Outdoor clubs at Yale have a rich history dating back to the 1920s, when an informal “Outing Club” explored Connecticut’s wilderness and trails. In 1936, a new club emerged: the Yale Mountaineering Club. Known for their climbing-themed antics (including scaling Harkness tower), the Yale Mountaineering Club entered its golden age after the war in 1947, when a strong corps of leaders embarked on a series of first ascents across the state and North America. Many records and landmarks are still named after the Yale Mountaineering Club. One famous alumni is Hassler Whitney, one of the founders of singularity theory, who also made the first ascent of the Whitney-Gilman ridge on Cannon Mountain.
Notable Mountaineering Club-sponsored expeditions from this era include exploration of the Front Range of Northern Colorado, exploration of the Brooks Range in the North Slope of Alaska, a pioneering ascent of Mount Wood (15,886 ft.) in the St. Elias Mountains of Alaska and the Yukon, and, perhaps most notably, one of the first documented expeditions into the Logan Mountains, a mountain range that demarcates the border between the Yukon and the Northwest Territories and arguably one of the most remote and isolated regions in North America. This latter expedition logged nine first ascents of 9,000-10,000 foot glaciated peaks and granite spires in the range.
More locally, the Mountaineering Club catalogued the eighty plus routes on Sleeping Giant just adjacent to New Haven and, in 1973, published A Climber’s Guide to Ragged Mountain in Southington, Connecticut. In the 1990s, the three registered outing clubs at Yale - Yale Mountaineering Club, Yale Outdoors, and Forestry Outing Club - began reaching out to students of all levels and abilities. In the spring of 2009, Yale Outdoors was reorganized into an umbrella organization in an effort to consolidate outdoor life at Yale. Today, Yale Outdoors serves all members of the Yale Community and beyond, engaging in outdoor service, leading expeditions, and offering skill sessions.
Yale Outdoors owns and operates a fully-stocked gear room (located in Davenport College) which is available for rental by all Yale University affiliates. The prices, inventory, and rental form can be found in the link below.Rent Gear
For enquiries, questions, and donations, please complete the form below.