Mountaineering grads?

Originally Published: November 1, 1993 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: August 5, 2011
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Hi there!

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but since you just had a discussion on meeting grad students, I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm a grad student (graduated from college last year) who is very much into the outdoors... rock climbing, hiking, backcountry stuff, environmental philosophy, mountaineering. Where can I look for other students (grad and undergrad) who are interested in the same thing and would be happy to come and explore the outdoors with me? I'm from the mountainous west, and I miss it, and I've met a lot of great folk out here, but none who are too psyched on exploring outside of the city itself. Are there any organizations on campus for this purpose? How could I start one? (I'm female, and not very physically imposing so I'm very reluctant to just tie up with people without knowing a bit about them first)...

Thanks... Feeling lonely and missing fellow outdoors-people...

— Hiker

Dear Hiker,

Ahhh… there's nothing like the great outdoors! It's wonderful to hear that you're such an avid adventurer and you're looking to share your experiences with people around you. Luckily, there are loads of opportunities to participate in outdoor activities at Columbia and in New York. As a Columbia student, you can join certain club sports, such as the Rock Climbing Club and the Hiking Club, or even start one of your own. For more info about club sports, hop on over to the Club Sports office in 331 Dodge Fitness Center or call x4-4002.

Another way to participate in outdoorsy activities at Columbia is through the Physical Education department (334 Dodge Fitness Center; call x4-4001). For all you undergrads out there, the Physical Education Required Programs offers courses outdoors, including hiking. If you'd rather be on the water, you can register for kayaking as a voluntary non-credit course (336 Dodge Fitness Center; call x4-3439).

Taking part in these opportunities at Columbia is a great way to meet fellow outdoors enthusiasts. You can also interact with like-minded physical activity lovers by joining the CU Move initiative at Columbia. In addition to supporting various ways to be physically active as a Columbia student, CU Move can let you connect with other students who may want to explore the outdoors with you.

Beyond Columbia, there are various clubs and organizations in New York where you can participate in indoor and outdoor rock climbing, bouldering, hiking, and more. Some well-known groups include City Climbers Club and ClimbNYC.

One last note: If you'd rather take the path less traveled, you could always poster with flyers that call out to all the nature-lovers on campus. Who knows how many people will come out of the woodwork?

Get out there, and have fun finding your fellow outdoors-people!

Alice