What are we?

The University of Alberta Outdoors Club (UAOC) is a University of Alberta student-run outdoor recreation organization. The club was realized under the name “Outdoor Club” in 1938 and focuses primarily on introducing students and community members to a variety of outdoor sports. The club is currently the University of Alberta’s largest student group. The current major sports include rock climbing, backpacking (wilderness), mountain biking, hiking, and ice climbing.

Early History

The club was founded on March 15, 1929, as the “Varsity Ski Club” to engage students in friendly ski competition. The club formally changed its name to the “Outdoor Club” in 1938 to include other sports clubs such as the Figure Skating Club and Canoeing Club under a single name. In 1939, the club officially offered canoeing, skiing, hiking, speed skating and fancy skating.

In 1937, among the main attractions were a ski jump and the building of a cabin by club members west of the University of Alberta. Funds were appropriated by the Student Union. The use of these facilities required a membership at the cost of $1.00.

The Cabin was the location of choice for dances, parties, and festivals. IN January 1941, the club hosted a tournament and selected a ski team for intercollegiate meets. Unfortunately, in 1948, the ski hill and cabin were destroyed by city road construction. The city agreed to build a new cabin and two hills off of University of Alberta property under the stipulation that the city may take that land whenever necessary.

The club selected a new location at the north end of 116 street and Saskatchewan drive on university property. The cabin was 16 by 45 feet and cost $500 to insure. The club scheduled regular work parties every Sunday. The club took an 18-year hiatus from 1956 until it reemerged in 1974 as “The University of Alberta Outdoors Club.”

The club served 900 students in the 2016-2017 academic year and has partnered with staff from the Alberta Environment and Parks to camp with immigrants and refugees.