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.
Interested in going on more than one day hike or on an overnight trip? Become a YO member by Venmo-ing $10 to @YaleOutdoors! This money is used to purchase gear, fund gear repairs, and provide financial aid to those who would not otherwise be able to participate. As a YO member, you gain access to overnight trips and discounts on gear rentals. If you have questions or want more information, please feel free to contact the treasurer Ally Soong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in leading YO trips? Regardless of your prior outdoor experience or skill level, you can become a YO leader by completing a series of skills sessions and co-leading a trip! If you are interested in becoming a leader, fill out this form.
Contact Kaija Gahm at email@example.com with any questions about the leader application process.
Yale Outdoors owns and operates a fully-stocked gear room (located in the Welch Basement) which is available for rental by all Yale University affiliates. The gear rental policies can be found here and the gear request form here. Email Emma Phelps at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions regarding gear rental.Rent Gear
Join Yale Outdoors this October for our Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course! WFA is a two-day wilderness medicine course that focuses on the basics of identifying and treating injuries and medical emergencies in the backcountry. The class will be taught right on campus by an instructor from SOLO, a wilderness medicine school in New Hampshire. This course is open to all who are interested in receiving this basic wilderness medicine certification as well as to those who want to re-certify their Wilderness First Responder certification. This fall's official registration form and costs will be up on our Facebook page shortly. All of the details will also be included in next week's newsletter, so keep your eyes out! Space is limited, so make sure to reserve your spot before September 23rd by filling out the registration form and paying the necessary deposit. If you have any questions, send them to the Wilderness Education Coordinator Jordan Perry at email@example.com.
For enquiries, questions, and donations, please complete the form below.