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Trip Policies, Ratings & Criteria


Members of WSU or the wider community who can meet the physical requirements of a trip and are at least 18 years of age are eligible to participate. WSU students who are 17 years of age or older are also able to participate. Youth, 5-17, are not allowed on regular trips unless there is an exemption.

In order to minimize our environmental impact, maintain facilitator-to-participant ratios, meet permit criteria, and coordinate transportation logistics, ORC trips are often programmed for small groups (typically up to six participants with two facilitators). Late cancellations can seriously impact our ability to accommodate others and recover costs.

Full refunds will be given for cancellations made four weeks or more prior to the registration deadline. A 50% refund will be given for cancellations made within four weeks prior to the registration deadline.No refunds are given past the registration deadline.

Participants may not be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs during an ORC activity. Drugs and alcohol are not permitted in WSU vehicles/vessels or at campsites (or other accommodations) at any time. Depending on the severity of infraction of rules and policies, a range of disciplinary actions may take place from a verbal warning to removal from activity, contacting local authorities, and the office of student conduct.

Trip Ratings

The following is a five tiered rating system that includes general descriptions of five levels of difficulties adapted from the American College of Sports Medicine. Certain trips with low technical skill ratings and very high levels of physical requirements could be rated the same as a trip with very high technical skills and a very low physical requirement, so always be sure to inquire as to the specifics of the activity you are participating in. These are general descriptions of the five levels and may differ when applied to specific activities.

Level 1

This activity requires low levels of physical conditioning and no specific experience is necessary, technical skills are not necessary. 

Level 2

Good physical conditioning is necessary, little experience is required, and little technical knowledge is necessary.

Level 3

Good physical conditioning is required, some experience is recommended, and some technical knowledge is highly recommended.

Level 4

Good physical condition is required, experience in the specific activity is required, and technical proficiency is highly recommended.

Level 5  

Excellent physical conditioning is required, proficiency in specific technical skill is required, and prior experience is a necessity.

Essential Eligibility Criteria for Participation

The wilderness environments of an ORC trip can be remote, dynamic, and challenging. For these reasons, participants should be committed to take responsibility for themselves, and functioning effectively in a group to achieve trip goals. The Essential Eligibility Criteria is applicable for all participants. A qualified person is one who can meet the EEC, with or without appropriate accommodations. Reasonable accommodations are available with adequate notification. Please call Joanne Greene or Jeff Elbracht at 509.335.9668 for accommodation information.

Section 1:

Section 2:

This section lists the EEC specific to different trip types or activities.  All participants must satisfy the EEC listed in section one, and the EEC in section two that is specific to the trip type they are considering.  If you are attending a day trip, you do not need to satisfy the Outdoor Living Skills listed in section one.

If you have questions please contact