Canoeing, Kayaking & Rafting
You like to swim? Good! The Pitt Outdoors Club participates in a variety of water activities each season.
We canoe, we sail, we raft whitewater, and with the addition of whitewater kayaking in 2003, we paddle and play
almost every weekend.
One of our most exciting new programs is whitewater kayaking! Western Pennsylvania and West
Virginia are home to some of the best whitewater in the world, including such classic rivers as the Youghiogheny,
the New, the Savage, the Cheat, the Gauley, hardcore creeks like the Big Sandy and Muddy Creek, and beginner friendly rivers like the Slippery Rock Creek, Middle Yough, and Casselman River. Our kayaking program is beginner friendly, so if youíve never touched a boat, come out and learn!
For safetyís sake, we have a few requirements before you take part in a POC river trip:
- To run a class II river (such as the lower Slippery Rock Creek), you must demonstrate a wet exit and bow
rescue in a pool session.
- To run a class III river (like the Lower Yough), you must also have a consistent flatwater roll (5 out of
5 successful rolls in a pool).
- To lead kayaking trips, you must be able to roll in whitewater, read the river, rescue a swimming paddler
in Class III whitewater, and self-rescue in Class III whitewater. Swiftwater rescue experience is a big plus!
Our leaders carry a throwbag and whistle on all POC river trips.
To learn these skills, it is necessary to attend one or more pool sessions. The Pitt Outdoors Club holds
pool sessions on Monday evenings in Trees Hall. In addition, we participate in pool sessions at Carnegie Mellon
University on Thursday nights. We have
only a limited number of boats available, so to attend a pool session you must sign up at the general club
meeting on Tuesday evening. For experienced paddlers or folks wanting to
work on rolls and more advanced skills, we recommend checking out the Three Rivers Paddling Club.
We go whitewater rafting on the Lower Youghiogheny River at Ohiopyle State Park each fall and spring. We take out a group of up to sixty members in two groups, camping in the State Park and rafting for a day on the river. We normally leave campus on Friday evening, and camp-out the night before so that we can be fresh and ready to go for the 4 hours of rafting we have ahead of us.
If munchy holes, monster wave trains, and squirrely eddies arenít your bag, how does this
sound: a weekend cruising down the wide, gentle Allegheny in a stable canoe with your friends alongside and fall leaves falling on the water, then camping on an island mid-river and sitting around a fire until the wee hours. Maybe a day of sailing on nearby Lake Arthur better suits you. If you are the expeditionary type and donít like the cold, how
about spending a week in March exploring the Florida Everglades by canoe? We can do just about whatever strikes your fancy, from a day of boating around Loyalhanna Dam to a Spring break Windjammer cruise in the Carribbean. Come out and bring your ideas!