Poly Escapes, the outdoors and recreational club on campus, ensures Cal Poly students never have to worry about a weekend with nothing to do.
At Poly Escapes, outdoor rentals are available, including kayaks, backpacks and tents all for reasonable prices.
Poly Escapes also offers low-priced trips almost every weekend, open to students, which include backpacking, bicycle touring, cross country skiing, river rafting and even igloo building and snow shoeing.
“All the trips give you a chance to go places you wouldn’t go on your own,” animal science sophomore Kathy Jermaine said.
“(I like) the wide variety of trips and just good people, just the relaxing environment,” said Kris Roudebush, an environmental management and protection junior.
“It’s a fraternity without the dues,” civil engineering sophomore Arvand Sabetian said.
For spring break two years ago, the group “spent six days on the Colorado River rafting,” said Ethan Donahue, a civil engineering senior who has led over 100 trips with Poly Escapes. “That trip was where I met my current girlfriend.”
Blythe Nye, a biology sophomore, enjoyed a trip she went on to Black Canyon where they went kayaking down the Colorado River between hot springs.
“It was totally awesome, and you get a real sense of comradery,” Nye said. “What I really like about the club is that you don’t really have to be an expert to be involved.”
During spring quarter, the club will go backpacking and climbing in Yosemite, rafting in Kings River and kayaking in Cayucos.
Additionally, an orientation trip, Moving Mountains, is open to incoming and transfer students next fall. The student-led group will visit the Sierra Nevadas in the Carson Iceberg Wilderness Area one week prior to the Week of Welcome, the orientation program on campus.
“We spend a few days at a base camp, and doing rock climbing and team building,” said Emily Boero, an animal science sophomore. The group then splits into smaller teams to go backpacking.
“I went on it my freshman year, and it has shaped my life here at Poly,” Boero said. “I came on campus with 50 of my newest best friends.”
The people involved in Poly Escapes can help plan trips and teach. “There are a lot of really knowledgeable people here so you can learn a lot,” said civil engineering sophomore Caitlin Donahue.
“It’s a lot more than people taking you kayaking. They can teach you so you can buy your own stuff and go on your own trips,” she said.
“You just really learn so much and meet people with the same interests,” said Sarah Phillips, a biochemistry sophomore.
The Escape Route, located in the University Union Poly in Room 112, can also be a resource as it has guidebooks and maps for students to plan their own day hikes or longer trips.
There is also the climbing wall, located outside the UU next to the office, which is open for free to all students.
At Open House, the club will have a booth where they will promote Moving Mountains. They also have a float in the Saturday’s parade with a big mountain, Sabetian said.

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