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Western Campus Recreation

Wilderness Based Orientation

Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Any incoming new student, including transfers. WBO is designed to serve as an adventure-based orientation for all new Western students. If you have been admitted to Western for the fall semester, you are welcome to participate in WBO.

It is not just for folks who know their way around the outdoors. On the contrary, WBO is for any student who is interested in having an awesome experience, is ready to learn a new skill and wants to get to know their new home in the Gunnison Valley. No prior experience is required to participate, you just need to be physically and mentally prepared for the challenge.

Online through your MyWestern account! Students must be registered for classes before signing up for a WBO trip. From the Main Menu of your account, follow the link to register for WBO. Registration opens June 8, 2023 at 10am MST.

Yes. On-campus New Student Orientation is mandatory for all first-time freshmen and transfer students with 23 credits or less. WBO courses are offered as supplemental programs to New Student Orientation, not as a substitute.

You will need to provide your own clothing, personal items and basic outdoor gear including a backpack and sleeping bag appropriate for the course you will participate in. All technical equipment needed for your trip will be provided by WBO. Please see individual gear lists for each course. Select your Wilderness Based Orientation course to see what gear you need. We have a very limited number of packs and sleeping bags available for rent.

Each WBO expedition is different. The amount of skill and physical difficulty of each particular expedition is explained in the Course Description and Essential Eligibility Requirements. It can be very challenging to acclimate to our high-altitude backcountry courses (backpacking and mountaineering) if coming from at or near sea level. We recommend at least three days of acclimation in the Gunnison Valley before attempting one of those trips, and even that is no guarantee of success. We do everything we can to accommodate participants without changing the nature of the trip. Please see Essential Eligibility requirements and Course Descriptions on the course descriptions on this site for further details.

The fee is used to cover the direct costs of the expedition such as transportation, food, equipment, permits and staff stipend. The fee does not cover the cost of overhead such as the Director’s salary or facilities usage. Trips costs are to be paid in full and payment becomes non-refundable after June 30, 2023. Payments are due in full at the time of registration through the registration link on your My Western.

  1. Register online by logging on to your MyWestern account and follow the link on the Main Menu.
  2. Pay trip price in full.
  3. You MUST complete all waivers either online (during registration process) and/or send back via email to wbo@western.edu by no later than July 12, 2023.

Yes! WBO is proud to offer scholarships for those with financial need and who exemplify the values of WBO. Scholarship applications are due June 20, 2023. Applicants will be contacted regarding their standing by July 7, 2023 and must accept their award by July 14, 2023 at 4 p.m. MDT. Applicants who do not accept their award on or before July 14, 2023 will no longer be eligible to receive the scholarship. Scholarship applicants are rated on content/effort, structure, language/grammar/mechanics, and financial need. There will be a few partial scholarships and one full scholarship. Successful scholarship recipients will be credited through their MyWestern account.

Our program has an excellent safety record. Many WBO trip leaders hold current Wilderness First Responder medical certifications, and all instructors are First Aid/CPR certified. The program is administered by a full-time professional with multiple years of outdoor programming and guiding experience and is fully backed by Western Colorado University.

Yes. Students attending a WBO course may move into their room the day prior to WBO course departure. This gives you time to safely store your belongings before you leave. Go directly to your residence hall between 2 pm and 4 pm MST on August 10, 2023 to check into your room and get your key.

We will feed you three meals a day plus snacks starting with breakfast on the first day of your course and ending with a closing BBQ. You can use your dining plan starting the following morning at Rare Air Cafe. If you are moving into your residence hall on August 10, 2023, you will need to feed yourself that night.

No. Courses are available to incoming new Western students only.

Trip refunds are available until June 30, 2023.

Meet outside the south side of the University Center at 8am MST. Our instructors will be waiting and will split you into groups.

WBO reserves the right to change program locations, itineraries, group size and instructor ratio should the need arise due to weather, water levels, closures of public lands, staffing, equipment, safety or program issues.

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