Tiger Trails

Winter '98

The Friends of Outdoor Action Newsletter
The Armory, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544

Director's Corner

Coming into 1999 is truly exciting for me as we celebrate OA's 25th Anniversary. Over the past 17 years I have watched OA grow tremendously from 200 frosh in September of 1981 when I returned to start directing the program to 600 on this fall's Frosh Trip. The Leader Training Program now trains 100 student leaders each year and the organization of OA has been restructured so leaders are actively involved in the daily planning and decision making of the program. Our successful merger with the Princeton-Blairstown Center has expanded OA into delivering outdoor adventure activities to needy urban youth. All of this has happened while participation in the program has skyrocketed. As one of the premier University outdoor education programs, OA is ready to move into the new millenium.

Any major anniversary requires celebration and we have put together a number of great ways to combine outdoor adventures with seeing old friends and recalling great times on the trail with OA. The two biggest of these events will be the second Mt. Princeton Climb in Colorado in July and the Leader's Reunion weekend at the Princeton-Blairstown Center in September (look for details inside).

As we look ahead to OA's next 25 years I see an incredible amount of continued growth: expanding the leader training program, developing more community service programs, integrating service with the academic curriculum, and improving our facilities like the Climbing Wall and the Equipment Room. The biggest challenge for OA is developing the resources we need to reach these goals. We receive only $15,000 of University support each year. The rest of the budget comes from student fees and alumni donations. Your support now and in the future helps assure that future generations at Princeton can count on a strong OA program.

In order to meet these needs, the Friends of OA board has embarked on a major fund raising campaign for the next five years to strengthen the OA endowment and secure capital funds for these improvements to the program.

I am asking for your help to start us on our way. Please renew your Friends of OA membership for our 25th Anniversary year or join if you aren't currently a member. Your support is essential to help us to continue to build strong leaders both on campus and in the surrounding community.

See you on the trail,
Rick Curtis '79
Director, Outdoor Action

OA Frosh Trip Group Puts out Fire

Members of L45 in "war paint" on the Loyalsock Trail.

It started out as a quiet day on the trail for Rizwan Arastu '98, Cassie Gyuricza '00, and Josh Pollack '99, leaders of L45, a backpacking trip on this year's Frosh Trip on the Loyalsock Trail in central Pennsylvania. Hiking along the trail they came upon a recently used campsite to find the ground around the fire ring actually smoldering. A local hunter had not put of the fire properly and the embers had burned through to the duff layer. Though not an actual forest fire at this point, it was only a matter of time before the smoldering duff caught fire. The group quickly used all its water to douse the smoking ground and then hiked to the nearest stream for an additional 20 liters to put out the fire. They checked in at the Ranger Station later that day to report the incident. Ranger Brian Valencik scouted the area afterwards and wrote this in his
thank you letter to the group. "Looking the situation over, there was no doubt in my mind that a major problem had been averted by the quick thinking and thorough action taken by this group. The remote location and inaccessibility of the incident would have made fighting a wildfire a dangerous and very costly endeavor. Please pass on my appreciation to Josh Pollock and all of group L45. They did an excellent job and showed not only the ability to act quickly and decisively, but showed a genuine concern for the Wyoming State Forest. Their actions speak very highly of themselves and of the Outdoor Action Program."

Climb Against the Odds
Majka Burhardt '99

Meg Smith '98, Bethany Coates '98, Katie Gamble '98, Naomi Darling '96, and Majka Burhardt '99 at 13,500 feet on the West Buttress of Denali.

Three years ago around the campfire on an Outdoor Action/Women's Center Backpacking Trip, Bethany Coates '98, and others on the trip discussed the idea of doing a major climbing expedition to raise money for a women's health issue. From that small kernel of an idea came a collaboration with The Breast Cancer Fund and the 1998 Climb Against the Odds Denali Expedition. Here is what one of the climbers, Majka Burhardt '99, had to say about her experiences.

"This past summer I participated in a climb of Denali that was the culmination of a three-year project to raise 2 million dollars for breast cancer research, advocacy and patient support. I, along with four other Princetonians, Bethany Coates '98, Meg Smith '98, Katie Gamble '98, and Naomi Darling '96, joined with four breast cancer survivors and two cancer-free women, to travel to Alaska as part of Climb Against the Odds. The Princeton team trained for two years for the climb, with summer training in the Cascades and winter ascents on Mt Washington and Mt. Shasta. This summer, after 15 days of climbing and establishing five camps at 7,000, 8,000, 9,800, 11,300, and finally 14,000 ft., we eventually climbed to 16,200 ft. on the mountain. After several days of storms and 70 MPH winds we decided to return before reaching the summit. More important than reaching the summit, everyone made it back home safely.

Climb Against the Odds has been apart of my life for a long time. For me, the Climb has always been about awareness. It started as a journey of personnel awareness because when it all began I knew very little about breast cancer itself. Three years later, I have met hundreds of women with active breast cancer and many women who are at some stage of beating their cancer. I have had the good fortune to become close with many of these women and have become much more aware of the disease and how much effort is needed to find a cure. The story of the Climb of Denali was not about our reaching the summit, but all of us, healthy young women and breast cancer survivors, working as a team to be free of this disease. Learning about breast cancer is something that will benefit all of us, those who some day may have to deal with cancer and those of us who are their friends and family. Like an expedition with a goal, we need to mobilize the resources to find a cure and work together to reach that goal. That is what I learned from Climb Against the Odds, and what I continue to teach."

OA Leader's 25th Anniversary
Reunion Weekend at the
Princeton-Blairstown Center
September 24 - 26, 1999

As part of our continuing celebration of OA's 25th Anniversary we have planned a fun weekend reunion at the Princeton-Blairstown Center in northwest New Jersey. OA began its operation out of Blairstown in 1974 and since OA merged with the Center in 1996, it seems a fitting place to host our major reunion event. OA leaders and their families from all 25 years of the program as well as current OA student leaders are invited to attend a fun outdoor weekend held at Blairstown. There will be time to hike along the Appalachian Trail, canoe on the Delaware River, try rock climbing, the high ropes course, or just sit on the porch and reconnect with old friends. Cabin lodging or tents (for those who really want to get back to their OA roots) will be provided along with meals. We'll have a big barbecue on Saturday night and a speaker that evening. You can arrive on Friday evening or join us on Saturday morning. Watch the spring '99 issue of Tiger Trails for more details and a registration form. Mark the dates on your calendar now!

Alumni Day '99

We'll be sponsoring a number of events during Alumni Day on Saturday, February 20, 1999. If La Nina brings snow to New Jersey, we'll also have cross-country skiing available. Here is the schedule:

• 2:00 - 5:00 PM: "Rock Climbing for Beginners." Come explore the sport of rock climbing at the Outdoor Action Climbing Wall. Experienced instructors will be on hand to teach you the basics. Enter at the south end of the Armory next to the football Stadium.

• 2:30 - 4:30 PM: "Exploring Eastern Woodlands: The Woods in Winter." Winter is a wonderful time to explore nature. The Outdoor Action Program is offering our annual guided nature walk through the Institute Woods to explore winter flora and fauna. The program will be led by experienced naturalists and will focus on forest succession, tree identification, and animal tracking. Meet at parking lot A at the east side of the Institute for Advanced Study on Olden Lane at 2:15 PM. All ages welcome. Wear warm clothing and comfortable walking shoes. Canceled if raining.

23rd Annual Banff Festival of Mountain Films

For almost twenty three years The Banff Festival of Mountain Films has been celebrating the spirit of adventure and the mountain environment. Each November, the world's best films on mountain themes draw an international audience to the resort town of Banff, Canada. The festival now attracts over 120 films submitted from 23 countries. Following the festival, the award-winning films go on tour around the U.S. and Canada. The Banff Festival of Mountain Films World Tour brings some of the world's best mountain films and videos to those who cannot make the annual trek to the Canadian Rockies. This year Outdoor Action and the Princeton-Blairstown Center will be hosting the Banff Festival of Mountain Films on Monday, March 15 from 7:30 - 9:30 PM in McCosh 10. Tickets are $10 at the door and proceeds go to support OA Community Service activities.

Regional Alumni Activities

As winter approaches it's time to think about a new range of activities. The OA Regional Alumni Association of New England will be offering two winter day trips: cross-country skiing in Vermont, and a snowshoeing nature hike in Massachusetts. For information on the trips contact Keith or Stacy Jackson '94 (scjacksn@alumni.princeton.edu or
617-441-8113) or check the OA Web Site. We hope that other leaders will be interested in setting up regional activities in other locations across the country. If you are interested in developing regional alumni events, mark this on your membership form, contact the OA Office, or check out the OA Web Site for more information.

Melissa Markey '96, Greg Bronner '97, Steve Brown '67, Carrie Brown '96,
Brad Barber *96, Phoebe Lewitt '95, Stacy Jackson '94, and Keith Jackson '94
on Mt. Pierce in NH August 1, 1998.

OA Challenge 2000

Since its inception in 1974 over 40,000 Princeton students have participated in OA activities. The OA Challenge 2000 is a capital fund-raising campaign developed by the Friends of OA Board to raise much needed funds to build a substantial endowment, $2 million dollars, over the next five years. This fund will come from individual contributions, solicited gifts, and corporate and foundation support. Our goal is to provide OA with a secure financial future. We are asking all alumni leaders and friends to make an extra gift this year of $25 to help us build for the next millenium.

Tricks of the Trail

from The Backpacker's Field Manual
by Rick Curtis

Chapter 9 - First Aid and Emergency Care: Ankle Stabilizing Straps - If someone has sprained an ankle and it is a stable injury, they can walk out on it. However, you don't want them to sprain it again. You can create an ankle stabilizing straps with two sleeping bag straps. First create an ankle collar by wrapping one strap around the ankle just below the top of the hiking boot. Take the other strap and run it underneath the sole of the boot, up the side of the boot between the boot and the ankle collar and over the ankle collar on both sides to create a stirrup. Take the strap back down under the heel and secure it on the outside of the ankle by tightening the strap. This creates a rigid webbing strap that will help prevent sideways ankle flex but still allow flexing forward and back. Make sure that the straps aren't so tight that they inhibit circulation.