Outdoor Centre 2020 FAQ

Important changes

We are reopening some elements of our operations. Because of restrictions in this phased reopening, there are limits to the types of programs, rentals and services we can offer. Thank you for your patience and please check back regularly as the information in this document can change without notice. 

Online Rentals (open November 19, 2020)

A New “Business as Usual”

Here are the procedures we've put in place to support the health and safety of our co-workers, customers and community:

NEW - Rentals are available by appointment only

NEW - There are no walk-in rentals

NEW - Online rentals. Make a gear reservation and book a pick-up and drop-off appointment ONLINE! You will be directed to sign the Outdoor Centre rental contract and proceed with payment.  All Rentals reservations require payment by credit card; we cannot accept debit at this time.

Shortly after you will receive a receipt and copy of the work order.

NEW – Safety, Sanitation and Cleaning Procedures

Our safety and equipment sanitization protocols are based on guidelines provided by the Government of Alberta, and recommended best practices from national governing bodies and manufacturers’ guidelines. We have a multi-stage sanitation and quarantine procedure for rental items entering and exiting the shop, including careful record-keeping.

Rental Shop FAQs

Q. Do I need an appointment?

A. Yes. You will need to request an appointment when you book online, and we will contact you at the earliest available opportunity.

Q. Can I change my appointment?

A. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to change your appointment once it has been confirmed.

Q. I'm going to be late for my appointment, what do I do?

A. Please do not turn up at the Outdoor Centre outside of your appointment time. Send an email to outdoor@ucalgary.ca if you know you are going to miss your appointment and we will do our very best to make alternative arrangements. We are unable to guarantee changes at this time as we have limited appointments to ensure the safety of our staff, customers and the community.

Q. Is my payment secure?

A. Yes. Online payment is by credit card only on a secure University of Calgary server.

Q. I'm unable to sign the contract, and/or I forgot my password. What do I do? 

A. You can change your Active Living password here. If you are having trouble signing the online forms, sometimes switching to Internet Explorer works. If you are still having problems, email outdoor@ucalgary.ca.

Q. Why are there only a limited number of rental items?

A. We’ve limited the number of gear items available in this initial phase of reopening to ensure that we can implement the safety procedures. We hope to expand our offerings as the reopening phases allow.

Q. Where can I park when I pick up or drop off the rental gear?

A. Parking is free for 20mins in lot 5.  Please arrive for the pick-up appointment time that you booked, and drive up to one of the designated pick-up parking spaces by our front entrance. Put on your 4 way hazard lights.

Q.  What is the pick-up and drop-off procedure?

A. Pick-Up

  1. NEW! Reservations: Make a gear reservation and book a pick-up appointment ONLINE! You will be directed to sign the Outdoor Centre rental contract and proceed with payment.  All Rentals reservations require payment by credit card; we cannot accept debit at this time.
  2. Parking: Parking is free for 20 minutes in lot 5.  Please arrive for the pick-up appointment time that you booked, and drive up to one of the designated pick-up parking spaces by our front entrance. Put on your 4 way hazard lights.
  3. Verification: Have your photo ID (driver's licence, passport or UCID card) and your work order number ready so that staff can verify your reservation.
  4. Entering the Outdoor Centre: Masks are mandatory. You will be given access to the OC when it is safe to enter.  A member of staff will assist you with your booking, escort you through the OC to the point of exit at one of the external doors.
  5. Gear Check: Ensure that you have everything on your order, and it is in good working order.  You are responsible for the gear. Do you have insurance? 

A. Drop-Off

  1. Parking:  Parking is free for 20 minutes in lot 5. Please arrive for your scheduled drop-off appointment time. Drive up to one of the designated pick-up parking spaces by our front entrance and put on your 4 way hazard lights.
  2. Unloading:  Unload your equipment and proceed to the front entrance.
  3. Entering the Outdoor Centre. Masks are mandatory. You will be given access to the OC when it is safe to enter. A member of staff will escort you through the OC to place your equipment in the designated return zone.  Follow directional signs and physical distancing guidelines. Please use the sanitization that is available.
  4. Complete the return: Please wait in designated area until staff have checked equipment back in. 

Q. Can I drop off my item early?

A. No. We have limited time-slots, days, and staff because of measures put in place to accommodate physical distancing guidelines.

Q. I have a question about my rental item. Whom do I contact?

A.  Email outdoor@ucalgary.ca. Please be advised that we are receiving a large volume of email and our staff will do their best to contact you in a timely manner.

Q. I sent in a request and haven't heard back - do I have a booking?

A. No. We are receiving a very high volume of requests and while doing our best to respond, are not able to accommodate all requests.  The quickest way to confirm a booking is through our online rentals. 

Q. What if the weather is bad? Can I change or cancel my booking after confirmation?

A. If more than 72 hours notice of cancellation is provided prior to the pickup date on the contract, a full refund will be provided. If less than 72 hours notice is provided, you will receive a 50% refund. A change of date will be treated as cancellation, with rebooking subject to availability of appointment times.

Programs

We are currently running programs that are lower risk, and in close vicinity to Calgary or the Alberta and National Parks. Our information has been built around provincial recommendations for Outdoor Recreation, and best practices as outlined by the ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides), and AWA (Alberta Whitewater Association).

NEW – Revised Programs

Go to the Programs Overview page and see the list of programs that we are offering in this phase of reopening. On this page you will find step-by-step instructions and timely updates. 

Participants will receive a pre-course email to clarify COVID-related safety procedures. At the start of the course, the instructor will ask all participants the COVID-19 checklist collectively to ensure that the screening is witnessed and you must attest to the contents of the declaration to participate.

NEW – Safety, Sanitation and Cleaning Procedures

Our safety and equipment sanitization protocol is based on safety guidelines from the Government of Alberta and recommended best practices from the national governing bodies and manufacturers’ specific guidelines. We have a multi-stage sanitation and quarantine procedure for items entering and exiting the shop, including careful record keeping.

NEW – No Carpool or Van Transportation

We will not run any programs that require shuttling or carpooling. Participants should arrive in their own vehicles. See the Programs Overview page for more information

COVID Program FAQS

Q. Why are there only a limited number of programs?

A. We’ve limited the programs in this initial phase of reopening to ensure that we can implement the safety procedures as directed. We will expand our offerings as the reopening phases allow.

Q. Is the program gear safe to use?

A. Specific equipment sanitization protocol is based on provincial guidelines, national governing bodies “recommended best practices” and manufacturers’ specific guidelines. We have a multi-stage sanitation and quarantine procedure for items entering and exiting the shop, including careful record keeping.

Q. Can I bring my own gear?

A. Yes. As long as it is industry-approved and at the discretion of the instructor.

Q. Do I have to wear a mask?

A. Each program is different. Information will be provided in the pre-course email.

Q. Is my payment secure?

A. Yes. Online payment is by credit card only on a secure University of Calgary server.

Q. I'm unable to sign the online waivers or forms, and/or I forgot my password. What do I do?

A. You can change your password here. If you are having trouble signing the online forms, sometimes switching to Internet Explorer works. If you are still having problems, contact Active Living Client Services at 403.220.7749.

Q. Can I withdraw from my program?

A. Yes. Please review our updated cancellation policy.

Q. I have a question about a program. Who do I contact?

A. Email ocprograms@ucalgary.ca. We have limited staff so we might take longer than normal to respond.

Q. Are Outdoor Centre summer camps part of the University of Calgary summer camps?

A. Yes. Outdoor camps are run by the Outdoor Centre, but share some common operations with the other camps on campus, like parking, check-in systems, before and after camp care, bussing and more. Check the details of each camp to get information on pickup/drop-offs, absences, food, equipment, and the camp itinerary.

Q. Are outdoor camp leaders certified?

A. All outdoor camp leaders have completed a Police Information Check (with vulnerable sector). Urban camp leaders are certified with Standard First Aid & CPR Level C or higher. Out-of-city camp leaders are certified in 40-hour Wilderness First Aid or higher. Out-of-city camp leaders who drive for us have a Class 4 business driver’s license and have completed the University of Calgary trailer driving course.

Facility Status

Bike Repair /Ski Tuning Services CLOSED (Reopen date TBA)

Bike Repair services are not open at this time. Please check back regularly for updates.

Bowness Park FAQs – CLOSED (Reopen date Dec 24, 2020)

Climbing Walls FAQs – CLOSED (Reopen date TBA)

Climbing facilities are not accessible. Please check back regularly for updates.

Kinesiology Complex - Open

The Kinesiology Complex is now open, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, not all facilities are accessible at this time.