The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

LOSt: The club where you can find yourself outdoors

While some students may be getting outside more due to recently warm weather, for the Lafayette Outdoors Society (LOSt), the potential for outdoor adventure is year-round.

Throughout the year, LOSt coordinates a variety of activities and trips for members to hike, camp, backpack, climb and cycle. Their longer trips take place during school breaks, including a week-long spring break trip to Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina or last semester’s fall break trip to New River Gorge in West Virginia.

While the outdoors may be intimidating to newcomers, LOSt plans a varied range of activities that cater to different experience levels. They aim to introduce a significant number of new members to the group, some with little to no previous experience. 

Junior Sebastian Wallach, president of LOSt, emphasized that newcomers are always welcome and encouraged to get involved however they can. The group makes activities accessible by providing the necessary equipment and allowing members to choose what events to attend.

“We just try and prepare them as best we can,” Wallach said. “For example, races or climbing competitions are tough for people who have never climbed or raced bikes to go to, but if someone wants to try it, we’re all for it. If it’s gonna get them involved and excited, why not?”

Within the organization, members can get involved with cycling and climbing, both as recreational and competitive activities. During the fall semester, the group of cyclers went to five or six competitions put on by clubs at other colleges or cycling interest groups.

While the climbing team was only able to go to one competition last semester, they have continued to work on their skills through biweekly practices.

Senior Marjana Tafader, the chair of the climbing team, explained that a large portion of the group’s climbing trips take place in the Shawangunk Mountains in upstate New York, colloquially known as The Gunks. This is where members primarily do bouldering as well as traditional climbing.

For Tafader, a highlight for the team this year came in the form of increased diversity in involvement. When she began climbing, she was one of two girls on the team, which she says served as motivation to encourage others to get involved and spread awareness of the resources available. 

“There are a lot of people of color and students of color and females on campus who I know would probably want to explore climbing but never had,” Tafader said. “Even if the opportunity is there, they’re not aware of what they can do or get the right resources or support.”

In the fall, the climbing group was planning on having Lafayette’s first-ever ice climbing trip, including finding knowledgeable guides, but unfortunately, the unpredictability of the weather left the conditions too warm. However, LOSt continues to plan for the future with an open attitude toward new experiences. 

In the spirit of adventure, many events that are not pre-planned school break trips are driven by member enthusiasm.

“We did one last semester to the high peaks up in the Adirondacks in New York,” Wallach said. “It was literally twelve degrees out, and two of our board members really wanted to go, and we were like, ‘all right!’”

Wallach explained that the passion of all of the members keeps their plans new and exciting.

“We definitely have our core members who are always around and always coming up with new ideas,” Wallach said. “And then having new people constantly coming in and out helps a ton because it’s always a fresh set of eyes.”

All students are welcome to get involved with LOSt. Any interested students should reach out to Sebastian Wallach or connect with @lafoutdoors on Instagram.

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About the Contributor
Aliana Mediratta
Aliana Mediratta, Staff News Writer
Aliana Mediratta is a freshman at Lafayette who began writing for the paper as soon as she got to campus. She is a Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies major and a Philosophy minor. Outside of the newsroom, Aliana is a member of Lafayette’s mock trial team and works on the programming team of Pards Against Sexual Assault. She is a google calendar enthusiast and enjoys spending her free time reading, writing, doing crossword puzzles, and texting her beloved news editors.

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