Outdoor Activities – Stay Active This Winter Quarter



Pioneer Square, downtown Seattle, is an amazing lightshow during the night; tourists are heading out regardless of the cold to enjoy the sights.

Going to school and living in Seattle can be cold and gloomy in the winter. For some, the weather can be very off putting and discourage people to get up and go outside. However, if you can get past the gloomy weather, there are so many beautiful and fun outdoor activities.

Outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, and rock climbing are available nearby. Junior Seattle University Mechanical Engineering student, Katey Murphy, talked about her favorite outdoor activities: ski touring and alpine climbing.

For those who are not well-versed in the world of mountaineering-related activities, ski touring is similar to backcountry skiing where one skis (tours) in the backcountry on unmarked or unpatrolled areas. Alpine climbing is the classic form of rock climbing, with the goal of ascending up a mountain to gain summit.

Murphy’s favorite place for those activities are the North Cascades, Mt. Baker, and Stevens Pass. These activities can require some equipment and skill, so feel free to check out UREC for outdoor resources, gear, and guided outings.

“Skiing and mountaineering offer all sorts of entertainment from joy to type 2 fun, fresh air, amazing views, and of course great exercise,” Murphy said.

She loves winter and the snow because it allows her to do some of her favorite outdoor activities. Murphy does not let a little cold or rain get in her way. But if you are someone who prefers to stay warm and dry, she suggested Seattle Bouldering Project (SBP), where you can try indoor bouldering.

Another less thrilling, but just as beautiful outdoor activity, is the Volunteer Park Conservatory. Now until Feb. 28, the conservatory is offering free admission to all. Visit the conservatory for a scenic, peaceful stroll through one of Seattle’s huge victorian glasshouses to experience a variety of threatened plants. The conservatory was built over one hundred years ago to connect and conserve environments and plant species from around the world, as it still does today.

In addition to UREC, Seattle U also offers an outdoor running club. Each week, members and prospective members can pick which days and difficulty they want to go on. Each run is led by a club member who takes the group on an active scenic tour of the city. First year Pre-science major and Thursday run leader, Koshin Matsushima, said that his run takes the group on a four mile run to and from volunteer park, but if runners are looking for something longer they can go on the Wednesday run to and from Olympic Sculpture Park. Both of these runs allow the group to experience the city and wonders of the outdoors while also getting their steps in for the day.

“I think running outside is way different than running on a treadmill because you can get bored of it, but on the streets you can see more of Seattle, and it doesn’t get boring,” Matsushima said.

If you are looking for a way to get active or motivation to run, he urges those who are interested to check out the SU Running club. “We’re still a pretty new club, so we’re still trying to get new members to come out. So, if you’re into running, or want to get into running then come join us.”

Matsushima’s interest in the outdoors has inspired him to take up nature photography. Kerry Park is one of many places in Seattle that Matsushima enjoys photographing. He said the sunrises from Kerry Park are stunning and well worth getting up early for.

Lastly, just off campus every Sunday from 11am to 3pm is the Capitol Hill outdoor market. Every week vendors set up their tents and showcase a variety of their products, ranging from fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, delicious pastries and bakery items, to tamales and horchata. Visiting the outdoor market is a great way to get involved and support local businesses. It is also an easy way to stock up on healthy, fresh foods to help fuel your body with necessary nutrients to stay healthy during flu season in the winter.

Kaela may be reached at
[email protected]