Outside with Zach
If any SFUAD students are itching to hit the slopes this winter, Zach Greer is the man to see. Director of the Outdoor Recreation Program at the Driscoll Fitness Center since the spring semester of 2012 and a graduate of the College of Santa Fe himself, Greer truly loves the activities he takes students out to do. A lot.
“I put up a thing for a hike this past Saturday, which a couple of people said they were interested in, but I went by myself. I was here at eight. I put the van out here and if nobody shows up then I’ll just go down and hike. Yup, I still go.”
As a student of documentary studies with a primary interest in photography, Greer traveled to Brazil his senior year at the College of Santa Fe with a desire to “shoot something that has some kind of meaning or tell a story somehow.” Greer was only one of two students to study in Brazil that semester.
“That was really cool because we couldn’t be this group. We couldn’t be this American clique and speak English…we had to get out there.”
Isolated from a support system and taking Portuguese lessons with a woman who was more interested in talking about America (in English), Greer managed to befriend a group of elderly Brazilian ladies as the subject for his A/V project.
“[I] hung out with their old lady crew all day and played Bingo with them.”
Since graduating, Greer has taken to the mountains in more ways than one. He volunteered for the Montana Conservation Corps in 2010 and 2011 and worked for the Montana Society of American Foresters in 2012. He plans to return this summer as well, clearing trails and doing repairs after storms and avalanches.
So, really, this man knows his stuff. If you’ve ever held an interest in snowshoeing, you can actually do it!
“I think we’ll go snowshoeing this Saturday, if anybody wants to go. They should have plenty of snow up there [at Sandia Peak] to have us just go walk around. That would be cool, to snowshoe up there and look out over Albuquerque.”
When asked if snowshoeing still meant wearing those wooden tennis-racket-like things on your feet, Greer quickly left his office and returned a moment later with a pair of modern snowshoes to prove just how out of touch I am. Apparently the kind I was envisioning haven’t been used “since the 40s.”
Greer plans all of the trips. The next ski trip will be on February 2 and rock climbing excursions will begin in early March. And if you dislike field trips due to their over-organized and confining nature, you needn’t worry with Greer’s trips. His standard itinerary is as follows:
“I just drive the van up there and then I let ‘em loose and make sure I bring the same number of people back. Hopefully they’re the same kids…”
Greer usually takes skiers straight up to our very own Santa Fe Ski Basin rather than the famed slopes of Taos or Angel Fire due to the time the trip would require.
“As I’ve found, most students don’t want to wake up that early.”
For rock climbing, Greer drives the van to White Rock, where he meets up with a married couple with “50 years of climbing experience on ‘em already.” This pair of “awesome teachers” is ever ready to show beginners the ropes, as it were.
Even SFUAD students who are unable to go on the designated trips can benefit from the Outdoor Recreation Program, provided they can find their own way to a choice destination. The DFC will let you borrow equipment with nothing more than a deposit, which they will refund to you when the equipment is returned unharmed. Hear that? You can borrow gear – ski gear, camping gear, etc. What are you waiting for? You can even borrow gear over spring break!
So talk to Zach Greer at DFC and go on these awesome trips, guys. Geez.