Explore the great outdoors with Pottruck

Dear Benny,

I heard that Pottruck offers off-campus biking and climbing day trips during the summer. Can you tell me more about these programs, and can I take part even if I’m not a Pottruck member?

— Ready to hit the trail

Dear Outdoor Enthusiast,

You’re right, Pottruck does offer trips outside of the gym through its Outdoor Adventure Program. This month you can choose between rock climbing in Bucks County or biking along the Lehigh River.

The rock-climbing trip on July 15 (8 a.m-5 p.m., $60) gives indoor climbers an opportunity to practice their skills on natural rock. According to Paul Haraf, the program coordinator and a professional outdoor guide, the day is suitable for both beginners and more experienced climbers and will include instruction on knots, belaying, rappelling and other climbing techniques. All the necessary equipment is included in the fee, so you just need to bring yourself and your head for heights. The registration deadline is July 10.

The July 29 daytrip to the Lehigh Gorge State Park (8 a.m.-5 p.m., $80) offers three to five hours of downhill biking. That’s right—downhill! The abandoned railroad bed that you’ll ride along has a slight downhill grade as it follows the river’s course. The fee includes bike rental and shuttle. The registration deadline is July 12.

Haraf says that both trips, which are open to anyone with a PennCard, are designed for “people with an average amout of physical ability, so you don’t have to be in incredible shape.” Pre-registration is required. For more information, go to www.upenn.edu/recreation/programs/outdoor.htm or email Paul Haraf at haraf@pobox.upenn.edu.

Originally published on July 6, 2006