOTE: This clinic offers in-depth technical instruction. There will be little to no actual rock climbing as part of the clinic.
- 9/26/21, 10:00am - 5:00pm
- $75 student
- $90 faculty/staff
This trip is a great introduction to backpacking and camping skills and a way to get out of the city and enjoy some time in nature. The trip explores the bluffs and valleys of Afton State Park located along the scenic Saint Croix River. Participants will learn how to carry all of the equipment needed to survive and thrive in a backpack as you hike two miles to a backcountry campsite in the park. Time will be spent learning essential camp living skills and exploring the numerous foot trails that make Afton so popular. All skill levels are welcome.
Day 1: Meet your Trip Leaders and new friends for the weekend at Afton State Park. After introductions, Trip Leaders will teach you how to most effectively pack a backpack for backpacking, discuss maps and navigation, and highlight blister prevention and hiking safety. After a short 2 mile hike with one long descent and one long climb, you will arrive at the night's backcountry campsite. Drop your pack, have some water, and get ready for more activities. The afternoon will be spent setting up tents, tarps, and collecting firewood. The evening will have time for you to explore more of the hiking trails at Afton State Park, visit with new friends, or just lay in the grass reading a book. After learning how to use camp stoves, and eating dinner, enjoy some time around the fire and looking at the stars.
Day 2: Take the morning at your own pace. If you are an early riser, catch the sunrise over the Saint Croix River or take it easy and catch up on some sleep. After breakfast, you will have more time to hang out, explore more of the trails, and practice the skills you learned the previous day. Trip Leader staff will have several “mini-lessons” about a wide range of outdoor topics from navigation, to backcountry meal planning, to water treatment for your entertainment if you desire to learn more. After packing up camp, you will hike back out to the parking lot, say goodbye to your new friends, and head home refreshed and rejuvenated after spending time in nature.
- 9/24/21, 3:00pm - 9/25/21, 5:00pm
- $80 student
- $95 faculty/staff
Belay Technique Refresher
The U of M Climbing Gym is excited to reintroduce rope climbing after operating as a Bouldering facility during COVID. Since it has been a long time since some of us have used our belay skills, we want to start the semester off by offering the opportunity to refresh and practice your technique. Your instructor will review the most important elements of belay technique, discuss what is involved in the belay test, and provide opportunity to practice belaying with direct coaching. Please note that the Belay Refresher is not designed as a substitute for the Belay Technique Clinic. If you do not already know how to belay, you should check out that clinic instead.
Lead Belay Refresher
The U of M Climbing Gym is excited to reintroduce rope climbing after operating as a Bouldering facility during COVID. Since it has been a long time since some of us have used our lead belay and climbing skills, we want to start the semester off by offering the opportunity to refresh and practice your technique. Your instructor will review the most important elements of lead belay technique, discuss what is involved in the lead test, and provide opportunity to practice with direct coaching. Please note that the Lead Belay Refresher is not designed as a substitute for the Lead Belay Clinic. If you do not already know how to lead belay and lead climb, you should check out that clinic instead.
Top Rope Belay Clinic
If you like to climb and want to take the next step towards climbing independence, this clinic is for you. The Top Rope Belay Clinic will cover everything you need to know to climb as safely as possible in a top-rope gym setting including harnesses, equipment, knots, climbing commands, and belay technique. You will work with a knowledgeable instructor who will explain and demonstrate the key skills you need to know and will provide ample time for hands-on practice and individual coaching. All climbing equipment is provided. Please note that in order to obtain a belay qualification at the U of M Climbing Gym, all climbers must pass a practical belay test at a later date. Attending this clinic does not automatically qualify you to belay, but will prepare you to be successful in the practical test.
Lead Belay Clinic
Are you ready to take on the challenge and responsibility of sport lead climbing? This clinic will introduce you to the technical and mental tools necessary to climb on the sharp end of the rope. You will work with a knowledgeable instructor who will explain and demonstrate the key skills you need to know and will provide ample time for hands-on practice and individual coaching. All climbing equipment is provided. Please note that in order to obtain a lead belay qualification at the U of M Climbing Gym, all climbers must pass a practical lead belay test at a later date. Attending this clinic does not automatically qualify you to lead belay, but will prepare you to be successful in the practical test. Previous top rope belay experience is a prerequisite for this clinic. Ability to top-rope routes graded 5.8 or higher is required.
Climbing Coaching Sessions
Working with a coach is one of the most effective ways to increase your climbing ability and confidence. Coaches can work with you on individual goals, watch and assess your technique, understand your fears and mental barriers all while being supportive, pushing you to challenge yourself, and giving specific, individualized feedback in real time while you climb. The only problem is that climbing coaches can be really expensive! The U of M Climbing Gym is excited to introduce free coaching sessions for all semester Climbing Members. We’ll be hosting 10 sessions over the course of the semester and you may attend as many or as few as you want. All you need to do is sign up in advance and come to the small group training session during our regular gym hours. The coach will discuss with you your goals and suggest activities to help your growth as a climber. We embrace a holistic approach to climbing and focus on the triangle of climbing skills: technical skills, physical fitness, and the mental game. Regardless of your ability level and personal goals, these coaching sessions with support your growth and development as a climber.
Bouldering Basics Clinic
The sport of bouldering involves climbing shorter walls while using a padded floor or mat to cushion falls. Bouldering is climbing in its simplest form and allows you to focus on the essence of climbing - the movement and mental challenge. Bouldering Basics is designed for newer climbers or those who have never climbed before to learn the fundamentals from an experienced instructor and have all of their questions answered. At the Climbing Gym, we believe that rock climbing is for everyone and this clinic will demystify the sport and help you build comfort and confidence navigating the weird and awesome world of climbing. We will talk about the basic gear (shoes and chalk), how to interpret climbing grades, falling technique, and introduce the core movement concepts for climbing.
Climbing Technique Clinic
Climbing is primarily a movement sport--having proper technique is essential to progress. This clinic is geared toward beginner and intermediate climbers who want to learn and practice a variety of climbing techniques. The clinic will build a foundation of footwork technique, discuss the role of the upper body, and teach key skills including flagging, backstepping, cross-overs, drop knees, and lie-backing. Participants will leave having gained new skills, assessed areas for improvement, and knowing how to continue to improve their climbing skills.
Climbing Training and Technique - climbing higher and harder
If you want to improve your climbing skills, you need to know the fundamentals of climbing training. Whether you are a newer climber looking to develop your abilities or an experienced climber looking to gain the edge you need to send a project, the underlying principles of climbing training are the same. The knowledge you gain from this clinic will help you plan and implement a training program that works for you whether that involves a spreadsheet and a yearlong training macrocycle or simply setting small goals each time you climb to get the most out of a session. Clinic participants will be provided with a number of worksheets, training documents, and resources they can use in the future. The clinic will start with a goal setting exercise and individual assessment of climbing strengths and weaknesses. From there, we will address the triangle of climbing skills: technical skills, physical fitness, and the mental game. This holistic approach will provide you with activities and drills to improve in each of these areas in alignment with your goals and personal strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, the clinic will cover building out a structured training plan. There is no one size fits all approach to climbing training - this clinic will empower you with the knowledge you need to create your own training plan, whether simple or complex, in a way that fits into your life and your goals.
No outdoor clinics scheduled for Fall 2021.
Trips + Clinic Policies
Trip deposits are non-refundable unless the trip is cancelled due to lack of registration or other extenuating circumstances. Full payment is required 65 days prior to departure.
- Cancellation 60 days or greater from departure: Loss of deposit
- Cancellation 30-59 days from departure: 50% refund of total trip price
- Cancellation 30 days from departure date: No refund is available - 100% loss
Trips and Clinics - COVID
A full refund will be given if the Outdoor Program cancels a trip due to lack of registration, weather, or other extenuating circumstances.* Day trip and clinic participants will receive a 50% refund only if they cancel seven days prior to the event date. Day trip and clinic registrations are non-refundable if a participant cancels fewer than seven days prior to the event date. Multi-day trip participants will receive a 50% refund if they cancel seven days prior to the scheduled pre-trip meeting date. Multi-day trip registrations are non-refundable if a participant cancels fewer than seven days prior to the scheduled pre-trip meeting date.
*If a participant is feeling unwell, have known exposure in the last 14 days to someone with COVID-19, or are experiencing any symptoms as defined by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) including fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, fatigue, congestion, or loss of taste or smell or other less common symptoms including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea they are asked to stay home and a full refund will be given.
Trips and Clinics
A full refund will be given only if the Center for Outdoor Adventure cancels a trip due to lack of registration, weather, or other extenuating circumstances. Day trip and clinic participants will receive a 50% refund only if they cancel seven days prior to the event date. Day trip and clinic registrations are non-refundable if a participant cancels fewer than seven days prior to the event date. Multi-day trip participants will receive a 50% refund if they cancel seven days prior to the scheduled pre-trip meeting date. Multi-day trip registrations are non-refundable if a participant cancels fewer than seven days prior to the scheduled pre-trip meeting date.
Climbing Semester Passes may be refunded within two days from the date of purchase. After this time, Climbing Semester Passes are non-refundable and non-transferable. Climbing Day Passes are non-refundable and non-transferable.