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UCF Outdoor Adventure Offers Students Trips Around the World

A trail leading into a mountainous area.
It was so, so windy. The winds were around 50 mph and when a strong gust would blow, we had to stop walking and just focus on staying standing. We couldn’t talk to each other much during these intense gusts because it was so loud, we would just burst out laughing at how stupid we looked fighting against the wind and falling over each other and on to the ground when the wind was too strong. 
A man posing in front of a mountain.
Taking photos this day was challenging due to the wind. Here I am holding on to my beanie because it was trying to blow away (it ended up escaping later on).  All smiles though- this hike was absolutely stunning.
A group of people posing for a photo in front of a mountain.
We stopped at the end of the trail to have lunch with an insane view of the Cuernos formation. It was a quiet lunch after a long hike, everyone just sat back, relaxed, and marveled at the environment that surrounded us. We talked to some friendly hikers, my beanie made an escape from my head (one of my participants luckily chased it for me), and wondered how the water was that blue!
A man with a backpack posing in front of a mountain.
Hiking to a lake/viewpoint of the Fitz Roy. It was a challenging hike with lots of elevation change, but when the trees opened up and revealed views like this one it was so worth it. Once we reached the end of the trail it actually started to rain and the Fitz Roy was totally covered by clouds but the group took it in stride. We were just happy to be there, refilling our bottles at the top of a mountain with glacier water and enjoying each other’s company. I’m grateful for having had such a wonderful group of participants who were easy going and adaptable.
A group of people posing for a photo in front of mountains.
We were so excited and overwhelmed with emotion at this summit. The hike was our most grueling of the trip. There was so much elevation gain our legs at this point felt like jello. The last bit of the hike also involved scrambling through rocks and we were absolutely exhausted. Once we got to this view though, no one cared. It’s impossible to express with words or photos how huge these towers were. When we first arrived, without giving my participants instructions, everyone simultaneously found a quiet spot on their own to just sit and witness. As a trip leader, there’s something to be said for unstructured downtime during moments like these. I could tell that everyone, including myself, just needed a moment to be present and reflect on where we were, how we got there, and what it meant. Then of course, we did a photo shoot. Who wouldn’t with this view?
A giant glacier with a mountain in the background.
This was my favorite day of the Patagonia trip. We did a trek on Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina that was about 20 miles long. The trek that we did with the guide is to hike to the middle of the glacier. You’re just surrounded by ice and glacier water and mountains on the edges. It just felt like the whole world fell away and we were just there in that moment with the wind whipping at our faces and we felt like little explorers or mountaineers. It was just so fun.
A group of people walking across ice while in front of mountains.
In this picture you can see the landscape of snow-capped mountains that surrounded us on the glacier. It blocked most of our view of the rest of the park and it kind of felt like we could’ve been in Antarctica. Out of this world trek.
A man standing on a glacier.
We took some pictures in this beautiful little ice cave. If you look closely you can see water droplets dripping down from the top which looked like little liquid diamonds. Caroline has her glasses and buff to protect her skin and eyes from the reflection of the sun on the ice, and crampons to walk on the ice safely!
A group of people posing for a photo on a glacier.
You’d think it was a filter but the water really did look that blue, if not more so in real life. Looking down into the crystal clear, glass-like water we could see down so deep, it was a little intimidating to stand on the edge and trust the ice. We got to put our water bottles right into the water for the most refreshing drink ever. Later on we also got to stand right over a crevasse, straddle it and look into the depths of the glacier (all while being safely held by our guide with our harnesses, of course).