City College’s Adventure Club introduces students to outdoors

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TANNER WALKER, Channels Staff

City College’s Adventure Club leads students through Santa Barbara’s most unique spots, to feed the hearts of thrill-seekers.

“We want to promote fun activities on the weekend other than just drinking alcohol,” said Troy Huff, assistant adventure leader of the club.

The club organizes events throughout the year to keep students active and introduce them to the outdoor life of Santa Barbara. Anyone from an experienced outdoorsman to a total city slicker is welcome to join.

“Our main event is rock climbing at the Santa Barbara Rock Gym which we do every Friday night,” said adventure leader and avid climber Vani Winick. “We’ve also done some ice skating now that Ice in Paradise is open, and we try to do at least one paddle boarding or kayak trip each semester. Other than that, we go on a lot of hikes.”

One of the club’s goals is to keep their activities fun and challenging, while still remaining easily accessible.

“We like to get people involved by doing things that are fun but low-cost and local,” said fundraising chairperson Markus Maardh.

The group makes frequent trips to hidden gems in Santa Barbara’s front country like tangerine falls and inspiration point; destinations that are close to campus but often difficult to find or intimidating to students unfamiliar with the area, the club’s leadership explained.

“It’s comforting to go with a group that has hiked the trail before and is familiar with it,” said Huff, who is a lifelong Santa Barbara resident and devoted explorer. “If it’s a trail that’s new to us we always try to hike it before taking the club there.”
Discovering new areas helps students connect with nature, stay in shape and make new friends. It’s also a great way to unwind, relax and forget about school for a while, said Winick.

Events around the time of midterms and finals usually have below average attendance while students are busy studying. However, some students find that taking a break and going on an adventure is exactly the motivation they need.

“It’s a great stress reliever,” said Winick. “During finals we usually have less people but those who do come always talk about how nice it is to get away for a bit.”

In addition to helping out students, adventure club does its best to help out the environment. The group brings along bags to pick up trash they find along the way and also organizes beach clean-ups.

Students interested in going on adventures can find information on the club’s facebook page, or email them. Events are open to anyone and do not require any special training or previous experience. In most cases, the only cost comes from gas to get to the destination and snacks for the journey.

Over summer, the club will continue its regular Friday night climbs at the Rock Gym, and the leadership hopes to plan hikes and other events depending on student interest.

“The club has grown a lot since I’ve been here but it’s always nice to have more people,” said Winick.