As the fall semester begins, the Basler Center for Physical Activity is about to unveil something that’s uncommon for a university: an outdoor adventure course.
The Basler Team Challenge and Aerial Adventure Course will feature 21 varying challenges that include climbing, zip-lining, walking, jumping, balancing and swinging, as participants move between platforms of differing elevations.
Lynn Nester, director of Campus Recreation, expressed how proud she is of ETSU for bringing such a unique course to campus.
Nester said that, aside from Asheville’s commercial Treetops Adventure Park, the nearest college with a similar adventure course is the University of Georgia.
“This is a unique type of challenge and adventure course that you won’t see at just any recreation department,” Nester said. “We had an opportunity to build something new and attract a different type of person.”
The course was turned over to Nester and her department in July, and while she has completed several aspects of the course herself, she is eager to try the new additions, such as rappelling.
“[This course] is cutting edge and innovative. The components of it are a bit of a novelty [for a university], and also really challenging,” Nester said. “For instance: rappelling and quick descent, which I personally haven’t tried yet, which I’m both excited and a little nervous for,” she added with a laugh.
“There are a lot of fun elements that will challenge all kinds of people. You may not have a fear of heights, but there will be something here that will challenge you physically and mentally.”
The 44-foot tower features climbing, rappelling, bouldering, zip lines and a giant swing. All of the aerial-based challenges, of course, will have participants harnessed on a belay.
The Aerial Adventure adds a more difficult element to the outdoor program, which has served as a team building exercise for years, Nester says.
“On-campus departments and organizations, and sometimes even athletic teams, will have new people coming in every year,” Nester said. “They use our team building challenge to get people out of their element, whatever it may be. It brings out different strengths and weaknesses in one another. You have to listen and support each other.”
Upon opening, students, faculty, staff and CPA patrons can register for course time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
A valid ETSU I.D. will be required for participation.
The Basler Team Challenge and Aerial Adventure Course is located at 503 Go Bucs Trail.
The Challenge Course Pavilion is located at 505 Go Bucs Trail. Parking is available in lot 22A across from the challenge course pavilion.