In October 2011 I attended an OASL Conference in Seaside, Oregon. A friend and I were walking along the beach when I noticed an odd look about the shoreline. On closer inspection it appeared that a freighter had spilled some oil and I freaked out. We proceeded to find other evidence of humanity's often blase attitude toward, nature, aesthetics...and personal responsibility. When I returned to the hotel room I googled the Seaside coast line and discovered to my surprise that the ugly tide was in fact a bloom of diatoms...a naturally occurring phenomenon. My annoyance at humanity in general was abated some, but I was still left disturbed by THE UGLIEST beach walk I've ever had along the Oregon Coast.

In the slide show below I fancied myself a photojournalist composing an essay out of human...and nature's detritus.
 
 
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Always a work in progress, here's a potential outline for use in classrooms and campgrounds on the formation of the Columbia River Gorge. Blank slides are intended for additional meaningful pictures, which I have not inserted at this time, although the Sabertooth pictures are complete...
 
 
Didn’t get a chance to climb with us in the fall?
Joined us and loved it?
Want to brush up your climbing skills?

Tu & Th 10th/12th 17th/19th 24th/26th

Meet Ms. Gapp in the Library at 3:30pm
(we have an activity van for transportation)
We’ll climb for an hour (4-5pm) and return to school at approximately 5:15-30pm
Cost $8
If you don’t have a waiver on file already or if you aren’t sure ask me! See the "Outdoor Club Forms" link on this site for a Stoneworks waiver and VCS transportation waiver--yes, there are 2 waivers you need to complete.

Once again we will do an overnight at Smith Rock Memorial Day weekend May 28th-29th (you’ll need a separate waiver for this event.)

 
 
      Banff Mountain Film Festival:
10 students have the opportunity to attend the Banff Mountain Film Festival Tuesday, April 26th 2011 for FREE Courtesy of the VCS Outdoor Club. If you are interested sign up with Ms. Gapp by April 4th (this is the date tickets go on sale).
The show will be at The Bagdad Theatre 3702 Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard Portland, OR 97214
 Doors open at 6pm Show starts at 7pm. Carpool from Valley at 5pm. We’ll grab a bite to eat along Hawthorne before the show.

·      Rock Climbing @ Stoneworks
After School in May, dates TBA
Overnight at Smith Rock: Memorial Day Weekend

·      Guler Ice Caves:
Monday May 30th (Memorial Day), or Saturday, June 11th

·      Hike in the Gorge: Saturday May 14th
Location and Departure TBA

·      Spring Surfing with Swim Team Coaches:   
Mandatory Informational Meeting – Wednesday June 1st 6:30pm Meeting in HS classroom TBA
Surf Trip- Sunday June 5th

COMING THIS FALL 2011
·      69th Annual Roy Webster Cross Channel Swim:
September 5th 2011

Jump from a Sternwheeler into the mighty Columbia (on the Washington side) and swim with the current the 1.1 miles back to the Oregon shore. $60 registration fee.

 
 
Mt. Hood Meadows X-Country Ski Trip ~ Saturday, February 5th 2011
Return Transportation Waiver no later than Thursday, February 3rd 2011
Meet at the Park & Ride: 10500 SW Butner Rd Beaverton, OR
Bus leaves at 7:05am and returns aprox. 6-6:15pm
Cost $35 for transportation—we’ll be riding public transit NOT a VCS vehicle. YOU must reserve a spot on the shuttle, by following instructions on this link.
Equipment is your responsibility. Rentals available at Meadows.
Rentals on the Mountain

Ms. Gapp will be leading the group in Nordic Skiing. (No snowshoe trails at Meadows) Our activities will be restricted to the Nordic Center.


Note: Snow sports are expensive, if you need assistance subsidizing the cost, please talk to Ms. Gapp privately.

 
 
As a student at The University of Oregon I attended this event every year when it came to town. I would like to take a group of tudents eventually to view the film festival when it comes to the PDX area. This event is always wildly popular, so we'll need to purchase tickets as soon as they come out the last week of March or first week of April. See the link below for a taste of what it's all about.

http://www.banffcentre.ca/mountainfestival/
 
 
Only in Oregon do you snowshoe with an umbrella...or could if you aren't an Oregonian and don't  harbor a slight disdain for umbrellas--as many Oregonians are apt to do. Five students braved the decidedly un-winter-like temperatures (mid 40s) and drizzle for a walk in the woods at Government Camp Monday, the day before Finals Week. The O'Leary Family graciously opened their cabin to the group, providing pizza and hot chocolate after students learned about the fickle nature of snowshoe bindings and worked up an appetite over what ended up being a two to three mile trek. The event was free and the Outdoor Club provided most of the snowshoes. The snow was dirty and crunchy, an icy slop compared to the ideal--fresh, dry powder. Alas, the students enjoyed themselves despite the conditions and a bit of sledding was squeezed in as well. Check out our photos on the VCS Flickr photostream.
 
 
Note: For all activities you must return a separate Transportation Waiver...
Due to safety concerns we will not be participating in alpine skiing or snowboarding. X-Country skiing is challenging, but if the point is to have fun in the snow, it covers that, plus it is much more conducive to a group outing.

Snowshoe Mt. Hood ~ Monday, January 17th 2011 (no school MLK Day)
Max. # of students = 8 (due to transportation limitations--uness you get permission to drive on your own)
RSVP today! No cost! Lunch, snowshoes, trekking poles all provided.
Please return a Transportation Waiver to confirm your attendance.
Leave VCS 8am
Return VCS 5pm

 
 
Four VCS freshman ventured forth to Smith Rock State Park this past weekend to brave November temps and test their novice rock climbing knowledge against 'Rope de Dope,' Smith's 40 ft. boulder block. "It's intense!" agree the foursome. Guided by Matt Spohn, a professional guide and climber from Stoneworks Climbing Gym in Beaverton, the students were joined by VCS Staff Ms. Gapp (Librarian) and Ms. Fellows (Library Assistant).

Arriving in late afternoon the group tackled a couple of routes and then headed for Skull Hollow Campground for ghost stories, burnt marshmallows, and pizza--after their Coleman stove refused to boil water for pasta. Swapping anecdotes around the campfire, students enjoyed the comraderie of a small group while alternately dodging the smoke monster and doing battle with the cold by squeezing HotHands warmers.

The following morning brought a light skiff of snow...or chunky rain, depending on your perspective. Spohn led a hike over Misery Ridge for a view of the distant Marsupial Group, a basalt canyon, irrigation canal, and the much photographed Monkey Face, a free-standing 350 foot pillar with some of the most challenging climbing routes in the world. The afternoon provided another opportunity to tackle Rope de Dope and  'Shamu,' a 5.9 1 pitch sport route.

Students had prepared for the trip by attending free climbing lessons (subsidized by Outdoor Club funds) conducted in the Eagle's Gym on campus (home to a modest climbing wall), and trips to the Stoneworks Climbing Gym. Safety precautions learned at the gym were implemented in the field, enhanced by the use of helmets. Students also practiced their knowledge of belaying, knot-tying, and  wilderness ethics.

The four student participants look forward to future outdoor club outings and encourage others to join them. Be sure to check out the VCS Outdoor Club's Flickr photostream, which includes photos from the trip.